ten minutes for q&a

the questions are infinite.
the answer is simply, overwhelmingly: be excellent.

stand in front of everyone and write your analysis on the board and defend it. watch them copy it down in their notebooks. but don't be satisfied. ride the bus home and open your books up again and work to stay a step ahead. two steps, if possible. because excellence isn't cheap and it isn't self-perpetuating.

the good news is that it isn't strictly a you-have-it-or-you-don't kind of thing. intelligence and talent are that way, perhaps, but excellence can be (must be) fostered. grown. earned. hamming says: "Given two people with exactly the same ability, the one person who manages day in and day out to get in one more hour of thinking will be tremendously more productive over a lifetime." he also says "You have to neglect things if you intend to get what you want done. There's no question about this."

this sounds like a justification or a call to action. it is neither. there are drives that come from somewhere inside and they are more powerful than decisions. it isn't that i have decided to pursue. the pursuit chose me. now i pursue because my organs and cells insist that i do so.