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Innovation Insights by Stephen Shapiro

“I worry a lot of people fall into the trap of believing that they need to make big life decisions before they can start doing anything….Your life doesn’t need to go through a predictable story arc. It doesn’t have to start with a dream, follow through hard work and end up in a nice home with four bedrooms. Instead it can twist and travel. You don’t have to know the final answer, you just need to act on the next step.”

Scott H Young: What Do You Want to Do With Your Life?

  1. A relevant quote from Paul Graham:
    “People who’ve done great things tend to seem as if they were a race apart. And most biographies only exaggerate this illusion, partly due to the worshipful attitude biographers inevitably sink into, and partly because, knowing how the story ends, they can’t help streamlining the plot till it seems like the subject’s life was a matter of destiny, the mere unfolding of some innate genius. In fact I suspect if you had the sixteen year old Shakespeare or Einstein in school with you, they’d seem impressive, but not totally unlike your other friends.

    Which is an uncomfortable thought. If they were just like us, then they had to work very hard to do what they did. And that’s one reason we like to believe in genius. It gives us an excuse for being lazy. If these guys were able to do what they did only because of some magic Shakespeareness or Einsteinness, then it’s not our fault if we can’t do something as good.

    I’m not saying there’s no such thing as genius. But if you’re trying to choose between two theories and one gives you an excuse for being lazy, the other one is probably right.”
    From: What You’ll Wish You’d Known by Paul Graham

  2. Very good article, and good points also made by Paul Graham…

    There are various reasons why people don’t do things – because they are waiting for that spark of inspiration, for the ‘perfect’ time, for the day when they have a fully concrete idea of what they want to do. However, life doesn’t work like that – life moves when you move. Those who are happy and content in their lives get to that point because they get started and take action on SOMETHING.

    Life is not a straight line. The way our society views time and progression as a series of steps from A to B to C, but the truth is nothing works out like that. There are twists and turns and detours, but that’s the beauty of it. But we have to be willing to learn and make mistakes, and keep searching.

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