Intelligence is overrated by any species that has it, and that is probable by the fact that all intelligent species are outlived by a factor of a hundred to one, if not a thousand to one, by nonintelligent species, who don’t have the brains or perversity to destroy themselves or their environments.

-L.E. Modesitt Jr., The One Eyed Man

Sometimes I think too much. Spend too much time worrying, planning and analyzing instead of doing something. Many chances are lost due to people not taking the chance. Many other chances might get squandered because we did not think things through before. I rather take too many chances and lose some due to I did not think things through before than sit and ponder everything before going into action. I rather fail than miss out. I often fail at this though and I sit and analyze too long, but it feels like I’m getting better at it.

Paradise would be a city where pearls cobble roads and gems serve as playthings for children. And why? Not because all will be so wealthy, but because it citizens will have recognized that such things truly are toys.

– Ian C. Esslemont, Orb Sceptre Throne

Having packed up our apartment and traveled to New York with only a large backpack and a suitcase for me and my wife, I’m realizing more and more how little I actually need to live. To live well. It is such a relief to just have those few things and so little clothes to choose from. It makes it much simpler to dress in the morning. We filled up a storage room with things from our apartment and I can hardly remember what I put into it. It will be really nice to come home and clear out even more things from my life. I think it will make me feel even more lighter.

Violence is what people do when they run out of good ideas. It’s attractive because it’s simple, it’s direct, it’s almost always available as an option. When you can’t think of a good rebuttal for your opponent’s argument, you can always punch them in the face.

– James S.A. Corey, Abaddon’s Gate

The violence people use is not always physical violence, most times people use words instead of fists. It is quite apparent when politicians start to attack what the other person said than talk about his or her own ideas. But it is not just contained there, you can see it in meetings at work as well. It is so compelling to attack instead of think about why the person does not agree with me and try to find a common ground, or to find the arguments that would sway him or her. This is the harder path, the easier path of punching someone in the face is always lurking at the corner of our eyes.

the problem is never truly solved. Each new insight or solution improves ones understanding of the problem yet one never completely understands it.

– Culmsee and Kailish, The heretics guide to best practices: The reality of managing complex problems

This is part of the definition of a wicked problem. What I have found is that more problem than we think are wicked problems and that there is no clear solution to them. This frustrates so many people that they cannot find the one true solution and which is why many people just stop when they have found one solution that seems ok. This is great for getting things done but it might also stop people, organizations and things from developing further.

I think this is especially true for people. Our lives are wicked problems, and there is no one solution that will fulfill all our needs. Every time you meet someone new, read a book or participate in a new experience, you will find a new way to look at life and to improve your understanding if yourself and what you want.

Don’t let anyone tell you differently, the actual job of governing isn’t that hard. It’s just telling people what to do after all. The trick is being smart enough to have some kind of idea what the best thing to do actually is. Luckily, ninety odd percent of the time, people actually already know, they just want someone to confirm what they think they should do is a good idea.

– P.S. Power, The Builder

What we often need to hear is another voice telling us that what we are planning to do is a good idea. That positive feedback is what people usually need to dare to take that extra step. In my opinion it is much better to get started than to do everything perfectly. So I am much more keen of saying and I rather hear; ‘Sounds great, go for it!’ than to hear people comment on every little detail of the plan that might go wrong.

never throw the first punch. If you have to throw the second, make sure they don’t get up for a third.

– Brandon Sanderson, Steelheart

Make sure people do not get up for a third is for me also about making sure if a conflict starts that you work towards ending it. There are many ways that you can end a conflict; make sure they don’t get up again is a very direct one. To handle the conflict in such a way that there is not a conflict anymore is in most cases a better solution. When that is not possible, because many conflicts can not be solved, make sure both you and the other party accepts the conflict you have and that this is something you need to work on. This reminded me of this quote by Carl Jung:

“The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.”

The problem with paths is that once you have chosen one, You cannot choose the others.

– Ian C. Esslemont, Orb Sceptre Throne

I both agree and disagree with this sentence. If you choose one thing then it is impossible to choose the other paths later because a path always changes. The result of a decision will always be different based on when we take it. It might be us that change when we ponder the question or the people who are waiting for your answer. So on a very literal/metaphysical level. You can never choose the other paths.

Most decisions we get stuck on, though, are rarely fatal or final. And by choosing one path, the other pats will change but not by much. Sometime it might take some extra time and cost a bit of money but most decisions can be changed.

It is usually better to do something then get stuck in indecision and let the possibilities pass you by.

She looked at me as if she saw something else inside of me – something wonderful, something worth knowing – and she was the only person who could make it out.

– Sarah Fine, Sanctum

A few people I have met in life seem to have this ability. Everyone they meet seem to be in the center of their world. It feels like nothing else matters but you and they accept you for who you are. What you say, your thoughts and your feelings are all ok. In this space of acceptance, deep conversations and open discussions appear. And they bring real learning and amazing growth.

Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to finde the spaces between fences.

– Neil Gaiman, Ocean at the end of the Lane.

It is so easy to fall into the same foot steps every day. To do the same things. Some sort of habits or rituals for the day are good because it helps to focus our energy and intention for the day. Maybe a ritual for working out in the morning or evening. Meditation, running or for what you eat for breakfast. But other things, if we get stuck in them become walls that hinder us. Always eating the same food, going to the same cafe, watching the same type of movies or only reading books by the same type of authors. It is easy to fall into one of these traps and it might be hard to know the difference between a habit that gives you energy or one that hinders you. But it is good to check your assumptions once in a while.

… what’s your favorite story, Tal?“
"I haven’t read it yet,” she replied.
“Oh, good answer.”

– Joe Ducie, Knights Fall

This quote made me think a lot. It is so easy for me to give an answer to what my favorite story, music, film, or … is. But hopefully I have not read it yet. If I have read my favorite story of all time, that would mean that everything I read from now on would be worse. So I hope with all my heart that my favorite is still out there.