It’s a temptation that exists for everyone—for talk and hype to replace action.

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In fact, many valuable endeavors we undertake are painfully difficult, whether it’s coding a new startup or mastering a craft. But talking, talking is always easy.

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In actuality, silence is strength—particularly early on in any journey.

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“Mere gossip anticipates real talk, and to express what is still in thought weakens action by forestalling it.”

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The ability to deliberately keep yourself out of the conversation and subsist without its validation. Silence is the respite of the confident and the strong.

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Talk depletes us. Talking and doing fight for the same resources.

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Doing great work is a struggle. It’s draining, it’s demoralizing, it’s frightening—not always, but it can feel that way when we’re deep in the middle of it.

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the greatest work and art comes from wrestling with the void, facing it instead of scrambling to make it go away.

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They work quietly in the corner. They turn their inner turmoil into product—and eventually to stillness. They ignore the impulse to seek recognition before they act. They don’t talk much. Or mind the feeling that others, out there in public and enjoying the limelight, are somehow getting the better end of the deal. (They are not.) They’re too busy working to do anything else. When they do talk—it’s earned.

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if we are not careful, we can very easily find ourselves corrupted by the very occupation we wish to serve.

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This is what the ego does. It crosses out what matters and replaces it with what doesn’t.

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Think about this the next time you face that choice: Do I need this? Or is it really about ego? Are you ready to make the right decision? Or do the prizes still glitter off in the distance? To be or to do—life is a constant roll call.

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point—Kirk wanted to learn what he didn’t know, to firm up his understanding of the fundamentals so that he might continue exploring this new genre of music he now had a chance to pursue.

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An education can’t be “hacked”; there are no shortcuts besides hacking it every single day. If you don’t, they drop you.

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The pretense of knowledge is our most dangerous vice, because it prevents us from getting any better. Studious self-assessment is the antidote.

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It purges out the ego that puffs us up, the fear that makes us doubt ourselves, and any laziness that might make us want to coast.

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“False ideas about yourself destroy you. For me, I always stay a student. That’s what martial arts are about, and you have to use that humility as a tool. You put yourself beneath someone you trust.”

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They must be always learning. We must all become our own teachers, tutors, and critics.

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The art of taking feedback is such a crucial skill in life, particularly harsh and critical feedback. We not only need to take this harsh feedback, but actively solicit it, labor to seek out the negative precisely when our friends and family and brain are telling us that we’re doing great.

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It was a process of accumulation.

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What is really called for in these circumstances is clarity, deliberateness, and methodological determination.

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We don’t conceive of the consequences until we look at their trajectory.

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Purpose is to and for. (I must do __. I was put here to accomplish __. I am willing to endure __ for the sake of this.)

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Greatness comes from humble beginnings; it comes from grunt work. It means you’re the least important person in the room—until you change that with results.

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Be lesser, do more.

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Do you know how you can tell when someone is truly humble? I believe there’s one simple test: because they consistently observe and listen, the humble improve. They don’t assume, ‘I know the way.’” No matter what you’ve done up to this point, you better still be a student. If you’re not still learning, you’re already dying. It is not

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Learn from everyone and everything.

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Change your mind. Change your surroundings.

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pretending that we are living some great story, we must remain focused on the execution—and on executing with excellence. We must shun the false crown and continue working on what got us here. Because that’s the only thing that will keep us here.

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that you know who you’re competing with and why, that you have a clear sense of the space you’re in. Only you know the race you’re running.

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it is the sense of our own path and how to stay on it without getting distracted by all the others that intersect it. In other words, it’s not about beating the other guy.

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So why do you do what you do? That’s the question you need to answer. Stare at it until you can. Only then will you understand what matters and what doesn’t. Only then can you say no, can you opt out of stupid races that don’t matter, or even exist. Only then is it easy to ignore “successful” people, because most of the time they aren’t—at least relative to you, and often even to themselves. Only then can you develop that quiet confidence Seneca talked about.

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we begin to overestimate our own power. Then we lose perspective.

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His job was to set the priorities, to think big picture, and then trust the people beneath him to do the jobs they were hired for.