Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.
None of our men are ‘experts.’ We have most unfortunately found it necessary to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks himself an expert because no one ever considers himself expert if he really knows his job. A man who knows a job sees so much more to be done than he has done, that he is always pressing forward and never gives up an instant of thought to how good and how efficient he is. Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a state of mind in which nothing is impossible. The moment one gets into the ‘expert’ state of mind a great number of things become impossible.
— Henry Ford
To be, in a word, unborable…. It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish.
― David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
— Winston Churchill
People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.
— Steve Jobs
Clarity of writing usually follows clarity of thought. So think what you want to say, then say it as simply as possible.
— The Economist Style Guide
Jenseits von richtig und falsch liegt ein Ort. Dort treffen wir uns.
— Dschalal ad-Din al-Rumi
Make it work, then make it beautiful, then if you really, really have to, make it fast. 90% of the time, if you make it beautiful, it will already be fast. So really, just make it beautiful!
Wenn ein unordentlicher Schreibtisch einen unordentlichen Geist repräsentiert, was sagt dann ein leerer Schreibtisch über den Menschen aus, der ihn benutzt?
Noch so ein Knuth Zitat mit Tiefgang:
A person’s success in life is determined by having a high minimum, not a high maximum. If you can do something really well but there are other things at which you’re failing, the latter will hold you back. But if almost everything you do is up there, then you’ve got a good life. And so I try to learn how to get through things that others find unpleasant.