Starting Principles

  1. My solution is to treat advice like I can only remember a few pieces at a time. Meaning, whenever I encounter wisdom that's valuable, I ask myself: Is this more useful than one of my few, memorized principles?
  2. If so, I swap it in for one of them. I keep doing until I curate the ultimate list of decision-making principles.
  3. I call these my Starting Principles. They’re first principles for my mind—shortcodes for forcing myself to act thoughtfully in everyday situations.
  4. The process behind Starting Principles is therefore quite simple:
    • Write your starting six principles on a sticky note.
    • Look at them every morning for a month until they’re memorized.
    • Go out of your way to practice using them until they become reflexive.
    • Over time, collect more advice and iterate on your six.
  5. Principles
    • Emotional agreement: it aligns with your experiences and beliefs. It maps onto your past and makes more sense out of it.
    • Logical agreement: it can be derived independently through first principles reasoning.
  6. You can start deliberately collecting experiences in two ways:
    • Pursue life experiences with stakes, which put your time, energy, love, or money on the line. Stakes build scar tissue around lessons learned, which thickens the emotional cement that future principles sink into. This gives you conviction, which makes you more likely to act on your principles.
    • Pursue a broad variety of life experiences to avoid getting trapped in a small bubble of Starting Principles.
    1. To repeat, the process looks like this:
      • Write your starting six principles on a sticky note. If you’re not sure where to start, read my post on Personal Values.
      • Look at them every morning for a month until they’re memorized.
      • Go out of your way to practice them until they become reflexive.
      • Collect more advice and iterate on your six over time.

Conscious Living

  1. Big 3 = Love, Creativity, Intention
  2. Seek your true self.
  3. Let go of the uncontrollable.
  4. We are all made up of the same thing.
  5. Life is fullest when we’re most true to ourselves.
  6. Life reaches its full potential when we bring forth our creative desires and the treasures which we have been blessed with and act on them in the world.
  7. To find your purpose, ask yourself questions like:
    • What do I most love to do?
    • What could engage me so deeply I’d never want to retire?
    • What am I really about?
    • What would be a purpose so grand that it could express itself through everything I do, from shoveling snow to making love to sitting on a bus?
  8. We are either committed 100% or not committed at all.
  9. Questions to ask yourself:
    • “What are the top four or five goals in your life?”
    • From a future perspective, “Is this what I really wished I had done?”
  10. Questions to ask when you’re not feeling good:
    • Where am I out of integrity?
    • What feelings am I denying?
    • What truths am I hiding?
  11. To be “in alignment” means feeling and handling our fear, expressing the creativity that is within us

Reading Better

  1. Skim a lot of books. Read a few. Immediately re-read the best ones twice.

  2. Levels of reading:

    **Reading to Entertain — The level of reading taught in our elementary schools.

    Reading to Inform — A superficial read. You skim, dive in and out, and get a feel for the book and get the gist of things.

    Reading to Understand— The real workhorse of reading. This is a thorough reading where you chew on things and digest them.

    Reading to Master  —  If you just read one book on a topic odds are you have a lot of blind spots in your knowledge. Synoptical reading is reading a variety of books and articles on the same topic, finding and evaluating the contradictions, and forming an opinion.**

  3. Notetaking: Blank Sheet- Before you start reading a new book, take out a blank sheet of paper. Write down what you know about the book / subject you’re about to read — a mind map if you will. After you finish a reading session, spend a few minutes adding to the map with a different color. Before you start your next reading session, review the page. When you’re done reading, put these ‘blank sheets’ into a binder that you periodically review.

  4. Notetaking inside the book

A Guide to Better Writing

  1. Mindset: Use writing as a thinking tool.

  2. Structure: Outline an intro-main-conclusion structure before writing.

  3. Story: Use storytelling frameworks to entice your readers.

  4. Humor: Make them laugh.

  5. Style: Follow a few simple rules.

  6. Phases:

    • Divergent Phase: Brainstorm; Sketch out ideas; etc.
    • Convergent Phase: Solidify core idea; Edit script/story; etc.
  7. Writing tips

    1. Write the headline and outro
    2. Outline the chapter headers
    3. Write body
    4. Redo outro
    5. Write intro
    6. Rewrite everything from start to finish
    7. Take five
    8. Edit final version
  8. Model:

    • Simple – Distill the core of your message.
    • Unexpected – Get their attention.
    • Concrete – Make them understand.
    • Credible – Make them believe.
    • Emotional – Make them care.
    • Stories – Give the audience something to act upon.


  1. Don't self impose restrictions to achieve even greater success
  2. Be ready to adapt. Be ready to change.
  3. Learn From Others People Mistakes
  4. The quality of my decisions will be predicated on what the other possible outcome could have been.
  5. Don’t find yourself. Create and design who you want to be.
  6. You need to be so stubborn to get lucky and to get successful.
  7. Pursue your obsessions even if they don't seem "smart" or “cool.” To pursue your curiosities means to be a human.
  8. To be a human means to be creative. To be creative means to express yourself in curious ways.
  9. Starting is hard and slow, but once it starts, it gets easier and faster. It’s better to focus on the quantity instead of quality.
  10. We are a collection of what we read, watch, and listen.
  11. Do Hard Things.
  12. If you want something, you need to intensely want it but also be indifferent about it.
  13. Writing is serendipity

What To Tweet: 10 Unique and Useful Twitter Post Ideas


What To Tweet: 21 Unique and Useful Twitter Post Ideas

  1. Tweet a tip that saves people time, effort, or money.
  2. Condense a big piece of content into a small tweet.
  3. Share a resource.
  4. Share a failure or fear
  5. Share a work in progress.
  6. Storytell
  7. Ask someone a question.
  8. Ask for recommendations.
  9. Ask if your followers have a question for you- AMA
  10. Create a space for people to promote their own stuff.


  1. A clear niche: Specific bests sweeping.
  2. Add your spin/angle/point of view that others can’t replicate in quite the same way.
  3. Have an opinion. Tell me why I should care.
  4. Expectations with a Subscribe page: Who you are. What you’ll mail. When you’ll mail. How often.
  5. Lots of yous. Count the number of yous in an email newsletter. If you run out of fingers… you’re doing great.
  6. Context for curation: “Here’s why I’m sharing this useful thing with you; here’s why I believe it’s important.”
  7. Questions: “What do you think?” Constant audience feedback allows you to grow/adjust your focus.
  8. Writing and Graphics Momentum

Copy Writing 101

  1. Get to Know Your Audience. Understand the reader.
  2. Writing well is about more than choosing the right words.
  3. Stress Your UVP (Unique Value Proposition)
  4. Use Copywriting to Solve the Pain Point
  5. Leverage Social Proof if there
  6. Delete the Fluff (quite obvious, isn't it?)
  7. Test, Test, and Test Again your point of view, headlines, formatting, CTA, etc.
  8. Focus on putting your ideas in motion and energizing your copy with verbs.
  9. Specifics are more believable, easier to relate to, and more interesting.
  10. Short passages are more inviting. Short paragraphs are less taxing to read.
  11. CTA:
  • Include urgency: Limited time frames, deadlines, reasons to be prompt.
  • Make an offer: Discount, bonus, free information.
  • Highlight value: Get your informative report, join our exclusive community.
  • Overcome objections: Eliminate or reduce risks with free trials or money-back guarantees.
  1. A few great headline tactics include:
  • The useful headline: Often a "how to."
  • A curiosity builder: This tactic has a teaser element that capitalizes on suspense and mystery. (Read “How Do You Write the Powerful Headlines?”)
  • The urgent headline: Why? Why not? Why now?
  • The list headline: Proven winners such as (X) secrets, tips, ways, shortcuts, etc.
  • The news hack: Attach your piece to something topical or someone famous.
  • The contrarian: Mistakes, dangers, lies. I find negatives positively irresistible.

How to Never Forget Books You Read

  1. Instead, skim the whole book quickly, stopping briefly at the points where you made notes. This way you’ll refresh the context of each note, and you’ll naturally pick up on other pieces of information surrounding it that you didn’t realize were important at the time.
  2. Why? Because now that you have a high-level understanding of the whole book, you’ll understand how the individual parts fit into it, and might pick up on things you missed the first time.
  3. carefully reading, highlighting, letting it sit, then going back and taking notes, you’ll remember 10x as much of the book as you normally do.
  4. Highlight important parts as you go
  5. Finish the book and add it to your list of books to take notes from
  6. Let the book sit for a week or two

Teach Yourself Anything with the Sandbox Method


Self-Education: Teach Yourself Anything with the Sandbox Method - Nat Eliason

  1. This is your “sandbox,” an area where you can freely play around with the skill you’re trying to learn without having to worry too much about taking it seriously.
  2. The sandbox lets you explore, experiment, and fail, without staking your entire future, savings, or reputation on it. you need to create an environment to practice it in.
  3. You’re going to spend most of your time practicing and experimenting so you need a way that you can easily exercise your skill and improvise.
  4. This sandbox should be: Low cost or free: so you don’t delay in starting, Low-stakes: so you’re not afraid to fail or show your work and Public: so that you have to put your work out there in some manner
  5. the best kind of information to look for is recipes. Clear ways of using the skill that you can immediately incorporate into your sandbox and try out.
  6. Take Notes!
  7. Practicing purposefully within your sandbox requires that you:
  8. Honestly assess your limits to figure out where you need to improve.
  9. Set a goal just beyond your current ability to motivate yourself to stretch beyond your comfort zone.
  10. Practice with intense focus.
  11. Get feedback, in whatever way you can, and incorporate that feedback into your practice.

How to Create Professional Growth


How to Create Professional Growth - Nat Eliason

  1. Staying Challenged: We need to stay challenged in order to grow. The challenge needs to be creative so that you’re learning new things to address a problem, and it also needs to be fun.
  2. Doing anything you don’t know how to do. When you’re asked or required to do something you don’t know how to do, you have to go figure it out. Doing more than there’s time for.
  3. If you just take on the amount that you’re certain you can fit into your schedule, then you won’t be pushed to get more efficient at it or to cut out anything you don’t need to do.
  4. Set audacious goals
  5. Finding someone whose life you want, whose type of work you want to do, and whose skills you want to develop, gives you access to a vast amount of information on how to get there, and more importantly, how not to get there.
  6. Read (a lot)
  7. People who are growing are spending their time on learning and socializing with the right people. They indulge, like anyone else, but they don’t overdo it.
  8. They know how to moderate themselves and use their willpower.
  9. Fail big and in public
  10. People who are growing know when to quit and move on. They don’t overinvest in anything that isn’t serving them or that isn’t letting them grow as quickly as they could be, and they’re not worried about replacing whatever it is that they’re quitting.

How to become a learning Machine


How to Create a Learning Machine

  1. Use methods that are easy for you to incorporate into your life or workflow: Certain tools will be easier to fit in than others. The ones that stick are the ones that have the least friction → the ones with the least friction are the ones you’ll use most.

  2. It’s really easy to collect knowledge but harder to actually utilize it: Don’t fall in the trap of just consuming, take the time to always reflect, introspect, and create your own key takeaways/action items from what you read.

  3. Pain/Experience + Thoughtful Reflection = Progress.

  4. When you use a tool or system you need to fully trust it: I know a ton of people who use tools like Evernote or Instapaper, but the tools never stick because they don’t fully trust it. Even after getting it they continue to store articles on other notes app, messages, or places like Slack and Gmail. As a result, too many touchpoints get formed so consistent engagement gets hard. You should create a process where everything consolidates into the minimum amount of tools possible.

  5. Write Down and Organize What You Learn. (Build A Second Brain)

  6. I have a way of taking notes that I personally like, it’s a mix of action items, key takeaways, and random facts.

  7. Spatial Memory Retention. The script called Random Note goes through your Evernote and opens up a random note file for you to read. If something is SUPER valuable, to the extent I felt it changed my life or an action item I really need to enforce. I’ll go into my calendar and set a reminder to look at it.

  8. Create the habit of naturally running into an abundance of high-quality resources and content.

  9. Create touchpoints and workflows where you collect content, so you can easily consume it later.

  10. Create habits and where you consistently engage in these touchpoints to constantly be learning.

How to become a learning Machine


How to Create a Learning Machine

  1. Use methods that are easy for you to incorporate into your life or workflow: Certain tools will be easier to fit in than others. The ones that stick are the ones that have the least friction → the ones with the least friction are the ones you’ll use most.

  2. It’s really easy to collect knowledge but harder to actually utilize it: Don’t fall in the trap of just consuming, take the time to always reflect, introspect, and create your own key takeaways/action items from what you read.

