Internet hygiene demands you mark listicle content as spam and move on.
Except when it comes from
who wrote a banger list of 40 lessons to celebrate his 30th birthday. I feel like a mental decade behind this guy. I guess I could feel 2 decades behind. Better late than never.
Here were my favorites, sometimes with a comment:
✔️It’s never the right time: Any time you catch yourself saying “oh it’ll be a better time later,” you’re probably just scared.
✔️Bad things happen fast, good things happen slowly
✔️Beware of shadow careers: via Steven Pressfield “Sometimes, when we’re terrified of embracing our true calling, we’ll pursue a shadow calling instead. The shadow career is a metaphor for our real career. Its shape is similar, its contours feel tantalizingly the same. But a shadow career entails no real risk. If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us.”
- [Kris: This is one of my favorite ones. It echoes something my friend
wrote to me once:
You’re doing the thing everyone does at the beginning of a solo path — you’re looking to be saved. No company, no other person’s playbook, or metric of success will save you. The only thing that matters is coming back to the thing you are meant to do. You must do it on your terms. Men waste years trying to avoid this.]
✔️Standing events are the best way to regularly see friends: Constantly having to schedule outings, dinners, etc. makes it hard to regularly see people. Create standing events. Invite people you want to spend more time with. It’s the easiest way to get more friend time in your week.
- [Kris: My close college friend Brook just calendered a bi-monthly standing get-together with our old school crew. We had our first one 2 weeks ago (we played pickleball and ate some delicious Thai at a hole-in-the-wall in Palo Alto). The beauty of standing meeting was immediately obvious. It was fun and felt needed. His initiative is appreciated. You could be that person in your group.]
✔️Remote relationships cost you real relationships: Every minute you spend cultivating relationships with people through a screen is a minute you’re not deepening relationships with people you can actually see and touch and smell.
- [Kris: This one dovetails with the preceding one. I’m as guilty as anyone]
✔️ No one is thinking about you very much: So don’t worry about looking stupid or embarrassing yourself or whatever. No one cares.
- [Kris: Maybe the most important lesson my mother ever taught me. And I’m still more inhibited than I want to be.]
✔️The time will pass anyway: Maybe it’ll take you five or ten years to succeed at whatever you want to do. Well, those ten years will pass anyway. In ten years you can either have made progress on your goals, or still be whining about how long things take.
- [Kris: This was nearly verbatim what I thought about when I decided to quit my job. Once I knew I wasn’t going to be happy doing it for another 20 years I decided I’d rather be closer to wherever I wanted to be than if I started the clock later on a new life. If your time horizon is long, a step backward is a smaller percentage of the time remaining. If you try to play prevent defense until you hit your number, you’re still rolling the dice. Snake eyes and the doctor calls “You’re bloodwork came back…we’d like to do more tests”. You don’t have forever to start living. GoTo: Shadow Career ]
✔️Money is a tool for freedom: The best reason to accumulate wealth is to buy yourself freedom from anything you don’t want to do, and the freedom to do the things you do want to do. Money is not an end in itself. If you sit on it and never use it, you’ve wasted your life.
- [Kris: The ratio of people who agree with this but don’t act upon it looks like a walrus on a pogo stick]
✔️Many of the best changes in life are unknown until you make them: Feeling “fine” is a dangerous attitude. You might have no idea how much better you could feel, how much happier you could be, how much fuller your life could be.
✔️Get physical: Buy real books. Print photos. Write cards. Buy vinyl. Space is how you show yourself and others what you value. Minimalism is a horrible, dull trend. Fill your life with totems to what you care about.
- [Kris: This is the one I’m most torn about. I like being free of stuff but the minimalist aesthetic feels soulless.The older I get the less I like modern. My IG is basically an homage to the 60s and 70s, especially in CA. The treadmill of cleaning after the kids has given some leniency to having art supplies, books, boardgames and stompboxes strewn about. An old Boogie Nights-esque house that’s both tidy and warm wouldn’t have been on my Bingo card but it’s cheaper and feels more inspiring than the prior house that we renovated down to the studs in a conventionally tasteful way. That said, it would be nice to have a master closet. The luxe amenities around here are trapped in the 70s — tile countertops with grout lines😐 ]
✔️Money can absolutely buy happiness. So long as you spend it on upgrading and expanding the things that make you happy, instead of using it to play status games or on fleeting experiences.
- [Kris: The less time you spend thinking about money the happier you’ll be. We are naturally wired to think of how things could be better. If you think about money a lot you’ll automatically think of how you can get more of it. This is adaptive over some range of savings. And once you’re safe (not rich) the value of those thoughts nosedives faster than your thoughts about money taper (assuming they do at all). You can count your expiring breaths in the widening gap between the value of those money thoughts and the time spent thinking about networth.xls. Oh yea, if that file is called networth.xlsm — you’re doomed. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.]
✔️Advice only works in retrospect. You usually have to have experienced a failure or loss to understand the relevant advice. Hearing some piece of advice will rarely stop you from making the related mistake.
✔️The whiners are the loudest. Happy people are off enjoying their lives, not complaining about them on social media.
✔️No one is crazy: They just have different values and information than you. If you had their life experience, you’d probably think the same. The sooner you embrace this, the sooner you can empathize with people you disagree with instead of pretending you’re superior.
- [Kris: Big Morgan Housel energy here. That’s a compliment.]
✔️You find what you like by trying it, not by thinking about it
✔️You don’t have to make money back where you lost it: If something in your business or life is losing money, you don’t have to plug the hole right there. Often it’s easier to make the money back elsewhere.
- [Kris: This is adjacent to a bit of advice I give dealing with the ups and downs of trading — have other places in your life to get wins. Bad runs are inevitable. Have outlets. Your deadlift PR doesn’t care about your p/l. ]
✔️Trust your negative gut, not your positive gut: If you have a great feeling about something, you might just be excited or gullible or not thinking it through, so take your time. But if you have a bad feeling about something, you’re almost certainly right about it.
✔️Stressing about a problem rarely fixes it: Try to bias towards improving things instead of whining about them. Or if you can’t fix them, forget about them.
- [Kris: Another adjacent thought…my friend Steiner never complains unless he has ideas for how to fix a problem. We’re human. Sometimes we need to vent. So Steiner’s principle is aspirational. But one thing I’ll quickly sort a new acquaintance on is — “does this person suck the life energy out of the air we share?” I don’t know how Piglet hung out with Eeyore so much.You’re a donkey that CAN TALK. Have some perspective you mopey ingrate.]