👋 Hi, I'm James.


I occasionally write about lessons learned on the journey to live a healthier, happier and more intentional life. 


📍 Austin, TX 

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  • James von der Lieth

A Collection of My Favorite Quotes

"Those who trust themselves, trust others. Because they know that, when they are betrayed — and everyone is betrayed, that’s part of life —it’s possible to start all over again. Part of the fun in life is exactly this: running risks" - Unknown

“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“The world is changed by examples, not by opinions." -Paulo Coelho

“To a disciple who was forever complaining about others, the Master said, ‘If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth.’”

— Anthony de Mello

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only constant in life is change”-Heraclitus

"The purpose of life is to find your gift. The secret to life is to give it away." - Unknown

"Ah, but I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now" - Bob Dylan

“You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” - Tina Fey

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving". - Albert Einstein

"Only through suffering can we find ourselves." - Dostoevsky

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Einstein

"The only zen you find on the top of a mountain is the zen you bring up there." - Persig

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"If my Aunt had some balls, we would call her my Uncle" - French Saying

"The further one travels the less one knows." - Lao Tzu

"The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." - Bertrand Russell

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born" - Nin

"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god." - Vonnegut

"Software ate the world, so now all the world's problems get expressed in software" - Benedict Evans

"Most learning disabilities are really just teaching disabilities" - Unknown

“I hope she knows you only like the beginnings of things.” - A woman to Don Draper

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Unknown

"The tide comes for all our sand castles" - Unknown

"This is American. Pick a job and then become the person that does it." - Mad Men

"If you don't like what's being said change the subject." - Mad Men

"If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut." - Albert Einstein

" People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forgety how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” - Steve Jobs

"A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner" - Anonymous

"We're still the kids we used to be" - Kanye West

Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness. – Shakti Gawain

I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castro

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” - Jack Kerouac

"Wants don't get met consistently. Standards do" - Tony Robbins

" 'Work' should be defined as anything you are actively trying to make better" - Naval?

"Behind almost every inconvenience is a new business waiting to be born.” - Alain De Botton

"People respond to forward motion" - Unknown

“The time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining”- JFK

"Learn to read people by understanding that everyone wants the same 3 things in life: love (being appreciated and valued), success (status or achievement of one’s goals), and knowledge (understanding the world and feeling in control)" - Unknown

"If something that seems like work to other people doesn't seem like work to you, that's something you're well suited for." - Paul Graham

"We first make our habits, and then our habits make us." - John Dryden

"Anger is the wintercoat on top of my fear." - Unknown

“Most anger stems from feelings of weakness, sadness and fear: hard to remember when one is at the receiving end of its defiant roar.” -Alain de Botton

“People tell us who they are but we ignore it because we want them to [be] who we want them to be.” -Don Draper

“If frequency with which you cite an education credential does not decrease over the course of your life, you’re not accomplishing very much.” -Ben Casnocha

“Do you know someone you would like to change and regulate and improve? Good! That is fine. I am all in favor of it, But why not begin on yourself?” -Dale Carnegie

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” -Ernest Hemingway

“How to manage a project: Limit it in scope. Make it simple. Get success. Then iterate.” -Auren Hoffman

“What we tell students in formal schooling: “Sit down, stay quiet, and absorb. Do this for 12 to 16 years and all will be well.” -Alex Tabarrok

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” -Socrates

“Those who tell the stories, rule the world.” -Hopi Indian proverb

"Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Seems like too many people, public and private sector, are making a living slicing the pie rather than baking it.” -Naval Ravikant

"It's not an experiment if you already know whats going to happen. And its not a risk if there is no chance of failure. If you really want to get the most out of this period of experimentation in your life, you really need to do things that are slightly unsafe." - Tucker Max

"Remember this: If someone can't explain "why", then they are a pawn in someone else's game. There is always a reason why...the only question is if you know it. Like the poker saying--if you don't know who the sucker at the table is, then the sucker is you. If you don't know why you're doing something, then someone else is probably profitting from your effort more than you are. You are the sucker." - Tucker Max

"It seems that we're better at finding someone to blame for our problems than we are at finding creative solutions to fix them.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson

"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.” -George Orwell

"Criticize through creating.”-Michelangelo

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” -Lao Tzu

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.” -Arthur Schopenhauer

“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what.” -Anonymous

“Remember, Grammar Nazis: It’s YOU’RE going to die alone.” -Damien Fahey

“Art is advertising – just for important ideas and emotions.” -Alain de Botton

“Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them.” -Dave Eggers

“No one ever got rich checking their email more often.” -Noah Kagan

“So the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.” -Dale Carnegie

“Contracts mean NOTHING for it is ALWAYS the character of the person signing that contract. This is what lawyers do not get.” -Martin Armstrong

“People who want an honest test of their skills sell to markets; people who can’t handle an honest test of their skills go to school.” -Jake Seliger

“I can think of several heuristics for generating ideas for startups, but most reduce to this: look at something people are trying to do, and figure out how to do it in a way that doesn’t suck.” -Paul Graham

“People who say they are bored are boring people. Interesting people can entertain themselves anywhere. Boring people have to be entertained by others.” -Roger Knapp

“In the dojo, aim for truth.

