5 June 2023

Excellent Advice for Living, Wisdom I Wish I'd Known Earlier – Kevin Kelly

When you are anxious because of your to-do list, take comfort in your have-done list.

Treating a person to a meal never fails and is so easy to do. It’s powerful with old friends and a great way to make new friends.

The best way to learn anything is to try to teach what you know.

Whenever you have a choice between being right or being kind, be kind. No exceptions. Don’t confuse kindness with weakness.

Recipe for greatness: Become just a teeny bit better than you were last year. Repeat every year.

Everyone is shy. Other people are waiting for you to introduce yourself to them; they are waiting for you to send them an email; they are waiting for you to ask them on a date. Go ahead.

Don’t take it personally when someone turns you down. Assume they are like you: busy, occupied, distracted. Try again later. It’s amazing how often a second try works.

If you ask for someone’s feedback you’ll get a critic. But if instead you ask for advice you’ll get a partner.

At first, buy the absolute cheapest tools you can find. Upgrade the ones you use a lot. If you wind up using some tool for a job buy the very best you can afford.

Shorten your to-do list by asking yourself “What is the worst that will happen if this does not get done?” Eliminate all but the disasters.

“No” is an acceptable answer even without a reason.

Friends are better than money. Almost anything money can do friends can do better. In so many ways, a friend with a boat is better than owning a boat.

You are what you do. Not what you say, not what you believe, not how you vote but what you spend your time on.

When someone is nasty, hateful, or mean toward you, treat their behavior like an affliction or illness they have. That makes it easier to have empathy toward them which can soften the conflict.

Following your bliss is a recipe for paralysis if you don’t know what you are passionate about. A better path for most youth is “master something.” Through mastery of one thing you’ll command a viewpoint to steadily find where your bliss is.

Life gets better as you replace transactions with relationships.

If you are not embarrassed by your past self you have probably not grown up yet.

Outlaw the word “you” during domestic arguments.

Train employees well enough that they could get another job but treat them well enough that they never want to.

Learn how to tie a bowline knot. Practice in the dark. With one hand. For the rest of your life you’ll use this knot more times than you would ever believe.

On the way to a grand goal celebrate the smallest victories as if each one were the final goal. That way, no matter where it ends, you are victorious.

You don’t need more time because you already have all the time that you will ever get; you need more focus.

Everyone’s time is finite and shrinking. The highest leverage you can get with your money is to buy someone else’s time. Hire and outsource when you can.

Be strict with yourself, forgiving of others. The reverse is hell for everyone.

If you can avoid seeking the approval of others your power is limitless.

When you are young, have friends who are older; when you are old, have friends who are younger.

You are only as young as the last time you changed your mind.

You’ll learn a lot more if you ask people, “how are you sleeping?” instead of “how are you doing?”

You can reduce the annoyance of someone’s stupid belief by increasing your understanding of why they believe it.

All the greatest prizes in life in wealth, relationships, or knowledge come from the magic of compounding interest by amplifying small steady gains. All you need for abundance is to keep adding 1% more than you subtract on a regular basis.

Bad things can happen fast but almost all good things happen slowly.

If your goal does not have a schedule, it is a dream.

People can’t remember more than three points from a speech.

To succeed, get other people to pay you; to become wealthy, help other people to succeed.

A problem that can easily be solved with money is not really a problem because its solution is obvious.

Focus on problems with non-obvious solutions.

Cultivate an allergy to average.

To combat an adversary become their friend.

You don’t marry a person, you marry a family.

Be nice to your children because they are going to choose your nursing home.

About 99% of the time the right time is right now.

Dance with your hips.

Don’t ever work for someone you don’t want to become.

You have to first follow the rules with diligence in order to break them productively.

Learning probability and statistics is far more useful than learning algebra and calculus.

The greatest teacher is called “doing.”

Anything you say before the word “but” does not count.

Speak confidently as if you are right but listen carefully as if you are wrong.

Your enjoyment of travel is inversely proportional to the size of your luggage. This is 100% true of backpacking. It is liberating to realize how little you really need.

Ask funders for money and they’ll give you advice; but ask for advice and they’ll give you money.

The biggest lie we tell ourselves is “I don’t need to write this down because I will remember it.”

Don’t keep making the same mistakes; try to make new mistakes.

The four most powerful words in any negotiation should be uttered by you: “Can you do better?”

Learn how to be alone without being lonely. Solitude is essential for creativity.

When you feel like quitting just do five more: 5 more minutes, 5 more pages, 5 more steps. Then repeat. Sometimes you can break through and keep going but even if you can’t, you ended five ahead. Tell yourself that you will quit tomorrow but not today.

To be rich you don’t need to make more money; you chiefly need to better manage the money already flowing through your hands.

You’ll get 10 times better results by elevating good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior especially in children and animals.

If you’re doing something that you are hiding from others it’s probably not good for you.

Make others feel they are important; it will make their day and it will make your day.

You will be judged on how well you treat those who can do nothing for you.

We tend to overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can achieve in a decade. Miraculous things can be accomplished if you give it 10 years. A long game will compound small gains that will be able to overcome even big mistakes.

Let someone know you remembered their name and they won’t ever forget yours. To help remember their name, repeat it on first hearing.

It’s thrilling to be extremely polite to rude strangers.

For the best results with your children spend only half the money you think you should but double the time with them.

Purchase the most recent tourist guidebook to your hometown or region. You’ll learn a lot by playing the tourist once a year.

When you are stuck, explain your problem to others. Often simply laying out a problem will present a solution. Make “explaining the problem” part of your troubleshooting process.

Copying others is a good way to start. Copying yourself is a disappointing way to end.

You can really change someone’s life for the better simply by offering words of encouragement.

A superpower worth cultivating is learning from people you don’t like. It is called “humility.” This is the courage to let dumb, stupid, hateful, crazy, mean people teach you something because despite their character flaws, they each know something you don’t.

When sharing, one person divides the other chooses.

It is easy to get trapped by your own success. Say no to tasks you probably won’t fail at and say yes to what you could fail at.

Unhappiness comes from wanting what others have. Happiness comes from wanting what you already have.

To get your message across follow this formula used by ad writers everywhere: simplify, simplify, simplify, then exaggerate.

Five years from now you will wish you had started today.

Let your children choose their punishments. They’ll be tougher than you will.

Fully embrace “What is the worst that can happen?” at each juncture in life. Rehearsing your response to the “worst” can reveal it as an adventure and rob it of its power to stall you.

When you find something you really enjoy, do it slowly.

Trust the 3-star product reviews because they tell both the good and the bad, which is the real state for most things.

First, always ask for what you want. Works in relationships, business, life.

Even if you don’t say anything, if you listen carefully people will consider you a great conversationalist.

You will spend one third of your life in your bed sleeping, and almost another third in your chair sitting. It’s worth investing in a great bed and fantastic chair.

Your best teacher is your last mistake.

Instead of asking your child what they learned today, ask them who they helped today.

The greatest killer of happiness is comparison. If you must compare, compare yourself to you yesterday.

To speed a meeting up, require that any person who speaks must say something no one else in the room knows.

If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go further, go together.

Your best photo portrait will be taken not while you are smiling but when you are quiet a moment after you have been laughing. Use a photographer who makes you laugh.

Aim to die broke. Give to your beneficiaries before you die; it’s more fun and useful to them.

Spend it all. Your last check should go to the funeral home and it should bounce.

The chief prevention against getting old is to remain astonished.

Very few regrets in life are about what you did. Almost all are about what you didn’t do.