You don't train someone for all of those years of medical school and residency, particularly people who want to help others optimize their physical and psychological health, and then have them run a claims-processing operation for insurance companies.

The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct.

Take the great example of the four-minute mile. One guy breaks it, then all of a sudden everyone breaks it. And they break it in such a short period of time that it can't be because they were training harder. It's purely that it was a psychological barrier, and someone had to show them that they could do it.

Does that mean we should give up? Probably. But there are two issues worth considering. The first is - is it really true that drugs destroy the integrity of the game?

I never had those dreams of making the Olympics. Never.

The paradox of endurance sports is that an athlete can never work as hard as he wants, because if he pushes himself too far, his hematocrit will fall.

If you go to an elite school where the other students in your class are all really brilliant, you run the risk of mistakenly believing yourself to not be a good student.

A runner needs not just to be skinny but - more specifically - to have skinny calves and ankles, because every extra pound carried on your extremities costs more than a pound carried on your torso. That's why shaving even a few ounces off a pair of running shoes can have a significant effect.

The injunction to be nice is used to deflect criticism and stifle the legitimate anger of dissent.

There will be statues of Bill Gates across the Third World. There's a reasonable shot that - because of his money - we will cure malaria.

We used to say poor people had lousy genes. Then we decided that wasn't OK, but we transferred the prejudice to upbringing. We said, 'You were neglected as a child, so you'll never make it.' That's just as pernicious.

I'm a lot more interested in people than I used to be. I used to be most interested in abstract ideas, and people were an afterthought, but that's changed a bit.

The most influential thinker, in my life, has been the psychologist Richard Nisbett. He basically gave me my view of the world.

Age-class running, as you know, is completely unreliable. It's based on this artificial thing, which is that people who are the same age have the same level of physical maturity. Which just isn't true.

If you're smarter than me, you shouldn't be reading my books.

We all assume that if you're weak and poor, you're never going to win. In fact, the real world is full of examples where the exact opposite happens, where the weak win and the strong screw up.

Many people with dyslexia truly suffer, and their lives are worse off for having had that disability.

I am a story-teller, and I look to academic research... for ways of augmenting story-telling.

Do you remember the wrestler Andre the Giant? Famous. He had acromegaly.

I grew up in southwestern Ontario in the heart of a Mennonite community. All my family are part of the Mennonite church.

When I go to my health club, and it's in the basement, you have to take the elevator down. And this drives me crazy. Why can't there be a stairway? At least make it as easy to exercise as it is to not exercise. It's in society's interest for me to take the stairs.

A lot of what is most beautiful about the world arises from struggle.

I don't golf. I've never golfed. I will never golf.

If you're skinny and you can't play hockey in Canada, you aren't left with a lot of options. I was left with running.

All my books are optimistic!

The willingness to be self-critical in England is much greater than the willingness to be self-critical in America.

My mother read me biblical stories at night.

I don't understand, given the constraints physicians have in doing their job and the paperwork demanded of them, why people want to be physicians. I think we've made it very, very difficult for them to perform their job. I think that's a shame.

If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.

You think it matters to the kids whether they're learning to play on a Steinway or a normal piano?

If you think advantage lies in resources, then you think the best educational system is the one that spends the most money.

You don't want to be first, right? You want to be second or third. You don't want to be - Facebook is not the first in social media. They're the third, right? Similarly, you know, if you look at Steve Jobs' history, he's never been first.

You walk into the class in second grade. You can't read. What are you going to do if you're going to make it? You identify the smart kid. You make friends with him. You sit next to him. You grow a team around you. You delegate your work to others. You learn how to talk your way out of a tight spot.

If my books appear to a reader to be oversimplified, then you shouldn't read them: You're not the audience!

In cross-country skiing, athletes propel themselves over distances of ten and twenty miles - a physical challenge that places intense demands on the ability of their red blood cells to deliver oxygen to their muscles.

Mainstream American society finds it easiest to be tolerant when the outsider chooses to minimize the differences that separate him from the majority. The country club opens its doors to Jews. The university welcomes African-Americans. Heterosexuals extend the privilege of marriage to the gay community.

My rule is that if I interview someone, they should never read what I have to say about them and regret having given me the interview.

An incredibly high percentage of successful entrepreneurs are dyslexic. That's one of the little-known facts.

Books about spies and traitors - and the congressional hearings that follow the exposure of traitors - generally assume that false-negative errors are much worse than false-positive errors.

For some small number of people, a parental loss appears to be, ultimately, a desirable difficulty - again, not a large number.

In my mid-adolescence, my friend Terry Martin and I became obsessed with William F. Buckley. This makes more sense when you realize that we were living in Bible Belt farming country miles from civilization. Buckley seemed impossibly exotic.

People in great institutions are occasionally credulous.

That term, 'David and Goliath,' has entered our language as a metaphor for improbable victories by some weak party over someone far stronger.

Once you understand that Goliath is much weaker than you think he is, and David has superior technology, then you say: why do we tell the story the way we do? It becomes, actually, a far more meaningful and important story in its retelling than in the kind of unsophisticated way we've done it for, I think, too long.

We should be firing bad teachers.

The two contemporary writers whom I consider as role models are Janet Malcolm and Michael Lewis.

We aren't, as human beings, very good at acting in our best interest.

Of the great entrepreneurs of this era, people will have forgotten Steve Jobs.

What do we tell our children? Haste makes waste. Look before you leap. Stop and think. Don't judge a book by its cover. We believe that we are always better off gathering as much information as possible and spending as much time as possible in deliberation.