Educate yourself, welcome life’s messiness, read Chekhov, avoid becoming an architect at all costs, and more irreverent wisdom from the beloved author, culled from his letters to his kids.
“If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now.”
Debbie Millman’s fantastic illustrated essays of wisdom on the creative life – a timeless treat halfway between philosophy and design:
“Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before.”
Neil Gaiman’s fantastic commencement address, adapted by design legend Chip Kidd
Fantastic read on the art-science of “allowing the various petals of our identity to fully unfold.”
“Genius is nothing more nor less than doing well what anyone can do badly.”
I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias.
“You can say smart, interesting, complicated things using short sentences. How long is a good idea?”
“The useless days will add up to something….These things are your becoming.”
When an anonymous advice columnist by the name of “Dear Sugar” introduced herself on The Rumpus on March 11, 2010, she made her proposition clear: a “by-the-book common sense of Dear Abby and the earnest spiritual cheesiness of Cary Tennis and the butt-pluggy irreverence of Dan Savage and the closeted Upper East Side nymphomania of Miss Manners.” But in the two-some years that followed, she proceeded to deliver something tenfold punchier, more honest, more existentially profound than even such an intelligently irreverent promise could foretell.
“Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others.”
The Hitch condenses years’ worth of his advice “to the young and the restless” into a series of letters written as if to just one of them — a form borrowed from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet.