The Only 6 Pieces of Life, Work & Career Advice You’ll Ever Need

by Alexander Heyne · 19 comments

I had the awesome experience of finding Daniel Pink’s book The Adventures of Johnny Bunko the other day, and quickly devoured it in one setting.

Now, although It’s basically an anime (and I don’t like anime – even though I’ve been accused of having yellow fever), this book is ridiculously good.

The cover reads “the only career advice you’ll ever need” and I pretty much agree.

I won’t waste your time with a big ass annoying intro, instead, I’ve loaded this post with images from each chapter.

Daniel Pink is a HUGE favorite of mine because he talks a lot about:

  • Flow
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Enjoying life and not hating the shit out of your work

… So go buy all of his books.

Enjoy !

The Epic Six Pieces of Advice

  1. There is no plan
  2. Think strengths, not weaknesses
  3. It’s not about you
  4. Persistence trumps talent
  5. Make excellent mistakes
  6. Leave an imprint

Lesson 1: There is No Plan (Shit Sounds Great In Your Head But Never Works Out That Way in Reality – So DO Something)

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Lesson 2: Think Strengths, Not Weaknesses  (Don’t Do Shit You Hate Because You Think It’ll Lead Somewhere – Do Shit Because It’s Awesome and Interests You)

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Lesson 3: It’s Not About You (Whether You’re In a 9-5, Freelancing, or Self Employed – The More You Think About What Others Want [ And Give Them It ] The More You’ll Get What You Want)

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Lesson 4: Persistence Trumps Talent (‘Nuff Said)

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Lesson 5: Make Excellent Mistakes (Rolling Joints in Class = Rookie Mistake.  Trying Something You’ve Never Done Before For Your Biz That Fails = Excellent Mistake)

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Lesson 6: Leave an Imprint (Leave Some Water For The Fishies, Yo)

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What Do You Think?

I’ve read a hell of a lot of career guides, “find your passion” type books and yadda yadda, but Daniel Pink seems to knock it out of the park with every book he writes.

Bonus points that he referenced my man Doc. C (The Flow Masta).

What’s the best career advice you ever got?

Hit me up with a comment below –

Ciao ciao

— Alex

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Elaine March 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Amazing how simple it is, right? We make it so difficult. Thanks for this post! I needed it today.

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Alexander Heyne March 9, 2013 at 10:27 am

Hey Elaine!

I know, right? I think it’s human to always want to search for more – more complexity, more advice, more opinions, more .. stuff. And then the cycle repeats itself – always accumulating, but never just applying solid, timeless advice.

Thanks for stopping by !

Alex

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Jason L March 12, 2013 at 8:57 am

This is one of a few blogs I read on a consistent bases.

Well done, keep up the good work.

I’m sure many people are truely benefiting from your unique approach and work.

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Alexander Heyne March 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Thanks Jason!

I’ll keep writing, don’t worry – I think there are a lot more people who need to hear the gospel of milk the pigeon! ;)

Best,
Alex

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Rob March 13, 2013 at 7:17 am

Hey Alex and others,

Great article. I personally have written an article that you might enjoy as well. It is about our duty to find purpose in life: http://theyoungsocrates.com/2013/03/13/the-purpose-of-life-is-to-look-for-a-purpose/ . Keep up the good work.

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Alexander Heyne March 18, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Thanks Rob! Will check it out –

Alex

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Willie T. March 14, 2013 at 12:06 am

Love the book and your posts. Keep doing what you’re doing Alex!

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Alexander Heyne March 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Thanks Willie ! I really appreciate man.

Best,
Alex

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Aziz Ali July 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm

True. That is all the advice I need.

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Barbie June 16, 2014 at 2:51 pm

It’s funny, I ran across your blog a couple of weeks ago searching for more meaning in my life. You speak so much to me, even though you target 20 somethings. I’m a 40 Something who wishes I knew this stuff 20 years ago and am now just working on making the best of the time I have left. I love Your Blog and just know that you are also making a difference to people beyond the 20 Something Age Group! =)

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Alexander Heyne June 20, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Hey Barbie – awesome, so glad to hear that :-).

