If at any time I tell you to run, fly away as fast as you can. Does everyone have that? We’re not here to prove how brave we are, our job today is slaying dragons.

– P.S. Power, Goddess of the Moon

These lines made me laugh when I read them. Everything is about perspective and our focus. To go out and slay dragons might not seem like a brave thing to do for some people, and for others standing in front of an audience giving a speech might be terrifying. We all need to work on our comfort zone, what we dare to do, and one thing I took from this quote was to focus on the goal instead of being afraid. To focus on my task; sometimes it might be to slay dragons and other times it might be to help a group of people learn something that will help them in their lives.

The world would be a better place if people stopped voting for folksy candidates they could have a beer with and started voting for people smarter than they are.

– Marcus Sakey, Brilliance

I wonder what politics would look like if media focused on politicians’ qualities for being able to lead a country instead of looking for quotes that can be misinterpreted when taken out of context? I wonder what politics would look like if media focused on similarities between the parties instead of focusing on the small differences between what they think and what they do? We need to start in what we agree on, to be able to have a good conversation about what we disagree on.

When you use words to hide meaning, you’re lying. When there are no words and no descriptions, when critical facts are simply not there, that’s also lying. You can call it deception in the cause of a greater good, or service to a higher ideal, but in the end, it’s lying, and it will cost you in ways you can’t possibly comprehend because you’re perverting the very basis of human communication, and every time in history that’s happened on a large scale the result has been disaster. I just hope that doesn’t happen here.

– L.E. Modesitt J.R., The One-Eyed Man

Sometimes lies or white lies feels easier to tell than the truth. What I have noticed is that truth is often much more complicated than lies, because the truth contains not just what we did or what we said, but also the thoughts and feelings behind the words and the actions. It contains all the actions that led up to that event and our thoughts about what other people did before and during the event. All of this makes truth very hard to explain to other people.

It is often much easier to lie or not tell the whole truth, but by telling the truth you give the people around you the chance to get to know you. And most importantly, it will help you practice being open and explaining your complicated truth. To share who you are.

We all change, when you think about it. We are all different people all through our lives and that’s ok. That is good. You got to keep moving. As long as you remember all the people that you used to be.

– Doctor Who, The Time of the Doctor 2013 Christmas episode.

We need to remember who we were and the path we took to get where we are today. So that we learn from our mistakes. But more importantly, so that we can celebrate how far we have come. How much we have learnt on our way to the present. To remember all the people we have met; our friends and our teachers.

Around New Years is a good time to drink a cup of tea, get out a notebook and sit down and write about the year that has gone by.

What was good? What was bad? What do I want for the year to come?

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.”