Advice worth giving
The best advice is this:
Don’t take advice and don’t give advice.
Author Unknown

To my future child,

Over the years I have collected a lot of advices and kept the ones that are quite useful. Here are some simple rules so you can navigate the boring stuff of life and enjoy the less boring parts of it.

I hope that they will help you and that you may add some more to them, pass them along so people you care about will enjoy life with you, because a life in solitary and with no one to share what you know with, is a life not well lived.

Categories

Arguments with other people.

relationships

Imagine you are in a heated argument with a coworker, your spouse, or just a friend. Be the one to keep calm, be the reasonable one, you often don't know what the other person is going through and why they are reacting badly to your argument, it could be something completely different than what the argument is about.


Do one thing.

productivity

When you are working try to do only one thing at a time and avoid multitasking. Even listening to something in the background (e.g. podcasts, music with lyrics) may cause you to lose concentration. Focus all your mental energy towards your task at hand and then move on to other things.


Sparsity of things.

consuming

To quote fight club: We buy things we don't need, to impress people we don't like.


Intermittent fasting is the way to go.

health

This advice has to start with a disclaimer, if you have a medical condition, you are very lean, a bearing woman or in general have any medical condition consult with your physician first. Fasting is the process of depriving your body of food during a particular window of time which is usually at least 16 hours and at most 24 hours. In this time frame you may not eat or drink anything that contains calories (coffee and water are acceptable). The benefits of this are to give your body a break from metabolising food all day, it helps to kick start your body into ketosis and starts the autophagy procedure. The general idea is not to eat, it will make you leaner, look younger and may prevent some forms of cancer.


Sleep is good for you.

health

Get at least 7 hours of sleep. What is considered normal ,for human beings, is from 7-9 hours of sleep. You need that much sleep in order your body and brain to be able to work at their best.


Get creative.

productivity

When you struggle to be creative or come up with a new concept try this: Don't be afraid of failure, it can happen, it is natural to happen a lot of times but don’t let it paralyze you. Every once in a while try something new. Go on this new hiking route, take a different route with the bus, add some randomness to your routine. Lastly get off the path of the least resistance. Our brain is very energy efficient, it will try to connect the dots on things we already know. True creativity lies when we do stuff that are initially hard and then get easier with time. All things you can do now once were difficult.


Read the person.

work

Never try to strike a deal with someone you find morally indignant. If you gut thinks that this person is no good, trust it, it usually is right.


Controling risk with children.

parenting

Let your children get into a little trouble once in a while, it will make them more responsible and able to deal with life better. Your job as a parent is to keep them out of big trouble.


Upside of lacking.

consuming

When you have less, you are more antifragile to life. You have less to lose, less of a status quo to lose, less financial burdens, less psychological problems.


Always be prepared.

relationships

There was a rumor going around that Aristotle Onassis would have dinner before going on a date. Be prepared and don't get angry when things don't go the way you planned on a date with your spouse.


The meaning of life.

life

Do not wander around asking what the meaning of life is, great philosophers have yet to answer that question. Turn that question around and go ahead and live your life by giving meaning to it.


Simple rules.

productivity

Create some rules in your life (e.g. wash your teeth when you wake up). Keep them really simple, so you can follow them easily.


Limit social media.

calm

Try to limit your exposure to social media as much as you can. They are not bad. They are a tool. Tools need to be used appropriately. Don't compare yourself to others on social media, you don't know what the influencer you are following is doing to show off like that. Use social media for what they are, a tool to socialize. Leave the comparison and hierarchy for the real life.


Limit Electronics.

calm

When there is no need for electronic devices, don't use them. If you can do one thing better with a pen and paper, use that. Don't try to emulate everything with electronics. Use it when it makes sense. It will make you robust and you will not lose touch with things that have been around for a very long time.


Fully engaged.

work

Go out in the world and do what you are good at and your mind will be fully focused.


Limit your decisions.

life

Every day we face endless decisions, what to eat, drink, wear, say, how to behave etc. All of that can be quite overwhelming for our minds. To prevent decision fatigue you can create a fixed routine for recurring decisions.


Read more.

calm

If you look for the best way to quickly escape reality, read a book. It engages most of your senses quickly. When you read a book you fantasize about it, your eyes and hands are occupied with it.


Limit your cabin fever.

calm

Get out, walk, leave your house, drive somewhere, do something different.


Meditation.

calm

Meditation is a lot of things. The simplest of all is to just focus on breathing and listen to it.


Limit notifications.

productivity

Limit the notifications on your computer or phone to the ones you need. Plan chunks of time where do not disturb is enabled.


When you need to buy something.

consuming

If you need something of value (e.g. a TV,a new phone or a expensive piece of clothing) wait for a couple of days or weeks (if it more expensive). This will force you to consider if you needed the item in the first place.


Eat less sugar.

health

You don't need so much of it. If you need much sugar, it is usually a sign that something else is wrong.


Prevent the flu.

health

Don't touch your face and wash your hands often. Also keep your phone clean.