  3. Pain/Experience + Thoughtful Reflection = Progress.

  4. When you use a tool or system you need to fully trust it: I know a ton of people who use tools like Evernote or Instapaper, but the tools never stick because they don’t fully trust it. Even after getting it they continue to store articles on other notes app, messages, or places like Slack and Gmail. As a result, too many touchpoints get formed so consistent engagement gets hard. You should create a process where everything consolidates into the minimum amount of tools possible.

  5. Write Down and Organize What You Learn. (Build A Second Brain)

  6. I have a way of taking notes that I personally like, it’s a mix of action items, key takeaways, and random facts.

  7. Spatial Memory Retention. The script called Random Note goes through your Evernote and opens up a random note file for you to read. If something is SUPER valuable, to the extent I felt it changed my life or an action item I really need to enforce. I’ll go into my calendar and set a reminder to look at it.

  8. Create the habit of naturally running into an abundance of high-quality resources and content.

  9. Create touchpoints and workflows where you collect content, so you can easily consume it later.

  10. Create habits and where you consistently engage in these touchpoints to constantly be learning.

First Principles


First Principles: The Building Blocks of True Knowledge

  1. First-principles thinking is one of the best ways to reverse-engineer complicated problems and unleash creative possibility.

  2. Sometimes called “reasoning from first principles,” the idea is to break down complicated problems into basic elements and then reassemble them from the ground up.

  3. It’s one of the best ways to learn to think for yourself, unlock your creative potential, and move from linear to non-linear results. First-principles reasoning cuts through dogma and removes the blinders.

  4. A first principle is a foundational proposition or assumption that stands alone. We cannot deduce first principles from any other proposition or assumption.

  5. Technique Socratic Questioning: Clarifying your thinking and explaining the origins of your ideas (Why do I think this? What exactly do I think?); Challenging assumptions (How do I know this is true? What if I thought the opposite?); Looking for evidence (How can I back this up? What are the sources?); Considering alternative perspectives (What might others think? How do I know I am correct?); Examining consequences and implications (What if I am wrong? What are the consequences if I am?); Questioning the original questions (Why did I think that? Was I correct? What conclusions can I draw from the reasoning process?)

  6. Five Why's

  7. Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.

  8. Elon Musk: I think it’s important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. So the normal way we conduct our lives is, we reason by analogy. We are doing this because it’s like something else that was done, or it is like what other people are doing… with slight iterations on a theme. And it’s … mentally easier to reason by analogy rather than from first principles. First-principles is kind of a physics way of looking at the world, and what that really means is you … boil things down to the most fundamental truths and say, “okay, what are we sure is true?” … and then reason up from there. That takes a lot more mental energy.

  9. The problem is that we let others tell us what’s possible, not only when it comes to our dreams but also when it comes to how we go after them. And when we let other people tell us what’s possible or the best way to do something, we outsource our thinking to someone else.

  10. Letting others think for us means that we’re using their analogies, their conventions, and their possibilities. It means we’ve inherited a world that conforms to what they think. This is incremental thinking.

  11. Reasoning by first principles is useful when you are (1) doing something for the first time, (2) dealing with complexity, and (3) trying to understand a situation that you’re having problems with.

Personal Growth & Reflecting on 17

  1. The world doesn’t owe you shit.
  2. Stop engaging in things that don’t give you value. You’re not obligated to finish anything.
  3. The environment you put yourself in is the most important thing in life. Create yours so it positively affects you.
  4. Hold yourself to a really high standard. There are zero excuses for being a shitty person.
  5. Be productive and not busy. → Busy != Productive.
  6. Be internally driven, external motivation is bullshit and isn’t sustainable.
  7. Stop caring about what others think. 90% of times others aren’t always right. Don’t “be yourself.” Instead, figure out who you want to be and let that become your North Star.
  8. Roll up your sleeves and be prepared to get dirty. Put in the hours of work that other people aren’t willing to do. Everybody wants glory but nobody wants to be punched in the guts.
  9. Introspection and thinking are really important tools. Improving through self-understanding is better than improving through force.
  10. Most people are transactional and very superficial. A lot of people are obsessed with bullshit (stay away from these people).
  11. Be less judgemental towards people, really focus on understanding where people come from, and their incentives. Everyone’s been through tough situations.
  12. It’s way better to be positive than negative. Life is short, so why not focus on positivity?
  13. Take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt, including mine.


  1. Learn to be a world-class CEO and gain the skills needed to run a company: Understand what it takes to grow and scale a company, learn about hiring people/attracting talent, and gain really powerful decision-making abilities. Setting the foundations for starting my own company.
  2. Build strong relationships with the people I care about: Find like-minded people who are fun to hang around, but are also super ambitious (someone who’d be a great Co-Founder). Spend more quality time with family and siblings, who I’m starting to see less as I get too busy.
  3. Learn to be analytical and data-driven: Become someone who’s really great at identifying problems and opportunities. Quickly learn to solve problems by being able to spot things other people can’t even see.
  4. Learn more about the world: Travel more and get to experience different cultures that open up my mind. Learn about technology and what fields are progressing really fast.
  5. “Would I be friends with these people or care about them if I didn’t go to school with them?”
  6. My system for being productive:
  • Keeping all major meetings, appointments, and important dates in a Calendar. I use Google Calendar.
  • Setting monthly and weekly goals, with key items I want to accomplish each week and OKRs.
  • Having one large note file with daily tasks breakdown for every day of the week. Below the day by day tasks, having each week of the month and a breakdown of major items to accomplish during that week. Finally having a separate note file that has major month by month goals.
  • Spending Sunday’s planning my week for what I want to do get done each day. Also, spending the first Sunday of every month setting what I want to accomplish during the month.

7 What works for you will NOT work for everyone else, so no point in trying to copy full systems from other people. The only way to find out what works for YOU to become productive is through experimentation and iteration. What works to make you productive will change over time in your life. You’ll go through different systems and methods, you just need to be adaptable.

