I don't celebrate my birthday. Never have. This birthday, however, I spent a lot of time acknowledging the goods in my life — parents, wife, friends, work, and few more things and ended up listing the 35 observations.
1. Control hunger
Long, solo road trips taught me to stay content, calm, focused on the road even if I don't have food for 100s of Kms. Don't get cranky at the first knock of hunger. Control it, you'll not die if you don't get to eat for a few hours.
2. Give your partner your best behaviour
Be it your spouse or work partner, they deserve to have the best of you. Don't lash out, don't let them be at the receiving end of a bad day. Share your bad day but never your bad behaviour.
3. Eat & make eat
I like to eat. A lot. I also like to make people with me eat a lot. There's joy in it.
4. If a task takes less than 5 mins, do it immediately.
5. Say no often & respectfully
I think it's the hardest skill to acquire and toughest to go through on a day-to-day. However, it's the most important thing one can do for themselves. Your true friends will get it.
6. Gift things
I like gifting people, not when I'm "supposed to", but when I genuinely feel like. People love thoughtful gifts.
7. Ideas over events or people
I don't enjoy people talking about people or events; I enjoy people talking about ideas. Of course, at work, I do talk about people — that's part of my job.
8. Play video games
They're usually very happy people at heart and to be around.
9. Talk clearly
Beating around the bush or sugar-coating never helps.
10. Practice gratitude
Be happy with what you have, what you've achieved instead of constantly worrying about what you have not done.
11. Don't get bored
There are countless number of things to do around you, at work, in your personal life. If you're curious enough, you'll never get bored. Ever.
12. Write something daily
13. Read to apply
Read non-fiction books only when you can apply them immediately.
14. Set spending priority
I have no limit spends for books and small gadgets. For everything else, I budget.
15. Flow state music
I listen to Post Rock for work, hobbies.
16. Accepting introvertism
I'm an introvert. I recharge by being along and/or with super limited set of folks, inc. my wife. I gain energy by reading, writing, watching TV, or listening to music by myself and don't enjoy most social gathering. I'm happy with it.
17. Be a good citizen
Give the turn signal, talk politely to sales staff at stores, wear a smile, greet genuinely. Everyone you encounter is fighting their own battle.
18. Keeping the child alive
Play games, draw something, craft something up.
19. Remove people
Remove people who drain your energy from your life.
20. Confirmation bias
It's the hardest bias to get a hold on. I have made some irreversible bad decisions in life because of this. Learn & stay actively on top of confirmation bias.
21. Boring is good
I mostly follow the same diet, same morning routine, and a predictable lifestyle. This makes once in a while events interesting for me.
22. Build leverage
Find opportunities what everyone takes for granted or where nobody's looking.
23. You don't actually have to "catch-up" over coffee
24. Answer what's up
Have an actual reply to what's up/ how's it going. It shows that you are interested in replying. I actually filter people on what and how they respond.
25. Buy solid wood furniture
26. You don't actually need to go to meetups
I've never built good network of people through conferences or meetups.
99% of the people like to talk about the thing they'd rather be doing over and over again, with multiple people. They don't take action. The activity of talking gives a false sense of achievement. Don't do that. Act.
28. Talk to your parents about mundane stuff
I was horrible at it. Now, I just call them to tell what I'm doing at the moment. They get happy.
29. Talk about new stuff
If you talk about the same thing over and over, you'll not learn new things. Have new conversations.
30. Don't talk about yourself
In social gatherings, show interest in others without finding ways to talk about your work or about yourself.
31. Do stuff you'll want to brag about
32. Surprisingly, I can read and retain more if I'm involved in one more activity
33. Talk to yourself out loud
I refine what I say by doing this on my way to work everyday.
34. You are what you consume
Bad health, change your diet. Bad ideas, change your sources. Bad mental state, change your folks or environment.
35. Have your folks in close proximity
Live close to your friends & family, possibly the same locality.