I've begun the list with a few quotes from a favorite small book entitled Taxi Driver Wisdom.
Taxi Driver Wisdom is a small black hardcover book that I bought several years ago. It's like a tiny bible, except for the fact that it has a small yellow steering wheel on the cover and there are no long stories or parables or commandments.
The book is a compilation of quotes. One quote to a page. Each one in all caps. The first page of the book states, "ALL QUOTES IN THIS BOOK WERE TAKEN FROM CONVERSATIONS WITH NEW YORK CITY CAB DRIVERS. Thank You: Abdul, Abdul, Achileas, Ahmed, Aitzaz, Anatoliy, Angel, Aqueel, Augustin..." and the list goes on.
From the book's introduction:
"The fact is, New York cab drivers are the world's most accessible source of truth and wisdom. Where else can you have intimate conversations with someone from Tibet, Bangladesh, Liberia, India, Zaire, Pakistan, Vietnam, Iran, Russia, Haiti, Peru, Lithuania, Poland, the Ivory Coast? Where else can you hear the wisdom of Taoism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Islam, Santeria, Scientology, Zogqen, Zoroastrianism, and Howard Stern?
"Maybe because people can only deal with limited-time intimacy, we get into a taxi and, suddenly (sometimes), we can reveal our souls. We can ask questions we've been afraid to ask.
"A cab is a kind of confessional-mobile. Musky with incense or poppy air freshner, somber with soft music (Lite FM), sealed off from the rest of the world, you slide open that glass divider and it's just you and your guru, sharing a few minutes of reflection and advice."
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book. Enjoy.
"EVERYTHING COMES OUT THE SAME, NO MATTER WHETHER YOU MAKE IT HARD ON
YOURSELF OR NOT."
"YOU MUST HAVE THINGS THAT YOU
CARE ABOUT. OTHERWISE YOU ARE EMPTY."
GOES. THAT'S IT."
"DEATH IS AN END AND A BEGINNING."
THERE IS SOMETHING YOU WANT, IT SEEMS IT IS EVERYWHERE."
Favorite Quotes - A
list in progress. Here's what I like so far...
"Several years ago Ben Graham, then almost eighty, expressed to a friend the thought that he hoped every day to do " 'something foolish, something creative and something generous.' " ~ Warren Buffett, in the preface to Graham's The Intelligent Investor.
"What do you want your legacy to be?""
"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them." ~ George Bernard Shaw
"Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty." - Einstein
"I am always doing things I can't do, that's how I get to do them." ~ Pablo Picasso
child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
~ Pablo Picasso
"The only man who is really free is the one who can turn down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse." ~ Jules Renard.
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." ~ Einstein
"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." ~ Erica Jong
"Think about it a little more and you'll agree with me, because you're smart and I'm right." ~ Charlie Munger
"The exact contrary of what is generally believed is often the truth." ~ Jean De La Bruyere
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" ~ Proust
"If you're not playing a big enough game, you'll screw up the game you're playing just to give yourself something to do." ~ unknown
"Let mystery have its place in you; do not be always turning up your whole soil with the ploughshare of self-examination, but leave a little fallow corner in your heart ready for any seed the winds may bring ..." ~ Henri Frederic Amiel
"A man must be able to cut a knot, for everything cannot be untied; he must know how to disengage what is essential from the detail in which it is enwrapped, for everything cannot be equally considered; in a word, he must be able to simplify his duties, his business and his life." ~ Henri Frederic Amiel
"Analysis kills spontaneity. The grain once ground into flour springs and germinates no more." ~ Henri Frederic Amiel
"Learn to limit yourself; to content yourself with some definite work; dare to be what you are and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not; and to believe in your own individuality." ~ Henri Frederic Amiel
any difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary-line
and adding to one's liberty." ~ Henri Frederic Amiel
is short. Be swift to love! Make haste to be kind!" ~ Henri Frederic Amiel
"Tell a man that there are 300 billion stars in the universe, and he'll believe you...Tell him that a bench has wet paint upon it and he'll have to touch it to be sure." ~ anonymous
"Here's to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have
no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them. Disagree with them. Glorify,
or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change
things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy
ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can
change the world
~ television advertisement for Apple Computers.
"We've all heard that a million
monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire
works of Shakespeare.
Leroy "Satchel" Paige was a legendary storyteller
and one of the most entertaining pitchers in baseball history.
