How do you get five U.S. presidents to do you a personal favor? You ask.
How is it that we’re here in the first place, alive, breathing in this air, walking through this amazing existence? The longer I live, the more a miracle it seems.
When someone tells you, “You can do anything,” believe them. And when someone tells you that you can’t? Don’t bother to reply. Just use it as inspiration—then go show them.
In a perfect world we would each have all the qualifications to do what we aspire to do. But we don’t. “What I had,” as Chandler’s private eye Philip Marlowe put it, “is a coat, a hat, and a gun.” And that’s enough.
In 1776, we won the freedom to self-govern. The *capacity* to self-govern? That would be a longer-term project.
It’s not just that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. It’s that the first movement, taste, sentence, intentionally or not, stands in a unique position to communicate the whole. People may not judge a book by its cover, but they will get an indelible impression from that opening line.
The publishers didn’t think there was a market for our book. We think they’re wrong — and we think you’ll think so, too.
“I HAVE AN UNUSUAL relationship with death.…” So begins a saga, a story of war and training, of death and life, and also by any measure — certainly by word count — the biggest book I’ve ever written.
What I’ve learned about these thoughts is to just sit with them, not try to stop them. Just watch them go by. And not take them seriously.
There’s not a lot of juice in being good. You know where there’s a lot of juice? Finding ways to get better.