Posts Tagged ‘advice’

Not everyone who is old is wise. Not everyone who is wise is old. But it is true that for many of us, age equals experience which equals at least some measure of perspective. There is a reason elders are respected in many societies. 

The written word has many benefits, not least that it allows such wisdom to be widely shared. For the past several birthdays, the maverick, artist, futurist and professional optimist Kevin Kelly has made it a point to aggregate advice he wishes he had known. Then, through the magic of the internet, he shares that advice with the world. 

“I am extremely optimistic about the future – despite reading the news.”

— Kevin Kelly (I’ll have what he’s having)

Does every suggestion work for me? No, but that’s ok. As he says, “Half the skill of being educated is learning what you can ignore.”

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The Technium: 103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known

• 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.

• A great way to understand yourself is to seriously reflect on everything you find irritating in others.

The Technium: 99 Additional Bits of Unsolicited Advice

• That thing that made you weird as a kid could make you great as an adult — if you don’t lose it.

The Technium: 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice

• 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.

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Photo by Chirag Saini on Unsplash

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Getting Past Ugh

I ran across this bit of text and don’t remember its origins. I *think* I wrote it as a summary after watching one of Carol Dweck’s TED talks on learning and the growth mindset, but I can’t be sure (apologies if I missed the author). Still seems like good advice.

A motivation problem is solved by thinking (convincing yourself that something is important). A follow-through problem is solved by not thinking (don’t deliberate, just act).

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Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

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“Okay, this is the wisdom. First, time spent on reconnaissanse is never wasted. Second, almost anything can be improved with the addition of bacon. And finally, there is no problem on Earth that can’t be ameliorated by a hot bath and a cup of tea.”
― Jasper Fforde

I love Jasper Fforde‘s work, and some days a good book filled with witty humor and amusing characters are exactly what one needs to perk up. But if the week’s been rough and a book (or bacon or a bath or tea) don’t work, here’s advice from someone who should know, Dr. Mike Evans.

Dr. Evans is a physician and scientist who also puts together terrific animated explainers on health topics for the rest of us. The one I’ll bring to your attention today, dear readers, is perhaps perfect for a Wednesday:


Now, my week is going ok. Or at least not bad. I’m getting things done (although not as much as I’d like) and I’m thinking hard about ongoing projects (why are they still “ongoing”? get to it, Johnson!) and charting out goals and cooking up ideas and recipes. (In fact, I’m so embroiled that I had a hard time settling on one topic to write about. Maybe tomorrow you’ll get that essay on The Great British Baking Show or the migratory mating habits of the Feathered Frangolian Flowers of Planet P;)

Still. Sometimes you just have a bad week. For those of us who spend a lot of time working in our heads, in particular, a little external perspective can come in handy.

Once you’re back on track, Dr. Evans also has another great video useful even in weeks where things are going swimmingly:


Because health reasons!

And if none of that works, well, there’s always cake:)

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Here’s another great piece of writing advice, this time from prolific and award-winning author Seanan McGuire. She gives us 50, yes, fifty thoughts on writing, some on the act of writing and some on being a writer. It’s a useful list. Let’s just say she had me at “You’re going to suck when you start.”

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