What do you wish you had known before you turned 40?

“Practice is the key to getting better at everything. Ignore the concept of innate talent or gift. People who are good are good because they spent a lot of time practicing.

People who practice a lot usually do so because they’re interested in it. It’s not hard or homework for them. If there’s a gift, it’s the gift of interest.

Artists copy a lot. They don’t come up with stuff clear out of their heads. They look at a lot of things, keep a lot of references, and blend ideas together.

Most people who are famous are so not because they’re good, but because they’ve worked hard to become famous. It was important to them, so they did what it took to become famous. Being good at something is a small part of that, small enough that famous people aren’t usually all that good. Their time was better spent becoming famous. (This is the biggest lesson from this list. It basically implies that you can ignore people who have blogs and podcasts. Seek out the unknown experts in your field.)

Don’t make decisions based on money. Don’t stay at a job because the shares might be worth something, or because the company might get acquired. These things rarely happen and you can’t get your time back.

Everyone is totally winging it all the time. Confident people are just better at hiding it.”

— lkesteloot, on What do you wish you had known before you turned 40?