How to Keep
Young, by Satchel Paige
1. Avoid fried meats which angry up the
Marat SafinMarat Safin is one of the world's best tennis players. The Russian combines an explosive mix of raw power and brilliant shot-making with racquet-smashing tantrums.
He has played brilliantly against the best players in the world.
But sometimes he self-destructs.
"Never give up. Last year I was trying to give
up but I couldn't."
"That's my goal (to win a major tennis tournament and finish the year #1). It's too much maybe, but that's the dream. We live because of the dreams."
He might get frustrated
from time to time, but Safin loves his sport:
"Regaining your form is like trying to find love. If you look too hard, you don't find it. When you let it happen naturally, it comes."
"My friend, there is nothing so sexy as a woman who is angry. Perhaps when she is even throwing things."
"Why did it take you so long to come to the press conference?"
"I have an empty refrigerator and nobody takes care of things around the house. I have nobody to cook for me, so I go to restaurants. Me cooking? No idea! Me washing clothes? No idea. I can't do anything domestic!"
A Safin post-match press conference can sometimes be more entertaining than the tennis itself. After losing to Nicolas Kiefer at the Tennis Masters Toronto, Safin was asked if he would consider changing his unconventional approach to the game.
"You know the
story of the hippo?" he responded. "The hippo comes to the monkey and
says, 'Listen, I'm not a hippo.'
Dr. Randas Batista
Dr. Batista on his ranch in Curitiba, Brazil. ©Jeffrey Luke
Randas Batista is the most famous heart surgeon in Brazil. When he's not operating he smokes a cigar, rides horses, works on his farm, and invents new surgical procedures. I spent time with him on his farm, in the operating room, and in his home in 1999 and 2000. Here are a few things he said:
"When I was a little boy my grandmother wrote the word "WHY" backwards on a piece of adhesive tape and pasted it to my forehead. She told me to look at myself in the mirror. Her lesson was that I should always ask myself that question. That was her gift to me"
"Those who ask the questions are condemned to find the answers."
"I dont come as the owner of truth. I come with different ideas to share and learn. If you prove me wrong, I will be happy, because then Ill be the one who learns, not you!"
"The way we follow our patients post-operatively (in Curitiba, Brazil) is to check if they have warm, pink feet, good urinary output, and that there is no blood in the surgical drain."
"I live at the edge of the Brazilian jungle. I dont have a lot of equipment, but I treat my patients in the best way I can. In New York, doctors (with very high-tech equipment) are afraid to operate on their sickest patients because they are afraid of being sued if they have a bad outcome."
"In 1994, physicians at Yale University recommended not operating on patients with ejection fractions of less than 20%. I like to operate on those patients; I can do the most for them. You say I live in the jungle, and I look at New York and I ask myself which place is the jungle."
Dr. Randas Batista, Curitiba Brazil 1999 ©Jeffrey Luke
Here's a story Dr. Batista told me that shows how we each have
our own distinct problems to solve:
Two guys were at a café and one said to the other:
"Your wife is cheating on you."
"But she's cheating on you with your best friend."'
"That's his problem," he said.
"Well, what are you going to do about it?"
"That's my problem," the man said."
Photos ©Jeffrey Luke
The following statements are neatly typed on small pieces of white paper and taped to the walls of Dr. Batista's office at Hospital Vita:
"If you criticize what's already been done, you arrived late. You should have helped make it happen!"
"Not everything that we face can be changed, but nothing can be changed until we face it!"
new is presented to us, we doubt; because it is easier to find 10 reasons to doubt
than one reason to believe."
Each morning when the gazelle wakes up, he knows that he must run faster than the lion or he will be killed.
Each morning when the lion wakes, he knows that he must run faster than the gazelle or he will die of hunger.
So, when you wake up, don't worry about whether you're a lion or a gazelle --- it's better to just run!
James Watson in the lab
I was driving in my car one night and heard an interview on NPR with James Watson, who, along with Francis Crick, made the greatest discovery in biochemistry in the past 100 years when they accurately described the structure of the DNA molecule. Their work earned them a Nobel Prize.
What he had to say resonated profoundly with me, so I hurriedly scavenged for a pen and paper. Here's what he said:
Francis and I didnt give up, no matter how discouraging things seemed. It helps to work with someone who's bright, and you need to push each other so you cant give up. It is important that you have things you like to do outside of work - I play tennis almost every day.
"Because if your work in science is not going well, and you have no girlfriend, then that's two bad things. You always want to have something that you like to do to fall back on.
"Remember to take risks, and have fun. You should always do something that makes you happy - don't do anything that bores you."
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