Those three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people will agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.
Hard work is only a prison sentence when you lack motivation
The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves. But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot. It makes a difference where and when we grew up. The culture we belong to and the legacies passed down by our forebears shape the patterns of our achievements in ways we cannot begin to imagine. It's not enough to ask what successful people are like, in other words. It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn't.
Il successo è una funzione della perseveranza, della caparbietà e della propensione a impiegare ventidue minuti per trovare il senso a qualcosa che la maggior parte delle persone lascerebbe perdere dopo 30 secondi.
Why is the fact that each of us comes from a culture with its own distinctive mix of strengths and weaknesses, tendencies and predispositions, so difficult to acknowledge? Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from—and when we ignore that fact, planes crash.
There is this tremendous body of knowledge in the world of academia where extraordinary numbers of incredibly thoughtful people have taken the time to examine on a really profound level the way we live our lives and who we are and where we've been. That brilliant learning sometimes gets trapped in academia and never sees the light of day.
I have profoundly mixed feelings about the Affordable Care Act. What I love about it is its impulse. It attempts to deal with this intractable problem in American health care life, which is that a significant portion of the population does not have access to quality medical care.
I'm a lot more interested in people than I used to be. I used to be most interested in abstract ideas, and people were an afterthought, but that's changed a bit.
Mainstream American society finds it easiest to be tolerant when the outsider chooses to minimize the differences that separate him from the majority. The country club opens its doors to Jews. The university welcomes African-Americans. Heterosexuals extend the privilege of marriage to the gay community.
Do you remember the wrestler Andre the Giant? Famous. He had acromegaly.
A runner needs not just to be skinny but - more specifically - to have skinny calves and ankles, because every extra pound carried on your extremities costs more than a pound carried on your torso. That's why shaving even a few ounces off a pair of running shoes can have a significant effect.
Take the great example of the four-minute mile. One guy breaks it, then all of a sudden everyone breaks it. And they break it in such a short period of time that it can't be because they were training harder. It's purely that it was a psychological barrier, and someone had to show them that they could do it.
When I go to my health club, and it's in the basement, you have to take the elevator down. And this drives me crazy. Why can't there be a stairway? At least make it as easy to exercise as it is to not exercise. It's in society's interest for me to take the stairs.
I'm just trying to say that it should reassure us that the inevitable traumas of being human do end up producing some good. Otherwise, the human condition is overwhelmingly depressing.
The most common form of giantism is a condition called acromegaly, and acromegaly is caused by a benign tumor on your pituitary gland that causes an overproduction of human growth hormone. And throughout history, many of the most famous giants have all had acromegaly.
There will be statues of Bill Gates across the Third World. There's a reasonable shot that - because of his money - we will cure malaria.
We need to be clear when we venerate entrepreneurs what we are venerating. They are not moral leaders. If they were moral leaders, they wouldn't be great businessmen.
I don't want a door bell. I don't want anyone ringing my door bell... seems to be intrusive. They can call me on their cell phones.
I remember as a kid watching one of the Olympic games, and I was cheering for a big track athlete. He was the favorite to win, and he lost. I realized in that moment the pain he felt was so much greater than the pain that those who never thought they were going to win would have felt had they lost.
I have never read any Tolstoy. I felt badly about this until I read a Bill Simmons column where he confessed that he'd never seen 'The Big Lebowski.' Simmons, it should be pointed out, has seen everything. He said that everyone needs to have skipped at least one great cultural touchstone.