Want some advice about how to be more successful?
Kevin Kelly, the founding editor of Wired, turned 68 and shared 68 bits of unsolicited advice.
Now that's a great idea, and something on my try when I turn 68, but that’s quite some time off, so in the meantime here is the number of great points from his list which resonated with me.
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- There is no limit to better. Talent is distributed unfairly, but there is no limit on how much we can improve what we start with.
- Don’t be the smartest person in the room. Hang out with, and learn from, people smarter than yourself. Even better, find smart people who will disagree with you.
- Pros are just amateurs who know how to gracefully recover from their mistakes
- Learn how to learn from those you disagree with or even offend you. See if you can find the truth in what they believe.
- Don’t be afraid to ask a question that may sound stupid because 99% of the time everyone else is thinking of the same question and is too embarrassed to ask it.
- A worthy goal for a year is to learn enough about a subject so that you can’t believe how ignorant you were a year earlier.
- Reading to your children regularly will bond you together and kickstart their imaginations.
- 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.
- The purpose of a habit is to remove that action from self-negotiation. You no longer expend energy deciding whether to do it. You just do it. Good habits can range from telling the truth, to flossing.
- The more you are interested in others, the more interesting they find you. To be interesting, be interested.
- To make something good, just do it. To make something great, just re-do it, re-do it, re-do it. The secret to making fine things is in remaking them.
- To make mistakes is human. To own your mistakes is divine. Nothing elevates a person higher than quickly admitting and taking personal responsibility for the mistakes you make and then fixing them fairly. If you mess up, fess up. It’s astounding how powerful this own.
- If you are not falling down occasionally, you are just coasting.
- Perhaps the most counter-intuitive truth of the universe is that the more you give to others, the more you’ll get. Understanding this is the beginning of wisdom.
- 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, but what you spend your time on.
- When you die you take absolutely nothing with you except your reputation.
- Anything real begins with the fiction of what could be. Imagination is therefore the most potent force in the universe, and a skill you can get better at. It’s the one skill in life that benefits from ignoring what everyone else knows.
- When crisis and disaster strike, don’t waste them. No problems, no progress.
- Acquiring things will rarely bring you deep satisfaction. But acquiring experiences will
- How to apologise: Quickly, specifically, sincerely.
- You really don’t want to be famous. Read the biography of any famous person.
- I’m positive that in 100 years much of what I take to be true today will be proved to be wrong, maybe even embarrassingly wrong, and I try really hard to identify what it is that I am wrong about today.
- Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists. To be an optimist you don’t have to ignore all the many problems we create; you just have to imagine improving our capacity to solve problems.
- The universe is conspiring behind your back to make you a success. This will be much easier to do if you embrace this pronoia.
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