Life Advice In a Nutshell

by Stephen Mills on August 2, 2010

Nut Shell

This is all my personal opinion of course, but if you are interested in what I think, here it is.

Manage Stress

Read Andrew Bernstein’s fabulous book The Myth of Stress: Where Stress Really Comes From and How to Live a Happier and Healthier Life.

Child Raising

Stop hovering and helicoptering around your children.  Give them a break.  Give them a chance to relax and participate in unstructured activities – to be kids in other words.  Giving them more unstructured free time and fewer adult-run activities and lessons will result in a more capable child and future adult.  Leave them alone if you want them to grow up to be self-reliant, resilient, and well adjusted adults.


If you cannot spend at least several hours every day doing something for no other reason than you want to do it, then I consider that slavery.  Drop commitments like they are poison.  Avoid spending yourself into slavery (see below).  Absolutely do your own thing and not what anyone else thinks you should do, whether that anyone is society, your family, or your partner.


Avoid the Golden Handcuffs.  One of the biggest threats to your future freedom is to lock yourself into a lifestyle that forces you to stick with a job you would rather not have.  If you want an eye opening view into how little somebody can live on read John Robbins’ (of Baskin Robbins fame) book: The New Good Life: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less.  I wouldn’t recommend following his approach totally, but a happy medium seems very appealing to me.  Would you rather experience a free life or live in a big house and drive an expensive car so you be enslaved to the corporate world to pay for them?

Free Yourself From Manipulative Relationships

Time does not run backwards.  You do not get a do-over.  When you are lying on your deathbed, it is highly unlikely you will say “Boy I’m so glad I wasted my precious life putting up with all the drama and crap in my relationships.”  Read more…

Spend Time With Other People

Even if you tend to be introverted like me, maintaining and active social life is critical to long-term well-being.  This factor is showing up repeatedly in study after study.


Strength training once a week for maintaining function as you age.  High intensity interval training for maximum heart and lung capacity about 20 minutes three times a week.  I highly recommend the Pace Program.  Cardio and Pulmonary maximum capacity is correlated to mortality rates and it is not gained by sustained aerobics.


Avoid what comes in a box.  Eat as natural food as possible with plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Critical enzymes are destroyed by heating, so eat plenty of raw food.  Limit your calories and give yourself permission to eat something sinful on occasion.

Limit Time With Doctors

A great many treatments simply don’t work and it is easy to get caught up in a prescription domino effect; take it from someone who has experienced it.  Get medical treatment for serious issues but consider non-drug, non-traditional approaches if they are available.  This is an area where balance and judgment is critical.  Just don’t overdo the doctor thing.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

The books of Richard Carlson are great.

“Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.” — Robert Elliot

What do YOU think?  Leave a comment and join the conversation.


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Carousel — 08.06.10
August 6, 2010 at 8:35 am

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Positively Present August 3, 2010 at 6:21 am

Great post! I especially like that last one. 🙂


Jonny August 4, 2010 at 5:23 am

Great concept.

– Jonny
Jonny´s last blog post ..Drastically Change Your Life…For Free


Nea | Self Improvement Saga August 5, 2010 at 7:59 am

Excellent advice here! I really like what you said about allowing children to breathe. I’ve found that obsessing about every aspect of your kid’s life is a recipe for high stress. Letting my daughter find her own way, with my gentle guidance instead of ultimate control, has helped us both.
Nea | Self Improvement Saga´s last blog post ..How to Let Your Guard Down


Juna@FierceandLove May 12, 2011 at 4:46 am

You know what? This is a great article! I agree that you should give kids a period of just letting them be! It’s healthy and natural. Also, exercise really helps to boost your energy, happiness and self-esteem which makes your days even more productive. Also, get enough sleep and start your day early!

Keep your life spam free by keeping bad relationships out. 🙂
Juna@FierceandLove´s last blog post ..We are all domained and ready to roll!


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