Keep your work at work.

productivity

Don't let your work affect your personal life. Don't let any work related frustration out on your spouse or friends.


Lust, Attraction, Attachment

relationships

Lust, Attraction, Attachment are the three stages of love and hormones. First comes lust, then attraction and finally attachment


Create free content.

work

Try to create free content around your work that other people can get value of.


Do aerobic disciplines.

health

Start running or biking or swimming or any other form of exercise where your heart rate is in the aerobic zone. Consider investing time into the Maffetone Method .


Example social media promotion.

social-media

If you are an entrepreneur here is a simple example on how to get customers on your social media page. Imagine you are running a restaurant. Print out a big sign: Do you have Instagram / Pinterest / Whatever ? Usually people will ask about it, when they do, reply that you can get a free desert if you put on your social media pager if you like it or not.


Write important stuff down.

productivity

Write down stuff that need to get done. Don't rely on other people to remind you about them.


Use a calendar.

productivity

If you need to be somewhere at a specific time, put it on your calendar.


Selling to representatives of cooperation's.

work

If you want to sell something and you are talking to an employee of a cooperation you have to think about this: The person you are talking to will not be credited with the gains of what you are selling but only the downfalls. The result is that he/she can get fired. This makes it hard to sell anything that way.


Future or Present value.

life

When you try to predict the future, consider that the present is here. The probability of it existing is very high, you can feel it and see it. The closer the present is to now, the higher the probability is that you can predict it.


How to be happy.

life

People don't want to be happy. What people actually are looking for is to have less negative emotions. They don't want to be miserable, they want to be free of pain, free of anxiety.


Negotiations.

life

Nobody is leaving happy from a negotiation if both parties have skin in the game.


World views can be different.

life

Your perception of the world is based on your personality. That is why different personalities have different world views.


The old has value.

life

If something is old, it will probably be around for quite some time. A book that exists for 100 years will also be around in the next 100 years. This is called the Lindy effect.


Who to hire #1.

work

When you know what the job is about, hire somebody that is conscientious and conservative.


Who to hire #2.

work

When you don't know what the job is about, hire somebody that is liberal and creative.


Trust yourself.

productivity

Trusting in your own capabilities is to command yourself and know that you will execute and accomplish it.


Don't be like a clock.

life

Resist the urge to suppress randomness. Don't create a strict schedule for everything.


You are not only paying taxes to the government.

life

Everything we accomplish has a price attached to it. If you are famous you will pay rumors and gossip tax. If you have more than you need or things that others desire, theft is one possible tax you may have to pay. In light of success you pay taxes in stress and problems.


Enjoy the journey of life.

life

A lot of times you will enjoy the journey towards a goal more than the actual goal.


Ups and downs.

life

Your life is a like a cardiogram. It has ups and downs. There is no flat line. Keep in mind that no bad will endure forever but also don't forget that the good parts of your life may end.


Positive emotions and negative emotions.

health

Humans have two kinds of emotions. Positive and negative emotions. By nature humans are usually more sensitive to bad emotions. This is why you forget the hundreds of compliments but remember that one negative comment.


Success comes in pairs.

work

If you are successful at one thing, then more opportunities will come your way. You will meet more people and more people open even more doors for you which lead to the manifestation of more opportunities.


Emergency fund.

life

Try to have money aside for at least 3 months of expenses. You never know what might happen.


Look at the bight side.

health

Don't let yourself down, humans have never been healthier, happier, wealthier than any other humans in history.


Find your mission.

life

Find your mission and stick to it. That might be creating a family or any other cause. Pick one and make it your main focus. There are also other things that you will encounter around your mission, evaluate them but don't go down the rabbit hole.


A stable partner.

relationships

Be with a partner that is emotional stable and mature. He/she should have figured out his/her emotional problems and be mentally healthy.


Avoid bad relationships.

relationships

Never ever be with someone that is jealous, needy or a stalker.


Less is more.

consuming

Less is more can be applied to everything, start using it more deliberately throughout your day and life.


People like a good story.

work

Humans care about narratives and a good story, but reality only cares about results and getting things done.


How to be happier.

life

It is easier to answer the question what makes you unhappy instead of what makes you happy. This is enough and you can improve on that. Identify what makes you unhappy and remove it, as a result this will make you instantly happier.


Beware of the storyteller.

life

There is a concept called survivor bias. It is the same as the winner is writing the history. The book how I lost 15kg in one week will make it to stores so you can read about it. You will not find a book titled how I lost 15kg in 10 years. For every story of success there are a lot of stories of failure.


Signal to noise ratio.

productivity

Keep in mind the signal to noise ratio that you have for a particular topic. When you read the news every morning, you have a lot of data but also a lot of noise which may hide the signal. Important stuff will always reach you when needed.


Always have an option.

life

Try to have an option around your choices. Don't be forced into using a particular one. On the other hand, if there is no viable alternative, don't sweat it.


What is a Black swan.

life

Usually a swan is white, but once in a while a black swan comes along . This holds true for the animal but also for our society. A black swan event is a major event that changes society and the way we think about the world.


