#53 - 103 Advice I Wished I had known
I “met” a 70 years old man earlier in the week. He had a practice of writing things he wished he’d known on all of his birthdays. 70 being a significant year for him, chose to collate all the advice and add to them also.
What do you think a 70 years old man would have to say that will be useful to you? Me, a lot. I have lived all my life seeking all opportunities I can get to leave from those who have gone ahead of me. And if you think I, less than 30 have something useful to say, definitely a man of 70 has some more to say.
I went through all the 103 bits of advice and this 20 stood out for me. I will encourage you to go through the entire list on your own because what will stand out to you may be different.
About 99% of the time, the right time is right now.
Cultivate 12 people who love you, because they are worth more than 12 million people who like you.
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.
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.
Criticize in private, praise in public.
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.” Take notes compulsively.
Speak confidently as if you are right, but listen carefully as if you are wrong.
The consistency of your endeavors (exercise, companionship, work) is more important than the quantity. Nothing beats small things done every day, which is way more important than what you do occasionally.
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.
Ask anyone you admire: Their lucky breaks happened on a detour from their main goal. So embrace detours. Life is not a straight line for anyone.
Half the skill of being educated is learning what you can ignore.
The advantage of a ridiculously ambitious goal is that it sets the bar very high so even in failure, it may be a success measured by the ordinary.
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 ten years. A long game will compound small gains to overcome even big mistakes.
Buy used books. They have the same words as the new ones. Also libraries. 90% of the books I bought since I got to the UK are used.
Actual great opportunities do not have “Great Opportunities” in the subject line.
Habit is far more dependable than inspiration. Make progress by making habits. Don't focus on getting into shape. Focus on becoming the kind of person who never misses a workout.
Focus on directions rather than destinations. Who knows their destiny? But maintain the right direction and you’ll arrive at where you want to go..
The chief prevention against getting old is to remain astonished.
Idea To Challenge Your Mind
The FEYNMAN technique of learning:
STEP 1 - Pick and study a topic
STEP 2 - Explain the topic to someone, like a child, who is unfamiliar with the topic
STEP 3 - Identify any gaps in your understanding
STEP 4 - Review and Simplify! 🧠
Things I am exploring right now
I wrote a thread on Twitter about investing - read the timely thread here.
I shared a short read on LinkedIn about books that I think everyone should know about. Link to it here.
Here's of my life guiding principles:
"Take a simple idea and take it seriously" - Charlie Munger.
Here's a simple idea I've taken seriously over the years:
"If we commit ourselves to reading thus increasing our knowledge, only God limits how far we can go in this world." - Ben Carson