Hindsights by Guy Kawasaki

I recently started following a new blog authored by Guy Kawasaki, one of the more famous venture capitalists and author of several books on starting companies. Today he’s got a great post called Hindsights, which is a speech he gives to graduating high schools and colleges. The speech reflects back on the last 32 years of his life (he’s now 50) and provides us all with advice based on his personal experiences (hindsight can be 20/20). His ten pieces of advice are:

  • #10: Live off your parents as long as possible.
  • #9: Pursue joy, not happiness.
  • #8: Challenge the known and embrace the unknown.
  • #7: Learn to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and play non-contact sports.
  • #6: Continue to learn.
  • #5: Learn to like yourself or change yourself until you can like yourself.
  • #4: Don’t get married too soon.
  • #3: Play to win and win to play.
  • #2: Obey the absolutes.
  • #1: Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone.

I think you need to read the full post to understand the meaning of each of the above. For example, I completely disagree with #10 after reading the title, but after reading the full text, I think it mirrors the advice that I give to young people. Just remember Guy, not everyone comes from rich or well to-do families.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t become independent early, do [paid] internships and co-ops, work part-time jobs, travel, and not rush through college and into the real world. In fact, I think that becoming independent early, doing all of the above, and not living off of your parents for too long can help prevent what you call “the inevitable entry into the workplace and a lifetime of servitude to bozos who know less than you do, but who make more money.” But I think I’m digressing. 🙂

This is all outstanding advice. We should all take it seriously.

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