Your employer is keeping a grudge.

work

Every mistake you make when you are working for someone or a cooperation will go on your permanent record which will follow your around. Now imagine a freelancer, he/she can make a mistake but can always try to make up for it and pick up a new client.


When to help.

life

Always keep in mind that when you are trying to help there is a possibility that you are causing more harm.


Do not fix that.

life

Don't fix something that is not broken, or things that rather should be left alone.


Don't be offended.

life

When you thing that what you are hearing is offending you. Stop and ask yourself this 1. Is it true? If yes why be upset about the truth. 2. Is it a lie? If yes why be upset about a lie.


Non Violent Communication.

life

Start to practice NVC (Non violent communication). The NVC process consists of 4 items 1. Observe 2. Feel 3. Identify needs 4. Make a request


Observe or evaluate.

relationships

When you talk to someone, be precise in how you articulate yourself. Observe the actions of what you want to say. For instance Peter is sitting in the chair, is an observation. Peter is lazy cause he is sitting in the chair is an evaluation. We are criticizing instead of just observing.


Distinguish feelings from thoughts.

relationships

I feel misunderstood is not an accurate statement. There is no feeling which is called misunderstood. You may feel anxious, frighten or any positive or negative emotion. When you have identified what you are feeling then you can also address it better.


Find the needs.

relationships

We usually have our focus on analyzing level of wrongness rather than needs. If my partner wants more affection and attention we are internally evaluating this as needy and dependant.


Quickly evaluate a business.

work

Ask the below question to quickly evaluate a business: 1. Did it invent a service? 2. Did it invent a formula? 3. Did it invent a delivery method? 4. Is anything what the business doing patentable or a unique user experience? 5. Did the business find an isolated market segment? 6. Is the concept branded?


Two choices.

life

1. You can focus on how many times you have been wronged. or 2. Work with what you have got.


Emotional eater.

parenting

Don't celebrate events with your children by eating food. If something bad happens don't cheer them up with food.


Learn from your children.

parenting

Learn from your children as soon as possible, they may have a different angle on stuff than you, which is always helpful.


Own your rudeness.

parenting

When you are rude to your children, acknowledge it, respect your children and be a role model. Imagine if somebody would be rude to you, how would it make you feel.


Be humble.

parenting

If you don't react well to your children in a given situation, ask them what you did wrong and how it made them feel. The goal is for the children to express their feelings in a safe environment.


Touch is analgesic.

health

When you are grieving get a massage. Touch itself is analgesic for the human mind and body. Infants may day if they are not touched and taken care of.


Anxious children.

parenting

When an adult comes into the room and a children stop playing and talking is an indicator that they might be anxious or frighten. Children that aren't anxious and well adjusted will continue playing.


Negative emotions.

health

Here are some examples of manifestation of negative emotions: Frustration - when approaching a goal and you are blocked. Disappointment - when pursuing a goal and it doesn't work. Grief - when loosing something. Pain - marker for damage. Anxiety - marker for the possibility of damage.


Be aware of the black swan.

work

When somebody says that this never happened before is no indicator that it may not happen in the future. When white swan's are observed, doesn't mean there aren't any black.


Reduce risk.

work

In the absence of reliable data one must reduce risk.


Minority rule.

work

Watch out for the minority rule. Once you have 10% or more woman at a party you cannot only serve beer. Most men although will drink wine. So you only need one set of glasses if you will serve only wine.


Winter is coming.

life

Game of thrones got it right. You always have to prepare for the winter. When times are good go the extra mile and try to grow as much as possible. When they go bad you have to accept that you may not grow. The game then is to try to survive.


Create something that will last.

work

If you want to create something that will last for a long time, target something that will work today and would have worked also 30 years ago.


Skin in the game.

life

Skin in the game is when somebody has both traits of an outcome. Positive outcome - reaping the benefits. Negative outcome - paying a price. You can't and shouldn't be able to transfer the risk.


Scalable jobs.

work

There are two kinds of jobs. The ones that are affected by gravity and the ones that are not. For instance a doctor will only heal so many patients he/she has time for. A baker will create one bread for each customer. On the other hand a writer will create once the book and it will be read by thousands. The difference is the scalability of each job. You have to know in what profession you are so you can plan accordingly.


Just launch.

productivity

Let yourself of the hook. Don't try to be perfect. Publish that project you have lying around. You will be the hardest judge on yourself. Don't let it get the best of you. There is always something which you can change or adjust.


Stop bad behavior.

relationships

Don't judge people, don't condemn people and also don't whine about people.


Loosing weight.

health

If you are on a caloric deficit in order to loose weight watch out for the small stuff you may do every day that will add up calories. If you put milk in your coffee that could be ok, but if you drink five coffees per day then this can add up.


Remove multiple alarms.

productivity

Remove multiple alarms from your phone. When you wake up have the willpower to get up on your own. Be the one that is in control, not the alarm.


Insurance.

consuming

There is the mandatory insurance which you need for your car. There is no way around it. There is also insurances which you should buy for catastrophic events. Events that may happen and you will not be able to recover. Get insurance for those types of events.