4 min read

The Wisdom of Kevin Kelley

Kevin Kelley helps us find wisdom for life when we are lost and scattered.
The Wisdom of Kevin Kelley

If you’re feeling lost or scattered, read this:

Here are 7 simple ideas from Kevin Kelley that will change the way you look at your life today. (and my thoughts alongside them).

WARNING: After you read these, you can’t unlearn it.

Things to know about Kevin Kelley:

  • Net worth of $5M writing his ideas for a living
  • Co-founder of WIRED Magazine
  • 71 years of life wisdom
  • Author of 25 books
  • Futurism thinker

Let’s dive in 👇

1 — Don’t measure your life with someone else’s ruler. 📏

Success looks different to every single person.

To @waronweakness, success looks like eating watermelon in a third world country while writing emails for a living.

But to @tim_cook, it looks like running the biggest company in the entire worId. Alongside creating the most desirable technology.

Two polar opposite lifestyles.

Both could be consider successful.

The best way to measure your life?

Who you were yesterday versus who you are today.

That’s step one.

Step two is who you are today versus the person you want to become.

2 — A great way to understand yourself is to seriously reflect on everything you find irritating in others. 💢

Here’s three things I find seriously irritating in others:

  • Laziness
  • Pessimism
  • Late arrivals

Those things drive me up the wall…


Because I’m:

  • Driven
  • Optimistic
  • Time sensitive

Sometimes it’s easier to point out other people’s problem than to find your wiring. So use that skill to see their problems and reverse affect it to your wiring.

3 — If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. 🤓

This is one of the reasons I love spending time on X / Twitter.

When I spend hours a day chatting back and forth with new incredible people I meet daily, it’s because I’m honored to be in a room with you guys.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most amount of time with.” - Jim Rohn

If you spend time with people smarter than you, you’ll be the next.

4 — The only thing people will remember is what kind of person you were while you were achieving. 🤝

“Talent gets you in the door, but character keeps you the room.” - Richard Colley

The greatest downfall of the most successful talents in the world isn’t that they stop getting better, it’s that their character corrupts.

Everyone tells you to build hard skills like:

  • Copywriting
  • Marketing
  • Design

But there rarely emphasize the importance of soft skills like:

  • Generosity
  • Empathy
  • Patience

These are true skills that build your legacy while you progress in your life.

5 — Life gets better as you replace transactions with relationships. ❤️

People want to spend time with people who want more for them than from them.

If you are connecting with someone because you believe they could be to your advantage in the future, that’s not a relationship — that’s networking.

If all you do is network, you’ll lack the depth of a real relationship.

Someone you could talk to about anything.

Someone to be human with.

You don’t need many relationships, just a few deep ones.

And it’s okay if your relationships also prove fruitful in advancing each other’s lives together.

But if your relationships are all based on, “what can you do for me?” — then those aren’t relationships, those are human transactions.

6 — Don’t let someone else’s urgency become your emergency. ⚡

You can get lost in life when you’re constantly aflutter with other people’s priorities.

We all want to help those around us but if you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.

And a life lived under somebody else’s demands is not a life lived but a life given.

The best medicine for this:

  • Create room for interruptions in your life
  • Protect your most valuable time regardless of the interruption

Meaning be flexible when you can but never sacrifice your essentials.

People have messaged me about emergencies at 7AM.

“Please help with this!”

7AM is when I have breakfast with my family.

Can I help them with their emergency? Yes.

Will it be beneficial for them? Yes.

Do I do it? Practically never.

Otherwise, I’d have very few meals with my kids. And I refuse to do that.

So should you.

7 — The foolish person winds up doing at the end what the smart person does at the beginning. ✅

Start now.

Start today.

Do it again tomorrow.

Starting early is compound interest whether it’s:

  • Working out
  • Writing online
  • Saving money
  • Reading books
  • Building your business
  • Doing morning meditation

Don’t start building a skill when you’re broke, build it today so you never go broke.

Don’t start running when you’re overweight, run today so you never become overweight.

Don’t start praying daily when you’re stressed beyond words, start today to protect your sanity.

It’s much harder to dig yourself out of a dark pit than to have made sure you never got there in the first place.