There’s no reason to be snooty about beer – sure, you should drink good quality beer if you like it. But a Bud Lite, for example, is just fine. Thinking poorly of a person because they’re drinking crap-beer is a waste of your time. The opposite is equally true: there’s nothing special about beer because it’s crap-beer, and you shouldn’t drink it because of brand, “life-style,” or anything else other than your enjoyment of the beer itself. Drink it because, first, you like it, and second, you can afford it.
The higher principle is: drink what you dig, and allow others to do the same.
Here are a few things you should spend good money on – a big fridge, a kitchen sink and faucet, a few good outfits (all of them if you can afford it), good looking footwear that you wear all the time, a good bathrobe (it gets cold), anything related to coffee, computers, gifts for your wife, booze, ear phones, BBQ, cords you use to plug charge things (buy lots of them), cheese, pens (just nice plastic ones, not $50 pens or anything) a dining room table (you’ll spend a lot of time using it when you’re not eating), fast Internet.
Dress nice when confronting fear – when confronting something you fear or that causes stress, dress nicely. But dress in something that makes you feel secure more than anything else: if dressing nice weakens you, don’t do that. Typically, dressing nicely removes any distractions about your appearance, if you fit in, and sometimes the worry of choosing what to wear. Men are lucky: a suit always works.
Avoid psycho-analyzing in groups – It’s never a good idea to ask someone if they’re in a “bad mood” in a large group, or why they’re embarrassed. If they’re either of those things, asking them when you’re in a group will make them even more so. If they’re not either of those, it will make the others think they are, and then put the person in question into one of those moods, potentially.
Watch out for free stuff – often, you don’t need free stuff. The airport parking lot I go to gives you a free paper in the morning. I don’t ever read it, but often take it unthinking. Then I have a paper in my car forever. The same generally goes for conference shirts and bags, which end up just piling up in my house and creating work for me: taking them to Goodwill.
Use what you have – Use what you have to get what you can done, not what you wish you had to get what you wish you could get done. Put another way, Buddha had it wrong: unfulfilled desire is the root of all suffering.
Release early, release often – getting starred and getting it out there is more important than structure, tools, etc. Stop worrying about perfection or the perfect publishing mechanism and just publish. E.g.: I worry about putting a PDF in Slideshare because I can’t track metrics as close as in or weblogs – but we don’t actually track PDF metrics ourselves at the moment. I should just post it there and benefit from what Slideshare has. Another example: don’t worry about Scribd vs Slideshare: use the one that you’re currently using and just get it done. Writing is the hard part, not publishing. And, you can always edit and re-publishing. In fact, you should.
This doesn’t really apply to just writing, most things you’re “creating.” Writing is just the easiest thing to re-work. A house, for example, is a bit more difficult.
Make lists of what to do when you’re stressed – while it’s nice to know what to do, a list allows you to know when you’re done. It will also make it easier to give up (and stop being stressed) when you’ve done “enough.” And it will allow you to pause and pick up the remaining items later. The list should be detailed. Instead of “clean the living room,” list dusting, vacuuming, removing piles of clothes, etc.
You can always get up earlier than you think – Just get out of bed. In most cases, people with power and money will value doing things earlier in the day. On the other end, not much interesting happens late at night as you get older. As Governor of Texas, Ann Richards once said, leaving an evening meeting, “nothing much important happens after 9pm.”
Before complaining, try fixing the problem – things go wrong all the time, and the easiest thing to do (other than ignoring them) is to complain. Perhaps the point of complaining is to build sympathy and support for getting to a fix, but I find most people complain about something that could easily be fixed. Have a head-ache? Take some aspirin. Nothing good to eat? Go to the grocery store. Tired? Take a nap. Before you complain to those around you, ask yourself if you can just fix the problem. People will appreciate being around someone who isn’t always pointing out problems and instead seems to have “things always go their way.”
Also, most people don’t care about your problems, they have their own that they’re trying to fix.