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An Entry Into My Little Black Book – Daily Blog #47

Anytime I read a book that might contain information to help me improve my quality of life, I take notes. These notes not only stay within the book itself (Or kindle highlights file), but also get transferred into my little black book.

This book has two pages dedicated to each title, making for a quick and easy reference for any highlights I don’t want to forget. Every morning I look at it and essentially re-read an entire book in about 30 seconds. Or at least refresh my memory on what my key take aways were.

Today was the day I updated it with my notes from “Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance“, a book which I really enjoyed a lot despite being a difficult read that was nothing like I was expecting.

And now, I’m going to share those notes with you. These are the raw, unfiltered points that I want to always remember from it, and points that I think (even without context) could be interesting to you, too.

Here they are:


  • You always suppress momentary anger at something you deeply and permanently hate.
  • To arrive in the Rocky Mountains by plane would be to see them in one kind of context, as pretty scenery. But to arrive after days of hard travel across the prairies would be to see them in another way, as a goal, a promised land.
  • When you want to hurry something, that means you no longer care about it and want to get on to other things.
  • To tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory
  • In Part One of formal scientific method, which is the statement of the problem, the main skill is in stating absolutely no more than you are positive you know. It is much better to enter a statement ‘Solve Problem: Why doesn’t cycle work?’ which sounds dumb but is correct, than it is to enter a statement ‘Solve Problem: What is wrong with the electrical system?’ when you don’t absolutely know the trouble is in the electrical system. What you should state is ‘Solve Problem: What is wrong with cycle?’ and then state as the first entry of Part Two: ‘Hypothesis Number One: The trouble is in the electrical system.’ You think of as many hypotheses as you can, then you design experiments to test them to see which are true and which are false.
  • She couldn’t think of anything to write about Bozeman because she couldn’t recall anything she had heard worth repeating. She was strangely unaware that she could look and see freshly for herself, as she wrote, without primary regard for what had been said before. The narrowing down to one brick destroyed the blockage because it was so obvious she had to do some original and direct seeing.
  • Any effort that has self-glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster.
  • The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality.
  • Usually, I say, your mind gets stuck when you’re trying to do too many things at once.
  • Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all.
  • A person who knows how to fix motorcycles – with Quality – is less likely to run short of friends than one who doesn’t. And they aren’t going to see him as some kind of object either. Quality destroys objectivity every time.

Of course, all these quotes are not my own and come from the books author Robert Pirsig.

You can pick up the book here. 

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