Advice from Anthony Bourdain, Bill Gates, Jo Malone, Bear Grylls, and Alexander McLean

Anthony Bourdain:

  1. “Turn the fk up on time. I am punctual- that’s probably the most useful lesson I ever learned. It is the first evidence of your character I have: are you the sort of person who says they’re going to do something and then doesn’t? Being on time is the first thing I require of my cooks. If you have problems doing that, chances are I’m wasting my time showing you how to make hollandaise sauce. It’s the same in social relationships- do you have enough respect for me to show up on time, or do you not? If you don’t, we’re probably going to have problems down the line.” (p.113)
  2. Be polite to waiters- “If you are mean or dismissive to waiters and hotel staff, you’re dead to me, or if not dead to me, you are bleeding out- our time together is going to be very limited. Because if you’re pissy to waters, that’s the real you: you may not be like that to me now, but you will be.” (p.114)
  3. “Mike Corleone said it isn’t personal, it’s business. Bullshit: all business is personal.” (p.114)

Alexander McLean

“APP goes into prisons where there are little or no medical, educational, or legal facilities and doesn’t leave until there are health centers, libraries, teachers, and lawyers in place.” (p.120)

“He of course makes no distinctions between whether people are innocent or not: he starts from the position that they are all human beings and deserve to be able to live and, inevitably sometimes, die with dignity. But more than that, he is motivated to tackle the lost opportunity of keeping people in captivity with no chance for change. He wants whatever time people have to spend in prison to be an opportunity for transformation, not despair.” (p.122)

“The lowliest-looking person is filled with gifts and talents beyond your imagination. Love such people as yourself. Those living on the margins of society do not need to have their problems solved for them; they just need to be given the opportunities to solve them themselves. And in doing so, they will often also solve the problem of others.” (p.122)

“Our shared motto is there’s always a way and we have an unspoken understanding that we’ll never let each other down.” (p.125)

” If there’s just one piece of advice I could give, then I would urge people to foster a love of reading. It’s our core skill as human beings. It’s the gateway to everything else. It gets you involved. It allows your curiosity to follow its course. It connects us across time and space. Books and reading are the most important things. Yes, I would say above all else, I would urge people to foster a love of reading. Start as a early as you can and keep on reading.” (p.132) – Bill Gates

Jo Malone

“I learned early that when bad things happen, you can either let them beat you or you can stand and fight. And if you do, you can always turn things round.” (p.136)

“Collectively, these experiences schooled her in the tricks of the retailing trade, teaching her how to use stories and a bit of magic to captivate people, all crucial ingredients in the kaleidoscopic world of senses and surprises that she has created. (p.137)

“No matter how bad it is, no situation is ever greater than you. You always have three options: you can change the situation, accept the situation, or change your mind-set on how you see the situation. And you have the power in your hands to choose whichever is best for you. Never allow something else or someone’s opinion to become the title of your book. Ever.” (p.138)

Bear Grylls

“There’s always going to be someone who faster, smarter, taller, more experienced than you, but the rewards in life don’t always go to them; the rewards in life go to the dogged, the determined, those who can keep going and pick themselves back up and never say die and just hang in there, sometimes quietly and undramatically.” (p.142)

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