Key Takeaways from “Hell Yeah or No” by Derek Sivers

Derek’s books, for me, are an auto-recommend. They’re the opposite of most non-fiction you can find today: small but packed super tight with ideas and insights.

Here are my takeaways from Derek’s Hell Yeah or No. I originally posted them on my Twitter but I think they are worthy of a larger audience.

If you say you want to do something but aren’t doing it yet, you don’t actually want to do it.

If you want a title, you have to earn it. And you have to keep earning it for perpetuity.

Most people don’t know why they are doing what they are doing. Once you find out what you want to do and why, focus on it and let go of everything else.

No matter what you do and how you do it, some will always say you’re wrong. Just keep plowing.

Copy shamelessly. Your voice will still shine through.

Your old self still tells you what you love and what you hate, even though you are a different person now.

Character and self-identity are built through small actions.

Find your balance between focusing on the short term and on the long term.

Say yes to what excites you, no to everything else.

It’s ok to not be useful to others all the time.

As soon as you feel addicted to something, anything, quit it cold turkey. Maintain your independence and room for growth.

In learning, working, or anything else: there is no speed limit. Go as fast as you want.

When working, you’d be surprised at how much you could accomplish if you just took it easy.

There are two best times in life: when you are completely connected, and when you are completely disconnected.

If you are facing two different options, there are likely more.

When people give you advice, they’re just giving you their winning lottery numbers. (see: Prescriptions Won’t Save You)

Early on, say yes to everything. Then pick one, and say no to everything else.