Hey, I’m Conor. I’m a data scientist and writer living and working in New York.

23 Principles for 23 Years

A little over a week ago, I turned 23 years old. It’s both exciting and scary to face this fact. It’s also a little uncomfortable to think about how fast time continues to move faster and faster. Last year, I reflected on the principles that resonated with me the most. A quick 365 days later and it’s time for a sequel.

After skimming through my previous notes and journal entries, I picked out the things that I felt most strongly about. These are the ideas that brought me where I am today.

  1. Action trumps inaction, almost every time

  2. Almost everyone wants you to be average

  3. Learn the rules so you can break them

  4. No input means no output

  5. Having opinions is helpful to everyone

  6. If the answer isn’t simple, it’s probably not the right answer

  7. What you are when you’re small gets amplified when you grow

  8. You can’t enjoy the highs without experiencing the lows

  9. Never bury the lead

  10. Improve the skills that are going to magnify everything else

  11. When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure

  12. You can’t change other people, and it’s rude to try

  13. When it comes to the important shit, nobody can really teach us — we have to figure it out for ourselves

  14. Discipline can be both learned and unlearned

  15. Life isn’t short — we make it short

  16. Do things that make your friends say “wow”

  17. What we resist in others is often the same thing we resist in ourselves

  18. Don’t be afraid to start from scratch, even when it’s working well

  19. Aim for 90% — it doesn’t have to be perfect

  20. Take mental health just as seriously as physical health

  21. Block off time to think about big ideas

  22. Writing is keeping a relationship with your mind

  23. The things that are worthwhile are never easy

There’s been a lot of changes since last year, and I think that’s a good thing. We are constantly growing and adapting. Nothing is static. Next years list will be almost entirely different than what you saw today, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Conor Dewey