68 bits of unsolicited advice

Kevin Kelly, the founding editor of Wired, turned 68 and shared 68 bits of unsolicited advice. The list was lovely. Many of them resonated. Below are a few of his notes that resonated deeply.


Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points.

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

Don’t be the best. Be the only.

Promptness is a sign of respect.

Trust me: There is no “them”.

If you are not falling down occasionally, you are just coasting.

Before you are old, attend as many funerals as you can bear, and listen. Nobody talks about the departed’s achievements. The only thing people will remember is what kind of person you were while you were achieving.

For every dollar you spend purchasing something substantial, expect to pay a dollar in repairs, maintenance, or disposal by the end of its life.

When someone is nasty, rude, hateful, or mean with you, pretend they have a disease. That makes it easier to have empathy toward them which can soften the conflict.

You really don’t want to be famous. Read the biography of any famous person.

Experience is overrated. When hiring, hire for aptitude, train for skills. Most really amazing or great things are done by people doing them for the first time.

Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists. To be an optimist you don’t have to ignore all the many problems we create; you just have to imagine improving our capacity to solve problems.

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