In a recent column, David Brooks gathered some great Life Hacks (which apparently is the new way to refer to Words of Wisdom.) Somewhere in this list, there may be something you need to hear:
If you meet a jerk once a month, you’ve met a jerk. If you meet jerks every day, you’re a jerk.
When you have 90 percent of a large project completed, finishing up the final details will take another 90 percent.
Anything you say before the word “but” does not count.
Denying or deflecting a compliment is rude. Accept it with thanks.
Getting cheated occasionally is a small price to pay for trusting the best in everyone, because when you trust the best in others, they will treat you the best.
Purchase a tourist guidebook to your hometown. You’ll learn a lot playing tourist once a year.
The thing that made you weird as a kid could make you great as an adult.
It’s not an apology if it comes with an excuse.
Just because it’s not your fault doesn’t mean it’s not your responsibility.
If you think you saw a mouse, you did, and if there is one, there are others.
Something does not need to be perfect to be wonderful, especially weddings.
The biggest lie we tell ourselves is, “I don’t need to write this down because I will remember it.”
Always make the call. If you’re disturbed or confused by something somebody did, always pick up the phone.
If you can’t make up your mind between two options, flip a coin. Don’t decide based on which side of the coin came up. Decide based on your emotional reaction to which side came up.
Take photos of things your parents do every day. That’s how you’ll want to remember them.
Build identity capital. In your 20s do three fascinating things that job interviewers and dinner companions will want to ask you about for the rest of your life.
Marriage is a 50-year conversation. Marry someone you want to talk with for the rest of your life.
If you’re giving a speech, be vulnerable. Fall on the audience members and let them catch you. They will.
Never be furtive. If you’re doing something you don’t want others to find out about, it’s probably wrong.
If you’re cutting cake at a birthday party with a bunch of kids howling around you, it’s quicker and easier to cut the cake with dental floss, not a knife. Lay the floss across the cake and firmly press down.
When you’re beginning a writing project, give yourself permission to write badly. You can’t fix it until it’s down on paper.
One-off events usually don’t amount to much. Organize gatherings that meet once a month or once a year.
Make the day; don’t let the day make you. Make sure you are setting your schedule, not just responding to invitations from others.
Never pass up an opportunity to hang out with musicians.
Don’t try to figure out what your life is about. It’s too big a question. Just figure out what the next three years are about.
Don’t ever look up a recent photo of your first great love.
If you’re trying to figure out what supermarket line is fastest, get behind a single shopper with a full cart over two shoppers each with a half-full cart.
Low on kitchen counter space? Pull out a drawer and put your cutting board on top of it.