“Writing isn’t hard work, it’s a nightmare. Coal mining is hard work. This is a nightmare…There’s a tremendous uncertainty that’s built into the profession, a sustained level of doubt that supports you in some way. A good doctor isn’t in a battle with his work; a good writer is locked in a battle with his work. In most professions there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. With writing, it’s always beginning again…”
Philip Roth cited in the fantastic book Daily Rituals
कर्मण्ये वाधिकारस्ते म फलेषु कदाचना
कर्मफलेह्तुर भुरमा ते संगोस्त्वकर्मानी॥
Bhagavad Gita, Ch 2., Verse 47.
Srimad Bhagavad Gita Bhasya of Sri Sankaracharya
You have right only to perform work and not to undertake the discipline of knowledge. While doing works, do not think you have the right to claim their fruits. Never, in any state of life whatsoever, should you crave for the fruits of your works – this is the idea. When you crave for the fruits of your works, you make yourself liable to reap those fruits; (but) you should never be the cause of such fruit-gathering, for when one works, impelled by the craving for fruits, one has to reap the fruits of such works, namely, birth in the world. ‘If the fruits of works are not to be desired, why should painful works be undertaken at all?’ This thought should not tempt you, Arjuna, to withdraw from all works, either.
“Baseball, business, these are games of cycles. What you want is to minimize the down cycles. Some days you’re smart and some days you’re dumb. When you’re wrong, don’t let that freeze you. Keep going and continue to make what you think are the right decisions, even if they are tough decisions.”
– Billy Beane, Oakland A’s
I have survived to middle age with half my wits while thousands have died with all of theirs intact, evidently quality of wits is more important than quantity.
“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”
-John William Gardner