"I think if your goal is for everything to be okay, that’s a mistake. To achieve that goal, the only obstacle you’d have to face tomorrow is to eliminate all risk … I’ve made the decision that I’m never trying to make everything okay. I’m trying for there to be more loose ends, not fewer loose ends."
Seth Godin (1960–), US entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker
Source: Interviewed on The Great Discontent blog (August 14, 2012)
"What you measure affects what you do. If you don’t measure the right thing, you don’t do the right thing."
Joseph Stiglitz (1943–), US economist
Source: Quoted in the New York Times (October 4, 2009)
"You don't run for second. I don't believe in that."
Barack Obama (1961–), US president
Source: Interview with David Letterman on The Late Show (April 9, 2007)
"Busy is good, isn’t it? Busy means we’re hard at it, achieving our ends or “goals.” Haven’t had time to stop, or look around or think. That’s considered the sign of a life well lived … Suppose, though, you’re not sure that what you’re doing is at all worthwhile. Suppose you blundered into it over a spoonful of lime pickle. It’s easy, it pays quite well. But really it’s a distraction. It stops you thinking about what you ought to be doing."
Sebastian Faulks (1953–), British novelist and writer
Source: Engleby (2007)
"The mantra of execute, execute, execute, speed, speed, speed seems to preclude any consideration of what we are speeding toward. That's sort of like saying, Don't bother me with the facts—I'm busy executing them."
Jay S. Walker (1955–), US entrepreneur, founder of Priceline.com, and chairman of Walker Digital
Source: Interview, Strategy + Business (January–March 2000)
"Goals too clearly defined can become blinkers."
Mary Catherine Bateson (1939–), US anthropologist
Source: Composing a Life (1989)
"Often it is the means that justify the ends: goals advance technique and technique survives even when goal structures crumble."
Alan Jay Perlis (1922–1990), US computer scientist
Source: Epigrams in Programming (1985)
"You read a book from beginning to end. You run a business the opposite way. You start with the end, and then you do everything you must to reach it."
Harold S. Geneen (1910–1997), US telecommunications entrepreneur and CEO of ITT
Source: Managing (1984)
"A good goal is like a strenuous exercise—it makes you stretch."
Mary Kay Ash (1915–2001), US entrepreneur, business executive, and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
Source: On People Management (1984)
"Economics are the method. The object is to change the soul."
Margaret, Baroness Thatcher (1925–), British former prime minister
Source: Sunday Times (London) (April 1975)
"If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else."
Laurence J. Peter (1919–1990), Canadian academic and writer
Source: The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong (cowritten with Raymond Hull, 1969)
"There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second."
Logan Pearsall Smith (1865–1946), British essayist and critic
Source: “Life and Human Nature,” Afterthoughts (1931)
"If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it;Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), US poet
Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of Earth."
Source: “Elegaic Verse” (1880)
"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,Robert Browning (1812–1889), British poet
Or what's a heaven for?"
Source: “Andrea del Sarto” (1855), l. 97
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