Things I’ve Learned This Decade

Being angry or mean (to others of yourself) rarely makes things better.

But anger and other emotions are telling us something– listen and then decide what to do.

When other people are angry or mean to you, it often has nothing to do with you.

Let the best people in your life occupy the most space in your mind. Don’t let the worst people live there or dictate what you do any more than necessary. (As I would tell my kids, “you wouldn’t give your Xbox controller to that person you’re really mad at and let him make your character do self-destructive things.”)

We like to pretend that we are rational creatures.

Humans are zoo animals. We took ourselves out of our natural habitat and we have many of the mental, social, and physical challenges you see with the caged animals at the zoo. (Overall, I’ll still take this deal.)

I subscribe the radical notion that people are people. Be suspicious of those who want you to believe that some people are less than people in full.

You are in a constant battle for your own attention against some of the most powerful entities in human history. Stay focused on your priority (note that “priority” is by definition singular and even the notion of “priorities” fragments our attention). Google, Facebook, Disney, etc, will be just fine.

Abstention is a vote for the status quo (not just in formal elections).

Salad can actually taste really good. (If you’d shown me this list 10 years ago and asked me which one I didn’t write, I would have picked this one.)

Don’t take long range 2-point shots.

People (especially your kids) are more interested in what you do than what you say.

People (especially your kids) are particularly interested in the difference between what you say and what you do.

Help, don’t sell.

Teach, don’t market.

Talking to (the right) people is fun, even for introverts. When in doubt, pick up the phone.

A proposal is a story, not a brochure.

The hero of the story is the buyer, not the seller.

A compelling story needs a strong villain.

The 3 points above also apply to your website.

There are 24 hours in a day and sleep is really important. Cut out other things before cutting back on sleep.

Be kind to yourself when you violate the “rule(s)” above. Everyone is doing the best they can in the zoo.

Looking forward to learning more in the next decade…


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