“Driven From Within” Quotes

I recently read “Driven From Within” by Michael Jordan. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. As always, if you like the quotes, please buy the book here.

Driven From Within“Players who practice hard when no one is paying attention generally play well when everyone is watching.” (8)

“What I did on the floor drove the marketing, not the other way around. The Jordan brand was driven by what I did every night playing the game.” (12)

“When my play starting providing me with rewards, then I wanted to prove I deserved them. I never felt the desire to rest on what I had accomplished.” (13)

“I never felt like I deserved to drive a Bentley when I got my first contract, or live in a mansion. Those things might be symbols of success to some people, but there are a lot of people who confuse symbols with actual success.” (13)

“Just like my high school coach used to say: It’s hard, but it’s fair.” (13)

“I had no doubts or fears because I never had expectations that were out of context with my skill level.” (25)

“No one had in mind what would be acceptable for me. After the first year, the expectations came, but by that time I had positive habits.” (33)

“I understood that the reason I was getting attention was because of the work I had put in up to that point, not because of what I had done to meet other people’s expectations for me.” (33)

“The whole marketing approach is about drawing attention to the product. Once that happens, and everyone performs the way they are supposed to perform, then the two come together like a perfect marriage.” (48)

“You have to be uncompromised in your level of commitment to whatever you are doing, or it can disappear as fast as it appeared.” (52)

“Some players noticed me because of everything I was doing off the court, and that was the wrong reason to pay attention to me. Pay attention to the way I played the game. Pay attention to my passion. Pay attention to the idea of focusing on improvement every day. Pay attention to my commitment. Commitment cannot be compromised by rewards. Excellence isn’t a one-week or one-year ideal. It’s a constant. There will be days when you don’t feel on top of your game, or meetings in which you aren’t at your best, but your commitment remains constant. No compromises.” (52)

“Authenticity is about being true to who you are, even when everyone else wnats you to be someone else.” (135)

“It’s a lot harder to become the best you can be when you’re focused on trying to be the best version of someone else. There’s nothing authentic in that, and if it’s not authentic, then it’s not going to last.” (135)

“Maybe even a shot that could have won a game. I can deal with that. If I don’t miss the shot, then I don’t miss it – we win. I can rationalize the fact there are only two outcomes: You either make it, or you miss it. I could think that way because I knew I had earned the opportunity to take that shot.

I had put in all the work, not only in that particular game, but in practice every day. If I missed, then it wasn’t meant to be. That simple. It wasn’t because the effort wasn’t there. It wasn’t because I couldn’t make the shot, because I had taken the same shot many time in every situation. As soon as the ball went up, there weren’t any nerves because I had trained myself for that situation.

I was as prepared as I could possibly have been for that moment. I couldn’t go back and practice a little harder. I knew I had done the right things to prepare myself for that situation. One way or another, I knew I was prepared to be successful. Now, if you know you haven’t prepared correctly, or you know you haven’t worked hard enough, that’s when other thoughts and emotions creep into your mind. That’s stress. That’s fear.” (167)

“It’s the same process for doing anything, anywhere in life no matter how big or small the stage. Whehter it’s running a corporation, taking a test in second grade or taking a shot ot win a game, at that moment you are the sum total of all the work you have put in, nothing more and nothing less. If you are confident you have done everything possible to prepare yourself, then there is nothing to fear. There’s no stress in losing under those circumstances. It just wasn’t meant to be.” (167)

“If I go to New Jersey for Game 56, we were probably expected to win the agme by 30 points in those days. But that never dawned on me. It was the idea somebody might be sitting there who had never seen Michael Jordan play. I thought about that person who had never experienced the excitement or entertainment I could provide. That would be the thought that drove me to play that game.” (181)

“When I did get attention, I wanted to show people that I deserved it.” (185)

“The products, companies and people who stay true to who they are usually end up being around for a long time. The ones that lose their way by jumping on one fad or another, or trying to be something other than what or who they are, don’t last long.“ (194)

“We bring our personalities, our visions and our creativity to the discussion, and we don’t give a damn about getting credit.” (202)

“Successful people listen. Guys who don’t listen, don’t survive long.” (202)

If you liked the quotes, please buy the book here.

“Makers” Quotes

I recently read “Makers: The New Industrial Revolution” by Chris Anderson. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like the quotes, please buy the book here.

