Sam Radford

May 3, 2022

44 insights I try to live by

Inspired by Kevin Kelly’s ‘103 bits of advice I wish I had known’, I decided to write my own list of things I’ve learned or am learning in the 44 years I’ve been alive so far. These are a collection of insights I try—with varying degrees of success—to hold onto as I go through life. This is by no means an exhaustive list; I hope I will be adding to this for many years to come. Nor is it in any particular order. It is simply an eclectic list of things I started to jot down when awake at 2am last night!

  • Time spent reading to and with your kids is some of the best time you will ever spend.

  • Leave your phone (and tablet, laptop) in a different room when you watch TV.

  • Let people know when you think about them—it barely takes a moment, but they’ll savour it all day.

  • Find ways to keep meeting new people.

  • Talk to strangers—you never know when you might meet a new friend.

  • Always be asking ‘Is this kind?’ before everything you say, do, and think.

  • Seek out other opinions and listen to understand not to undermine.

  • Changing your mind is evidence of growth not weakness.

  • Don’t leave your social life in the hands of your partner.

  • It isn’t necessary to check the news every day.

  • Never stop telling those that you love that you love them—unexpressed love is like buying someone a gift but never giving it to them.

  • Mistakes are fine, but try and make new mistakes not the same mistakes.

  • If you’re not enjoying a book, stop reading it.

  • Make sure the authors of the books you read—fiction and non-fiction—aren’t all western, white men.

  • Forgive quickly, freely, and unconditionally—the only one harmed by bitterness and resentment is you.

  • Be generous—stinginess isn’t a good look on anyone.

  • People are icebergs—don’t be fooled by the ten percent tip you get to see.

  • If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t Tweet it.

  • Aim to keep reducing the amount of time between bad behaviour and a sincere apology.

  • You don’t always need to be right.

  • Lifting others up will always lift you up too.

  • Sometimes the greatest way to show strength is to show weakness.

  • If you don’t know why you’re meeting, don’t meet.

  • Finish meetings early—everyone will thank you.

  • A life that is all work is no life at all.

  • Self-awareness is a super-power.

  • Wisdom treads a path to less not more.

  • You are good, you are worthy, you are loved.

  • Write it down—you won’t remember it.

  • Tolerance of others is too low a bar—choose love.

  • Love people; like things.

  • Always have a book with you—go for that in those spare moments you usually grab your phone.

  • There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure—if you like it, you like it, and so enjoy it!

  • We are not human by ourselves but only in relation to one another.

  • You can’t say thank-you too much.

  • Be sure to have at least one hobby that you do solely for love not money.

  • A strong social network is critical to your health and well-being.

  • If your opinions, views, and beliefs aren’t evolving, neither are you.

  • You rarely have all the information so always be full of grace and humility towards others.

  • Having your spouse or partner as your one and only close friend is imprudent.

  • Only those convinced they need help can be helped.

  • You are not as rational as you think you are.

  • Always be asking yourself how you can bring love, joy, and light to those you are with.

  • Read fiction books—you'll often learn more than from non-fiction.


Have some thoughts on this? I’d love to hear from you—do hit reply or drop me a note. Want to get these posts in your inbox? Sign-up.

👉 @samradford |

About Sam Radford

Husband, father, lover of books, writer, tech geek, sports fan, and pragmatic idealist from Sheffield, England.