Ahas Captured

Notes to Self: Capturing snippets of things that make me go 'aha.'

“Overprepare, then go with the flow.”

On Affirmative Action and Proving Yourself

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor: and I know one thing: If affirmative action opened the doors for me at Princeton, once I got in, I did the work. I proved myself worthy. So, I don’t look at how the door opened.”

(Source: NPR)

On Self-Expression and Fitting In

Andre Paraguassu - When you put a grade on self-expression, you’re grading someone’s soul.”

(Source: wabe.org)

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

—   Mark Twain

Passion and Career

Great article in the New York Times about passion and your career (click for full article)

Nuggets from the article:

"For many of my peers, this decision would have been fraught with anxiety. Growing up, we were told by guidance counselors, career advice books, the news media and others to “follow our passion.” This advice assumes that we all have a pre-existing passion waiting to be discovered. If we have the courage to discover this calling and to match it to our livelihood, the thinking goes, we’ll end up happy. If we lack this courage, we’ll end up bored and unfulfilled — or, worse, in law school.

To a small group of people, this advice makes sense, because they have a clear passion. Maybe they’ve always wanted to be doctors, writers, musicians and so on, and can’t imagine being anything else.

But this philosophy puts a lot of pressure on the rest of us — and demands long deliberation. If we’re not careful, it tells us, we may end up missing our true calling. And even after we make a choice, we’re still not free from its effects. Every time our work becomes hard, we are pushed toward an existential crisis, centered on what for many is an obnoxiously unanswerable question: “Is this what I’m really meant to be doing?” This constant doubt generates anxiety and chronic job-hopping.”

"The traits that lead people to love their work are general and have little to do with a job’s specifics. These traits include a sense of autonomy and the feeling that you’re good at what you do and are having an impact on the world."

Denzel Washington GQ Interview

Excerpts from Denzel Washington’s GQ interview

On advice for African-Americans:

"…Put your slippers way under your bed so when you get up in the morning, you have to get on your knees to find them. And while you’re down there, start your day with prayer. Ask for wisdom. Ask for understanding. I’m not telling you what religion to be, but work on your spirit. You know, mind, body, and spirit. Imagine—work the brain muscle. Keep the body in tune—it’s your temple. All things in moderation. Continue to search. That’s the best part of life for me—continue to try to be the best man."

On whether is Father disappointed him:

"Did he disappoint you?
I didn’t think of it that way. Everyone I grew up with didn’t have a father. I had a father. My father was a decent man. He was a very spiritual man and a gentleman.”

On “celebrity” life:

"Sidney Poitier told me this years ago: "If they see you for free all week, they won’t pay to see you on the weekend, because they feel like they’ve seen you. If you walk by the magazine section in the supermarket and they’ve known you all their life, there’s no mystery. They can’t take the ride." My professional work is being a better actor. I don’t know how to be a celebrity."

Validating Struggle - Live Simply By Annie

"I believe the only allowable comparison of struggle is to your own– that is, in each person’s life, there is a standard of struggle that has been set. The worst time in your life when your dad passed away and you got divorced and your daughter told you she hated you– that was your lowest point, and that sets the bar for struggle in your life. Whatever pain comes afterwards may only be measured in comparison to that personal standard, never to the pain and suffering of the whole world."

"And while there is of course a line at which acknowledging strife wallows into the realm of self-pity, I would say:

Your pain is real.

Your pain is your own and no one else can comprehend it, just as you can never fully understand another’s.

In order to vent about your struggle without a guilty conscious count your blessings daily.

Grant others the same rights to express their struggle.

And remember: everything is relative.”

“On Love and Character: “As much as we like to blame women for giving “it” up without a commitment, I truly question the character of a man who can take “it” without a commitment and then throw it in your face to justify why it’s OK for him to take “it” from other women, with or without a commitment.””

“I think it’s like a lot of things about getting older — you have absolutely no imagination that this is actually going to happen to you. You think for quite a while you’re going to be the only person who doesn’t need reading glasses, or the only person who doesn’t go through menopause … and in the end, the only person who isn’t going to die. And then you suddenly are faced with whichever of those things it is, and you can’t believe how unimaginative you have been about what it actually consists of.”

“WWJD? JC hung out with corrupt officials, chilled with a hooker, broke bread with his betrayer and died long before victory. Whenever I tweet about JC, some ppl try to rationalize. Rationalization only happened after he died. He couldn’t count on it when alive. In his life time, his “noble” acts were seen in a different light. Even his claim to a kingdom was used to mock him in crucifixion. So, whenever you think WWJD? Remember that. A lot of the things he did were investments that only made sense beyond his death. So the answer to “WWJD?” is deeper than just a choice in favor of what looks “righteous” at the time.”