A BIRTHDAY PRESENT

68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice

On the occasion of his 68th birthday yesterday, Kevin Kelly, the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review, and Cool Tools posted “68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice.” The points are random and insightful. Read them all, but here’s a few of my favorites below.

Don’t be afraid to ask a question that may sound stupid because 99% of the time everyone else is thinking of the same question and is too embarrassed to ask it.

The universe is conspiring behind your back to make you a success. This will be much easier to do if you embrace this pronoia1.

Being able to listen well is a superpower. While listening to someone you love keep asking them “Is there more?”, until there is no more.

Reading to your children regularly will bond you together and kickstart their imaginations.

Promptness is a sign of respect.

The more you are interested in others, the more interesting they find you. To be interesting, be interested.

Show up. Keep showing up. Somebody successful said: 99% of success is just showing up.

You are what you do. Not what you say, not what you believe, not how you vote, but what you spend your time on.

Anything real begins with the fiction of what could be. Imagination is therefore the most potent force in the universe, and a skill you can get better at. It’s the one skill in life that benefits from ignoring what everyone else knows.

Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists. To be an optimist you don’t have to ignore all the many problems we create; you just have to imagine improving our capacity to solve problems.


  1. I had to look the word up too. Pronoia is a neologism coined to describe a state of mind that is the opposite of paranoia. Whereas a person suffering from paranoia feels that persons or entities are conspiring against them, a person experiencing pronoia feels that the world around them conspires to do them good.