Joseph Heller to Kurt Vonnegut: I’ve got something he can never have. The knowledge that I’ve got enough.
True story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
and I were at a party given by a billionaire
on Shelter Island.
I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel
to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money
than your novel ‘Catch-22’
has earned in its entire history?”
And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”
And I said, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”
And Joe said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”
Not bad! Rest in Peace!
[poem by Kurt Vonnegut, found on John C. Bogle’s “Enough” Commencement Address to Georgetown]
Viggo Mortensen: Choosing instead to do what he wanted to do
“Box-office smashes, all three of [the Tolkien trilogy], and they made [Viggo Mortensen] hugely famous (for a time) and rich. Then he did something truly bizarre by Hollywood standards. He had the world by the balls, with his pick of roles—big studio stuff, Clooney kind of stuff, paycheck stuff. He turned all of it down, choosing instead to do what he wanted to do, little of which was lucrative. ‘I mean, how much fucking money do you need?’ he asks. He used some of his Lord of the Rings loot to start a publishing company—yes, a publishing company; it’s called Perceval Press, after one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table—that would publish poets and other writers who might not otherwise get a book deal, and do so without having them “compromise.” He could also afford to spend time on his other interests—writing poetry, taking photographs, painting.”
[excerpt from “Why Viggo Mortensen Is Off the Grid” by Esquire]
“The best place to succeed is where you are with what you have.” –Charles Schwab
“If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks’ vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.” -Dorothy Canfield Fisher