  1. Set goals and have intent with how you spend your days.

Mental Models


Mental model examples: How to actually use them | Elon Musk

  1. You get further in life by avoiding repeated stupidity than you do by striving for maximum intelligence.
  2. Mental models do two things: they help you assess how things work and they help you make better decisions.
  3. You go wherever your existing momentum takes you. You don't ask questions.
  4. You use your instincts—shaped by past experiences and memorized advice. This is a better approach than blindly following your momentum, but it's not that much better.
  5. Like Musk and Bezos, the most accomplished people I know share three traits:
  • They regularly reassess their priorities without fear of changing them. They don't fall prey to inertia.
  • They're biased toward taking action—not lazily deferring. If they encounter a mental model they value, they make sure they use it.
  • They're always looking to prove themselves wrong. Their ego doesn't get in the way of their mental models.
  1. A "system" is simply anything with multiple parts that depend on each other. Every machine and process is a system at some level. For example:
  • business, such as Microsoft or a startup.
  • tool, such as a rocket or a keyboard.
  • process, such as economic growth or sustaining a romantic relationship.
  • state of being, such as your health or happiness.
  1. A mental model of a system is a reduction of how it works
  • When you improve the system of business, you make more money.
  • When you improve the system of relationships, you gain deeper friendships.
  1. First Principles — What is the most efficient way to solve a problem if you started from scratch? If you look past humanity’s attempts to solve it, what is the best approach if you reasoned from its fundamental principles?

  2. For every project, ask:

  • What system underlies this project? Is it a relationship, a business, a product, or something else with multiple components relying on each other?
  • Is this system already efficient?
  • If not, what are the ironclad principles underlying it?
  • Can I start over from those principles to identify a remarkably better way to design this system?
  1. One Level Higher — Repeatedly ask whether you’re optimizing a cog in a machine instead of the machine itself. The higher the level you optimize at, typically the greater your ROI. Is it higher leverage to optimize a level above the one I'm focused on?

  2. Everyday decisions fall into two categories:

  • Prioritizing — Which path is the best to take?
  • Allocating — How much attention, time, or capital should be spent on this?
  1. Regret Minimization — To maximize your long-term happiness, prioritize projects you’d most regret not having pursued by the time you’re old and looking back at your life.

  2. Pareto Principle — 80% of your output will come from the top 20% of your inputs. To maximize ROI, preferentially invest in the 20%.

  3. Theory of Constraints: At any time, know that it's just one of a system’s inputs that is constraining the other inputs from achieving a greater total output. Therefore, to continuously increase a system’s output, iteratively identify and address the current constraint. For example, if you’re trying to pursue a hobby but you can’t get yourself to start, first identify the underlying inputs: Time, Motivation, and Knowledge of how to move forward

What you should be working on?


What you should be working on

  1. List out everything I care about: human connection, self-education, wealth, and so on.
  2. Focus on judging a project and life on the following parameters
  • Knowledge — Do you become more knowledgeable and skilled from it?
  • Adventure — Do you accrue novel, memorable experiences?
  • Fame — Do you build an audience you can later leverage?
  • Power — Do you acquire resources and connections?
  • Money — Do you increase your financial wealth?
  • Exercising Talent — Do you leverage your skill and creativity?
  • Human Connection — Do you bond with others?
  1. Which pursuit better satisfies my values?

  2. Our values change over time. It's not self-evident unless we self-assess. We self-assess by ordering our values and identifying which projects best satisfy them.

  3. We use regret minimization to overcome our bias toward past ambitions.

  4. It's uncomfortable to commit to a long-term project unless we first do two things: 1. Weigh the pros and cons until we're convinced our ROI is very high. 2. Rule out everything else.


  6. Knowledge leads to personal growth

  7. Exercising talents leads to being challenged

  8. Aim to be fulfilled not rich

  9. Money frees you from doing the things you don't want to do.

  10. Money removes your financial anxiety about future stability.

  11. What would I do with my life if I could start all over again?

Starting Twitter at Ground Zero


Starting Twitter at Ground Zero

  1. Think about how you are going to provide value to a stranger.
  2. “Trust. Takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair.” Be careful and considerate of what you tweet.
  3. Thank people for following you
  4. Share everything you know for free through tweets and also DMs
  5. more:

A beginner’s guide to building a Twitter presence


A beginner's guide to building a Twitter presence

  1. Have an approachable profile picture and profile as a whole
  2. Make a good banner in figma
  3. Have a brand color, logo, emoji and so on
  4. Write a bio about the value that you can offer
  5. Tell about what you tweet about
  6. If there’s something about you that makes you uniquely qualified to tweet about your chosen subject matter, highlight it!
  7. Add a piece of yourself and your character. For eg. Potterhead
  8. Focus on giving
  9. It's okay if your tweet seems obvious
  10. Build up authenticity
  11. DM's are a superpower

Plus Minus Journaling


Plus Minus Next journaling

  1. What worked, what didn’t, what’s next




Metacognition: how to think about thinking

  1. The word “metacognition” literally means “above cognition”—it’s one of the most powerful forms of self-monitoring and self-regulation
  2. Metacognitive knowledge. What you know about yourself and others in terms of thinking and learning processes.
  3. Metacognitive regulation. The activities and strategies you use to control your learning.
  4. Metacognitive experiences. The thoughts and feelings you have while studying and learning something.
  5. Planning. Before you start learning something new, think about the appropriate learning strategies you will use, as well as how you will allocate your time and energy. This phase is based on your metacognitive knowledge—of yourself, learning strategies, and when to use them to maximise your performance.
  6. Monitoring. While learning, stay aware of your progress. Are you struggling with certain aspects in particular? Are there other sections that seem to be a breeze to go through? Instead of passively experiencing your thoughts and feelings, always question everything.
  7. Evaluating. When you’re done with a chunk, consider how well you performed and re-evaluate the strategies you used. Make any necessary changes before starting to work on the next part of your learning project.

Unbounded Learning


Unbounded learning: how to unshackle your education

  1. Study the source material. You can even paste the source into Connected Papers to generate a map of reference papers to explore further.
  2. Mix and match the content to fit your needs. Try different platforms, formats, and educators and keep the ones that work best for you.
  3. Use thinking tools like roam
  4. Learn in public.
  5. Practice self reflection

Lifelong Learning


The educational and economic necessity of lifelong learning

  1. Explosion of online courses, self-directed learning to acquire the knowledge they need to perform their current work and stay ahead of the curve, and personal learning environments
  2. Decide on your current learning goal.
  3. Map out your learning constraints: What’s your budget? How much time can you commit?
  4. Practice Metacognition
  5. Journaling is a great way to reflect. You can use the Plus Minus Next method to perform a quick weekly review. Over time, the way you learn and your personal learning environment will incrementally get better. Bonus points if you learn in public by sharing your thoughts and challenges with the world.
  6. Make it enjoyable

How to plan your most successful year yet?


