a calling

Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air

"Neurosurgery is really hard work, and no one would have faulted me for not going back.  (People often ask if it is a calling, and my answer is always yes.  You can't see it as a job, because if it's a job, it's one of the worst jobs there is.)"

"the physician's duty is not to stave off death or return patients to their old lives, but to take into our arms a patient and family whose lives have disintegrated and work until they can stand back up and face, and make sense of, their own existence."

"don't wait for anything"

Ira Glass, "I'm Ira Glass, Host of This American Life, and This Is How I Work," Lifehacker.com, 23 July 2014

"What's your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?

I've got nothing. Reading other people's answers to this question on your website today made me realize I live my life like an ape. I eat the same breakfast and lunch everyday, both at my desk."

"We're also big users of Google Calendar at the radio show. The desktop interface for that is good but the Google Calendar iPhone app is just fucking annoying and really should go to hell. Here are two annoying things it does: 1) Every day (and after every time you close the app) it asks you to log in again with your name and password, which is a pain in the ass. 2) After you log in, a little blue box appears saying "Install this web app on your Phone: tap on the arrow and then 'Add to Home Screen'" which irritates me because the app should know that it already IS on my home screen. It already is on my iPhone. Where does it think it's living? Anyway, after a couple of years of getting mad every time it asked me this, I finally decided this was unnecessary anger to have in my life and switched to the iCal app that comes with the iPhone."

"I also find that somehow, the way I'm built, the hardest part of my job is simply to shift from one task to the next. The new task is like icy water you have to dive into. The old task is a warm bath. It's especially hard when I know the new task is going to be really difficult, as half of them are. I always have to brace myself."

"Is there anything else you'd like to add that might be interesting to readers/fans?

I'd just say to aspiring journalists or writers—who I meet a lot of—do it now. Don't wait for permission to make something that's interesting or amusing to you. Just do it now. Don't wait. Find a story idea, start making it, give yourself a deadline, show it to people who'll give you notes to make it better. Don't wait till you're older, or in some better job than you have now. Don't wait for anything. Don't wait till some magical story idea drops into your lap. That's not where ideas come from. Go looking for an idea and it'll show up. Begin now. Be a fucking soldier about it and be tough."