20 things in 20 years

Since I left school around 20 years ago and in that time I’ve learned some things, that might just be a short cut for you. I’m not going to explain them – just state them. This list is non exhaustive and here they are:

  1. Taking longer to make decisions rarely improves the final result of said decision.
  2. Large companies primarily make decisions to protect income, startup companies primarily make decisions to grow income.
  3. Hard work from an average person invariably has better results than average work from a smart person.
  4. We remember and revere events much more than we do so for things. We should know which one to accumulate.
  5. People who have money problems while on low incomes have them on high incomes as well. It’s the habits that matter.
  6. Spare time is a poor choice to allocate anything important to (read here family, exercise, reading).
  7. Large companies most often reward people on cultural alignment more than actual results of tasks.
  8. Passion projects often take a lifetime to bare fruit. The short term favours sacrifice of belief systems.
  9. Great technocrats always get paid well. Great leaders and influencers always get paid more.
  10. Being aligned to your partners values is more important than alignment of interests. True for business and love.
  11. Financial independence is always a function of spending less than your income. Regardless of income size.
  12. Technology is recalcitrant towards the status quo and history. It forges ahead regardless.
  13. Informal and self education is of greater value than the formal version. It should also never end.
  14. Over time, prices for most everything relative to income drop. The only exclusion I know of is land.
  15. The most valuable things in life cannot be bought or sold, they must be earned. Respect, love, health…
  16. Secrets kill the soul.
  17. Ideas should be shared.
  18. Generosity is rewarded on the long run but may be invisible.
  19. We all have valuable skills, and these skills can leveraged in many ways once we stretch our imagination.
  20. The people we spend our days with has a greater impact on happiness than the work we do.

What are some of the philosophical things you’ve learned?


13 Comments 20 things in 20 years

  1. LouPardi

    I love this – thanks for taking the time to write them down Steve!

    Mine would be

    1. Happiness is a choice. You have to prioritise it. Observe what makes you happy. Do more of those things.
    2. Your perspective is your responsibility. Very often things do not change. The same problem/situation from another perspective is solved, or nothing at all.
    3. Be very selective in the voices you listen to. Understand that some people’s comments about you have nothing to do with you at all. Let them take responsibility for them. And let them go. (Sometimes let go the comments and the people.)
    4. Growth isn’t easy, and sometimes it means leaving people behind. But what’s ahead is worth it.
    5. Death isn’t so bad. There are gifts in perspective, love and real living, if you’ll take them.
    6. Humans like to splash around in old emotional drama. Dry it up, let it go.
    7. Love is not limited. But time and energy are.

    Have an ace weekend!


  2. Lara McPherson

    Great post Steve. So many of these resonate for me. I also like lots of Lou’s. Hope I can take the shortcut and learn these things now, from you, rather than having to wait 20 years! Thanks for the insights.

  3. Meg

    #13 is so true, my father has been living proof of such, well into his sixties he’s still continuously learning, formally and informally, adding to his knowledge then applying it to his work, kind of ouroboros in effect.

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