12 Steps to Plan Your Most Successful Year Yet | THE MILLENNIAL GRIND

  1. Reflect on The Past Year. Ask yourself the following: What were the highlights of last year?, How did I grow as an individual?, What were some of the lowlights of last year?, and What kind of lessons did I learn from last year?
  2. let bygones be bygones
  3. Define who you are. Try and understand your soul-based goals.
  4. Examine your values, weaknesses strengths, passion and personality. Be brutally honest.
  5. Create a vision board. Write and illustrate of what your perfect lifestyle would look like
  6. Find your ikagai or your reason of being. Research through yourself.
  7. Figure out What’s something outside of my comfort zone?, Do you let fear hold you back from pursuing your dreams?, and How should I challenge myself this year?
  8. set yearly goals. Check out this template for more:
  9. Make a list of habits you want to form and habits you want to give up. Then, expand on that by writing down the reason and how forming or eliminating the habit will help you.
  10. Buy a planner
  11. Make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound
  12. Review your goals tto make sure they are right for you
  13. Make your own bucket list

Systems vs Goals

  1. “System is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).”
  2. Eg. We want to read more books. We could set the goal to read 50 books by the end of the year or decide to always carry a book with us (system).
  3. Goals don't work cause they...
  4. Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.
  5. Systems operate automatically. Systems take otherwise difficult tasks and make them easy
  6. Systems are powerful, but delicate. They can emerge outside our consciousness or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permission but can be reshaped by fiddling with their parts. They shape our lives far more than we realize—they are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.”
  7. Systems can compound. Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.

How to 80/20 your life


How to 80/20 Your Life

  1. The 80/20 Principle states that 80% of the output or results will come from 20% of the input or action.
  2. Answer the following:
  • What are the 20% of your possessions you get the most value out of?
  • What do you spend 20% of your time doing that gives you 80% of your happiness?
  • Who are the 20% of people you’re close to who make you the happiest?
  • What are the 20% of the clothes you wear 80% of the time?
  • What’s the 20% of food you eat 80% of the time?

The laws of interesting


The DO Lectures - 23 Laws Of Interesting.

  1. Outputs are directly related to inputs: If you go looking in the same place for inspiration as everybody else, you will find your work quickly resembles theirs.
  2. The more interesting your circle, the more interesting you will be.
  3. Think differently
  4. Embrace your weirdness**:** The odd things about you make you interesting. Don’t hide them away. Don’t try to blend in. Our imperfections and our quirks make us who we are. Bring them to the surface.
  5. Know how to ask good questions
  6. Learn a new skill each year.
  7. Say yes when would say no.

How to build a product in public?


  1. Get social (on twitter): Use Twitter to gain followers interested in your industry by tweeting relevant information
  2. Ask for feedback or ideas.
  3. Log your work in public
  4. Write consistently: Writing helps you to log your progress. This way it is easy to keep track of everything that has been done or is planned.
  5. Create a podcast
  6. Live stream your progress on behind the scenes
  7. Join relevant communities

Building personal moats


Building personal moats and killer features

  1. A personal moat is a unique competitive advantage that compounds over your lifetime. Requires some contrarian thinking. Lacks a playbook. After all, that’s how the advantage is sustained.
  2. Indulge in paradoxes: This is why it's important to identify and follow the intersection of your strengths and interests. Being interdisciplinary is a superpower because it’s so rare.
  3. Emotion is magic

WIP: the case for sharing your work in public

  1. Make it easy. Sharing your work in public can be nerve-wracking at first, so make it as easy as possible. This could be sharing a short tweet about your progress.
  2. Find your tribe. You will realise that some people are extremely supportive, while the vast majority is indifferent. Find the people who care, and connect with them. This may mean joining an online group, or attending offline meetups.
  3. Build a habit. Make sharing your work in public a part of your overall process. Commit to posting once a week or whatever frequency feels comfortable to you. There are great tools for this, such as Makerlog or Product Hunt Makers—both public to-do lists allowing you to mark tasks as done and receive support from the community.

7 Skills That Will Help Reach Your Full Potential

  1. Self-Awareness: You must be comfortable with who you are and what you are. Don’t try to be something you’re not. And don’t try to change yourself just because others tell you to. A list of 20 questions you can use to improve your self-awareness. Use it to improve this skill.
  2. Become a leader
  3. Writing: Better writing leads to better thinking.
  4. Mindfulness: I’m talking about being a calm and mindful person. A person who’s in control of their thoughts and emotions. A person who’s solid as a rock. A person who others can rely on.
  5. Productivity; Become a person who’s productive every day. Make use of your time. Don’t just waste it.
  6. Perseverance
  7. Excellence
  8. No matter what you do. Do it the best way you can—or not at all. If you want to reach your full potential, that’s the quickest route.

Skill Stacking


Skill Stacking: A Practical Strategy To Achieve Career Success - Darius Foroux

  1. “Successwise, you’re better off being good at two complementary skills than being excellent at one.”
  2. But if you have multiple skills, you’re simply more valuable. And that’s what career success is ultimately about. It comes down to value. How much value can you give to people or organizations?
  3. What Skills Will Make Me More Valuable?”

The more skills you have, and the more value you can create, the more rewards you receive. And yes, over your career, that’s probably more than a million bucks. So what are those valuable skills? I personally think you can’t go wrong by developing these skills:

  • Productivity—My whole blog’s focus is on productivity for one reason: When you’re a person who can get shit done, you will always find away. With solid productivity skills, you can learn anything. That’s why I think it’s the first thing we must learn because it makes developing all the other skills a lot easier. Put simply: Productivity is the mother of all skills.
  • Writing—The ability to translate your thoughts into words makes it easier to do our job. When you write in a clear and simple way, you can express yourself like very few people can.
  • Psychology—A basic understanding of why we do what we do can help us to understand ourselves and others. You don’t have to become a therapist. As long as you know the basics of psychology, you’re better at dealing with other people; and yourself.
  • Persuasion—This is the art and science of communicating in a way that resonates with people. When we’re good at persuasion, we are better at leadership, sales, holding conversations, public speaking, at anything else that requires influencing others. Influence is more about effective communication than anything else.
  • Personal Finance—We often don’t think about managing our money. But when we get closer to retirement, we think, “Why didn’t I start earlier.” The time to start managing your personal finance is NOW.

