Updated: Apr 29, 2021
Elia Kazan // "The real challenge is not simply to survive. Hell, anyone can do that. It's to survive as yourself, undiminished."
Sahil // "Create first, Entrepreneur second."
Ray Bradbury // "When you are productive, you will be a better person, you'll treat your girlfriend better, you'll be less corrupt, less mean."
Joni Mitchell // "Here's the thing. You have two options...They're going to crucify you for staying the same. If you change, they're going to crucify you for changing. But staying the same is boring. And change is interesting. So of the two options, I'd rather be...changing."
Jorge Luis Borges // "If I could live my life again..I wouldn't try to be so perfect. I'd be more relaxed... I'd take fewer things seriously, I'd be less hygienic, I'd take more risks, I'd take more trips, I'd watch more sunsets... I'd eat more ice creams and less lima beans, I'd have more real problems and less imaginary ones... Of course I had moments of happiness but, if I could go back, I'd try to only have good moments. For if you didn't know, this is what life is made of...only moments...don't lose this one right now."
Bertrand Russell // "Make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river — small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being."
Antony Hegarty // "Well, I've always thought of it like: you want to take a walk in a beautiful stream but you know this stream has little piranhas in it. But if you can accept that you have little piranhas attached to your ankles, you know they can never nibble up much further than your knees. There's always going to be people who don't like what you're doing and people who might love what you're doing. If you can find acceptance and know that things aren't perfect, that you make mistakes in public, that you get embarrassed, that you make a fool of yourself and that you take risks – then you just keep going. The day that you don't want to take the risk anymore, the day that you don't want to feel that vulnerability or that twinge of embarrassment, that'll be the day you fuck off and build a farm somewhere."
Jim Jarmusch // "Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it."
Ira Glass // “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Werner Herzog // "I'm trying to find these rare moments where you feel completely illuminated. Facts never illuminate you. The phone directory of Manhattan doesn't illuminate you, although it has factually correct entries, millions of them. But these rare moments of illumination that you find when you read a great poem, you instantly know. You instantly feel this spark of illumination. You are almost stepping outside of yourself and you see something sublime."
Sam Altman // "I always want my next project to be one that, if successful, will make the rest of my career look like a footnote."
Oscar Wilde // “Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary.”
Richard Buckminster Fuller // “Dare to be naïve."
Tennessee Williams // “Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.”
Ray Bradbury // "“Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all.”
Hayao Miyazaki // "In order to grow...you must betray their expectations.”
Carl Jung // "At present we educate people only up to the point where they can earn a living and marry; then education ceases altogether, as though a complete mental outfit has been acquired. The solution of all the remaining complicated problems of life is left to the discretion, and ignorance, of the individual. Innumerable ill-advised and unhappy marriages, innumerable professional disappointments, are due solely to this lack of adult education. Vast numbers of men and women thus spend their entire lives in complete ignorance of the most important things... The adult is educable, and can respond gratefully to the art of individual education…"
Amy Winehouse // "Mum, I hate mediocrity. I never want to be mediocre.”
Charles Bukowski // "Beware those quick to praise, for they need praise in return. Beware those who are quick to censor, they are afraid of what they do not know. Beware those who seek constant crowds, for they are nothing alone. Beware the average man, the average woman. Beware their love, their love is average, seeks average. But there is genius in their hatred. There is enough genius in their hatred to kill you, to kill anybody. Not wanting solitude, not understanding solitude, they will attempt to destroy anything that differs from their own. Not being able to create art, they will not understand art... Not being able to love fully, they will believe your love incomplete and then they will hate you and their hatred will be perfect...their finest art.”
Tom Hanks // "Floss...and just learn how to relax.”
Marina Abramovic // "To control the breathing is to control the mind. With different patterns of breathing, you can fall in love, you can hate someone, you can feel the whole spectrum of feelings by changing your breathing.”
Bill Murray // "The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.”
Elia Kazan // "A writer, perhaps more than a filmmaker or a theatre director, lives off what he has stored up in the way of impressions and experiences. One thing we all learn is not to deny our violent feelings but to respect them. They are our material, as well as our bond with humanity. People generally try to forget the pain of the past, to lift themselves above it. They are protecting themselves where it hurt the most. Writers know they have to live differently than their neighbors, and hurt is part of the game they have chosen to play. Our weaknesses, our faults, our sins, are what make us understand other living creatures. We don’t look away when we look back."