Below are two of my favorite quotes from, “A Gentleman In Moscow.“
“What matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim.”
“What can a first impression tell us about anyone? Why, no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli. By their very nature human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration-and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting in every possible hour.”
Malcolm Gladwell would certainly agree with the later statement.
His book Talking To Strangers explores this very concept: why are our first impressions of strangers often so wrong?
The bottom line: humans are incredibly complex in our behaviors and motivations.
Personally, there have been many time where I’ve thought, I don’t know why I did that, I wish I didn’t do that.
Becoming the person you want to be takes intentional simplification.
A great place to start is with identifying your values and then consciously making decisions that align with those values.
One of the reasons why these two quotes resonate with me so much is because grit and open mindedness are two values I hold dear.
And “A Gentleman In Moscow” provided a refreshing reminder of that.