July 13.2014- scratch notes and wisdom quotes

The knowledge of sin is the beginning of salvation- Epicurus

9. It is time to stop, but not before I have paid duty. “The knowledge of sin is the beginning of salvation.” This saying of Epicurus[6] seems to me to be a noble one. For he who does not know that he has sinned does not desire correction; you must discover yourself in the wrong before you can reform yourself.

10. Some boast of their faults. Do you think that the man has any thought of mending his ways who counts over his vices as if they were virtues? Therefore, as far as possible, prove yourself guilty, hunt up charges against yourself; play the part, first of accuser, then of judge, last of intercessor. At times be harsh with yourself.

they never regard themselves as in debt when they have received some of that precious commodity, – time! And yet time is the one loan which even a grateful recipient cannot repay

This is the touchstone of such a spirit; no prizefighter can go with high spirits into the strife if he has never been beaten black and blue; the only contestant who can confidently enter the lists is the man who has seen his own blood, who has felt his teeth rattle beneath his opponent’s fist, who has been tripped and felt the full force of his adversary’s charge, who has been downed in body but not in spirit, one who, as often as he falls, rises again with greater defiance than ever.

We do not put to the test those things which cause our fear; we do not examine into them; we blench and retreat just like soldiers who are forced to abandon their camp because of a dust-cloud raised by stampeding cattle, or are thrown into a panic by the spreading of some unauthenticated rumour

And somehow or other it is the idle report that disturbs us most. For truth has its own definite boundaries, but that which arises from uncertainty is delivered over to guesswork and the irresponsible license of a frightened mind. That is why no fear is so ruinous and so uncontrollable as panic fear. For other fears are groundless, but this fear is witless.

Let us, then, look carefully into the matter. It is likely that some troubles will befall us; but it is not a present fact. How often has the unexpected happened! How often has the expected never come to pass! And even though it is ordained to be, what does it avail to run out to meet your suffering? You will suffer soon enough, when it arrives; so look forward meanwhile to better things.

Accordingly, weigh carefully your hopes as well as your fears, and whenever all the elements are in doubt, decide in your own favour; believe what you prefer. And if fear wins a majority of the votes, incline in the other direction anyhow, and cease to harass your soul, reflecting continually that most mortals, even when no troubles are actually at hand or are certainly to be expected in the future, become excited and disquieted. No one calls a halt on himself, when he begins to be urged ahead; nor does he regulate his alarm according to the truth. No one says; “The author of the story is a fool, and he who has believed it is a fool, as well as he who fabricated it.” We let ourselves drift with every breeze; we are frightened at uncertainties, just as if they were certain. We observe no moderation. The slightest thing turns the scales and throws us forthwith into a panic.

understand that the best ideas are common property

For the fault is not in the wealth, but in the mind itself. That which had made poverty a burden to us, has made riches also a burden. Just as it matters little whether you lay a sick man on a wooden or on a golden bed, for whithersoever he be moved he will carry his malady with him; so one need not care whether the diseased mind is bestowed upon riches or upon poverty. His malady goes with the man. Farewell

We can get assistance not only from the living, but from those of the past.

8. Let us choose, however, from among the living, not men who pour forth their words with the greatest glibness, turning out commonplaces and holding. as it were, their own little private exhibitions,[4] – not these, I say, but men who teach us by their lives, men who tell us what we ought to do and then prove it by practice, who show us what we should avoid, and then are never caught doing that which they have ordered us to avoid.
Choose as a guide one whom you will admire more when you see him act than when you hear him speak.

What hinders us most of all is that we are too readily satisfied with ourselves; if we meet with someone who calls us good men, or sensible men, or holy men, we see ourselves in his description, not content with praise in moderation, we accept everything that shameless flattery heaps upon us, as if it were our due. We agree with those who declare us to be the best and wisest of men, although we know that they are given to much lying. And we are so self-complacent that we desire praise for certain actions when we are especially addicted to the very opposite. Yonder person hears himself called “most gentle” when he is inflicting tortures, or “most generous” when he is engaged in looting, or “most temperate” when he is in the midst of drunkenness and lust. Thus it follows that we are unwilling to be reformed, just because we believe ourselves to be the best of men.

you will accomplish as much in one morning hour as in two evening hours.

