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What not to do in life

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These days, I come across a lot of advice on the web that I wish I had heard, or had the mental capacity to understand, when I was younger. Usually, when I come across articles such as “There is no speed limit” by Derek Sivers, or “How to make wealth” by Paul Graham (both incredibly mind-bending articles in my opinion on how to think about life) I usually tweet it out, or re-blog it on Tumblr or share it on Facebook for my friends.

However, a few months ago, I received one such article of the same caliber, except it wasn’t published on the author’s blog, nor was it on some magazine’s site. As odd as it might seem, it didn’t have a URL. It was simply a Word document that was forwarded to me. I loved it so much, I decided to request an introduction to the author, a friend of my Father’s from Bangladesh, and request that I have him post it on this site as a guest post.

Here it is…


My dear Little Mama,

Now that you have turned 22, done your degree and beginning work can I please give you some advice! No, do not say no, please. It is a father’s prerogative!

Do not ever work Picasso used to paint all the time, Henry Moore sculpt the whole day. Others would have thought they were working themselves to death. They actually were reenergizing and reinvigorating themselves. Do what you enjoy doing. Do not ever work.

Do not try hard Let it simply flow. Jimmy Hendrix did not play guitar. He simply let his feelings flow unabated. Muhammad Ali used to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. (Do not go into boxing though!)

Do not go into any competition Quality has no competition. Only mediocrity has competition. If you do what you do at the highest quality you have no competition. Quality creates a moat around yourself.

Do not market Create your own demand. People are always on the lookout for the good. People seek out winners. Therefore be a winner all the time.

Do not read Fire your imagination and creativity. Read not what is written but read into the writer’s mind. It is Einstein, one of the greatest minds of our times, who said that imagination is better than knowledge.

Do not run after money Do not run after money. You will find that money runs faster than you do. Bring total mindfulness to whatever you are doing. Hit Nirvana. Money will feel ignored. It will stop running and fall back on you head over heels. In a heap.

Do not run after success Carry on doing what you like doing without unduly bothering about success or failure. Success is also like charm. If you think you have it surely it will elude you.

Do not take advice Advice is what others did not take but wish to give. Your mind is your best guide. Certainly keep your eyes and ears open. Absorb everything but add your own pinch of salt. Filter out what does not suit you. (Do not think I put this at the end on purpose. Honest.)

Love, Dad

Mr. Attique Rabbani owns a small software firm out in Bangladesh. For his daughter’s recent graduation, he wrote this short letter to her, giving her some small (AWESOME) pieces of advice on what NOT to do with life.