Kevin Kelly's Best Advice

I have never met a person I admired who did not read more books than I did.

Kevin Kelly's Best Advice
Source: Ted.com
  1. No one is as impressed with your possessions as you are.
  2. Don't ever work for someone you dont want to become.
  3. I have never met a person I admired who did not read more books than I did.
  4. Cultivate 12 people who love you, because they are worth more than 12 million people who like you.
  5. 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.
  6. Whenever there is an argument between two sides, find the third side.
  7. 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.
  8. It is the duty of a student to get everything out of a teacher, and the duty of a teacher to get everything out of a student.
  9. Ask funders for money, and they’ll give you advice; but ask for advice and they’ll give you money.
  10. The biggest lie we tell ourselves is “I dont need to write this down because I will remember it.”
  11. Speak confidently as if you are right, but listen carefully as if you are wrong.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. When checking references for a job applicant, employers may be reluctant or prohibited from saying anything negative, so leave or send a message that says, “Get back to me if you highly recommend this applicant as super great.” If they don’t reply take that as a negative.
  16. Half the skill of being educated is learning what you can ignore.
  17. Denying or deflecting a compliment is rude. Accept it with thanks, even if you believe it is not deserved.
  18. You cannot get smart people to work extremely hard just for money.
  19. 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.
  20. You can't reason someone out of a notion that they didn’t reason themselves into.
  21. 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.
  22. The only productive way to answer “what should I do now?” is to first tackle the question of “who should I become?”
  23. It’s possible that a not-so-smart person, who can communicate well, can do much better than a super-smart person who can’t communicate well. That is good news because it is much easier to improve your communication skills than your intelligence.
  24. For the best results with your children, spend only half the money you think you should, but double the time with them.
  25. Purchase the most recent tourist guidebook to your home town or region. You’ll learn a lot by playing the tourist once a year.
  26. Don't wait in line to eat something famous. It is rarely worth the wait.
  27. Prescription for popular success: do something strange. Make a habit of your weird.
  28. When introduced to someone make eye contact and count to 4. You’ll both remember each other.
  29. When negotiating, don't aim for a bigger piece of the pie; aim to create a bigger pie.
  30. Your time and space are limited. Remove, give away, throw out things in your life that don't spark joy any longer in order to make room for those that do.
  31. The best time to negotiate your salary for a new job is the moment AFTER they say they want you, and not before. Then it becomes a game of chicken for each side to name an amount first, but it is to your advantage to get them to give a number before you do.
  32. When a child asks an endless string of “why?” questions, the smartest reply is, “I don’t know, what do you think?”
  33. Be strict with yourself and forgiving of others. The reverse is hell for everyone.
  34. The worst evils in history have always been committed by those who truly believed they were combating evil. Beware of combating evil.
  35. Even in the tropics, it gets colder at night than you think. Pack warmly.
  36. Dance with your hips.
  37. History teaches us that in 100 years from now some of the assumptions you believed will turn out to be wrong. A good question to ask yourself today is “What might I be wrong about?”
  38. That thing that made you weird as a kid could make you great as an adult — if you don’t lose it.