Author: Kevin KellyAffiliate Link
Key takeaways from short pieces advice Kevin Kelly has collected over decades. I've turned those into different categories of advice that has resonated with me.
Highlighted Pieces of Advice
The following are key pieces of advice that I took something away with. I’ve reogranized the following pieces of advice by category.
- You can’t reason someone out of a notion that they didn’t reason themselves into.
- Treating a person to a meal never fails and is so easy to do. It’s powerful with old friends and a great way to make new friends.
- Forgiveness is accepting the apology you will never get.
- Nothing elevates a person higher than taking responsibility for their mistakes. If you mess up, fess up. It’s astounding how powerful this ownership is.
- Be more generous than necessary. No one on their deathbed has ever regretted giving too much away. There is no point to being the richest person in the cemetery.
- Life gets better as you replace transactions with relationships.
- When you are young have friends who are older; when you are old have friends who are younger.
- Anger is not the proper response to anger. When you see someone angry you are seeing their pain. Compassion is the proper response to anger.
- A proper apology consists of conveying the 3 Rs: regret (genuine empathy with the other) responsibility (not blaming someone else) and remedy (your willingness to fix it).
Work and Profession
- If you ask to be hired mainly because you need a job you are just another problem for the boss; if you can solve many of the problems the boss has right now you are hired. To be hired, think like your boss.
- Experience is overrated. Most breakthrough accomplishments were done by people doing them for the first time. Therefore when hiring hire for aptitude and attitude and then train for skills.
- Don’t let someone else’s urgency become your emergency. In fact, don’t be governed by the urgent of any sort. Focus on the important. The urgent is a tyrant. The important should be your king. Down with the tyranny of the urgent!
- The work on any worthy project is endless, infinite. You cannot limit the work so you must limit your hours. Your time, not the work is the only thing you can manage.
- To succeed, get other people to pay you; to become wealthy, help other people to succeed.
- Don’t aim for better ways to get through your tasks as quickly as possible. Instead aim for better tasks that you never want to stop doing.
- Your best job will be one that you were unqualified for because it stretches you. In fact, only apply to jobs you are unqualified for.
- Looking ahead, focus on direction rather than destinations. Maintain the right direction and you’ll arrive at where you want to go.
- If you want something to get done ask a busy person to do it.
- It’s unfortunate when someone you carefully trained leaves; but it is worse if you don’t train them and they stay.
- If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go further, go together.
- We lack rites of passage. Create a memorable family ceremony when your child reaches legal adulthood between eighteen and twenty-one. This moment will become a significant touchstone in their life.
- For marital bliss take turns allowing each partner to be always right.
- When a child asks an endless string of “Why?” questions, the smartest reply is “I don’t know, what do you think?”
- You’ll get 10 times better results by elevating good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior especially in children and animals.
- The very best thing you can do for your kids is to love your spouse.
- Let your children choose their punishments. They’ll be tougher than you will.
- Instead of asking your child what they learned today, ask them who they helped today.
Health and Self-Care
- Movement plus variety equals health.
- 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.
- You don’t need more time because you already have all the time that you will ever get; you need more focus.
- If you can’t tell what you desperately need it’s probably sleep.
- We are not a body that carries a soul. We are a soul that is assigned a body not of our choosing, but in our care.
- A superpower worth cultivating is learning from people you don’t like. It is called “humility.” This is the courage to let dumb, stupid, hateful, crazy, mean people teach you something because despite their character flaws they each know something you don’t.
- Be extremely stingy in making promises because you must be generous in keeping them.
- Draw to discover what you see. Write to discover what you think.
- Separate the processes of creating from improving. You can’t write and edit or sculpt and polish or make and analyze at the same time. If you do, the editor stops the creator. While you invent, don’t select. While you sketch, don’t inspect. While you write the first draft, don’t reflect. At the start, the creator mind must be unleashed from judgment.
- Following your bliss is a recipe for paralysis if you don’t know what you are passionate about. A better path for most youth is “master something.” Through mastery of one thing you’ll command a viewpoint to steadily find where your bliss is.
- Superheroes and saints never make art. Only imperfect beings can make art because art begins in what is broken.
- A multitude of bad ideas is necessary for one good idea.
- To transcend the influence of your heroes copy them shamelessly like a student until you get them out of your system. That is the way of all masters.
- About 99% of the time the right time is right now.
- The main reason to produce something every day is that you must throw away a lot of good work to reach the great stuff. To let it all go easily you need to be convinced that there is “more where that came from.” You get that in steady production.
- Learn how to tie a bowline knot. Practice in the dark. With one hand. For the rest of your life you’ll use this knot more times than you would ever believe.
- Always read the plaque next to the monument.
- 90% of everything is crap. If you think you don’t like opera, romance novels, TikTok, country music, vegan food NFTs, keep trying to see if you can find the 10% that is not crap.
- To get your message across follow this formula used by ad writers everywhere: simplify, simplify, simplify, then exaggerate.
- We are unconsciously distracted by seeing our reflection. You can alleviate a lot of the fatigue of teleconferencing all day if you turn off your self-view.
- On the dashboard of every gasoline car is a symbol of gas pump with a little arrow. The arrow points to the side of the car that accesses your gas tank. Remember this when you borrow or rent a car.