“Most people think in zero-sum terms: that a person can gain only by causing others to lose. Bullies actually enjoy making others lose. But a few of us believe in win-win: that we can gain by helping others to gain. Allies enjoy making others win.”
Slowly, the boy uncovered his face.
“Nothing is too rich for your blood. Nothing. The goal you have just set for yourself is to rise above the station into which you were born. It is the same goal I set for myself when I was your age. I achieved that goal. So will you.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because you want to try.”
“I don’t even know where to begin.”
“That’s my job.”
“As you approached my door last week, you were successfully asking that question. Without giving information, you gathered information. We did not see you, or hear your footsteps. Even when you panicked, your training led you out of danger.”
“That makes me sound like some kind of secret agent.”
“No, just a man in control of himself and his surroundings.”
“Imagine the power a person would accumulate who listened and did not talk."
“Do you want to use this power to destroy your bully, or to save him?"
"What’s going to happen?"
"I don’t know. I can only tell you how it’s going to begin."
"...at least up to a point. If you pay attention, you can frequently anticipate where their thoughts are going. Then you can get ahead of them. It is an inexact science, though."
“A central tenet in stage magic is the laying of groundwork. A magician is not simply a step or four ahead of his audience; his actions are a step or four ahead of his words. He doesn’t tell you what he’s about to do until he has already long since done it.”
“At every moment of decision, there is always a most noble choice. That choice is rarely the one which does you the most immediate good. In fact, that choice very often brings you trouble. But you’ll know the most noble choice when you see it. It will be the one which, after you choose it, will let you like the person you see in the mirror the next day.”