5 Pieces of advice for my 37th birthday

This is an issue of my newsletter focusing on the psychological and technical aspects of the Internet, particularly remote work, online economy, and cognitive load.
Sign up below to join the club

I have set up quite an elaborate note-taking system to pull insights from what I read and distill them into lessons (that I call Talking Points). Unfortunately, this is a work in progress I am utterly failing at since I am too busy enjoying life. I am spending my 37th birthday with my family, RVing around Slovenia and Croatia and catching the last bits of summer.

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Other bloggers have published lessons during their birthdays, so I feel a bit obliged to share with you a refreshing few drops of wisdom from the fountain of knowledge that is my brain:

  1. Figure out what brings you joy in life, and do more of that—question your excuses for not doing what you know brings you joy RVing.
  2. Tales to inspire work better than tales to condemn. You will inevitably help bring about that what you focus on, so focus on what you want to see more of.
  3. Life is meant to be fun. Being professional is delivering on your promises and treating people with respect, not losing all sense of humor.
  4. You should think VERY hard about where you live (and how much you pay for it), who you marry, and where you work – as these decisions have a disproportionate effect on your life. Conversely, you should spend way less time thinking about cheaper groceries or the cost of your phone.
  5. Be honest with yourself about why you are doing what you are doing. You can do stuff just because you think it’s cool or you like it (seriously, you have my permission). Pretending it’s not fun but a good investment or an obligation will end up being neither.

Why 5? I ran out of numbers, and the number store was closed.

Advice from other bloggers

This is the way

Stephen collected 50 pieces of advice for his newborn daughter, and this is a sort of manual I want to create for mine. He elaborates on each item with a personal story that will definitely resonate with his daughter.

Think Carefully About How You Will Measure Your Life

Strengths Can Be Weaknesses

103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known

Kevin Kelly is one of the first bloggers on the Internet. He recently had a birthday as well and published 103 pieces of advice (he is probably younger than 103)

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.

At a restaurant do you order what you know is great, or do you try something new? Do you make what you know will sell or try something new? Do you keep dating new folks or try to commit to someone you already met? The optimal balance for exploring new things vs exploiting them once found is: 1/3. Spend 1/3 of your time on exploring and 2/3 time on deepening. It is harder to devote time to exploring as you age because it seems unproductive, but aim for 1/3.

Things You’re allowed to do

Milan collected “things you are allowed to do”, for those who need a special permission:

Ask your acquaintances, “Hey, I want to leave my house more, are there any cool events you’re going to soon?”

Tape over annoying LED lights

Live in multiple places

Life is short, you are free to be mediocre

Somewhat tangentially related, I recently published my review of Four Thousand Weeks – a book about our relationship with time.

The invention of the clock turned time into a commodity that we try to “stock up on”, never having enough and not even enjoying the small bit we do have. Our vain efforts leave us worse off than we were before, while the answer was there all along:

The best solution is to stop wishing things were different

Sign up to get Deliberate Internet straight to your inbox

I write about the psychological and technical aspects of the Internet, focusing on remote work, online economy, and cognitive load. Every monday.

Please wait, we are contacting the carrier pigeons…

Thank you for sign up! Now please head on to your inbox to confirm your email address.

Leave a Reply