"Life isn't a game that has a final score. Nor a riddle that has an answer. Nor a mountain that has a summit."
"Life is an endless unfolding, and if we wish it to be, an endless process of self-discovery, an endless and unpredictable dialogue between our own potentialities and the life situations in which we find ourselves."
(Gardner, “Personal Renewal” p51）
"[W]e want meaning in our lives."
"You have to build meaning in your life, and you build it through your commitments."
"You may commit yourself to strive for certain achievements or you may commit yourself to a way of being. There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are. It matters very little whether they're behind the wheel of a truck or running a corporation or bringing up a family."
(Gardner, “Personal Renewal” pp47-48. For "There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are," see http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/joss_essay.html）
Then, how do you want to be?
Is it discipline, unselfishness, courage, optimism, chivalry, hope, never give-up, respect, trust, humility, loyalty or something else?
Shackleton: "Some people say it is wrong to regard life as a game; I don't think so"
"Life to me means the greatest of all games. The danger lies in treating it as a trivial game, a game to be taken lightly, and a game in which the rules don't matter much. The rules matter a great deal. The game has to be played fairly, or it is no game at all. And even to win the game is not the chief end. The chief end is to win it honorably and splendidly. To this chief end several things are necessary. Loyalty is one. Discipline is another. Unselfishness is another. Courage is another. Optimism is another. And Chivalry is another."
"The only message I can think of for your boys is: in trouble, danger, and disappointment never give up hope. The worst can always be got over."
(Morrell & Capparell, Shackleton’s Way, Viking (2001) pp. 209-211)
Robert Joss: "...you’ll learn that it’s not about power or fame or fortune, but about the immense satisfaction that comes from moving an organization in the right direction. You’ll have to take responsibility, assess the onslaught of data and opinions available to you, set a strategy, and keep your organization on course. You’ll also have to earn the respect and trust of your employees so that they follow your lead. And, you’ll have to work to retain your humility, your ethical vigilance, and your sense of purpose. As you prepare for your second year at the GSB, think about what more you can learn in order to better prepare yourselves for this exciting and significant challenge. "
(Robert Joss, former dean of Stanford GSB)
Gardner: "Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice for something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure--as the world measures success or failure--is of less account."
(Gardner, “Personal Renewal” p53）