Makers cover“We are all Makers. We are born Makers (just watch a child’s fascination with drawing, blocks, Legos, or crafts), and many of us retain that love in our hobbies and passions.” (13)

“The great opportunity in the new Maker Movement is the ability to be both small and global. Both artisanal and innovative. Both high-tech and low-cost. Starting small but getting big. And, most of all, creating the sort of products that the world wants but doesn’t know it yet, because those products don’t fit neatly into the amss economics of the old model.” (16)

“We are surrounded by physical goods, most of them products of a manufacturing economy that over the past century has been transformed in all ways but one: unlike the Web, it hasn’t been opened to all. Because of the expertise, equipment, and costs of producing things on a large scale, manufacturing has been mostly the provenance of big companies and trained professionals. That’s about to change.” (17)

“”Place” matters less and less in manufacturing these days – ideas trump geography.” (47)

“Now we hardly give the details of computing a thought, in part because maturing technology hides most of that plumbing from us.” (59)

“In short: our species turns out to be a lot more diverse than our twentieth-century markets reflected. The limited store selection of our youth reflected the economic demands of retail of the day, not the true range of human taste. We are all different, with different wants and needs, and the Internet now has a place for all of them in the way that physical markets did not.” (64)

“The Internet also lengthened the tails of physical product markets for consumers. But it did so by revolutionizing distribution, not production.” (64)

“Remember that the real Web revolution was not that we could just buy more stuff with greater choice, but make our own stuff that others could consume.” (65)

“The rise of Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and all the others like them is nothing less than a massive attention shift from the commercial content companies of the twentieth century to the amateur content companies of the twenty-first.” (66)

“Manufacturing has now become just another “cloud service” that you can access from Web browsers, using a tiny amount of vast industrial infrastructure as and when you need it. Somebody else runs these factories; we just access them when we need them, much as we can access the huge server farms of Google or Apple to store our photos or process our e-mail.” (66)

“Nich goods aimed at discriminating audiences can command higher prices.” (67)

“Adam Davidson writers, “Once people reach some level of comfort, they are willing – even eager – to trade in potential earnings at a lucrative but uninspiring job for less (but comfortable) pay at more satisfying work.” (70)

“In all cases, people would pay more for things where their own sweat was one of the ingredients.” (71)

“We live in a “remix” culture: everything is inspired by something that came before, and creativity is shown as much in the reinterpretation of existing works as in original ones.” (74)

“What the new manufacturing model enables is a mass market for niche products. Think ten thousand units, not ten million (mass) or one (mass customization).” (77)

“The collective potential of a million garage tinkerers is about to be unleashed on the global markets as ideas go straight into production, no financing or tooling required.” (78)

“We’re competing in the international market from day one. The usual trap of focusing on the local market first with hopes of expanding internationally later leaves companies unprepared for global competition. Selling to the whole world on day one makes a company stronger.” (105)

“What entrepreneurs quickly learn is that they need to price their product at least 2.3 times its cost to allow for at least one 50 percent margin for them and another 50 percent margin for their retailers (1.5 x 1.5 = 2.25).” (106)

“Most companies actually base their model on a 60 percent margin, which would lead to a 2.6 multiplier, but I’m applying a bit of a discount to capture that initial Maker altruism and growth accelerant.” (106)

“It may sound steep to you now, but if businesses don’t get the price right at the start, they won’t be able to keep making their products, and everyone loses.” (107)

“Any product that can build a community before launch has already proven itself in a way that few patents can match.” (109)

“Once you seed your community with content and start attracting users, your job is to give them jobs. Elevate people who seem to be constructive participants to moderator status, and give especially friendly and helpful members a “noob ninja” badge. Once you promote/reward enough of them for doing a good job of constructive community building, you’ll find that members typically help one another, saving you the work.” (110)

“When you’re creating a community from scratch, consider starting it as a social network rather than as a blog or discussion group.” (111)

“Seen this way, all making in public is marketing. Community management is marketing. Tutorial posts are marketing. Facebook updates are marketing. E-mailing other Makers in related fields is marketing. OF course, it’s not just marketing: the reason that it’s so effective is that it’s also providing something of value that people appreciate and pay attention to. But at the end of the day, everything you do, from the naming of your product to whose coattail you decide to ride (like we chose Arduino), is at least partly a marketing decision. Above all, your community is your best marketing channel.” (112)

“If you’ve given people a reason to gather that serves their needs and interests, crowing about your cool new gizmo isn’t advertising, it’s content!” (112)

