33 Things I Stole From People Smarter Than Me
Take them, adapt them, and apply them to your life
I can tell you two things with confidence. One, I’m living the life I want to live. And two, I’m able to do so in part by ruthlessly stealing secrets from people who are smarter than me.
Throughout my career, I’ve had the fortune of meeting bestselling authors, successful entrepreneurs, investors, executives, and creative people. They’ve offered me some of their best advice, which I’ve eagerly taken. So here, to mark my 33rd birthday, I’ve made a list of 33 of my favorite pieces of wisdom — things I try to live by, things I tried to revisit and think about this year. If you like them, steal them for your own life, too.
There’s No Such Thing as ‘Quality’ Time
When you’re too busy aiming for it, you miss the moments in front of you
- The legendary basketball coach George Raveling has said he sees reading as a moral imperative. “People died,” he said, speaking of slaves, soldiers, and civil rights activists, “so I could have the ability to read.” If you’re not reading, if books aren’t playing a major role in your life, you are betraying the legacy that they left for the generations after them.
- Another one on reading: In his autobiography, General James Mattis points out that if you haven’t read widely, you are “functionally illiterate.” As Mark Twain said, if you don’t read, you’re not any better than people who can’t read. This is true for specific topics, too. I am functionally illiterate about many things, and that needs to be fixed.
- The clinical psychologist and author Sue Johnson talks about how when couples (or people in general) fight, they’re not really fighting. Instead, they’re doing a dance, usually one that’s about attachment. The dance — you go this way, I go that way, you reach out, I pull away, I reach out, you pull away — is the problem. Not the couple, not either of the individuals.
- The past year has revealed some things about a lot of folks that I know well — or at least I thought I did. But as I feel myself rushing to judgment, I think of the beautiful line from F. Scott…