The Technium: 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice

Via Chris O’Donnell, Kevin Kelly shares 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice for his 68th birthday. Some gems:

• Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points.

• 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.

• Gratitude will unlock all other virtues and is something you can get better at.

• Reading to your children regularly will bond you together and kickstart their imaginations.

• Pros are just amateurs who know how to gracefully recover from their mistakes.

• Don’t be the smartest person in the room. Hangout with, and learn from, people smarter than yourself. Even better, find smart people who will disagree with you.

• Trust me: There is no “them”.

• Optimize your generosity. No one on their deathbed has ever regretted giving too much away.

• The Golden Rule will never fail you. It is the foundation of all other virtues.

• 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, not how you vote, but what you spend your time on.

• When you die you take absolutely nothing with you except your reputation.

• When crisis and disaster strike, don’t waste them. No problems, no progress.

• How to apologize: Quickly, specifically, sincerely.

• Don’t ever respond to a solicitation or a proposal on the phone. The urgency is a disguise.

• The universe is conspiring behind your back to make you a success. This will be much easier to do if you embrace this pronoia.

The full list is worth a read and consideration. Keeping a list of advice and pointers sounds like a fun exercise…

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