“If someone decides to use our files, make no significant modifications or improvements, and just manufacture them and compete with us, they’ll have to do so much more cheaply than we can get traction in the marketplace. If they can do so, at the same or better quality, then that’s great: the consumer wins and we can stop making that product and focus on those that add more value (we don’t want to be in the commodity manufacturing business).” (114)

“it’s a sign of success – you get cloned only if you’re making something people want.” (116)

“When you let anyone contribute and ideas are judged on their merits rather than on the resume of the contributor, you invariably find that some of the best contributors are those who don’t actually do it in their day job.” (127)

“What this taps is the Long Tail of talent; in many fields there are a lot more people with skills, ideas, and time to help than there are people who have professional degrees and are otherwise credentialed.” (127)

“The Web allows people to show what they can do, regardless of their education and credentials. It allows gorups to form and work together easily outside of a company context, whether this involves “jobs” or not.” (148)

“As Thomas Friedman puts it, “It used to be that only cheap foreign manual labor was easily available; now cheap foreign genius is easily available.” (148)

“Companies are full of bureaucracy, procedures, and approval processes, a structure designed to defend the integrity of the organization. Communities, on the other hand, form around shared interests and needs, and have no more process than they require. The community exists for the project, not to support the company in which the project resides.” (150)

“It doesn’t matter who the best people work for; if the project is interesting enough, the best people will find it.” (151)

“In short, electronics can be made in America, as long as they’re specialty electronics, selling in the thousands, no millions.” (161)

“Kickstarter solves three huge problems for entrepreneurs. First, it simply moves revenues forward in time, to right when they’re needed…
Second, Kickstarter turns customers into a community. By backing a project, you’re doing more than pre-buying a product. You’re also betting on a team, and in turn they update you with progress reports and respond to suggestions in comments and discussion forums during the product’s genesis. This encourages a sense of participation in the project and turns backers into word-of-mouth evangelists, which helps projects go viral.
Finally, Kickstarter provides perhaps the most important service a new company needs: market research. If your project doesn’t hit its funding target, it probably would have failed in the marketplace anyway.” (167-168)

“The act of “making in public,” which is what Kickstarter project leaders do, turns product development into marketing.” (173)

“By the time a business process is too boring to comment on, it’s probably starting to actually work.” (208)

“For products that can be made robotically, which is more and more of them, the usual global economic calculus of labor arbitrage is becoming less and less important.” (227)

“What we will see is simply more. More innovation, in more places, from more people, focused on more narrow niches.” (229)

As always, if you liked the quotes, please buy the book here.

“Guyland” Quotes

I recently read “Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men” by Michael Kimmel. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like the quotes, please buy the book here.

Guyland Cover“More choices may not mean greater freedom, just a larger number of possible alternatives that are dismissed as wannabes and also-rans.” (16)

“The passage between adolescence and adulthood has morphed from a transitional moment to a separate life stage. Adolescence starts earlier and earlier, and adulthood starts later and later.” (25)

“They often feel that they’ve spent their entire childhoods being little grownups – being polite, listening attentively, and prepping for college since elementary school.” (27)

“Today, with women appearing to be every bit as professionally competent, career-oriented, and ambitious as men, and equally capable of earning a living wage, there is no longer the same sense of urgency for men to move toward “getting a good job” to eventually provide for the material needs of a wife and children.” (31)

“Masculinity is largely a “homosocial” experience: performed for, and judged by, men.” (47)

“Ninety percent of all driving offenses, excluding parking violations, are committed by men, and 93 percent of road ragers are male.” (51)

“At adolescence, girls suppress ambition, boys inflate it.” (73)

“Interestingly, girls assume they’ll be wrong – they like subjects where their answers are “not necessarily wrong,” while boys assume they’ll be right, so they like subjects where there is no gray area. Girls like English because it’s harder to wrong; guys hate it because it’s harder to be right.” (75)

“In part it’s because the transitional moment itself is so ill-defined. We, as a culture, lack any coherent ritual that might demarcate the passage from childhood to adulthood for men or women.” (100)

“Guys in Guyland want girls to be their “near-equals.” If they don’t play at all, they threaten the legitimacy of Guyland; if they play the game better than the guys, the same threat holds true.” (103)

“In other words, drinking “dangerously” requires a significant amount of safety. You may not know everyone you’re partying with, but you know that the people you are with are very likely to know people you know. You don’t “lose control” without having a large set of “controls” already built into the system.” (104)

