Birthday Advice

Tim Porter
4 min readAug 11, 2022

Borrowing from others, I offer some lessons learned about life in this century and the last

Today is my birthday. I am almost a quarter of the way into this new century after having been alive for more than half of the latter one.

A recent podcast tipped me to a list of gained wisdoms compiled by Wired magazine editor Kevin Kelly on the occasion of his 70 thbirthday. Herewith, I offer my own list. As always, your mileage may vary:

  1. Never be ashamed of borrowing a good idea, but always hat-tip the source.
  2. Take credit for your successes and responsibility for your losses.
  3. Eat a good breakfast.
  4. Make time to be with friends.
  5. Make as much time to be alone.
  6. No matter how smart you think you are, it’s not enough.
  7. Everything breaks, including people.
  8. Nothing you’ve fixed, whether it’s a software conflict or an education system, stays fixed forever.
  9. It’s likely that many people think more highly of you than you do of yourself.
  10. To keep your body alive, walk; to keep your mind alive, read.
  11. No win is worth hurting someone.
  12. Take care of your teeth.
  13. You will never feel as old as your face looks.
  14. The past is gone. Get over it.
  15. Being successful often depends more on where you were born, your economic level, and your race than how hard you worked. It’s a lottery.
  16. That said, work hard. It feels good.
  17. Learn another language. It will change your life.
  18. When someone speaks to you in their second, or third, language, listen closely. This person is doing the work.
  19. Resumes are useless.
  20. Always listen to your gut — even if all it tells you is that it’s time to eat.
  21. Sleep more rather than less.
  22. If you get the upgrade, take the window seat so no one climbs over you while you sleep. If you don’t, take the aisle so you have the extra legroom.
  23. Good shoes are worth the extra money.
  24. No one cares about your version of God.
  25. If it seems too good to be true, it is.
  26. When you interview someone for a job don’t ask them what…
Tim Porter

I'm a photographer and a writer.