Derek Sivers
Excellent Advice for Living - by Kevin Kelly

Excellent Advice for Living - by Kevin Kelly

ISBN: 0593654528
Date read: 2023-07-18
How strongly I recommend it: 6/10
(See my list of 360+ books, for more.)

Go to the Amazon page for details and reviews.

Tiny sentences with deep wisdom unelaborated. Up to you to extract, reflect, and apply.

my notes

Deadlines weed out the extraneous and the ordinary. A deadline prevents you from trying to make it perfect so you have to make it different. Different is better.

Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points.

While listening, keep asking “Is there more?” until there is no more.
Ask a person to go deeper than what they just said. Then again, and then once more.

To understand yourself, reflect on everything you find irritating in others.

Whenever you can’t decide which path to take, pick the one that produces change.

Habit is far more dependable than inspiration. Make progress by making habits.
The purpose of a habit is to remove that action from self-negotiation. You no longer expend energy deciding whether to do it. You just do it.

When someone turns you down, try again later. It’s amazing how often a second try works.

When you are young, spend at least 6 months to 1 year living as cheaply as you can owning as little as you possibly can eating beans and rice in a tiny room or tent.
That way any time you have to risk something in the future, you won’t be afraid of the “worst-case” scenario.

There is no “them.”

Ask for feedback, you’ll get a critic.
Ask for advice you’ll get a partner.

To make something good, just do it.
To make something great, just redo it, redo it, redo it.

At first, buy the absolute cheapest tools you can find. Upgrade the ones you use a lot.
If you wind up using some tool for a job buy the very best you can afford.

Shorten your to-do list by asking yourself “What is the worst that will happen if this does not get done?”
Eliminate all but the disasters.

Most success is just persistence.

Friends are better than money. Almost anything money can do friends can do better.
(Better than having a boat is to have a friend with a boat.)

Forgiveness is accepting the apology you will never get.

Be more generous than necessary.

When you have 90% of a large project completed finishing the final details will take another 90%.
Houses and films are famous for having two 90%s.

On vacation go to the most remote place on your itinerary first bypassing the cities and then return to the big city at the end.
You’ll maximize the shock of otherness in the remote, and then later you’ll welcome the familiar conveniences of a busy city on the way back.

When you get invited to do something in the future ask yourself: Would I do this tomorrow?

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.

You are what you do. Not what you say not what you believe

Send someone you don’t know a compliment for something they did.

When someone is nasty, hateful, or mean toward you treat their behavior like an affliction or illness they have.

Don’t ruin an apology with an excuse.

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 bother asking a barber if you need a haircut. Pay attention to incentives.

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

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.”

Replace transactions with relationships.

The future is decided by optimists.
To be an optimist, you just have to imagine how much our ability to solve problems improves.

Don’t be governed by the urgent.

Learn how to tie a bowline knot. Practice in the dark. With one hand.

The greatest rewards come from working on something that nobody has words for. Work where there are no names for what you do.

In all things - except love - start with the exit strategy. Prepare for the ending.

Don’t aim to have others like you; aim to have them respect you.

You don’t need more time. You need more focus.

The highest leverage you can get with your money is to buy someone else’s time. Hire and outsource when you can.

Work to become, not to acquire.

When someone tells you something is wrong, they’re usually right. When they tell you how to fix it they’re usually wrong.

Almost all breakthroughs are made by those who lack money.
Persistence, belief, and ingenuity are required to invent new things.
Stay hungry.

Change how you think by changing your behavior.
Act out the change you seek.

Reduce the annoyance of someone’s stupid belief by increasing your understanding of why they believe it.

“I have a rule for X” is the only excuse you need for your own personal policies.

People can’t remember more than three points from a speech.

To succeed, get other people to pay you.
To become wealthy, help other people to succeed.

Your behavior, not your opinions, will change the world.

Splurge on your passions.

Figure out what time of day you are most productive and protect that time period.

When you lead, your real job is to create more leaders not more followers.

The four most powerful words in any negotiation should be uttered by you: “Can you do better?”

What you do on your bad days matters more than what you do on your good days.

When speaking to an audience, pause frequently.
Pause before you say something in a new way.
Pause after you have said something you believe is important.
Pause as a relief to let listeners absorb details.

When you’re checking references, say “Get back to me if you highly recommend this applicant as super great.”
If they don’t reply, take that as a negative.

When you don’t know how much to pay someone for a particular task ask them, “What would be fair?” and their answer usually is.

You cannot get smart people to work extremely hard just for money.

If you’re doing something that you are hiding from others it’s probably not good for you.

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.

Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates.
At the first gate, ask yourself, “Is it true?”
At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?”
At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?”

To answer “What should I do now?”, ask yourself “Who should I become?”

Purchase the most recent tourist guidebook to your hometown or region.

When introduced to someone, make eye contact and count to four.

Spend a third of your time on exploring and two-thirds on optimizing and deepening.

Best idea is usually the fifth idea. You need to get all the obvious ideas out of the way.
Try to surprise yourself.

Focus on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems.

The stronger your beliefs, the stronger your reasons to question them regularly. Don’t simply believe everything you think you believe.

Learn from people you don’t like.
Let dumb, stupid, hateful, crazy, mean people teach you something, because despite their character flaws they each know something you don’t.

For every good thing you love, ask yourself what your proper dose is.

Tell your own story with uncommon honesty.

The small person believes they are superior; the superior person knows they are lucky.

When sharing, one person divides - the other chooses.

It is easy to get trapped by your own success. Say no to tasks you probably won’t fail at and say yes to what you could fail at.

You can’t change your past but you can change your story about it.

Head toward an interest rather than to a place. Travel to passions rather than destinations.

The best way to advise young people is to find out what they really want to do and then advise them to do it.

No perfection, only progress. Done is much better than perfect.

Choose to be lucky by believing that any setbacks are just temporary.
Choose to believe that the entire universe is conspiring behind your back to make you a success.

Be especially curious about the things you are not interested in.

A thief believes that everybody steals.

The purpose of listening is not to reply, but to hear what is not being said.

Spending as little as 15 minutes (1% of your day) on improving how you do your thing.
This is the most powerful way to amplify and advance your thing.

Ask your child who they helped today.

Focus on the process that makes the outcome.

Travel to a place you have never heard of.

Art, literature, and comedy elevate mundane details into magical wonders simply by noticing them.

Art before laundry.