Lessons from life – a personal collection from York


As my collection of years starts becoming more impressive (i.e. I am getting old), here is a dynamic (i.e. constantly updating) list of lessons I learned from life and tips. Enjoy.

Tips for life:

  1. Don’t seek new lands. Seek to see with new eyes (Marcel Proust)
  2. Have a notebook on hand to capture the aha moments of learning
  3. Life is to be taken page by page! Don’t panic when it all seems too much, but from time to time look up at the progress you are making in life’s great book.
  4. Forget your business card title. Enjoy the journey
  5. Learn to really hear and listen to people.
  6. Put the smartphone away. Decide who controls who.
  7. Shortcuts? What works for you will crystallise over time. Don’t panic if you are still a bit unsure of yourself (I didn’t know what I wanted from life until I became 36).
  8. Don’t wait until it is perfect. Rather create movement by actioning your ideas… even if they will end up not working.
  9. Remember that (generally speaking) there are no such things as facts. Only opinions. You may see a bunch of pieces of wood nailed together and I may see a chair. Neither is wrong (ok… not the best example, but then I am not a writer!).
  10. Learn to let go. Don’t hold on to your old self.
  11. Share. Share. Share.
  12. Embrace being unsure and the lack of having reached a destination. Learn to love change!
  13. Read newspapers but remember that they are like popcorn. Short term satisfying but that’s about it (generally speaking). Spend time reading weekly and monthly magazines.
  14. Watch out where you are spending money vs investing money or resources. I don’t smoke and don’t drink. In tough times I try and not go out and drink, eat and spend money. Surprising how much you can save yourself when you watch those small expenses. Focus on work – it is cheaper :-_
  15. If you are an entrepreneur there is no working 9-5. You work 7 days a week until income exceeds expenses and you have 1 year’s cashflow reserves in the bank for tough times.
  16. Keep asking “so what” … i.e. if you someone gives you information, so what are you going to do with it? Turn everything (as much as is possible) into actionable steps.
  17. Aim for 30mins meetings with a clear agenda and don’t be afraid to say uncomfortable things (e.g. who is paying for it).
  18. Reply to all emails, even if only to acknowledge receipt. It is real people on the other end – don’t forget manners!
  19. Always hire ambassadors, not employees. Hire positive, happy, enthusiastic people who like to deliver.
  20. As much as possible try to pay the ultimate compliment to others by telling them the truth (i.e. what you think)… just remember that there are no such things as facts so remember that your facts are just opinions and perceptions.
  21. You do not know better than the others.
  22. Ideas are essentially worthless… look for people’s ability to implement those ideas.
  23. Learn to differentiate between what you want and what you need. Most needs are probably wants and you can do without them.
  24. … and of course drink lots and lots and lots of coffee!

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