Commands

Last updated: August 2019

I have a bunch of yellow sticky notes on the wall of my bedroom. Whenever I read something I’m inspired by, or just makes me stop and take notice, I add a new sticky note.

They’re kinda like quotes, but they’re not taken verbatim. They’re more like commands - little aphorisms or rules of thumb to refer to.


Hell yes, or no.

Don’t take on things you’re lukewarm about. From Derek Sivers.

Be the first.

I forget where this came from - but the premise is that you should take it upon yourself to be the first mover. Don’t wait for someone to suggest lunch, or point out something’s wrong, or ask for help - give yourself permission to be the first one to do so.

Choose a focused life in a noisy world.

The tagline of Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism.

Don’t wait for inspiration - start and the inspiration will come.

From The Motivation Hacker.

Stop doing things you hate.

Generally sound advice, but nicely summed up by a sysadmin friend of mine who I worked with in my first tech job:

I figure after years of sledgehammering yourself in the nuts, you realise it hurts and find something better

Don’t underestimate the ability of people to put up with things for years without realising they don’t have to.

Don’t flinch.

Everything worthwhile causes you to flinch away before you do it. Resist it. From The Flinch.

Stop flaking.

The core commandment from this Vox article, which suggests that the reason people struggle to make and keep friends as adults is because we flake on each other all the damn time.

Seek expert advice.

From my own experience that an hour spent with an expert can teach you more than you can learn from a week’s worth of YouTube videos.