Smart Words From Smart People

A few smart things I’ve read recently:

“People in their 30s know where the world is going because they’re going to do it. I’m in my 80s so I have no idea.” - Daniel Kahneman

“Every group of people who think for a living is going to be sad. Ignorance is bliss. So what’s the opposite?” – Chris Rock

“I would say the most dangerous thing in the world with a 12-year-old is to try to be his friend. But the worst thing with a 40-year-old is to try to be their parent.” - Chris Davis

“Schopenhauer’s ideal is to be wealthy enough to have expansive free time and the intellectual capabilities to fill it with contemplation and activity in the service of mankind.” – Derren Brown

“If you ask yourself why you are in business and can find no answer other than ‘I want to make money,’ you will save money by getting out of business and going to work for someone.” – Harvey Firestone

“When asked what was the best asset a man could have, Albert Lasker — the most astute of all advertising men — replied, ‘Humility in the presence of a good idea.’ It is horribly difficult to recognize a good idea.” – David Ogilvy

“I became so avid a collector of instances of bad judgment that I paid no attention to boundaries between professional territories … why should I search for some tiny, unimportant, hard-to-find new stupidity in my own field when some large, important, easy-to-find stupidity was just over the fence in the other fellow’s professional territory? – Munger

“The more I am around horse racing the more I think that the most underrated thing is the horse and that it is us trainers and jockeys and owners who are overrated.” – Leroy Jolley

“We are built with an almost infinite capacity to believe things because the beliefs are advantageous for us to hold, rather than because they are even remotely related to the truth.” – Dee Hock

“When momentum is on your side, people focus on your strengths and forgive your weaknesses. When the momentum stops, they scrutinize the whole thing.” – Packy McCormick

“Join no creed, but respect all for the truth that is in them.” – Robert Henri

“Apple was Steve Jobs with 10,000 lives.” – David Senra

“I wanna see your best work. I’m not interested in your new work.” – Jerry Seinfeld

Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine, said the main motivation of his life was, “To be a good ancestor.”

“A great way to understand yourself is to seriously reflect on everything you find irritating in others.” – Kevin Kelly

“The world is split between those who don’t know how to start making money and those who don’t know when to stop.” - Taleb

“It doesn’t take much to convince us that we are smart and healthy, but it takes a lot of facts to convince us of the opposite.” – Dan Gilbert

“Happiness is that feeling you get right before you need more happiness.” – Don Draper

“Notice that, while lots of people are happy to tell you about Golden Ages, nobody ever seems to think one is happening right now. Maybe that’s because the only place a Golden Age can ever happen is in our memory.” – Adam Mastroianni

“I believe pretty strongly that one’s overarching aim in life and work is to always be making one’s self obsolete.” – Tim Hanson

“It is a curious feature of our existence that we come from a planet that is very good at promoting life but even better at extinguishing it.” – Bill Bryson

“Fast growth is counterintuitively more perilous than declining revenue and can quickly destroy a company.” – Brent Beshore

“If passionate love is a drug—literally a drug—it has to wear off eventually.” – Jonathan Haidt (I think this applies to everything from relationships to businesses. Curiosity is more sustainable than passion).

“Better to get your dopamine from improving your ideas than having them validated.” – Nat Friedman

“People with very high expectations have very low resilience.” – Jensen Huang

It’s good to be optimistic in the general and skeptical in the specific. It’s very dangerous to be pessimistic in the general and optimistic in the specific. – Naval (paraphrasing)

“The greatest trick the devil ever played was making you believe that the pessimists are the good guys.” – Packy McCormick