1. Although many people think that the luxuries and conveniences of contemporary life are entirely harmless, they in fact, prevent people from developing into truly strong and independent individuals.
2. Public figures such as actors, politicians, and athletes should expect people to be interested in their private lives. When they seek a public role, they should expect that they will lose at least some of their privacy.
3. Creating an appealing image has become more important in contemporary society than is the reality or truth behind that image.
4. The concept of ‘individual responsibility’ is a necessary fiction. Although societies must hold individuals accountable for their own actions, people’s behavior is largely determined by forces not of their own making.
5. People work more productively in teams than individually. Teamwork requires cooperation, which motivates people much more than individual competition does.
6. In any realm of life-whether academic, social, business, or political—the only way to succeed is to take a practical, rather than an idealistic, point of vies. Pragmatic behavior guarantees survival, whereas idealistic views tend to be superceded by simpler, more immediate options.
7. It is primarily through our identification with social groups that we define ourselves.
8. Only through mistakes can there be discovery or progress.
9. Most people recognize the benefits of individuality, but the fact is that personal economic success requires conformity.
10. People who are the most deeply committed to an idea or policy are the most critical of it.
11. No amount of information can eliminate prejudice because prejudice is rooted in emotion, not reason.
12. The most essential quality of an effective leader is the ability to remain consistently committed in particular principles and objectives. Any leader who is quickly and easily influenced by shifts in popular opinion will accomplish little.
13. Sometimes imagination is a more valuable asset than experience. People who lack experience are free to imagine what is possible and thus can approach a task without constraints of established habits and attitudes.
14. In any given field, the leading voices come from people who are motivated not by conviction but by the desire to present opinions and ideas that differ from those held by the majority.
15. It is always an individual who is the impetus for innovation; the details may be worked out by a team, but true innovation results from the enterprise and unique perception of an individual.
16. Success, whether academic or professional, involves an ability to survive in a new environment and--, eventually, --to change it.
17. Most people choose a career on the basis of such pragmatic considerations as the needs of the economy, the relative ease of finding a job, and the salary they can expect to make. Hardly anyone is free to choose a career based on his or her natural talents or interest in a particular kind of work.
18. If a goal is worthy, then any means taken to attain it is justifiable.
19. People often look for similarities, even between very different things, and even when it is unhelpful or harmful to do so. Instead, a thing should be considered on its own terms, we should avoid the tendency to compare it to something else.
20. People are mistaken when they assume that the problems they confront are more complex and challenging than the problems, faced by their predecessors. Thus illusion is eventually dispelled with increased knowledge and experience.
21. Moderation in all things is ill-considered advice. Rather, one should say, ‘Moderations is most things,’ since many areas of human concern require or at least profit from intense focus.
22. Most people are taught that loyalty is a virtue. But loyalty—whether to one’s friends, to one’s school or place of employment, or to any institution—is all too often a destructive rather than a positive force.