Guiding Principles

Some years ago after being inspired by Derek Sivers talking about his “directives” on the Tim Ferriss Show (one of my favorite podcast episodes), I started keeping track of my own. His book Anything You Want is a short, fantastic read. Recently, Tim also shared a post written by Kevin Kelly in a similar vein called 68 bits of seriously good advice (great article). So I decided to post mine, a list of things to remember and things I’ve come to learn. Guidance and wisdom for how I hope to live my life. By sharing, I hope it inspires you to create your own.

  1. Be genuine, be honest, be humble
  2. Strong opinions loosely held
  3. Offer perspectives not answers
  4. Take calculated risks
  5. Embrace change
  6. Take action
  7. Live unconventionally
  8. Find your own way
  9. Be curious
  10. Never stop learning
  11. There is always something that can be learned from someone else
  12. When learning, ask why, when doing, ask why not
  13. Learn from the past, be mindful of the future, remain in the present 
  14. Decide how you want to spend your time, not necessarily what you want to do with your life 
  15. You see life through the lense of your experiences
  16. Do what makes you happy. Do what you find meaningful. Seek purpose.
  17. Appreciate everything
  18. Give first, receive second
  19. Listen carefully
  20. Breath deeply, think deeply, move often
  21. Have purpose
  22. Be mindful, pay attention
  23. How you do anything is how you do everything. Small, innocuous things matter.
  24. Slow down
  25. Never stop playing
  26. Ask questions
  27. Challenge assumptions, challenge the status quo
  28. When you get comfortable or good at something its time to change or move on
  29. Live without regret
  30. Nothing is absolute
  31. Prioritize and focus, you’ll achieve much more as a result
  32. The foundation for how we behave on a daily basis comes down to conditioning, habits, and routines
  33. Be ok with failure, learn from your mistakes
  34. Get off the couch and do something, you never know what experience you might have; this is what life is
  35. Do your thing
  36. Form is key
  37. It’s never as bad as you think it will be
  38. Don’t just tell, show
  39. Don’t judge, listen with an open mind
  40. Trust only those who have been there and done it
  41. Everything is an adventure
  42. Be interesting, be interested
  43. Words and teaching help you know what to look for, experience and practice help you find and understand it
  44. Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do right now
  45. Know thyself (yourself)
  46. Do the math
  47. When experiencing pain or discomfort, go into nature. Pain often stems from doing things humans weren’t meant to do and thus can be resolved by doing things we are normally adept to do.
  48. Correctly identifying the problem makes clear the best solution
  49. Use the past to learn, use the future to plan, guide, & direct, use the present to enjoy & act
  50. Knowledge is nothing with application (action)
  51. Knowledge can illuminate one’s capabilities and potential, but it can also reveal one’s constraints in limitations. Only balancing the two provides the courage to try and to practically succeed.
  52. Always have a backup plan
  53. Live the middle of your life like the bookends – carefree, fearless, not giving a f*** about what anyone else thinks
  54. Don’t pay for or outsource what you can do yourself, but if you can’t or aren’t doing it, consider getting help
  55. Know when to be a leader and when to be a follower and be great at both
  56. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should
  57. The experience rarely matches the mind’s conception. Dread or worry is rarely ever as bad as what actually happens. Conversely, expectations can be exceeded. So just do it! What’s the worst that can happen?
  58. Leave things as you found them…or better
  59. Being cheap will cost you. Don’t be cheap. Do be frugal. Value over cost.
  60. You get what you put up with, you get what you think you deserve
  61. Action is evoked from emotion not logic. Evoke emotion through stories and human connection.
  62. Live simply, live fully
  63. Dream big, question convention, be fearless, act pragmatically

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