On days when the Forces of Good are on the run from the Forces of Evil, I'm reminded of Colin Powell's rules (which I wrote down into my quote book in 1995 or so):
- It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
- Get mad, then get over it.
- Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
- It can be done!
- Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
- Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
- You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.
- Check small things.
- Share credit.
- Remain calm. Be kind.
- Have a vision. Be demanding.
- Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
- Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
Rule #1 and #10 are important for me to remember.
I'm also reminded of how much I love aphorisms of all sorts. One of the early signs of Derek Lowe's greatness, I understand, is that copies of his "Laws of the Lab" circulated long before
mammoths ruled the earth the beginning of the World Wide Web. My favorite is "You should only believe yields in Tetrahedron Letters papers if you also send off for everything you see advertised on late-night TV."
Readers, what are your favorite aphorisms or proverbs, chemistry-related or otherwise? I'll nominate this one from Solomon:
Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.Have a good weekend!