It was a strange and delicious emotion, an intense dreaming and anguish…I became humanized and lifted out of my youthful savagery….But the fates were unkind and we were not allowed to marry.
In his book “The Lucky Country” (1964), the Australian social critic Donald Horne decried the mediocrity of Australian political and business culture. The book’s most famous line was “Australia is a lucky country, run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck.” The phrase lost its meaning over time, however, as it was widely adopted as a kind of sunny national motto.
[John Jacob Astor III's] credo, which he passed on to his only son, William Waldorf, along with a scorn for American life in general, was “Work hard, but never work after dinner,” and the equally joyless “Always take the trick. When the opportunity you seek is before you, seize it. Do not wait until tomorrow on the supposition that your chance will become better, for you may never see it again.”
The road to success is paved with mistakes well handled.
True friends stab you in the front.
“Lord help the poor bears and beavers,” said Colonel Davy Crockett, amazed at the amount of money Astor must have taken out of the fur trade to build such a palace [as Astor House].
People duck as a natural reflex when something is hurled at them. Similarly, the excellence reflect is a natural reaction to fix something that isn’t right, or to improve something that could be better. The excellence reflex is rooted in instinct and upbringing, and then constantly honed through awareness, caring, and practice. The overarching concern to do the right thing well is something we can’t train for. Either it’s there or it isn’t. So we need to train how to hire for it.
There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity.
Influence is largely a matter of patience.
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
…like the thought of my death, it burns in my private heart with a tiny, brutalizing flame.
Khal Drogo waved him away. “I need no man’s help,” he said, in a voice proud and hard. He stood, unaided, towering over them all. A fresh wave of blood ran down his breasts from where Ogo’s arakh had cut off his nipple. Dany moved quickly to his side. “I am not man,” she whispered, “so you may lean on me.”
There’s a fable about returning Roman generals who rode in victory parades through the streets of the capital; a slave stood behind them, whispering in their ears, “All glory is fleeting.” Nobody does that for professional athletes. Jordan couldn’t have known that the closest he’d get to immortality was during that final walk off the court, the one symbolically preserved in the print in his office. All that can happen in the days and years that follow is for the shining monument he built to be chipped away, eroded. Maybe he realizes that now. Maybe he doesn’t. But when he sees Joe Montana joined on the mountaintop by the next generation, he has to realize that someday his picture will be on a screen next to LeBron James as people argue about who was better.
Paris, needless to say, is quite different from L.A., which in comparison is a newborn city, though they are similar in one crucial way — both are places where people believe they will be able, with a little good luck, to step into the lives they are destined for.
It takes great courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it.
Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems.
I can only hope that I have loved the people closest to me more than I have harmed them. This is something, however, that I don’t think anyone can know for sure.
A hundred times I have thought: New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times: it is a beautiful catastrophe.
All during dinner, I could see her affection for this guy on her glowing face — new and carnal love, the kind that makes it difficult to sleep, but that doesn’t really matter because your body is releasing so many endorphins and so much adrenaline that you don’t need a lot of rest.
I managed by example, and I had yet to learn how critically important it is to lead by teaching, setting priorities, and holding people accountable.
There’s so little she’ll ever reveal to me or I to her. I bet her father knows even less. I’m sure she’s speaking half an octave higher. Same voice she had when she was 16. Telling him all about her new job, how much she misses him, and sorry she didn’t send a card. Telling him everything but the truth. Just like she wouldn’t tell me about that young man downstairs. There’s a value in having secrets. Creatures like myself, like Claire, Like Zoe — we wouldn’t be ourselves without them. But Peter Russo on the other hand — he’s trapped by his secrets. What I’m trying to do is give him the opportunity to set himself free. After all, we are nothing more or less than what we choose to reveal. What I am to Claire is not what I am to Zoe, just as Zoe is not to me what she is to her father.
I am afraid that there are more people than I can imagine who can go no further than appreciating a picture that is a rectangle with an object in the middle of it, which they can identify. They don’t care what is around the object as long as nothing interferes with the object itself, right in the centre. Even after the lessons of Winogrand and Friedlander, they don’t get it. They respect their work because they are told by respectable institutions that they are important artists, but what they really want to see is a picture with a figure or an object in the middle of it. They want something obvious. The blindness is apparent when someone lets slip the word ‘snapshot’. Ignorance can always be covered by ‘snapshot’. The word has never had any meaning. I am at war with the obvious.
Have I made my career solely by showing up when and were I said I would? Because that’s definitely a big part of what determines a person’s success. If you make a promise, you keep it. The trick is not to make promises you can see yourself breaking.
I wanted you to learn to trust your own instincts. A good detective knows that every task, every interaction, no matter how seemingly banal, has the potential to contain multitudes. I live my life alert to this possibility.
Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.
We are all searching for someone whose demons play well with ours.
People will say a lot of great things about your business, and a lot of nasty things as well. Just remember: you’re never as good as the best things they’ll say, and never as bad as the negative ones. Just keep centered, know what you stand for, strive for new goals, and always be decent.
I can’t talk to my psychiatrist about these things because I don’t want him to think badly of me…
Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It’s that simple, and it’s that hard.