Efficient Strategies to Learn Anything Faster


  1. Trust the process.
  2. Unlearn and relearn.
  3. stay present and focused.
  4. Ask yourself questions about what you’re studying. Can you answer them? If you can’t, look it up or ask someone who does know.
  5. make mental models and teach the concept to someone else.
  6. remove distractions

Notes from deep dive with david

  1. The key to achieving long-term goals is to match your desires in the short term with your desires in the long term
  2. Don't fear
  3. write about what interests you. Obscure topics are exactly what you should be writing. The benefit of writing online is to meet people who have similar ideas as you, to create serendipity and to have an email list of people who share your intellectual obsessions.
  4. Building an audience requires us to think of the internet as a series of open and owned platforms. An open platform is something that is open to everybody. An owned platform is something that you are in control of.
  5. you want to convert people from your open platforms into owned platforms through email and articles.
  6. when something is confusing, you rewrite it, when something is repeated, you delete it, when something is insightful, you talk more about it, when something is boring, you delete it and when something is surprising you create tension up to that moment because we learn best when we are surprised.


  1. Create a vehicle for serendipity like writing or podcasting
  2. Relationships built on trust, joy and mutual respect are the foundation of serendipity.
  3. Have objectives and be vigilant about connecting
  4. Cross-pollinate ideas from different industries, disciplines, and places. Surround yourself with a diversity of people and develop a variety of skills. 
  5. The space between ideas will give you a fresh perspective that you can use to problem solve and come up with new ideas.
  6. Because of your unique set of skills, lucrative deals will flow through you and other people will open doors for you. They’ll sell your abilities and hype you up, leading to serendipitous encounters.
  7. Build conversational momentum by asking questions, staying engaged, and talking about the other person’s interests.
  8. Always dress well enough
  9. Move to a city. Pursue dynamic environments. Talk to people. Speak with passion and enthusiasm. Write online. Be curious. Ask about the other person, and when you do, listen intently.
  10. Follow like-minded people. Send generous, thoughtful replies. Tweet so the people you admire most will follow you. Twitter DMs is a superpower
  11. Be authentic and credible
  12. Tell the world what you want. Advertise your goals by painting a picture of your ideal future.
  13. When you ask for favors, follow these three guidelines: (1) be specific and precise, (2) tell the other person why you’re asking for their help, and (3) after they’ve helped you, follow up with them thank them or provide an update.
  14. Don’t “Pick Somebody’s Brain”: Help them instead. Whenever you want to meet somebody, I ask to interview them. Doing so makes the time much more productive for the other person.

Brag Doc

  1. The tactic is pretty simple! Instead of trying to remember everything you did with your brain, maintain a “brag document” that lists your achievements
  2. get feedback and reviews
  3. In addition to just listing accomplishments, you can write the narrative explaining the big picture of your work in your brag document.
  4. use your brag document to notice patterns: (a) What work do I feel most proud of? (b) Are there themes in these projects I should be thinking about? What’s the big picture of what I’m working on?. (c) What do I wish I was doing more / less of? (d) Which of my projects had the effect I wanted, and which didn’t? Why might that have been? (e) What could have gone better with project X? What might I want to do differently next time?
  5. Don't forget to include hard to quantify stuff
  6. Template:

Appendix: brag document template

Here’s a template for a brag document! Usually, I make one brag document per year. (“Julia’s 2017 brag document”). I think it’s okay to make it quite long/comprehensive – 5-10 pages or more for a year of work doesn’t seem like too much to me, especially if you’re including some graphs/charts/screenshots to show the effects of what you did.

I want to emphasize that for people who don’t like to brag, is – you don’t have to try to make your work sound better than it is. Just make it sound exactly as good as it is! For example “was the primary contributor to X new feature that’s now used by 60% of our customers and has gotten Y positive feedback”.

Goals for this year:

  • List your major goals here! Sharing your goals with your manager & coworkers is really nice because it helps them see how they can support you in accomplishing those goals!

Goals for next year

  • If it’s getting towards the end of the year, maybe start writing down what you think your goals for next year might be.


For each one, go through:

  • What your contributions were (did you come up with the design? Which components did you build? Was there some useful insight like “wait, we can cut scope and do what we want by doing way less work” that you came up with?)
  • The impact of the project – who was it for? Are there numbers you can attach to it? (saved X dollars? shipped new feature that has helped sell Y big deals? Improved performance by X%? Used by X internal users every day?). Did it support some important non-numeric company goal (required to pass an audit? helped retain an important user?)

Remember: don’t forget to explain what the results of your work actually were! It’s often important to go back a few months later and fill in what actually happened after you launched the project.

Collaboration & mentorship

Examples of things in this category:

  • Helping others in an area you’re an expert in (like “other engineers regularly ask me for one-off help solving weird bugs in their CSS” or “quoting from the C standard at just the right moment”)
  • Mentoring interns / helping new team members get started
  • Writing really clear emails/meeting notes
  • Foundational code that other people built on top of
  • Improving monitoring/dashboards / on call
  • Any code review that you spent a particularly long time on / that you think was especially important
  • Important questions you answered (“helped Risha from OTHER_TEAM with a lot of questions related to Y”)
  • Mentoring someone on a project (“gave Ben advice from time to time on leading his first big project”)
  • Giving an internal talk or workshop

Design & documentation

List design docs & documentation that you worked on

  • Design docs: I usually just say “wrote design for X” or “reviewed the design for X”
  • Documentation: maybe briefly explain the goal behind this documentation (for example “we were getting a lot of questions about X, so I documented it and now we can answer the questions more quickly”)

Company building

This is a category we have at work – it basically means “things you did to help the company overall, not just your project/team”. Some things that go in here:

  • Going above & beyond with interviewing or recruiting (doing campus recruiting, etc.)
  • Improving important processes, like the interview process or writing better onboarding materials

What you learned

My friend Julian suggested this section and I think it’s a great idea – try listing important things you learned or skills you’ve acquired recently! Some examples of skills you might be learning or improving:

  • how to do performance analysis & make code run faster
  • internals of an important piece of software (like the JVM or Postgres or Linux)
  • how to use a library (like React)
  • how to use an important tool (like the command line or Firefox dev tools)
  • about a specific area of programming (like localization or timezones)
  • an area like product management / UX design
  • how to write a clear design doc
  • a new programming language

It’s really easy to lose track of what skills you’re learning, and usually, when I reflect on this I realize I learned a lot more than I thought and also notice things that I’m not learning that I wish I was.

