How It All Works

"Take 1,000 people and have a software program generate the average of their faces – an artificial face with the average cheekbone height, average distance between eyes, average lip fullness, etc. That image, across cultures, tends to be the one people are most likely to judge as the most attractive."

"People love familiarity. That’s true not just for faces but products, careers, and styles. It’s almost like nature’s risk-management system."

"it isn’t what a man has that constitutes wealth. No – it is to be satisfied with what one has; that is wealth."

"You’re never the best in the short run, but you stick around long enough to outlive the competition and come out on top."

"Consistency beats intelligence, if only because it takes emotion out of the equation."

Most Phone Use is a Tragic Loss of Life

"I learned nothing, gained nothing, made no friends, impacted the world not at all, did not improve my mood or my capacity to do anything useful. It was marginally enjoyable on some reptile-brain level, sure, but its ultimate result was only to bring me nearer to death. Using my phone like that was pure loss of life — like smoking, except without the benefits."

Childhoods of exceptional people

"those who grow up to be exceptional tend to have spent their formative years surrounded by adults who were exceptional"

"The adults had high expectations of the children; they assumed they had the capacity to understand complex topics, and therefore invited them into serious conversations and meaningful work, believing them capable of growing competent rapidly."

"Books can, in other words, be a good stand-in for a social milieu, up to a point, but eventually, you need direct access to exceptional people. And having access to them from a young age greatly increases the likelihood that you will be shaped by them."

"A qualified guess is that they spent between one and four hours daily in formal studies, and the rest on self-directed projects. Unlike children today, they had little access to entertainment, and so were often bored, unless they figured out a way to keep their minds occupied; the intellectual obsessions that grew into their life’s work often grew out of this boredom."

"This type of intellectual apprenticeship is a recurring pattern in the biographies. At some point in their teenage years—and sometimes earlier—the future geniuses would apprentice themselves intellectually to someone with exceptional capacity in their field."

A Guide for Young People: What to Do With Your Life

"So if you can’t figure out the future, what do you do? Don’t focus on the future. Focus on what you can do right now that will be good no matter what the future brings. Make stuff. Build stuff. Learn skills. Go on adventures. Make friends. These things will help in any future."

"Start small, and build it every day if possible. It’s like putting your money in investments: it grows in value over time."

Three steps for completing large projects

"The big “doers” in life tend to be those who are consistently working, piece by piece, on at least one or two big projects at any one time. They get it done. Not in a week of caffeine-fueled frenzy, but in a half-year of small, frequent steps forward."

Kobe Bryant

"The story continues. If you fail on Monday, the only way it’s a failure is if you decide to not progress from that. To me, that’s why failure is not existent. If I fail today, I’m going to learn something from that failure. I’m going to try again."

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