Studies consistently find that people in developed societies tend to be pessimistic about their country and the world but optimistic about their own lives. They expect to earn more and to stay married longer than they generally do.
A selection of quotes from Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance by Christopher McDougall.
Empathy, the Greeks believed, was the source of strength, not softness; the more you recognized yourself in others and connected with their distress, the more endurance, wisdom, cunning, and determination you could tap into.
Heroism isn’t some mysterious inner virtue, the Greeks believed; it’s a collection of skills that every man and woman can muster so that in a pinch , they can become a Protector.
You are fit if you can adapt to the demands of your environment with ease and imagination.
The primary story is about resistance fighters on Crete battling the Germans during World War II, but McDougall weaves in the stories about Greek mythology, parkour, paleo diets, British historians, and his own experience visiting Crete.
The main story is really interesting, but overall the book is kind of a mess because it jumps around so much. And as you can glean from the subtitle, the stories seem a bit exaggerated.
We tend to grossly overestimate the pleasure brought forth by new experiences and underestimate the power of finding meaning in current ones.
Gratitude is what allows you to feel that same sense of wonderment about your day-to-day life as you would if you were walking the streets of a faraway city.
While travel does expand and stretch the horizons of what we know about the world, it is not the answer we’re looking for in times of unrest. To strengthen the health of the mind, the venue to do that in is the one we are in now.
If the big marathon story of 2017 was the Nike-sponsored Breaking2 Project, a meticulously controlled, closed-to-the-public attempt to get a few superstars to run obscenely fast in perfect conditions, Boston 2018 was the perfect foil for such elitism.
It was as though the marathon gods summoned a mid-April tempest just to remind us that the event isn’t supposed to be about the sterile pursuit of arbitrary records.
Pain is a part of life. We cannot eliminate it nor do we want to. The pain will guide you. You will know when to rest more; you will know when you are healing.
There are two key reasons that the distinction between maker and manager schedules matters for each of us and the people we work with.
First, defining the type of schedule we need is more important than worrying about task management systems or daily habits. If we try to do maker work on a manager schedule or managerial work on a maker schedule, we will run into problems.
Second, we need to be aware of which schedule the people around us are on so we can be considerate and let them get their best work done.
Incentives backfire when there are no negative consequences for those who exploit them.