As a hobby, I coach volleyball for kids. Each year I meet new kids and parents and talk about my philosophy. Part of that is that I teach skills, athletics, how to compete, and more. However, I do emphasize as well that I'm trying to build better people, not just athletes. I want these kids to be better prepared for life, for job interviews, for future teachers and coaches, and for better relationships.
While I'm not perfect, or maybe not even a great person, I do try to improve myself on a regular basis. Or at least learn to be a better person to others. This isn't because of any ideal or goal, but because life is more fun when I have more skills. Whether that's working with objects or interacting with people. The smoother things go, the more I enjoy the world.
I ran across some advice from Kevin Kelly, who helped co-found Wired Magazine. He wrote down 68 pieces of advice for his children on his 68th birthday. A few of them are in this post, though he's written a book with 450 pieces of advice. A few more items are in his post of 99 pieces, and 103 pieces.
The advice is about career, life, and more. Some of the more interesting ones I saw are listed below, with my comments:
- About 99% of the time, the right time is right now - I struggle with this, but as I think about it, it's been often true
- Don’t keep making the same mistakes; try to make new mistakes. - I certainly aim for this. I hate making the same mistakes
- If you stop to listen to a musician or street performer for more than a minute, you owe them a dollar. - I love seeing street musicians and I carry dollars/euros/pounds and more I can give out.
- 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. - I find doing this means I drop less things. Not doing this means I drop more.
- Recipe for success: under-promise and over-deliver. - Often my mantra at work
- It’s not an apology if it comes with an excuse. It is not a compliment if it comes with a request. - This is hard, but I've been working on this.
- Learn how to learn from those you disagree with, or even offend you. See if you can find the truth in what they believe. - Important in today's world
- 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. - I need to do this more
I grabbed his book, and you can as well. However, I might also suggest you collect your own words of wisdom and advice that you can share with your own loved ones at some point.
If you want to see Mr. Kelly speak his advice, watch this video.