The function of high school, then, is not so much to communicate knowledge as to oblige children finally to accept the grading system as a measure of their inner excellence. And a function of the self-destructive process in American children is to make them willing to accept not their own, but a variety of other standards, like a grading system, for measuring themselves. It is thus apparent that they way American culture is now integrated it would fall apart if it did not engender feelings of inferiority and worthlessness.
The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play.... He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leavaing others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible.
"My new favorite word is 'awkward.'...The reason we need to be in search of awkward is that awkward is the barrier between us and excellence, between where we are and the remarkable. If it were easy, everyone would have done it already, and it wouldn't be worth the effort."