Here are a bunch of rules to live by from other people I love

Short, sweet, meaningful rules to live by are a delight.

Last year I shared my own, inspired by the book, and it became a talking point among friends and family for much of the year. I love hearing anyone’s rules; even if I don’t agree with them, they’re telling of that person and a worldview. They make me think.

So, without naming any names, below I share a few sets of rules I heard from others because I just think these are so much fun. I’d love to hear yours too.

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My 2019 Resolutions

These are my priorities for the year for getting closer to being the person I want to be. As in years past, I want to share my resolutions.

Find past ones here.

I was proud of what I accomplished in 2018, which included a trip to Mexico City (and a visit to Paso de Cortes, as depicted above, where the Spanish conquistador entered the valley to attack the people sometimes called the Aztecs). I’m excited for 2019.

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My 12 Rules to Live By

Anybody worth learning from has plenty they stand for.

I love hearing the rules of thumb, the standards, the conventional wisdom and the accrued learnings of these people. Similarly I try to capture tightly-phrased aphorisms and holding myself accountable with plenty of direct and specific lists and resolutions.

So of course I was a sucker for the concept of ‘12 Rules for Life.’ It’s a book published early this year by Jordan Peterson that spiraled from popular to, fitting for today’s era, being engulfed in a strangely hyper-gendered debate. The book’s over-simplified approach of ordering one’s life with structure did gain positive feedback, including a podcast episode from Malcolm Gladwell. But because Peterson is aflame in lots of identity politics, I walked away from the the book less interested in adding to that debate than with something else.

I spent the last several months taking notes of the many universal truths I held myself to, and recommended for others. It became a fun game for parties among friends and family: what are your 12 Rules to Live By?

Let me share.

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Here’s the reading list from my resolution to only read books from women and writers of color

One of my resolutions last year was to only read books by women and writers of color for a year. My goal was to both read more and to push myself outside of authors who look like me.

I fell out of the habit, so rather than clear a book a month, this lingered for 18 months, but the last 12 books I’ve read fulfilled the goal. This has resulted in a couple lasting points for me: a recognition of authors from underrepresented backgrounds and a new reading habit of more smartly using my library card (thanks for the process, SACMW!)

Below find my reading list.

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Economics terms that help me understand the world

Since my undergrad years, I’ve taken an interest in the pop science of behavioral economics. From books and articles and podcasts aplenty, I’ve found the shallow edges of the social science quite helpful for my worldview. (I also book a second-hand microeconomics textbook and dug in.)

The clearest result of that has been an entire set of familiar terms that help explain the world. These phrases have been valuable to me. I’d like to share them with you.

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Wow, I’ve been writing here for 10 years. Here’s what I’ve learned

This month marks the 10th anniversary of my first publishing on this personal site of mine. That’s a decade of publishing at least once every single month for 120 consecutive months. That sounds batty to me.

Scan my archives here.

I first bought my name as a domain in 2005 and built a little site using Dreamweaver, when it was still  Macromedia, sitting in my university computer lab, but I let it lapse. I had no body of work, and even the compressed versions of short videos I was creating then were too big for my early hosting package — this was before both YouTube was at scale and Amazon Web Services had even launched, you’ll remember.

By December 2007, I felt like I had a greater purpose. I was an undergraduate active in my college newspaper, frequently writing fiction and learning as much as I possibly could. So on December 4 of that year, I bought a domain and redirected it to a WordPress.com blog template, starting with this post. I was an active and early Google Reader user, following and reading a growing array of bloggers I admired and wanted to join the conversation. I was super excited by RSS feeds.

During the next 10 years, this blog has been a major part of my personal and professional development. To look back, I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned along the way.

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4 lessons from sports stars that stuck with me as a kid

For all the meaningful sources of life lessons I received as a kid, from my parents to religion, and the many shades of the Golden Rule, I was still a sports-crazed boy growing up in the 1990s.

That means I internalized a lot of advice from athletes, whether or not they actually ever said them (sports quotes are full of apocryphal and fictitious claims). I was amused recently to think of a handful of very-90s-era memories I have about lessons from North American sports legends. In addition to being stuck in time, this collection is funny because I am so far from a knowledgeable sports fan today.

So these are corny for all sorts of reasons. Yet I do find myself thinking of these even today.

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A list of one thing I learned each day of June 2016

I wanted to get a sense of the kind of things I learn on any given day. So I spent the month of June writing down one specific thing I learned each day.

My goal was for them to be actionable and easily transferable, hoping to identify just how regularly I am learning such things. It was fun. Let me share, from reading, watching, talking and traveling — like to the Great Lakes last month, as depicted above.

I love the idea of learning meaningfully all the time. Here’s my latest check on myself.

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30×30: 30 things I’m proud I did before I turned 30

I like lists. I find them motivating and easy to understand. It’s a structure to limit and highlight, whether they be daily to-do lists or curated honors or resolutions — both personal and professional. I also like somewhat arbitrary milestones to serve as an opportunity to review my progress to the goals I have. It’s the same reason why I celebrated my 10,000th day alive.

Here’s another. I turn 30 this week and have used that as a reason to feel good about what I’ve done so far.

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