Saturday, January 5, 2013

Favorite Quotes & A Goal


Over the past year I have started writing down quotes I come across in my readings-novels, articles, the internet, etc.  Not the ones we have all heard or read.  To be sure, there are some good ones out there that are now cliche.  These, at least for me, are new food for thought with which to stimulate the brain.  Maybe you have heard a couple of these, but they are new for me.

Of course, a lot of these reflect my rural living and love of nature.  Just a heads up.

To start, a good one from Warren Buffett:

“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don't like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn't that a little like saving up sex for your old age?”

A good reminder to focus on the NOW and not climbing the corporate ladder to get that corner office.  Do not get me wrong, you might have to make a sacrifice and get a job you do not love to make ends meet, to get experience in a poor job market, or get your foot in the door.  The real point is that it does not have to be this way.  Look at me-I am getting managerial experience and a first hand look at running a small resort while working at Mountain Sky.  I have learned a LOT about managing people, which is the biggest hurdle to having an organization that runs smoothly.  I could have jumped into a corporate job in a cubicle, worked my butt off for a couple years to move up and finally manage begin to manage a few people.  Instead I already have that experience and love my job.  Win-win.  Of course, taking this course it will take me longer to save up enough money for future goals, but my quality of live over time is higher.  I am completely happy right now with my position, just a little impatient to get started with my main life goal, but more on that later.

In this same vein, a couple of Ayn Rand quotes:

"That's the sort of thing I want you to understand. To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That's what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul-would you understand why that's much harder?"

"If you want my advice, Peter," he said at last, "you've made a mistake already. By asking me. By asking anyone. Never ask people. Not about your work. Don't you know what you want? How can you stand it, not to know?"

-Howard Roark from The Fountainhead

My only comment on these last two is that too many people follow the paths other people have taken and do not take the time to think independently for themselves.  They read the writings of others and take their credo from that, verbatim.  I find it hard to agree with everything that someone else believes or teaches.  Thinking for yourself and not looking to others for guidance is the most important thing I have learned over the past year.


"Yet not the less, in my case, did I think it worth my while to weave them (baskets), and instead of studying how to make it worth men's while to buy my baskets, I studied rather how to avoid the necessity of selling them."

-Thoreau

Too many people focus on more instead of less.  Case in point, look at people in my stage of life when they go from being relatively low-earning college students to professional jobs.  That is a big raise, and they automatically start spending more.  They were perfectly happy before, right?  So why do they feel they have to consume more just because they have more to spend?  A raise could just be extra savings instead of a new winter jacket, trading in your car for a nicer one, moving to a nicer place, etc.  In the future, I plan on getting by with a lot less, and am pretty sure I will always be in one of the lowest income brackets.  By lowering my expenditures, the lower income will work out just fine.


"The Wilderness does not make you forget your normal life so much as it removes the distractions for proper remembering."

"I have suggested before that what the wilderness actually prepares you for is more wilderness. You do not spend four days in Lut├Ęce [a five star restaurant] to get ready for a long period at Burger King."

-Jim Harrison

"This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used." 

"We should strengthen and beautify and industriously mould our bodies to be fit companions of the soul, assist them to grow up like trees, and be agreeable and wholesome objects in nature."

-Henry David Thoreau

Nature is truly the best therapy.  Enough said.


"A good thing sells itself. A bad thing is advertised."
-Swahili Proverb

Living on a rural ranch apart sequestered from our commercial culture over the past year and a half has really shown me just how consumer driven we are as a society.  I now believe marketing is complete bullshit.  Companies convince consumers they need something where there was no need before.  I didn't know I need a shirt specifically for cross country skiing.  The one I use for running in cold weather won't work.  False!  What do we really need?  Not much.  Good food (from raw ingredients), comfortable shelter and functional clothes, good company, and a few things for recreation-skis, running shoes, a fishing rod, etc.  My expenditures this ski season were: a downhill ski pass, food, and gas.  No new stuff.


"Early in their history the Chinese are reported to have paid doctors their regular fees so long as people remained well. If and when a person became ill, the medical fees stopped until the patient was restored to health."
 -The Good Life (a book on homesteading I just read)

Just food for thought.  Certainly creates an incentive for preventative instead of reactive medicine.


"As the sage told of his life: Before I was enlightened, I chopped wood and drew water. After I was enlightened, I chopped wood and drew water."
-Jim Harrison

I have realized technology and further involvement in our society are not rewarding for me.  Nature is infinitely more complex and fascinating.  I have no interest in selling people things they do not need, which is just about any business.

Living surrounded by nature in the mountains and pondering my future path has convinced me to buy a piece of property and live in the woods.  I am saving up to open my own bed and breakfast somewhere in Michigan, where I can grow my own food, live with the cycles of the seasons, and show people the peace nature provides.  Providing shelter to travelers is a need for those who are traveling or looking for  a getaway.  I will not be selling useless products that create pollution in their production.  My garden and care for the land will improve it.  Plants reduce greenhouse gases and spread beauty.  This will be my contribution to society, and I hope to help others realize just how incredible our natural world is.  Here is a link to a fantastic video talking about having a sense of wonder for our natural world.

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not for every man's greed." -Ghandi

I believe Nature will provide for my physical needs and forever exceed my mental desires for beauty and mental stimulants of problems to solve, mysteries to investigate, and things to wonder at.  My journey is only beginning...