Damned good advice

Shane Nickerson's "11 things it took me 42 years to learn" is damned good advice:

5. Stop comparing your life to others.
Your life has nothing to do with theirs. You imagine their world to be perfect, but it never is. Find your own happiness, be happy for others successes, and fight that envy. It will tear you up and make you hard to be around. Dump your cynicicm, while you’re at it. It’s cheap and simple.

6. Go where life blows you.
So to speak. Let that gentle pushing and pulling you feel each day guide you towards where you belong. Say yes to new things. Be open to exciting experience. Try new foods. Travel. Don’t just hate stuff because it’s easier. Maybe you’d love eel. Or urchin. Or the Insane Clown Posse. You don’t know.

7. Measure your failures as cautiously as you measure your successes.
So you failed. Okay. In the same way you are modest about your successes, be modest about your failures. Don’t linger in them. Think of all the hard learning you did while you worked so hard on something that sucked. Valuable knowledge. That’s how it goes sometimes. On to the next one.

11 things it took me 42 years to learn (via Wil Wheaton)

Notable Replies

  1. Advice as old as time. But we all have to learn them on our own, not parrot them. The danger is in thinking someone else making these discoveries benefits you..

  2. The way I like to say this is: Stop comparing your insides with other people's outsides.

    When you look at yourself, you're well aware of all your inner failings. When you look at others, you only get to see the face that they're willing to share with the world. So of course you feel like a failure when you compare yourself with others. If you could somehow compare your insides with other people's insides, you'd feel a lot happier with yourself.

  3. My advice as a 52 year old? Don't be afraid to get hurt. It's the only way you'll get anywhere. Some things are worth getting hurt for. Play it safe, and you'll never develop the callous you need to succeed.

  4. miasm says:

    No nested indenting of lists.

    No direct self reference of lists.

    No reference to lists out-with the direct causal relationship of lists; if a list must refer to another list in the heterarchy, it must instead refer to lists which can refer to the desired list on its behalf.

    No sentient lists. Lists must not be observed to consciously create other lists and then refer to or create nests of other collections of lists, whether list or human created.

    No secret lists. Lists must be observable by the conscious portion of the list generating entity at all times. Hidden, obfuscated (whether hidden in plain sight or not) and otherwise sub-conscious lists will not be tolerated.

    Sub-conscious lists must observe all indenting and self-reference rules as observed by conscious lists and lists of which consciousness is aware, list or human.

    Sub-conscious lists of which no list is aware or referred to and which refer to other lists which do not match this criteria, whether conscious, unconscious, human or list must not be listed, except when referring to groups of lists which self-refer in a way which emulates consciousness or list-ness.

    Sub-conscious lists which do not refer to conscious lists, references, sub-consciousness or consciousness and do not refer to themselves must not be listed.

  5. Most of it's pretty good, with one glaring exception.

    2 - Trust your instincts

    No. Shut up.

    I know you mean well. But trust your instincts is a bull$#@! rule. Listen to your instincts, absolutely. They provide valuable information, and you disregard it at your peril.

    But your instincts are not magic, and sometimes the key to life is OVERCOMING your instincts. Do not trust them blindly.

    On a personal level, trusting my instincts means throwing away most of the other advice on the list. Trusting my instincts means never talking to another human being unless absolutely necessary, because every instinct screams against it (and for that matter, it probably means nobody wanting to talk to me either because I'm awkward and will trigger their 'this guy's not right' instincts).

    Listen to your instincts. They're a helpful tool that may point towards important stuff you missed, or provide a better-than-average direction you should take when you're on the fence about a decision. But like any tool, you still have to use it wisely, don't just rely on it to always work.

    That is all.

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