If you are going to do something truly innovative, you have to be someone who does not value social approval. You can't need social approval to go forward. Otherwise, how would you ever do the thing that you are doing?
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.
In cross-country skiing, athletes propel themselves over distances of ten and twenty miles - a physical challenge that places intense demands on the ability of their red blood cells to deliver oxygen to their muscles.
There is an important idea in psychology: The 'just world theory,' which says that it is very important for us to convince ourselves that the world is just and things happen for a reason. That there is some elemental fairness in everything, which creates the illusion of justice.
We used to say poor people had lousy genes. Then we decided that wasn't OK, but we transferred the prejudice to upbringing. We said, 'You were neglected as a child, so you'll never make it.' That's just as pernicious.
What do we tell our children? Haste makes waste. Look before you leap. Stop and think. Don't judge a book by its cover. We believe that we are always better off gathering as much information as possible and spending as much time as possible in deliberation.
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.
You walk into the class in second grade. You can't read. What are you going to do if you're going to make it? You identify the smart kid. You make friends with him. You sit next to him. You grow a team around you. You delegate your work to others. You learn how to talk your way out of a tight spot.
The great accomplishment of Jobs's life is how effectively he put his idiosyncrasies - his petulance, his narcissism, and his rudeness - in the service of perfection.
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.
In my mid-adolescence, my friend Terry Martin and I became obsessed with William F. Buckley. This makes more sense when you realize that we were living in Bible Belt farming country miles from civilization. Buckley seemed impossibly exotic.
Books about spies and traitors - and the congressional hearings that follow the exposure of traitors - generally assume that false-negative errors are much worse than false-positive errors.
It is useful to compare the Branch Davidians with the Mormons of the mid-nineteenth century. The Mormons were vilified in those years in large part because Joseph Smith believed in polygamy.
You don't train someone for all of those years of medical school and residency, particularly people who want to help others optimize their physical and psychological health, and then have them run a claims-processing operation for insurance companies.
Age-class running, as you know, is completely unreliable. It's based on this artificial thing, which is that people who are the same age have the same level of physical maturity. Which just isn't true.
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.
That term, 'David and Goliath,' has entered our language as a metaphor for improbable victories by some weak party over someone far stronger.
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 fact of being an underdog changes people in ways that we often fail to appreciate. It opens doors and creates opportunities and enlightens and permits things that might otherwise have seemed unthinkable.
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.