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Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

the universal rules of success and happiness

During the first few days of his life, my son frequently made an unusual and unsettling noise, a sort of combination gagging and gasping sound that was no small cause for alarm for his first-time papa. I asked a nurse about it. Her explanation was reassuring; she said that Raphael was “managing his own secretions.”

I was relieved. Not only was Raphael not ill, at less than a day old he had managed to learn something lots of college seniors still haven’t figured out.

The nurse’s phrase struck me as excellent advice, in general:

  1. Manage your own secretions.

    Combine that with what I’m told are the two core rules of Google’s Engineering team:

  2. Don’t be evil.
  3. Don’t be stupid.

and you’ve got an entire life philosophy. Those three rules will certainly get you through school with more grace and success than is achieved by most graduates, or at least me. In fact, most of the things I regret about my life so far could be attributed to either being evil, being stupid, or failing to manage my own secretions.

Who do you stare at in public places? Which coworkers do you like the least? Who makes up the endless stream of losers who appear on talk shows like Jerry Springer? In all cases, the answer is the same: people who are evil, people who are stupid, people who fail to manage their own secretions.

The next time you fly, look around at the other passengers. If you’re very lucky, at least those nearby will be neither evil (hogging the armrest, reclining into your lap) nor stupid (trying to stuff a carry-on the size of a refrigerator into the overhead compartment), nor failing to manage their secretions (drooling, sneezing, other possibilities I can’t bear to contemplate).

Unless you keep a journal, in which case all those behaviors are entirely welcome. Heh.

posted to channel: Personal
updated: 2005-05-28 17:13:04

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