DE: Only action validates theoretical knowledge. Fail often and learn. Don’t shy away or make excuses – just start. We’ve seen people overcome amazing odds.
Growth always comes with some form of compromise, and for most people this is an acceptable trade off. Starbucks offers consistency, so we frequent them as we would any other large, convenience based, fast food provider. My point is that scaling as they did comes with a price. To some, this isn’t a concern. For the small provider, a window of opportunity is opened.

patience of most customers is finite.

Those companies who survive tend to get pretty smart about how they operate, and in doing so find ways to be as consistent as possible. By establishing systems and processes, they’re better able to run efficiently and offer service that their customers can depend on

Just out of college, the world seemed a little like a playground. Most of us didn’t have many responsibilities, so we didn’t think there was much to lose. This made it the perfect time to go exploring and see what we might find. Some of us saw wildly exciting things, and a few of us had some scares. For the most part we went a little outside of our comfort zone because the risk/reward ratio seemed worthwhile.

Most of us returned, happy to sleep in our own beds again, wondering what our next adventure might be. It’s so much fun to meet different people and see new places; why wouldn’t you do so all the time? Upon returning, some find that fate has other plans. One might start to work in order to save money and pay down student loans. Perhaps the new job requires a car, resulting in monthly payments. Along the way, a relationship might evolve, necessitating the purchase of a home. With time, friendships form and life settles into a pattern. Who knows? Perhaps kids enter the picture as well.

All of these are fine things, and pattern is comforting. The one thing it does typically tend to limit is one’s proclivity for risk. With a mortgage, car payment, work responsibilities, and a couple of toddlers running around the house, one rarely thinks, “Hmmm… I wonder if I should take a few months off to visit Borneo’s Valley of the Headhunters and get an authentic tattoo?” Nope, as we become entrenched in these patterns, that risk/reward ratio starts to look quite different, and most of us seek out stability.

This shift isn’t altogether that different for companies. Ones that previously embraced risk and disruptive thinking find that they can’t quite do the same as they grow. There’s now a responsibility to all of the people involved. Employees have families, mortgages, and bills; suppliers need to be paid consistently; and clients need to know that our companies are dependable and here to stay. As a result, growing organizations often find themselves in a straightjacket within which movement is slow, painful, and sometimes seemingly impossible.

Small businesses in the United States alone “produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms” and “create more than half of nonfarm private gross domestic product.”9 They’re a huge economic driver, and they add to the cultural fabric and diversity of our communities. But for some reason we tend to think they should all try to get bigger. Systemize, grow, franchise, retire, and get a boat somewhere; is this really all there is to business? Grow as fast as you can and push everything else in your life aside in order to be rich in retirement? I don’t know, it all seems so… hopeless. Do we really benefit by sacrificing all the great things we have today just for financial wealth in our old age? Clearly, there’s more to living a rich life than a large number attached to one’s bank balance.

What’s the perfect size for you? What do you want out of your company? Given any option, what would you prefer to actually do all day?

our dangerous fixation on what everyone else is doing. It’s my firmly-held belief that by imitating how others market and do business, we miss out on opportunities

If you aren’t a big company, don’t act like one. You’re probably better off to do the exact opposite of what they do. They’re big, so they probably need to concentrate on being professional and (sorry) boring. This means they’ve left you with plenty of room to differentiate and connect more personally with clients—most likely at a significantly lower cost than they’re able to achieve.

It’s more “people-speak” than “marketing-speak”
very friendly, casual way.
give us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their fun work environment

transparency builds trust with your readers. Also
help you keep things informal, fun and relatable. It’s important to be professional, but remember your readers are human and everyone enjoys a little fun too.
allows your audience to know, like and trust you. This is key to building a solid customer foundation.

