Lessons I've Learned, 1-10

February 11, 2020
Lessons Learned

Lesson I've Learned #1: 

“Every little increase in human freedom has been fought over ferociously between those who want us to know more and be wiser and stronger, and those who want us to obey and be humble and submit.”
-Philip Pullman

Lesson I've Learned #2:

Control freaks want to control everything but the one thing they can control—themselves.

Lesson I've Learned #3: 

People ask me why I curse in my business speeches.

It’s how I talk normally, and I choose not to censor myself because, aside from not wanting to, it also shows I'm my own man.

I don’t have to answer to the people they do. It’s a costly signal of self-determination and honesty.

Lesson I've Learned #4: 

The only hell I’m afraid of is when I die, the man I ended up as meets the man I could’ve been.

Lesson I've Learned #5: 

The most interesting thing I can do is be honest (especially about myself). That’s it. That’s the whole “secret” to being interesting.

Lessons I've Learned #6: 

Clarity is kindness. That’s all great writing advice, boiled down to one line.

Lesson I've Learned #7: 

All branding boils down to this: “Who do you want to be a hero to, and for what?”

If you’re unsure where to start with your answer, go back to “Who was I 5 or 10 years ago. What did I need to hear?”

From there, you can almost always find the way.

Lesson I've Learned #8: 

To understand why a man said something, add “…and what do you think of me now that I said this?” to the end of his sentence.

To understand why a woman said something add, “…and how close are we now that I’ve said that?” to the end of her sentence.

Not perfect obviously, but shockingly effective. (h/t Roy H. Williams)

Lesson I've Learned #9:

This lesson was a soul-level gut punch: “Self-judgments, like all judgments, are tragic expressions of unmet needs.”

No joke, I sat in the Toronto Airport staring out the window re-thinking every thought I’ve ever had.

(From the book “Nonviolent Communication” by Marshall Rosenberg)

Lesson I've Learned #10: 

If you really want information from people, don’t ask them questions.

Make observations about what you’re seeing and experiencing.

Then let them respond, and listen to what they say. (h/t Chris Voss)

The point of sharing these lessons is to help others on their journey. If you know someone who could benefit from a lesson, please forward this blog post to them.


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Tucker Max

Tucker Max is the co-founder of Scribe Media, a company that helps you write, publish, and market your book.  

He's written four New York Times Best Sellers (three hit #1), which have sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide. He's credited with being the originator of the literary genre, “fratire,” and is only the fourth writer (including Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Lewis and Brene Brown) to ever have three books on the New York Times Nonfiction Best Seller List at one time. He was nominated to the Time Magazine 100 Most Influential List in 2009.

He received his BA from the University of Chicago in 1998, and his JD from Duke Law School in 2001. He currently lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife Veronica and three children.


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