The Technium

99 Additional Bits of Unsolicited Advice


Several years ago on my 68th birthday I wrote up 68 bits of advice for my adult children, and posted them here. The bits were extremely popular, and they were widely shared by others. I was encouraged to write up more bits of wisdom on my following two birthdays. On my 69th birthday I wrote up 99 bits of unsolicited advice, which were also widely shared. The first five bits are here:

• That thing that made you weird as a kid could make you great as an adult — if you don’t lose it.

• If you have any doubt at all about being able to carry a load in one trip, do yourself a huge favor and make two trips.

• What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. At your funeral people will not recall what you did; they will only remember how you made them feel.

• Recipe for success: under-promise and over-deliver.

• It’s not an apology if it comes with an excuse. It is not a compliment if it comes with a request.

They were such a hit that Viking Penguin books thought they should be in a book, and I thought so too. So I gathered the three lists, weeded out the weak ones, polished up the best, and then I wrote an additional 150 more bits of advice, until I had 450 of them. I put them all into a small book you can slip into your pocket. This book, Excellent Advice for Living, is designed to be the perfect gift.  I already know it makes a fantastic graduation gift. You can order it on Amazon here.

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