Outside of work

It’s also often useful to track accomplishments outside of work, like:

  • blog posts
  • talks/panels
  • open source work
  • Industry recognition

I think this can be a nice way to highlight how you’re thinking about your career outside of strictly what you’re doing at work.

This can also include other non-career-related things you’re proud of if that feels good to you! Some people like to keep a combined personal + work brag document.

General prompts

If you’re feeling stuck for things to mention, try:

  • If you were trying to convince a friend to come to join your company/team, what would you tell them about your work?
  • Did anybody tell you that you did something well recently?

Time Leverage: How to get more than 24 hours per day

  1. Reclaim time -- Many things we do just don’t need to be done. Your time is being slowly eroded away through a thousand small waves. Notifications, emails, and requests. Reclaiming time is about taking control of your time. You stop allowing things to eat away at your time and attention.

  2. Control your environment, ignore unimportant emails and messages and downgrade to efficiency

  3. Set an hourly rate for your time where you are willing to “buy time back” and look for opportunities to do so.

  4. Buy other’s time -- Here is where things start to get especially fun. So far, we have just been making our 24 hours more efficient. We love to buy their hours and gain a share of their talent to help us accomplish our goals.

  5. Things only you can do and Things you love to do.

The Productivity Guide: Time Management Strategies That Work by James Clear

  1. Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of a person completing a task. It is getting important things done consistently.
  2. Eliminate Time-Wasting Activities by Using the Eisenhower Box
  3. Warren Buffett’s “2 List” Strategy: How to Maximize Your Focus and Master Your Priorities
  4. The Ivy Lee Method: The Daily Routine Experts Recommend for Peak Productivity
  5. The 15-Minute Routine Anthony Trollope Used to Write 40+ Books
  6. Manage your energy, not your time.
  7. Prepare the night before


Focus: A brief Guide by James Clear

  1. Focus can only occur when we have said yes to one option and no to all other options. In other words, elimination is a prerequisite for focus.
  2. Multitasking is a myth. Multitasking leads to loss of work quality.
  3. Warren Buffett’s “2 List” Strategy for Focused Attention: 25 goals for a certain time and then top 5 goals from them. you don't do the other 20 unless you have finished the top 5s.
  4. Ivy Lee Method. Top 6 specific priorities in order of precedence.
  5. Focus often fades because of a lack of feedback. From a practical standpoint, this means that we need to measure our results.
  6. Focus on the Process, Not the Event. Fall in love with the daily practice, not the individual event.
  7. Choose a single non-negotiable task for the day
  8. Measure your energy. Not your time.
  9. Avoid emails until noon.
  10. Work fullscreen to avoid distractions.

Check out the whole post-

How to find your own operating values?

Check out the link here

  1. An operating value is an overarching concept that can be applied across every area of our lives.
  2. Implicit operating values are the subconscious operating values that guide our decisions. Explicit operating values are the values we say are guiding our decisions.
  3. Creating my list of operating values has been a methodical, iterative process. I'm constantly adding new ones as I come across them and removing ones that no longer apply.
  4. Every morning, I read my operating values within ten minutes of waking up. This is my way of reminding myself "here are the values I want to govern my decisions today. If I follow them, today will be a good day."
  5. Aside from this daily practice, I consult this list of values when I am faced with a difficult decision. I run through the list and ask myself "if I let each of these guide my decision, what decision would I make?"
  6. Other times, I'll reflect on the entire list of values through the lens of one decision I made in the past. This one takes a bit longer, but it forces me to be honest with myself. This honesty is often difficult, but it's where I make the most progress.
  7. Steps to find your own: (a) Read the list of values below. Pick five of them and write them on a 3x5 index card. (b) Put the index card next to your bed and read them every morning after waking up. (c) At the end of the week, spend ten minutes reflecting on each value on the back of the index card. Probe your actions and decisions in the past week, seeing whether or not you were aligned with these values. (d) Do this every week for a month. After a month, you should have a good idea of some values to add, some to remove, and the role your list will play in your life.

57 Potential Values Check out the list here

Build your personal self invention machine


  1. A self-promotion machine requires an elaborate content strategy. You need to do keyword research to find out what you should write about, etc. A self-invention machine doesn’t need any of this.

  2. Best platforms: jekyll and blundit or Grav

  3. Writing about what you learn allows you to: (a)test your understanding, (b)clarify your thinking, (c)and gradually become a kind of “tour guide” for others.

  4. write like you talk

  5. Answer a question or outline a process

  6. marketing through convertkit or mailchimp

Don't find a mentor. Find your future self


  1. Always keep your future self posted on your progress in your projects and would ask how his/her company/job was doing. And Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Happy New Year messages as well.
  2. importance of having people who were once where you are.
  3. Future selves can show a path that gets you excited to work harder and more ambitiously.
  4. Be genuine by: -Make yourself useful to them -Get a job or internship at that person’s company or lab -Ask unique and interesting questions -Just DM or email them
  5. Understand their motivations. Keep this question in mind, “Why would someone want to mentor you?”
  6. And if they can see their advice pays off 10x in you
  7. (a) Finding people who are where you want to be. (b) Asking great questions and becoming genuinely interested in their work, (c) Keeping in contact with them and asking questions and/or advice when you need it. (d) if you find something useful for them, this is when you help them.

The Ultimate Guide to writing online:

  1. Invest in your future. Leverage the internet. Make it easy for people to find you. Buy a domain name and use it to create your own website, even if it’s very simple at first. Your website is your resume and your personal magazine. It’s the one place online that you completely own and control – your Online Home.
  2. Build a start here page (Your Start Here page should answer routine visitor questions. Most readers want guidance, so give it to them. They’ll trust and appreciate your recommendations.)
  3. Build a curated lists page(The Thought Leader Strategy: curate a summary of your favorite thought leader’s best work or The Idea Strategy: pick an idea you’re interested in and curate a list of the best resources on the topic.)
  4. Set Up Your Personal Microphone. Distribution is the secret of the most successful blogs. Concentrate your efforts. Commit to one platform and own it. Even if you write the best blog post in the world, if you don’t have a way to reach people, it won’t be seen.
  5. Learn to Write Clearly and Persuasively. The easiest way to write more is to write about ideas that stimulate you. If you do, you’ll be able to produce on a more consistent basis.
  6. Focus on quantity over quality at first. If you publish something every week for a year, you’ll gain tremendous insights into what you should be creating.
  7. The best online writers are driven by five pillars: (1) evergreen content, (2) quality, (3) specificity, (4) listening to feedback, and (5) building a body of work.
  8. If you’re looking for evergreen ideas that people will resonate with and are relatively easy to write about, focus on the second bucket of doing research on ideas that no one knows.
  9. Prioritizing evergreen articles is the single best constraint you can give yourself. By writing evergreen pieces, you’ll attract loyal and intelligent readers who can trust that your writing
  10. They write with clarity, energy, and simplicity, which is exactly what readers on the Internet are looking for. They write in specifics, not generalities. There’s no fluff. They get straight to the point. By writing in a persuasive, outcome-oriented (instead of academic) style, copywriters provoke responses and feedback. 11.Zoom in. Build a targeted audience. The more narrow and niche the topic, the better. Attracting the right people matters much more than the number of people who read your work. Intelligent readers want depth, nuance, and specificity.
  11. In short, you can build an online reputation in three steps: a. Pick a high-value, emerging industry. b. Learn as much as you can. c. share what you learn on your personal website.
  12. You want to be known as the best thinker in a skill or a topic. A Personal Monopoly is the unique intersection of your knowledge, personality, and skills that nobody else can compete with. Personal Monopolies aren’t found. They’re created.

