Saving Time is Very Simple

From Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh,

The main problem with this great obsession for saving time is very simple: you can’t save time, you can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely or foolishly. The Bisy Backson has practically no time at all, because he’s too busy wasting it by trying to save it. And by trying to save it, he ends up wasting the whole thing.

Comports with Henry David Thoreau’s writing in Walden:

Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry. Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitched to-day to save nine tomorrow.

Don’t Get Obsessed with the Short-Term

The biggest advantage you can have as an investor is the discipline to think and act for the long-term. Benjamin Graham discussed how investors would be better off if their stocks had no price quotations at all in his classic, The Intelligent Investor:

The true investor scarcely ever is forced to sell his shares, and at all other times he is free to disregard the current price quotation. He need pay attention to it and act upon it only to the extent that it suits his book, and no more. Thus the investor who permits himself to be stampeded or unduly worried by unjustified market declines in his holdings is perversely transforming his basic advantage into a basic disadvantage. That man would be better off if his stocks had no market quotation at all, for he would then be spared the mental anguish caused him by other persons’ mistakes of judgment.

The Hacker Credo: Information Wants to Be Free

First proposed by Stewart Brand, the founder of The Whole Earth Catalog, at the 1984 Hackers Conference:

On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So, you have these two fighting against each other.

Gandhi’s Talisman

Mahatma Gandhi’s piece of wisdom that you can use as a test to evaluate your actions in public life:

I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test: Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away.

What it Means to Just Be

Psychoanalyst and Zen teacher Barry Magid writes in his essay titled Uselessness in the Fall 2013 issue of Tricycle magazine:

When we speak of just sitting, we are not limiting ourselves to describing a particular posture or practice. We are describing a way of being in the world in which everything we encounter is fully and completely itself. Nothing is merely a means to an end, nothing is merely a step on the path to somewhere else. Every moment, everything, is absolutely foundational in its own right.

Claiming Exemption from Error

John Stuart Mill writes On Liberty,

Judgment is given to men that they may use it. Because it may be used erroneously, are men to be told that they ought not to use it at all? To prohibit what they think pernicious is not claiming exemption from error, but fulfilling the duty incumbent on them, although fallible, of acting on their conscientious conviction. If we were never to act on our opinions, because those opinions ‘lay be wrong, we should leave all our interests uncared for, and all our duties unperformed. An objection which applies to all conduct can be no valid objection to any conduct in particular.

Vanity of Resembling

David Hume writes in A Treatise of Human Nature:

There are instances, indeed, wherein men shew a vanity in resembling a great man in his countenance, shape, air, or other minute circumstances, that contribute not in any degree to his reputation; but it must be confess’d, that this extends not very far, nor is of any considerable moment in these affections. For this I assign the following reason. We can never have a vanity of resembling in trifles any person, unless he be possess’d of very shining qualities, which give us a respect and veneration for him. These qualities, then, are, properly speaking, the causes of our vanity, by means of their relation to ourselves. Now after what manner are they related to ourselves? They are parts of the person we value, and consequently connected with these trifles; which are also suppos’d to be parts of him. These trifles are connected with the resembling qualities in us; and these qualities in us, being parts, are connected with the whole; and by that means form a chain of several links betwixt ourselves and the shining qualities of the person we resemble. But besides that this multitude of relations must weaken the connexion; ’tis evident the mind, in passing from the shining qualities to the trivial ones, must by that contrast the better perceive the minuteness of the latter, and be in some measure asham’d of the comparison and resemblance.

The Great Surpassing Love of Interdependence

Reb Anderson writes in The Third Turning of the Wheel: Wisdom of the Samdhinirmocana Sutra,

A buddha is someone who sees the way things really are. When we see the way things really are, we see that we’re all in this together, that we are all interdependent. A great surpassing love arises from that wisdom, and that love leads a buddha to wish that all beings would open to this wisdom and be free of the misery that arises from ignoring the way things are. Buddhas appear in the world because they want us to have a buddha’s wisdom, so that we will love every single being completely and protect every single being without exception and without limit—just as all the buddhas do.

Level 5 Leadership

In Good to Great, Jim Collins elaborates on whether or not you can learn to become exceptionally effective leader:

My hypothesis is that there are two categories of people: those who do not have the seed of Level 5 and those who do. The first category consists of people who could never in a million years bring themselves to subjugate their egoistic needs to the greater ambition of building something larger and more lasting than themselves. For thos people, work will always be first and foremost about what they get—fame, fortune, adulation, praise, power, whatever—not what they build, create, and contribute.

The second category of people—and I suspect the larger group—consists of those who have the potential to evolve to Level 5; the capacity resides within them, perhaps buried or ignored, but there nonetheless. And under the right circumstances—self-reflection, conscious personal development, a mentor, a great teacher, loving parents, a signifcant life experience, a Level 5 boss, or any number of other factors—they begin to develop.

The Poetry of W. B. Yeats

American poet Macha Louis Rosenthal admires in The Poetry of Yeats,

Early and late he has the simple, indispensable gift of enchanting the ear. … It was not this gift alone which made Yeats the poet he was, though without it no poet can be great. He was also the poet who, while very much of his own day in Ireland, spoke best to the people of all countries. And though he plunged deep into arcane studies, his themes are most clearly the general ones of life and death, love and hate, man’s condition and history’s meanings. He began as a sometimes effete post-Romantic, heir to the pre-Raphaelites, and then, quite naturally, became a leading British Symbolist; but he grew at last into the boldest, most vigorous voice of this century.