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Some Useful Bits of Unsolicited Advice

When Kevin Kelly celebrated his 68th birthday, he gifted his children 68 bits of advice he wished he had known when he was their age.

Excellent Advice for Living by Kevin Kelly
Excellent Advice for Living | @kevin2kelly on X

Every birthday after that he added more bits of advice for them until he had a whole book of bits. That book was published a year ago as Excellent Advice for Living. But he's still adding to his list! Here's some more bits of Kevin Kelly's unsolicited bits of advice (that don't appear in his pocket-sized book)...

Forget trying to decide what your life’s destiny is. That’s too grand. Instead, just figure out what you should do in the next 2 years.

Whenever you hug someone, be the last to let go.

Don’t save up the good stuff (fancy wine, or china) for that rare occasion that will never happen; instead use them whenever you can.

Never hesitate to invest in yourself—to pay for a class, a course, a new skill. These modest expenditures pay outsized dividends.

Read a lot of history so you can understand how weird the past was; that way you will be comfortable with how weird the future will be.

To make a room luxurious, remove things, rather than add things.

If you think someone is normal, you don’t know them very well. Normalcy is a fiction. Your job is to discover their weird genius.

Asking “what-if?” about your past is a waste of time; asking “what-if?” about your future is tremendously productive.

Never accept a work meeting until you’ve seen the agenda and know what decisions need to be made. If no decisions need to be made, skip the meeting.

There should be at least one thing in your life you enjoy despite being no good at it. This is your play time, which will keep you young. Never apologize for it.

You have 5 minutes to act on a new idea before it disappears from your mind.

Three situations where you’ll never regret ordering too much: when you are pouring concrete, when you are choosing a battery, and when you are getting ice for a party.

Don’t fear failure. Fear average.

There is a profound difference between thinking less of yourself (not useful), and thinking of yourself less (better).

Strong opinions, clearly stated, but loosely held is the recipe for an intellectual life. Always ask yourself: what would change my mind?

Avoid making any kind of important decision when you are either hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (HALT). Just halt when you are HALT.

If you are out of ideas, go for a walk. A good walk empties the mind - and then refills it with new stuff.


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