26 Pieces of Advice

To celebrate my 26th birthday, here are 26 pieces of advice.

  1. Travel while you’re young. Traveling in your youth is ideal because you have the freedom to do so, the energy and physical capability, and the opportunity to expand your worldview.
  2. Compound interest is overrated. Investing money early and consistently so that it compounds by the time you retire is a surefire way to achieve financial freedom. However, beware of becoming risk averse in its pursuit.
  3. If you can afford it, live in a walkable city. Living in a walkable city where most daily necessities are accessible within a five-minute walk has substantially increased my happiness.
  4. Travel for the people. It sucks visiting a beautiful place but not have anyone to share the experience with. Having great company makes any moment special, no matter where you are.
  5. Spend 10 minutes adding your friends and families birthdays to your personal calendar.
  6. You aren’t allowed to tell customers what their problem is and in return customers aren’t allowed to tell you what to build. They own the problem, you own the solution. S/o The Mom Test
  7. Buying a coffee and working from a local cafe provides more than caffeine - it offers inspiration and productivity.
  8. Are you friends out of convenience or do you actually vibe with them? A simple litmus test is, Would I keep in touch with this person if we didn’t live in the same city?”
  9. What separates an expert writer from an amateur is how much they’ve re-written. Rewriting is where the real writing happens.
  10. 1 hour of customer research saves 10 hours of development time.
  11. To convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius subtract 30 and divide by 2. To convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit do the opposite, multiply 2 and add 30.
  12. Change the milk bag. Yes, in Canada, we use bags of milk. As a kid, if there was a bit of milk left in the pitcher, I’d fill my cup but leave just enough that I can place it back into the fridge. I didn’t empty the milk pitcher because then I would have to replace the bag. The next person that uses it would replace it instead. Don’t do this. Change the milk bag, replace the toilet roll, refill the Brita. Be a good roommate.
  13. When searching for recommendations append reddit” to your search query for more personalized, non-SEO optimized results.
  14. Show up early to meetings. Arriving early allows you to interact with other early birds who are usually senior leaders. This builds rapport and keeps you top of mind for opportunities.
  15. Desires from anxiousness arise from the ego. True desires arise from stillness.
  16. Including others is an underrated skill. Making others feel welcomed and accepted is simple, especially for insiders, but it’s invaluable to the other person.
  17. One of the best ways to evaluate character is by looking at their significant other. This tells you how they see themselves, what they value, and what their priorities are. S/o to The Honest Broker
  18. Surround yourself with beauty. Go to art galleries, museums, and gardens. Listen to the Rolling Stones top 500 albums, read the classic novels, watch movies on Roger Ebert’s great movies list. Surrounding yourself with beauty improves your taste. And improving your taste is priceless as a creative.
  19. Take more pictures.
  20. Deep work is overrated, deep play is underrated. Deep Play includes activities that make you feel reenergized and reinvigorated like running, painting, or chess. It’s a skill that you can improve at and is essential to maintaining consistent deep work over the long run.
  21. What you see is what you value. When I first became interested in sneakers, I began to focus on others’ shoes. Before, I hadn’t noticed them at all. Whether it be how someone looks or internal traits, what you value influences how you see others.
  22. Money buys fun but it doesn’t buy fulfillment. With more money comes more optionality for enjoyable experiences, such as dining at restaurants, traveling to exciting destinations, and throwing lavish parties. But money can’t buy fulfillment. This takes work. It means making sacrifices now to do what you love whether it be making music, volunteering your time, or writing. Fun feels good in the moment. Fulfillment nourishes you in the long term.
  23. Give your flowers. If you there’s someone you admire, you have feelings for, or you’re grateful for, tell them. This only takes a few seconds and can make their day.
  24. You have not, because you ask not. If you want something, ask for it. Never self-reject.
  25. Host more. Gathering people is low effort but high reward.
  26. Interestingness comes from stories, and stories give meaning. A simple way to add personality to any outfit for example is using pieces that have a backstory. Maybe you bought this bracelet on a memorable trip, you have a watch passed down from your grandfather, or a ring to commemorate your graduation.
April 23, 2023

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