“In the case of the University of Colorado, the biggest liquor store, with the closest proximity to campus, was owned by the Director of Athletics.” (119)

“Every generation thinks they had it tougher than the one that comes after them.” (121)

“Sports talk has become the reconstituted clubhouse, the last “pure” all-male space in America.” (127)

“Guys also like following sports because it’s a way to talk with other guys without having to talk about your feelings.” (128)

“Women remind us that we are supposed to be grown men. Other guys allow us to be immature boys. No wonder guys get so easily pissed off at women’s intrusion.” (136)

“Video games outsell movies, books, CDs, and DVDs by a landslide.” (154)

“Guys play video games, gamble, or pose and posture to the musical stylings of inn-city black youth because these poses give them the feeling of being in control.” (156)

“When a guy says he “hooked up” with someone, he may or may not have had sex with her, but he is certainly hoping that his friends think he has. A woman, on the other hand, is more likely to hope they think she hasn’t.” (197)

“There’s an old expression in business circles that holds “men are unsexed by failure, but women are unsexed by success.” For men, success confirms masculinity; for women, success disconfirms femininity – it’s seen as more of a tradeoff. To be taken seriously as a competent individual means minimizing, or even avoiding altogether, the trappings of femininity.” (252)

“In fact, “effortless perfection” may be the closest thing there is today to a “Girl Code.” … The appearance of effortlessness is the way young women reconcile such conflicting demands. “I just happen to be beautiful and brilliant, I can’t help it. Don’t hold it against me.” Effortless also counters the feminine taboo against competition. It’s okay to win, but not okay to try to win.” (254)

“Women sustain Guyland because Guyland seems to be populated by Rhett Butlers, and they are much cooler than the Ashley Wilkeses of the college campus – the guys who study hard, are considerate of their feelings, and listen to them. Those guys are a bit nerdy, good friendship material, but they don’t take your breath away. Better to latch on to the ones who treat you badly, with the hope that your love – and only your love – will transform him into a doting and attentive man, while he retains all the sexy guy-ness that drew you to him in the first place.” (258)

“And they’re right: they did sacrifice. For many men, the demands of being a provider and family man are filled with pressure and insecurity, having to bend to the will of moronic supervisors, placate mercurial clients, and kowtow to demanding bosses. And all for a family that barely appreciates them!” (276)

As always, if you liked the quotes, please buy the book here.

“The Fish That Ate The Whale” Quotes

I recently read “The Fish That Ate The Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King” by Rich Cohen. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. As always, if you liked the quotes, please buy the book here.

The Fish That Ate The Whale“It’s what people mean when they speak of American exceptionalism: unlike the Europeans, we do not yet know you can’t be both powerful and righteous.” (xii)

“He believed in staying close to the action – in the fields with the workers, in the dives with the banana cowboys. You drink with a man, you learn what he knows. (“There is no problem you can’t solve if you understand your business from A to Z,” he said later.)” (12)

“The ability to attract followers would prove crucial. Though he said little, he was recognized as a leader. His team was better, stronger, tighter.” (28)

“The independents who survived this wave – a tidal wave that remade everything that came before – were allowed to survive by United Fruit. They were left to stand as proof of healthy competition. In other words, even its rivals existed so U.F. could prosper.” (47)

“It’s just the sort of person he was,” explained Brogan, who worked for Zemurray in South America. “He was one of those guys, part of him is always figuring. You listen to a man like that. He knows something that can’t be taught.” (52)

“One definition of evil is to fail to recognize the humanity in the other: to see a person as an object or tool, something to be put to use. The spirit of colonialism infected the trade from the start.” (65)

“There are times when certain cards sit unclaimed in the common pile, when certain properties become available that will never be available again. A good businessman feels these moments like a fall in the barometric pressure. A great businessman is dumb enough to act on them even when he cannot afford to.” (65)

“He believed in the transcendent power of physical labor – that a man can free his soul only by exhausting his body.” (71)

“Unlike most of his competitors, he understood every part of the business, from the executive suite where the stock was manipulated to the ripening room where the green fruit turned yellow. He was contemptuous of banana men who spent their lives in the North, far from the plantations. Those schmucks, what do they know? They’re there, we’re here!” (71)

“Go all in, or get out. Sam was young and wanted to bet everything: great fortunes come from big plays.” (74)

