I think I can, I think I can. I think I can.

I knew I could. I knew I could. I knew I could.

                   The Little Engine That Could


It’s better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all.

                    Paraphrase of Alfred Lord Tennyson


Fail again. Fail better.

                    Samuel Beckett


Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.



Naïveté is doing the same thing over and over and always expecting the same result.

                     Frank Wilczek



I could go on and on with the quotes. They are endless. The first two are meant to be inspirational. Beckett’s is more like “get over it.” As Melissa Tarkington says about “fail again, fail better”: Let go of the pressure to succeed, whatever form that takes for you, because life in all its absurdity is enough. The point of the einstein and Wilczek quotes as I understand them is that you can never do the exact same thing over and over. There will always be  changes in the environment, the approach, whatever.



We are all narcissists at least some of the time. Not all of the time, like Trompudo, but enough of the time so that we survive. Most normal folks can step off the vanity train and when they do they find that everyone has a story and that most of those stories are interesting. Studs Terkel was good at getting people to tell their stories. So is David Letterman. Listening is an underrated skill.


You need confidence to tell your personal story. I remember when I worked in a grocery store a sign on the cigarette rack behind the cash register said “Honesty Is Our Policy.” Honesty isn’t easy is it? Especially when you’re trying to sell something. Honesty can be embarrassing, disgusting, self-deprecating and painful. Lying feels better until you realize that one lie begets another begets another begets another just like the listing of generations in the Bible.


There is no lack of confidence today with social media prompting us to tell every inane story we can think of in excruciating detail. Honesty let alone relevance is another matter. Here come the begats.


If Samuel Beckett and David Foster Wallace take Ludwig Wittgenstein to opposite extremes, let my narcissism refer you to a previous post at the link below. In confidence, of course.