Ben Brooks turns 30 today (happy birthday!) and shares some of his accumulated wisdom:

Ignore people that constantly ask for your opinion, only to then refute your opinion. They don’t care to actually listen to your opinion, so you shouldn’t care to waste your breath.

Man, do I hate this one. At least four times a year, people will contact me out of the blue about which Android phone to buy. I, of course, say, "iPhone." Then a month later, they'll contact me again saying they love their HTC Impresso's 56" screen, but how can they improve the battery life? Grr.

Well tailored clothes make you look 50% better — no matter how cheap the clothes that are well tailored were when you purchased them.

True. My one and only suit was purchased for my high school graduation years ago, and still looks great.

Whenever you check out at a store and the little credit card reader asks if you want to donate to XYZ charity — just donate a dollar. It takes no extra time, you probably won’t notice the missing dollar, and you will be doing something good while you buy your Cheetos.

I should probably do this, I just hate feeling like I'm being ambushed.

Life is a lot easier if you set two standard drinks: one non-alcoholic and another alcoholic. Keep both simple, the more complex your order, the bigger an asshole you look like. (Doubly so with coffee orders.) Make sure both are common enough that even a dive bar will have them. (I went with Pepsi/Coke and Makers Mark on the rocks.)

This. I always felt like an asshole at the bar until I settled on a handful of drinks I like. Coffee in the morning, Coke Zero in the afternoon, bourbon on the rocks at home, martinis at bars.

Respect matters to people (well most people) more than money or gifts. If you want to retain an employee/tenant/anyone just treat them with respect — whatever respect means for the relationship you have with them — it will go further than any gift or money will (mostly).

I know this is true for me. But sometimes, a gift can be a sign of respect. The important thing is not to make people feel ten inches tall all year, then try to make it up with a gift. That just makes people feel like prostitutes.

Own your weaknesses. I know I’m not good at sports or grammar and a ton of other things. It is because I know this that I am willing to seek help and take advice on these matters. I was only able to do that when I admitted that I sucked at these things.

Do this, and you will make life better for yourself and your advisors.

When you feel like shit, smile. Smiling goes a long way and if you can get someone else to smile because you smiled, your fake smile might become a real one. And, if even just for a moment, you might feel better.

I used to suffer severe bouts of depression. Then, I resolved to do something good for someone worse off whenever I was down in the dumps. It really works wonders.