This Is Fun (and wise as well)
How to live a good life? Kevin Kelly this week offered 103 bits of advice on the occasion of his 70th birthday.
Kelly is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, the former editor of the Whole Earth Review, and also the co-founder of the All Species Foundation, a non-profit organization aimed at cataloging and identifying every living species on Earth.
Among his unsolicited advice.
• About 99% of the time, the right time is right now.
• Don’t ever work for someone you don’t want to become.
• Cultivate 12 people who love you, because they are worth more than 12 million people who like you.
• If you stop to listen to a musician or street performer for more than a minute, you owe them a dollar.
• Anything you say before the word “but” does not count.
• Courtesy costs nothing. Lower the toilet seat after use. Let the people in the elevator exit before you enter. Return shopping carts to their designated areas. When you borrow something, return it in better shape (filled up, cleaned) than when you got it.
• Whenever there is an argument between two sides, find the third side.
• Efficiency is highly overrated; goofing off is highly underrated. Regularly scheduled sabbaths, sabbaticals, vacations, breaks, aimless walks and time off are essential for top performance of any kind. The best work ethic requires a good rest ethic.
• When you lead, your real job is to create more leaders, not more followers.
• Criticize in private, praise in public.
• If winning becomes too important in a game, change the rules to make it more fun. Changing rules can become the new game.
• Immediately pay what you owe to vendors, workers, contractors. They will go out of their way to work with you first next time.
• The biggest lie we tell ourselves is “I don’t need to write this down because I will remember it.”
• Your growth as a conscious being is measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations you are willing to have.
• Speak confidently as if you are right, but listen carefully as if you are wrong.
• Handy measure: the distance between your fingertips of your outstretched arms at shoulder level is your height.
• Never ask a woman if she is pregnant. Let her tell you if she is.
• Three things you need: The ability to not give up something till it works, the ability to give up something that does not work, and the trust in other people to help you distinguish between the two.
• You’ll get 10x better results by elevating good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior, especially in children and animals.
• Spend as much time crafting the subject line of an email as the message itself because the subject line is often the only thing people read.
* The chief prevention against getting old is to remain astonished.