Queer Divine Dissatisfaction
It’s on the walls of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, and even cleverly encoded in the parachute the Perseverance rover used to land on the surface of Mars.
Dare Mighty Things
Again and again, NASA JPL has been crushing it by doing the maths, science and engineering to do things no one has done before. But with phrases like Dare Mighty Things emblazoned on its walls for all to see, it also speaks to selling the emotional value in striving for greatness.
The saying is JPL’s motto and is an abridgement of a quote from Teddy Roosevelt’s “Strenuous Life” speech: “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure … than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
Today, I simply wish the very best to all those out there daring to summon forth mighty things into the world. Scientists. Artists. Creators of all stripes pushing past the guardrails into interesting new spaces.
I also want to share two amazing quotes I’ve seen in recent days that are inspiring me this week. We can get trapped in the pursuit of productivity tips and quotes that motivate toward greater action. I’ve been a lot more careful in recent years to avoid just reading about being better and doing more. A colleague recently mentioned we need “less creative thinking and more creative doing” and that sounds all too real to me.
But let’s start this week’s curation with two great thoughts I hope others who pursue their own excellence can take something from, especially when you might spend too long worrying about whether your work is “good enough” or not.
First, from an interview with Mads Mikkelsen in Vulture:
Second, doing the rounds on Twitter, an old conversation between legendary dancers and choreographers Martha Graham and Agnes deMille:
I think I’ll take Queer Divine Dissatisfaction alongside Dare Mighty Things and stick them to my own wall.
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