Another thing they do very well is their use of soft sales messages contextualized in value-added content. For example, they may write an article about the importance of eating organic fruit, but weave in the idea of mixing Stonyfield yogurt in with your fruit for an extra dose of nutrients. There’s nothing wrong with promoting your products on your blog; just remember that the most successful blogs place added value before selling.

The Stonyfield Farm blog is a great example of a big brand using their blog to build community and educate their readers about their market.

Tip: Try to weave in a theme throughout your blog. To help with this, consider inviting outsiders to contribute to your blog. Another great tip is to go deeper by allowing your audience to see what’s behind the curtain. Behind-the-scenes stories and footage invite the reader in even more and will help you create content that stays true to your theme.

platform for a variety of projects,

career of risk of straying too far from the crowd

Career risk drives the institutional world. Basically, everyone behaves as if their job description is “keep it.” Keynes explains perfectly how to keep your job: never, ever bewrong on your own. You can be wrong in company; that’s okay.

The problem is that some of these cycles happen really fast, and some happen very slowly. And the patience
of the client is three point zero zero years. If you go over that time limit, you are imperiled, and some of
these cycles do indeed exceed it.

Being certain is nice, but it’s doubt that gets you an education

we have to liberate ourselves from this dependence on certainty, and live with ever-changing probabilities.

PLAYBOY: What is the Eighties’ dream to you, John? LENNON: Well, you make your own dream. That’s the Beatles’ story, isn’t it? That’s Yoko’s story. That’s what I’m saying now. Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don’t expect Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself.

It is a known fact that small caps make larger moves. It is a known fact that it is easier to find 20% winners than to find 100% winners.

what is a LEADER? Is it a company that is widely known, a company that trades millions of shares daily, or is it a company that meets a certain criteria that starts with momentum?

In order to become successful in the market for the long term, you have to become a student of the market. You have to know yourself, and match your personality with a certain time frame, and strategy.

that at the end of the day, catalysts drive stock prices. For the different time frames, different catalysts matter. Short-term price trends are fueled by momentum, medium-term price trends are fed by earnings related catalysts, long-term price trends are sustained by social and business trends

If you run a mutual fund with hundreds of millions of dollars, you have no choice but to go with large caps that offer a great amount of liquidity. But if you are a retail client trading your own money, be careful in what you believe in before doing your own homework

we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change.

we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change
No one has ever attained the level of an international chess master with less than a decade’s intense preparation. Garry Kasparov became the youngest-ever world champion at 22 after years of practice. The age at which players start and the hours played predict success but time alone playing chess is not enough. Studies show the amount of time devoted to “deliberate practice” predicted skill, in particular, serious analysis of chess positions.

All nations have been made what they are by the thinking and the working of many generations of men. Patient and persevering labourers in all ranks and conditions of life, cultivators of the soil and explorers of the mine, inventors and discoverers, manufacturers, mechanics and artisans, poets, philosophers, and politicians, all have contributed towards the grand result, one generation building upon another’s labours, and carrying them forward to still higher stages. This constant succession of noble workers-the artisans of civilisation-has served to create order out of chaos in industry, science, and art; and the living race has thus, in the course of nature, become the inheritor of the rich estate provided by the skill and industry of our forefathers, which is placed in our hands to cultivate, and to hand down, not only unimpaired but improved, to our successors

Biographies of great, but especially of good men, are nevertheless most instructive and useful, as helps, guides, and incentives to others

his wonderful stores of knowledge from a wide field of experience and observation.

those who have most to do and are
willing to work, will find the most time.

that he was “a living proof of what merit, perseverance, and labour can accomplish; one of the most complete examples of those men who, sprung from the humblest ranks of society, raise themselves to the highest rank in public estimation by the effect of their own worth and of their personal services; finally, one of the rarest examples of the solid qualities inherent in the English character.”

But such was Brougham’s love of work-long become a habit-that no amount of application seems to have been too great for him; and such was his love of excellence, that it has been said of him that if his station in life had been only that of a shoe-black, he would never have rested satisfied until he had become the best shoe-black in England.

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