One of the most powerful life skills, and one of the most important to hone and develop for both professional and personal success, is creating clear outcomes. This is not as self-evident as it may sound. We need to constantly define (and redefine) what we’re trying to accomplish on many different levels, and consistently reallocate resources toward getting these tasks complete as effectively and efficiently as possible.
David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher]
A great many things await you; I hope you will meet the challenges. Our Castalia is not supposed to be merely an elite; it ought above all to be a hierarchy, a structure in which every brick derives its meaning only from its place in the whole. There is no path leading out of this whole, and one who climbs higher and is assigned to greater and greater tasks does not acquire more freedom, only more and more responsibilities.
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher]
Mason opened the door, said, “Ground floor, ladies and gentlemen. Department of frame-ups just ahead of you—separate cells, phony confessions, telling the daughter her mother’s confessed, telling the mother the daughter’s confessed, throwing in stool pigeons and detectives as cell mates, and all the usual police traps, right this way!”
Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Lazy Lover [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher]
‘I am sorry, master.’ ‘Never be sorry for who you are, Jonathan,’ the master said. ‘Though I do wish you had better table manners.’
Lavie Tidhar, Judge Dee and the Three Deaths of Count Werdenfels [Amazon, Publisher]
“Hey, know what? I haven’t even introduced myself. Sorry about that.” “Don’t bother. I am not interested in who you are.”
Trevanian, Shibumi: A Novel [Bookshop, Amazon, Author]
“Please, tell me who you are,” I said. I am me, that’s all.
Haruki Murakami, The Strange Library [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher]
Knowing who you are—and who you are not—is essential. But it is only a starting point. All the talent, motivation, and hard work in the world will not be valued or remembered if it does not help another human being.
Tom Rath, It’s Not About You: A Brief Guide to a Meaningful Life [Amazon]
I had no real idea what the people in HR actually did, apart from lose your confidential information, and practically want to know your blood group and who you are currently shagging when you fill in a form, just so they can all discuss you amongst themselves.
Parker Gordon, Parallel Lives [Amazon]
I think Bunny wants to forget she ever had a life before this one. Believe me, I understand, it just surprises me. Out of all of us, I figured she would know that the name you’re born with has nothing to do with who you are.
A C Wise, The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves The World Again [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher]
Yeah, I hate time travel put-it-right movies. You get one chance and the choice you make is who you are.
Karen Traviss, The Best of Us [Bookshop, Amazon]