“The only thing an old man can tell a young man is that it goes fast, real fast, and if you’re not careful it’s too late. Of course, the young man will never understand this truth.”

Norm Macdonald

Since KK’s 68th birthday, every year as he celebrates another successful trip around the sun, he has posted list’s of advice in ‘from the old to the young’ style.

I read these each year, but such is the nature of these things, if they are not written down and recorded, then they as quickly escape out the back of your mind as they wowed and impressed their way in.

I decided to try and create some permanence to the specific advice that means the most to me, and so much like my ongoing list of memorable quotes, here is my ongoing list of my favourite pieces of unsolicited advice from Kevin Kelly.

My Favourite Pieces Of Advice From Kevin Kelly

  • Anything you say before the word “but” does not count.
  • Criticize in private, praise in public.
  • 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.
  • Ask funders for money, and they’ll give you advice, but ask for advice and they’ll give you money.
  • Your growth as a conscious being is measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations you are willing to have.
  • There is no such thing as being “on time.” You are either late or you are early. Your choice.
  • Getting cheated occasionally is the small price for trusting the best of everyone because when you trust the best in others, they generally treat you best.
  • Actual great opportunities do not have “Great Opportunities” in the subject line.
  • You see only 2% of another person, and they see only 2% of you. Attune yourselves to the hidden 98%.
  • That thing that made you weird as a kid could make you great as an adult — if you don’t lose it.
  • Recipe for success: under-promise and over-deliver.
  • If you can avoid seeking the approval of others, your power is limitless.
  • Calm is contagious.
  • When playing Monopoly, spend all you have to buy, barter, or trade for the Orange properties. Don’t bother with Utilities. (It’s math)
  • Ignore what others may be thinking of you, because they aren’t.
  • If your goal does not have a schedule, it is a dream.
  • Be a good ancestor. Do something a future generation will thank you for. A simple thing is to plant a tree.
  • Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points.
  • Don’t take it personally when someone turns you down. Assume they are like you: busy, occupied, distracted. Try again later. It’s amazing how often a second try works.
  • Promptness is a sign of respect.
  • When you die you take absolutely nothing with you except your reputation.
  • 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.
  • How to apologize: Quickly, specifically, sincerely.

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