Notes From Kevin Kelly’s Excellent Advice for Living
Kevin Kelly might be the world’s real-life most interesting man in the world. He helped launch and edit The Wired magazine. He’s written several best-selling books including The Inevitable, Vanishing Asia, What Technology Wants and more. He’s currently a co-chair of The Long Now Foundation which is building a clock in the mountain that will tick for 10,000 years. He also has a daily blog; a weekly podcast about cool tools; and a weekly newsletter, Recomendo, a free, one-page list of six very brief recommendations of cool stuff.
Kevin most recently wrote Excellent Advice for Living: Wisdom I Wish I’d Known Earlier. On his more recent birthdays, he wrote down little bits of advice — things about life, work, health, and more — and decided to share it with his family. And then he thought it would be useful to others so he wrote it in his blog. After writing a few posts like this, some people thought it would make a great book so he collected his posts, edited it, and then wrote a few more and that’s what made the book.
Some of my favourite bits of advice along with why I think it’s great are below:
Learn how to learn from those you disagree with or even offend you. See if you can find the truth in what they believe.
You don’t want to surround yourself with yes men. You want to surround yourself with the smartest people (in fact, Kevin says in another bit of advice that you should try to find rooms where you are the dumbest person in the room). Smart people aren’t all going to just agree with everything you say. They’re going to challenge you. They’re going to come up with different ideas. They’re going to identify alternatives. If you can’t or won’t listen to these people because they disagree with you, you will lose out on an invaluable perspective that could help you develop a better idea or approach.