“What was Sam thinking, piling debt on debt, risk on risk? By buying out Hubbard, he was taking it all on his own shoulders. But what did it matter? If he failed by himself, he would lose the exact same amount as if he failed with a partner: everything.” (74)

“He had refused to play a bit part in life and went adventuring instead.” (81)

“Lee Christmas said, “Because I want the buzzards to eat me, and fly over you afterward, and scatter white shit all over your God-damned black faces.” (82)

“Every great victory carries the seed of ultimate defeat.” (96)

“When a man becomes my age in the United States,” Christmas told Molony, “he’s only good for fertilizer.”” (98)

“Zemurray never forgot the less. It does not matter hwo many bananas you ship: when you lose your reputation, you lose everything.” (101)

“There was not a job he could not do, nor a task he could not accomplish. (He considered it a secret of his success.)” (103)

“Speaking of Nicaragua, Zemurray notoriously said, “A mule costs more than a deputy.” (105)

“The executives who ran United Fruit had taken over from the founders and were less interested in risking than in preserving. Zemurray was the founder, forever on the attack, at work, in progress, growing by trial and error, ready to gamble it all.” (107)

“A corporation ages like a person. As the years go by and the founders die off, making way for the bureaucrats of the second and third generations, the ecstatic, risk-taking, just-for-the-hell-of-it spirit that built the company gives way to a comfortable middle age. Where the firm had been forward looking and creative, it becomes self-conscious in the way of a man, pestering itself with dozens of questions before it can act. How will it look? What will they say? If the business is wealthy and strong, the executives who come to power in these later generations will be characterized by the worst of self-confidence: they think the money will always be there because it always has been.” (109)

“Victor Cutter’s work was done by way of character building, a luxury of the middle class. Zemurray’s work was done in order to survive.” (110)

“Wars are not won by running your mouth.” (113)

“He formed his philosophy: get up first, work harder, get your hands int he dart and the blood in your eyes.” (118)

“He had since become a man of means. Whereas the young Sam was reckless and immune – from nowhere, with nothing – there were all sorts of ways the middle-aged Sam could be hurt. Success limited his options and made him vulnerable.” (118)

“Show me a happy man and I will show you a man who is getting nothing accomplished in this world.” (120)

“In some ways, the world was better back then. It did not matter if you were kind or as mean as a snake – you were supposed to give, so you gave. That’s all.” (128)

“He’d clearly been affected by the folk wisdom, what his father told his mother over the dinner table in Russia: that giving with display is not giving, but trading. I give you money, you give me prestige.” (128)

“The greatness of Zemurray lies in the fact that he never lost faith in his ability to salvage a situation. Bad things happened to him as bad things happen to everyone, but unlike so many he was never tempted by failure. He never felt powerless or trapped. He was, as I said, an optimist. He stood in constant defiance.” (139)

“When he was forbidden to build a bridge, he built a bridge but called it something else. For every move, there is a countermove. For every disaster, there is a recovery. He never lost faith in his own agency.” (139)

“The best tycoons are like magicians; they know when to share information and when to withhold.” (141)

“In a time of crisis, the mere evidence of activity can be enough to get things moving.” (148)

“When offered the freedom of America, which is not only freedom here and now, but also freedom from the past, freedom to choose what to remember, he grabbed it.” (162)

“No matter his wealth or power, the Hebrew would always be a stranger in a strange land, vulnerable to the slightest shift in the popular mood.” (163)

“Where did the interest of United Fruit end and the interest of the United States begin? It was impossible to tell. That was the point of all Sam’s hires: If I can perfectly align the interests of my company with the interests of top officials in the U.S. government – not the interests of the country, but the interests of the people in charge of the country – then the United States will secure my needs.” (186)

“Bernays had pioneered a trick he would use throughout his career. If you want to advance a private interest, turn it into a public cause.” (188)

“Castillo Armas had an interesting biography, always a helpful distraction for the media. (If you don’t want them to find the truth, give them a better story.)” (198)

“When you ask why the Jews, of all the people of the ancient world, have persisted into modern times, you can come up with various reasons: maybe it’s the power of the tradition, maybe it’s the will of God, or maybe it’s just that Jews had no choice, were locked in ghettos, confined to towns and professions where they had to marry other Jews. Even when the walls came down in Europe, Jews were hemmed in by prejudice and fear. But in America, where we’re all mutts, Jews were offered real freedom: not only to worship and travel and work, but from history. Jews could be Jews in America, or they could stop being Jews, which, for many, turned out to be the ultimate emancipation.” (226)

