You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.

Excerpt from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

I began to draw an invisible boundary between me and other people. No matter who I was dealing with. I maintained a set distance, carefully monitoring the person’s attitude so that they wouldn’t get any closer. I didn’t easily swallow what other people told me. My only passions were books and music.

Excerpt from Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

We are what we love to read, and when we admit to loving a book, we admit that the book represents some aspects of ourselves truly, whether it is that we are suckers for romance or pining for adventure or secretly fascinated by crime.

— Nina Sankovitch, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading—

If you are interested in anything, you will focus on it, and if you focus attention on anything, it is likely that you will become interested in it. Many of things we find interesting are not so by nature, but because we took the trouble of paying attention to them.

― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life―