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Archived entry | Matt Wilcox .net

Things I've learned over time

Never be afraid to have an opinion

You need an opinion in order to make any progress on a given topic. It forms a point of reference and a basis for further inspection. Have an opinion.

Never be afraid to change your mind

Smart people change their opinion when new facts are available. Only idiots never change their mind. Sometimes we were ignorant, sometimes we were wrong. That’s fine, change your mind.

Apologising is not about being right or wrong

You have to weigh up whether deciding who was right and who was wrong is worth more to you than that person’s respect or affection. Apologising is about kicking your ego into line, not about the argument.

Don’t use texts or email to clarify misunderstandings about tone

The trouble with text as a medium is that unless you write well your words are open to any interpretation. What you mean as a short quip can be read as a direct insult. If something matters, write long-hand and be explicit. If you’re aware there’s already a mis-interpretation of tone, just stop writing and go verbal. Your voice makes it clear the tone you intend, naturally. If you keep writing, you’ll just dig holes for yourself.

Never do favours in/for business

Unless you want to lose mutual respect. And you don’t want to.

The first step to dealing with anything is to accept things as they are

It doesn’t matter what it is, you need to accept the reality of the situation you’re in. Not grudgingly, not beratingly, not proudly: just accept it and be ok with it. That doesn’t mean you want to leave the situation as it is, it means you’ve accepted things without a feeling of guilt, regret, anger, or shame. Only once you’re in a position to accept things calmly are you in a position to move forward.

Get over it

Sometimes you’ll be a prize dick. Sometimes the world will be a prize dick to you. Take what you can from it and move on.

Intentions don’t count for much. What you do is what really counts

No one intends anything bad. Everyone intends to live a good life and help people out. It doesn’t matter a damn unless you actually do it. No one intends to hurt friends or family, but it matters if you do it anyway.

Intentions are for inside your head, and that’s where they count. They help steer you through life. But for everyone else those intentions are irrelevant, it’s what you do that actually effects other people.


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  1. Ben Frain posted 2 days, 3hrs, 3mins after the entry and said:

    Matt, I came here with interest in your responsive images work (damn fine it looks too) and found myself on this page. These are all observations I've learned the hard way in life from experience. Was a real head-nodder to see them all written down here. A virtual hat tip to you sir…

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