“A corporation is a product of a particular place and a particular time. U.S. Steel was Pennsylvania in the 1890s. Microsoft was Seattle in the 1980s. It’s where and when their sense of the world was fixed. The company brain is hardwired. Which is why a corporation, though conceivably immortal, tends to have a life span, tends to age and die. Unless remade by a new generation of pioneers – in which case it’s a different company – most corporations do not outlive the era of their first success. When the ideas and assumptions prevalent at the time of their founding go out of fashion, the company fades.” (229)

“United Fruit struggled under the weight of its own history, its own image. Once considered among the most enlightened corporations in America, it came to be seen as one of the worst.” (236)

“In the end, I decided that his career is the history of the nation, the promise and the betrayal of that promise, experienced in the span of a single life. It starts a hundred years ago, when America was a rising power, and ends the day before yesterday, with the confidence of the people sapped. It might look bad but, as Zemurray understood, as long as you’re breathing, the end remains to be written.” (242)

Did you like the quotes? Then buy the whole book here.

“Learned Optimism” Quotes

I recently finished reading Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin Seligman. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. As always, if you like the quotes, please buy the book here.

Learned Optimism Cover“Women, in fact, being more emotionally labile, are both happier and sadder than men. The skills fo becoming happy turn out to be almost entirely different from the skills of not being sad, not being anxious, or not being angry.” (iv)

“”Happiness” is a scientifically unwieldy notion, but there are three different forms of it you can pursue. For the “Pleasant Life,” you aim to have as much positive emotion as possible and learn the skills to amplify positive emotion. For the “Engaged Life,” you identify your highest strengths and talents and recraft your life to use them as much as you can in work, love, friendship, parenting, and leisure. For the “Meaningful Life,” you use your highest strengths and talents to belong to and serve something you believe is larger than the self.” (iv)

“In a society in which individualism is becoming rampant, people more and more believe that they are the center of the world. Such a belief system makes individual failure almost inconsolable.” (vi)

“The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do, and are their own fault. The optimists, who are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world, think about misfortune in the opposite way. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to this one case. The optimists believe defeat is not their fault: Circumstances, bad luck, or other people brought it about. Such people are unfazed by defeat. Confronted by a bad situation, they perceive it as a challenge and try harder.” (5)

“Twenty-five years of study has convinced me that if we habitually believe, as does the pessimist, that misfortune is our fault, is enduring, and will undermine everything we do, more of it will befall us than if we believe otherwise. I am also convinced that if we are in the grip of this view, we will get depressed easily, we will accomplish less than our potential, and we will even get physically sick more often. Pessimistic prophecies are self-fulfilling.” (7)

“Habits of thinking need not be forever. One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think.” (8)

“When failure occurs, it is because either talent or desire is missing. But failure also can occur when talent and desire are present in abundance but optimism is missing.” (13)

“Changing the destructive things you say to yourself when you experience the setbacks that life deals all of us is the central skill of optimism.” (15)

“People who give up easily believe the causes of the bad events that happen to them are permanent: The bad events will persist, will always be there to affect their lives. People who resist helplessness believe the causes of bad events are temporary.” (44)

“If you think about bad things in always’s and never’s and abiding traits, you have a permanent, pessimistic style. If you think in sometimes’s and lately’s, if you use qualifiers and blame bad events on transient conditions, you have an optimistic style.” (44)

“People who believe good events have permanent causes are more optimistic than people who believe they have temporary causes.” (45)

“People who believe good events have permanent causes try even harder after they succeed. People who see temporary reasons for good events may give up even when they succeed, believing success was a fluke.” (46)

“It comes down to this: People who make universal explanations for their failures give up on everything when a failure strikes in one area. People who make specific explanations may become helpless in that one part of their lives yet march stalwartly on in the others.” (46)

“People who blame themselves when they fail have low self-esteem as a consequence. They think they are worthless, talentless, and unlovable. People who blame external events do not lose self-esteem when bad events strike. On the whole, they like themselves better than people who blame themselves do.” (49)

“Maybe what looks like a symptom of depression – negative thinking – is the disease. Depression, he argued courageously, is neither bad brain chemistry nor anger turned inward. It is a disorder of conscious thought.” (73)

