Over at 43Folders last week, Merlin posted a story about Stefan Sagmeister and a speech that was given at the TED conference. In this speech, Stefan puts forth a list of items that he has collected over time. He feels that these are a good set of distilled rules for happiness and design.

  • Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.
  • Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.
  • Being not truthful works against me.
  • Helping other people helps me.
  • Organizing a charity group is surprisingly easy.
  • Everything I do always comes back to me.
  • Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.
  • Over time I get used to everything and start taking it for granted.
  • Money does not make me happy.
  • Traveling alone is helpful for a new perspective on life.
  • Assuming is stifling.
  • Keeping a diary supports my personal development.
  • Trying to look good limits my life.
  • Worrying solves nothing.
  • Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.
  • Having guts always works out for me.

I think these are great ideas and well-stated. Watch the video if you want to hear Stefan explain it himself. He is entertaining and eloquent.