here is another one in the series Wise words:

a nice quote from Paul Halmos , which illustrates the principles expounded in texts such as the Gita but with a crucial difference:

“I think an automobile transmission mechanic should try to be the best automobile transmission mechanic he has the talent to be, and butlers, college presidents, shoe salesmen, and hod-carriers should aim for perfection in their profession. Try to rise, improve conditions if you can, change professions if you must, but as long as you are a hod carrier, keep carrying those hods; if you set out to be a mathematician, you must learn the profession, every part of it, and then work at it, profess it, live it as best as you can. if you keep asking “what’s there in it for me?” you’re in the wrong business. If you’re looking for comfort, money, fame and glory, you probably won’t get them, but if you keep trying to be a mathematician, you might.”

the crucial point of this is : CHANGE PROFESSIONS IF YOU MUST; and philosophically perhaps at the end: the fame, money etc etc dont matter so much anymore as your focus is on being a mathematician;

Advertisements