Saturday, February 25, 2017

25 Pieces of Advice I Give Myself

...and I'd give you, too, if you asked me.

In the early days of Facebook, people often posted lists. It was a trend at some point to post 25 things about yourself. This post is inspired by that, but rather than 25 things about me this is a list of 25 pieces of advice I give myself and that I'd give you, too, if you asked me. I'd be glad to hear which of these you agree with and which are very different from advice you give yourself!

  1. Say “thank you” often. There are plenty of opportunities.
  2. Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. (credit, Max Ehrmann, Desiderata)
  3. Spend time outdoors. My favorite ways involve the beach and boats and fishing. Appreciate warm, sunny days. Warm clear nights are pretty great, too. Look up. Take in the stars.
  4. The ocean is huge and full of life and never fails to make me feel very small in a very large world. In a good way. Watch quietly, look all around you, and take it in.
  5. When in doubt, re-apply sunscreen.
  6. Read something.
  7. Speaking of reading, while I love the feel of a book and its pages and its cover, read on a tablet. It's great to have a big collection of books with you at all times.
  8. A little skepticism is healthy.
  9. If you are in a hurry, don’t drive behind a Prius.
  10. Red wine goes with everything. (credit, Greg Jackson)
  11. Some food just tastes better when you cook it outdoors.
  12. Cashews > Pecans > Pistachios > Macadamias > Almonds > Walnuts > Peanuts
  13. If you have a choice between a mediocre steak and mediocre seafood, take the steak. If you have a choice between a great steak and great seafood, pick the seafood.
  14. Despite not being a religious person myself, I believe that “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is pretty great advice.
  15. Recognize and embrace opportunities to agree with your allies and your adversaries. Common ground can be built upon.
  16. It doesn’t matter who gets credit if you love the idea.
  17. I’d rather spend my money going to a concert than on buying stuff. Stuff clutters your life, while experiences can make you smile for years after.
  18. Speaking of experiences, travel when you can. Eat what the locals eat, listen to their music, enjoy their art. And while you are there, remember advice #1.
  19. Laughing and smiling feels better than not doing those things.
  20. Crying is also important, in small doses. Let yourself cry from time to time.
  21. Be open to new music, but allow yourself to love the music you grew up on. That music carries built in memories.
  22. Speaking of music, close your eyes and soak it in when the circumstances allow for it. Really listen. Every instrumentalist and every singer contributes to that performance. Appreciate them each individually and appreciate the totality.
  23. We make friends all through life. Stay in touch with those who really matter to you. Social networks made this a lot easier. Good friends appreciate you for who you are, call you on your crap when necessary, and love you anyway. Especially keep those.
  24. Tell the people you love that you love them. They probably know, but they still like to hear it. And remember advice #14.
  25. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. (credit, Max Ehrmann, Desiderata)


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