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Greenbiffo January 19, 2016 at 11:10 am

I second that Barbie, I am a 50 something and still haven’t worked out what I want to do, but reading these blogs and Milk the Pigeon is pointing me in the right direction, you can work on person happiness and fulfillment until the day you check out :-)

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Alexander Heyne January 27, 2016 at 1:16 pm

As far as i’m concerned, there’s no reason to stop trying until you die :-)

Karin November 29, 2014 at 4:15 am

Barbie, I’m right there with you and I’m 40 something and looking for my purpose in Life.

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Steve Bird April 30, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Thanks for this. Very interesting. Cpupke of things to add.

1. I particularly relate to the observation that “your job may not even exist in a few years.” I used to work in an industry that has been disrupted by technogical change and the vagaries of the economic cycles and had to change careers. Eventually I settled on a career in law enforcement – something I’d always thought about but never thought I’d get to do. This was in my mid thirties. I didn’t have it all planned out. I blundered my way into it and wasted an entire decade in cubicles working for companies. So I’d like to add “it’s never too late to find your passion.”

2. Don’t discount the public sector. Working for a company in a cubicle and trying to climb the corporate ladder is not the only option. My job is secure (can’t be outsourced to India or eliminated by technogical change.) There is a career development path that rewards tenure with rank and salary increases on a more or less predictable basis (at least in the first years.) There is variety (every shift is different) you get out and about every day (not stuck in a cubicle) and you get to help people and to make a positive difference. Lots of annual leave too. (I’ve just got back from 6 weeks of paid overseas holidays.)

There are downsides to all careers too of course and mine is no exception (see a lot of tragedy and trauma, many people hate you just because of your job, difficult, dangerous, etc.) but in my view the advantages outweigh all the disadvantages and if you stick it out there are rewards. Better than being the guy stuck in his cubicle with cobwebs all over him that’s for sure! Don’t be that guy (or girl.) Get out there and find your passion and make a difference. You may not become CEO of a company but even that’s over-rated (an awful lot is expected of CEO’s of campanies and their lives are not all a bed of roses either.)

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vince May 26, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Very good, although I would re-order them in priority of importance, 2,4,6,5,3,1.
No biggie, but if you wanted to try one at a time, Think strengths, not weaknesses is where to begin. I’ve been reading and listening to motivational information since 1978 and you are making a solid contribution to the field. Should be required subject as early as possible in our educational system. Looking forward to your next post, Defending Your Dream.

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Lorry June 5, 2015 at 3:56 am

Live your life for what YOU want! What makes you happy everyday of YOUR life! I’m 54 female. My role model parents didn’t do me any good. I had no direction. When I finally had somewhat of a clue. I failed at everything. Why because I lived my life for others. And now I’m lost an alone. I was a wife for 5yrs. I’m a mother raised 2 kids alone. My Daughter is 31 an my son is 27. There never was a life for myself. I told my daughter all the time to live her life for herself! Do what she wanted not what others wanted. I think she took my advice. She doesn’t want children. She’s 31 an has her own cleaning business. She gets $35 an hour. Dartmouth College area. It’s not glamorous job. But it has some good opportunities. Good Christmas bonuses, sometimes gifts, an the chance of meeting people that might give you a better opportunity to a better job. An if they like you like a son or daughter you might be in their Wil . I’m just kidding. There are some very nice people who treat you like family. She had jobs working in offices. Her last few jobs were having to work for those types of people who think the word boss or supervisior meant your title was INFERIOR. And it wasn’t a big deal an no apology when you’d go try an cash your pay check every other week you couldn’t. The company had insufficient funds. I wish I could go back an start over with what I’ve learned from my years of experience. Id feel alot better about myself. GO FOR WHAT YOU WANT THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!

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Melissa September 21, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Great Post! Loved the comic story too, made the message come alive! I really need to think this through! I really enjoy reading your posts!

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