It all began with those pesky steps, the stairs leading up to the legendary residence that Sherlock Holmes shares with Dr. Watson, 221B Baker Street. Why couldn’t Watson recall the number of steps? “I believe my eyes are as good as yours,” Watson tells his new flatmate — as, in fact, they are. But the competence of the eyes isn’t the issue. Instead, the distinction lies in how those eyes are deployed. “You see, but you do not observe,” Holmes tells his companion. And Holmes? “Now, I know there are seventeen steps,” he continues, “because I have both seen and observed.”
For me, the subject of a picture and its background have the same value, or, to put it more clearly, there is no principal feature, only the pattern is important. The picture is formed by the combination of surfaces, differently coloured, which results in the creation of an “expression.” In the same way that in a musical harmony, each note is a part of the whole, so I wished each colour to have a contributory value. A picture is the co-ordination of controlled rhythms, and it is thus that one can change a surface which appears red-green-blue-black for one which appears white-blue-red-green; it is the same picture, the same feeling presented differently, but the rhythms are changed. The difference between the two canvases is that of the two aspects of a chessboard in the course of a game of chess.
The appearance of the board is continually changing in the course of play, but the intentions of the players who move the pawns remains constant.
I decided to discard verisimilitude. It did not interest me to copy an object. Why should I paint the outside of an apple, however exactly? What possible interest could there be in copying an object which nature provides in unlimited quantities and which one can always conceive more beautiful? What is significant is the relation of the object to the artist, to his personality, and his power to arrange his sensations and emotions.
To write a good love-letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say, and to finish without knowing what you have written.
My husband doesn’t apologize. Even to me.
This started at an early age. Jordan genuinely believed his father liked his older brother, Larry, more than he liked him, and he used that insecurity as motivation. He burned, and thought if he succeeded, he would demand an equal share of affection. His whole life has been about proving things, to the people around him, to strangers, to himself. This has been successful and spectacularly unhealthy. If the boy in those letters from Chapel Hill is gone, it is this appetite to prove — to attack and to dominate and to win — that killed him. In the many biographies written about Jordan, most notably in David Halberstam’s “Playing for Keeps,” a common word used to describe Jordan is “rage.” Jordan might have stopped playing basketball, but the rage is still there. The fire remains, which is why he searches for release, on the golf course or at a blackjack table, why he spends so much time and energy on his basketball team and why he dreams of returning to play.
He was tremendously excitable, unusually endowed with emotional feeling and nervous energy…and I believe his life was a continual effort to control himself.
We also eventually had two perfectly healthy children, miraculous creatures that I couldn’t and sometimes still can’t believe Renn and I created out of nothing but two fifteen-minute acts in a darkened bedroom, an act repeated millions of times over throughout the country on any given day. We were hardly original in anything we did, but for a while it all felt so fraught and urgent and specific.
Every age manifests itself by some external evidence. In a period such as ours when only a comparatively few individuals seem to be given to religion, some form other than the Gothic cathedral must be found. Industry concerns the great numbers-it may be true, as has been said, that our factories are our substitute for religious expression.
If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.
Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.
Often slightly misquoted as:
Maybe everybody in the whole damn word is scared of each other.
I was privileged to consider him a friend and I am grateful that I had a few more times to be with him, on Tuesday and again last night, before he finally left New York for someplace better – although he’d probably argue that’s not possible.
Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
Try everything that can be done. Be deliberate. Be spontaneous. Be thoughtful and painstaking. Be abandoned and impulsive. Learn your own possibilities.
Love doesn’t grow at a steady rate, but advances in surges, bolts, wild leaps, and this was one of those.
Mr. and Mrs. Wase, both in their dumb way, keep telling you things. They are telling you that Mr. George Bellows died too young. They are telling you that he was after something, that he was always after it.
All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth…The minute you pick up the camera you begin to lie — or to tell your own truth. You make subjective judgments every step of the way — in how you light the subject, in choosing the moment of exposure, in cropping the print. It’s just a matter of how far you choose to go.
When placed in command — take charge.
It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him. Dragons may not have much real use for all their wealth, but they know it to an ounce as a rule, especially after long possession; and Smaug was no exception…
He stirred and stretched forth his neck to sniff. Then he missed the cup!
Thieves! Fire! Murder! Such a thing had not happened since first he came to the Mountain! His rage passes description – the sort of rage that is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy suddenly lose something that they have long had but have never before used or wanted…
I’ve always said there are – to oversimplify it – two kinds of writers. There are architects and gardeners. The architects do blueprints before they drive the first nail, they design the entire house, where the pipes are running, and how many rooms there are going to be, how high the roof will be. But the gardeners just dig a hole and plant the seed and see what comes up. I think all writers are partly architects and partly gardeners, but they tend to one side or another, and I am definitely more of a gardener. In my Hollywood years when everything does work on outlines, I had to put on my architect’s clothes and pretend to be an architect. But my natural inclinations, the way I work, is to give my characters the head and to follow them.
I will confess to you that, you know, one of the statements that’s been attributed to me that I’m sort of proud of is somebody said, you know, “What do we do about Osama bin Laden?” And they asked me, “Can we forgive him?” And I said, “Forgiveness is up to God. I just hope we hurry up the meeting.“