At home, aim for harmony.

At work, aim for progress.

Among friends, aim for trust.

In the world, aim for sincerity.”

-Awa Kenzo

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” -Carl Jung

“A man generally has two reasons for doing things; one that sounds good, and a real one.” -JP Morgan

“Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of friends who flatter you.” -Alvaro Oberon

“A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.” -Thomas Carlyle

“Even in that most important area of her life, love, she had failed to commit herself. After her first romantic disappointment, she had never again given herself entirely. She feared pain, loss, and separation. These things were inevitable on the path to love, and the only way of avoiding them was by deciding not to take that path at all. In order not to suffer, you had to renounce love. It was like putting out your own eyes in order not to see the bad things in life.” -Paulo Coelho

"In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." - Beatles

“You cannot beg average people to be phenomenal, you cannot beg good people to be phenomenal, you just are phenomenal and you will attract phenomenal.” - Eric Thomas

“If you don't program your mind, your mind will be programmed.” - Unknown

"Give them what they want, and later, you can give them what they truly need" - Ramit

“A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gal” - Abraham Lincoln

Just because something will eventually come to an end, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start it. -Tucker Max

“Do not wait till you are a setting sun. It is a maxim of the wise to leave things before things leave them. Wise trainers put racehorses out to pasture before they arouse derision by falling on the course.” - Balthazar Gracian

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” - Senecca

"An expert is a man who has stopped thinking because ‘he knows.’" - Frank Lloyd Wright

“These are not easy questions: Who am I? Why am I here? They’re not easy because the human being isn’t wired to function as an individual. We’re wired tribally, to act as a part of a group. Our psyches are programmed by millions of years of hunter gather evolution. We know what the clan is; we know how to fit into the band and the tribe. What we don’t know is how to be alone. We don’t know how to be free individuals.” Steven Pressfield

“The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.” Steven Pressfield

"Like so many brilliant people, he believes that ideas move mountains. But bulldozers move mountains; ideas show where..." Peter Drucker

“The most important knowledge is that which guides the way you lead your life.” - Tolstoy

“The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.” - Reid Hoffman

“Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they’ll become habits. Watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny.” - Lao Tzu

“I don’t want to be a broken record. I want to be an accurate record” - Random Guy at Coffee Shop

“I’m a huge believer that one of the best ways to figure out what you think is to write it out and then iterate. When you do this, you quickly discover how foggy your ideas are, and you work to clarify them." - Ben Casnocha

"What will make you happy will one day make you sad" - Dishwasher at Juanita Greenbergs

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” - George Bernard Shaw?

“The art of listening is not to hear what someone says but to hear how they feel.” - Bob Chapman

“All companies that grow really big do so in only one way: people recommend the product or service to other people.” - Sam Altman

“People won’t listen to reasons why you’re better than something else. But they will listen to reasons why you’re different than something else, especially if those distinctions can benefit them directly.” - Tucker Max

“Work doesn’t bleed over into home because capitalism is evil, work bleeds over to home because we have no idea what else to do at home, and thank God we can blame it on work.”

-The Last Psychiatrist

“If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic, because in arithmetic there is knowledge, but in theology there is only opinion. So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.” -Bertrand Russell

"We don’t really want things. We want the feelings we think those things will give us.” - Gary Tan

“ There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” - Peter drucker

“You don’t set out to build a wall. You set out to place the first brick as perfectly as possible” Will Smith

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” - Edward Abbey

“Speak only if it improves upon the silence” - Ghandi

I think what you are conflating is stubbornness from resilience. resiliency- the ability to withstand the vagaries of everyday life. Stubbornness - I don't care how much I'm suffering, I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing" - Unknown

“Always treat your employees the way you want them to treat your #1 customer” - Stephen Covey

“The universe will get out of your way once you know what you want. The universe is like water.” - Will Smith

"There is a certain delusional quality that all successful people have to have." - Will Smith

"Act like everyone has a sign on them that says 'make me feel special'" - Unknown

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