"We don’t like being bored because boredom is the absence of engaging stimulus, but boredom is valuable because it requires us to fill that absence out of our own resources, which is process of discovery, of doors opening. The pain of boredom is a spur to action, but because it’s pain we’re happy to avoid it. Gadgetry means never having to feel that pain, or that spur. The web expands to fill all boredom. That’s dangerous for everyone, but particularly so for kids, who, without boredom’s spur, may never discover what in themselves or in their surroundings is most deeply engaging to them."
"The way to get ideas is to do something boring… They fly into one’s head like birds."
"Where do I get my ideas from? You might as well have asked that of Beethoven. He was goofing around in Germany like everybody else, and all of a sudden this stuff came gushing out of him. It was music. I was goofing around like everybody else in Indiana, and all of a sudden stuff came gushing out. It was disgust with civilization."
"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual... The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both."
"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life."
"If you find yourself thinking about something nonstop and noticing it everywhere, odds are you have something to say about it. Or at least a question to ask about it. And maybe you should be finding a way to communicate that to the world."
"A real leader is somebody who can help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better things than we can get ourselves to do on our own."
“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.”
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."
"When religion is good, it invites you to contemplation, inspiration, and social action. When religion is bad, it makes you say, 'We're the good guys, and they are the bad guys, and we must win at all costs.'"
"Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it."
“Inspiration comes of working every day.”