“Depression results from lifelong habits of conscious thought. If we change these habits of thought, we will cure depression. Let’s make a direct assault on conscious thought, we said, using everything we know to change the way our patients think about bad events.” (75)

“Working wives are less depressed, on average, than wives who do not work outside the home.” (85)

“People who believe themselves stupid, rather than uneducated, don’t take action to improve their minds.” (87)

“The belief in self-improvement is a prophecy just as self-fulfilling as the old belief that character could not be changed.” (88)

“The difference between Sophie and someone who takes antidepressant drugs is that she learned a set of skills to use whenever she is faced with failure or defeat – skills she always carries with her. Her victory over depression is hers alone, not something she must credit to doctors and the latest medication.” (91)

“My profession spends most of its time (and almost all of its money) trying to make the troubled less troubled. Helping troubled people is a worthy goal, but somehow psychology almost never gets around to the complementary goal of making the lives of well people even better.” (96)

“Success requires persistence, the ability to not give up in the face of failure. I believe that optimistic explanatory style is the key to persistence.” (101)

“The explanatory-style theory of success says that in order to choose people for success in a challenging job, you need to select for three characteristics: 1. aptitude 2. motivation 3. optimism All three determine success.” (101)

“Depressed people – most of whom turn out to be pessimists – accurately judge how much control they have. Nondepressed people – optimists, for the most part – believe they have much more control over things than they actually do, particularly when they are helpless and have no control at all.” (109)

“Typically we are more depressed when we wake up, and as the day goes on we become more optimistic.” (113)

“On the whole, prepubescent children are extremely optimistic, with a capacity for hope and an immunity to hopelessness they will never again possess after puberty.” (125)

“One particular component of depression, hopelessness, is the most accurate predictor of suicide.” (126)

“He had isolated three protective factors. If any single one of the three was present, depression would not occur, even in the face of severe loss and privation. The first protective factor was an intimate relationship with a spouse or a lover. Such women could fight depression off well. The second was a job outside the home. The third was not having three or more children under the age of fourteen at home to take care of.” (134)

“In addition to invulnerability factors, Brown had isolated two major risk factors for depression: recent loss (husband dying, son emigrating) and, more important, death of their own mothers before the women had reached their teens.” (134)

“First – and most important – the children of divorce do badly, by and large. Tested twice a year, these children are much more depressed than the children from intact families. We had hoped the difference would diminish over time, but it doesn’t. Three years later, the children of divorce are still much more depressed than the other children.” (145)

“A team’s explanatory style for bad events strongly predicts how they do against the point spread after a loss in the next season. The optimistic teams cover the spread more often than the pessimistic teams do.” (163)

“Helplessness [in rats] produced more rapid growth of tumors.” (170)

“They found that the immune system turned down during grieving.” (177)

“All this evidence makes it clear that your psychological state can change your immune response. Bereavement, depression, and pessimism all can lower your immune system’s activity.” (178)

“We found that explanatory style for good events was completely changeable across fifty years. The same person could, for example, at one point in life regard good events as due to blind fate and at another time as due to his own skill. But we found that explanatory style for bad events was highly stable across a period of more than fifty years.” (178)

“Before age forty-five optimism has no effect on health. Until that age the men remained in the same state of health as at age twenty-five. But at age forty-five the male body starts its decline. How fast and how severely it does so is well predicted by pessimism twenty-five years earlier.” (181)

“The presidential candidates who were much more optimistic than their opponents won in landslides.” (190)

“We found that merely repeating positive statements to yourself does not raise mood or achievement very much, if it all. It is how you cope with negative statements that has an effect.” (221)

“To dispute your own beliefs, scan for all possible contributing causes. Focus on the changeable (not enough time spent studying), the specific (this particular exam was uncharacteristically hard) and the nonpersonal (the professor graded unfairly) causes.” (222)

“Schedule a specific time for thinking things over. It might be a half hour this evening or any other time that fits into your day. When you find yourself ruminating, you can say to yourself, “Stop! I’ll tackle that at seven thirty this evening.” The tormenting process of worrisome thoughts going round and round, coming back again and again, has a purpose. to make sure we don’t forget or neglect an issue we should deal with. But if we set aside a specific time for thinking the issue over, we undercut the very reason for brooding now, so the brooding is no longer psychologically necessary.” (277)

As always, if you liked the quotes, please buy the book here.

Verified by ExactMetrics