Follow the Instructions


Every good little girl (and boy) is taught (cajoled, forced, berated) in school to follow instructions.

We are told instructions are very important. Big, bad things could happen if you don’t follow instructions.

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Henry David Thoreau

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude; poverty will not be poverty; nor weakness, weakness.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

He who would travel happily must travel light.

Seth Godin

No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.

Audrey Hepburn

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.


If people knew how hard I worked, they wouldn’t be surprised by what I can do.

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.

Pablo Picasso

Good taste is the enemy of creativity.

Billy Graham

Listening to your critics is like bobbing for apples—in a vat of acid.

Seth Godin

You want the authority to create, to be noticed and to make a difference? Sorry. There’s no authority left.