Professional Blogging

  1. Titles are 80% of the work, but you write it as the very last thing. It has to be a compelling opinion or important learning

  2. There’s always room for high-quality thoughts/opinions. Venn diagram of people w/ knowledge and those we can communicate with is tiny. Knowledge x Communication x Medium

  3. Writing is the most scalable professional networking activity – stay home, don’t go to events/conferences, and just put ideas down

  4. Think of your writing on the same timescale as your career. Write on a multi-decade timeframe. This means, don’t just pub on Quora/Medium. That’s why I refuse to write on Medium or Quora. Instead, I prefer to run open-source software that I can move around, prioritize building my email list (more on that later) and try to keep regular backups.

  5. Focus on writing frequency over anything else. Schedule it. Don’t worry about building an immediate audience. Focus on the intrinsic. Just get started, find out what you like, and you’ll have a lot of time to figure out the intersection of what you want to write, and what others want to read.

  6. To develop the habit, put a calendar reminder each Sunday for 2 hours. Forced myself to stare at a blank text box and put something down.

  7. Most of my writing comes from talking/reading deciding I strongly agree or disagree. These opinions become titles. Titles become essays.

  8. People are often obsessed with needing to write original ideas. Forget it. You’re a journalist with a day job in the tech industry. Thinking of yourself as a journalist that’s covering interesting ideas, trends, products, and everything that’s happening around you leads to much better/stronger content. It means you can write often and build on others’ ideas, without feeling like everything has to be completely new.

  9. An email subscriber is worth 100x Twitter or LinkedIn followers or whatever other stuff is out there. An email = a real channel

  10. I started writing while working at a VC. They asked, “Why give away ideas? That’s your edge.” Ironic that VCs blog/tweet all day now ;)

  11. Publishing ideas, learnings, opinions, for years & years is a great way to give. And you’ll figure out how to capture value later

  12. Bonus: Carpet bomb a key area and stake out mindshare. Go deep on your topic of expertise Take time to find your voice Stay consistent on your blog format and topic. Just show up Come up with new topics with brainstorms, news headlines, and notes-to-self Look at your analytics every day.

5 steps to finding your career purpose


ILTR: In a nutshell, once you have your WHY in hand, you’ll be able to answer some of the most important questions in your career:\n\nSo, what is your purpose?', "In my 6-part mini-course ‘Find My Why: Your Step by Step Guide to Finding your Career Purpose', I walk people through one of my favorite models for asking yourself those profound, sometimes uncomfortable questions: the Ikigai framework.", 'Understanding your passions is a really important piece of the puzzle because it gives us clues about what energizes you as a person, so we can either work towards integrating these things into your career or a side hustle, or we can use them to predict the kind of work and activities that will bring you the most joy.', 'Covered in week 3 of the Find My Why course, you complete an entire values-sorting exercise, as well as answering the following kinds of questions: Let’s be real: If you’re not getting paid to do what you do, then your career or business is either a volunteer role or an expensive hobby!', 'With the guidance of my worksheets, here are some examples of incredible ‘WHYs’ that have emerged: Career Coach (what I came up with before starting Badass Careers): My WHY is to leverage my strengths in career development, HR and Psychology to help young professionals to find their purpose, brand themselves and get the job so that they can build their dream career and do work that energizes them.

My Way:

  1. Put simply, people find meaning when they see a clear connection between what they value and what they spend time doing. And it feels pretty damn good, too.
  2. Figure out what you are really good at:

Everybody has an unfair advantage, the things that seem to come naturally to them, without much coaching or studying. What do you tend to understand more quickly than most people? What do you find fun that other people might find difficult or boring?

You receive a text from a friend who needs advice or needs to be taught something. What are they likely turning to you for? What kind of advice do people tend to seek from you? What skills have you ever taught someone (big or small)?

What makes you, you? What makes you weird (being weird is good)? 3. KNOW WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE

What content do you consume? Books, podcasts, Netflix shows, Youtube videos? Is there a theme, something you love learning about? What kind of articles can you not resist clicking on?

What's the best gift you’ve ever received? One that showed the giver knows you really well?

Think of recent times when you were so immersed while working on something, you achieved a state of flow. You felt energised, as though time seemed to fly by without you noticing (unfortunately, sleeping and bingeing Netflix don’t count here!). What were you doing? 4. GET CRYSTAL CLEAR ON WHAT MATTERS TO YOU MOST (YOUR VALUES & CONVICTIONS)

What gets you fired up? What injustice infuriates you?

Which of the UN’s sustainable development goals do you feel most strongly about? Why do you think that is?

Imagine you are hosting a dinner for your role models and could invite anyone you want dead or alive. Whom would you invite and why? Write one characteristic for each of them.

What is it about their life and accomplishments that inspire you? What underlying traits or values draw you in?


How to network?

ILTR: Strategies that helped me land interviews and offers at Microsoft, Google, and Twitter through connections I'd built with people I'd never met before.", "For example, networking mixers are typically full of people who are looking for a job but you won't find many hiring managers there.", "I call this a “Me Mindset” and it happens when you message a hiring manager, potential referral, or other contact and say things like: When you're networking, you're likely connecting with people that you don't have a preexisting relationship with.", 'Building relationships the right way is a lot like something you probably do on a regular basis –managing your bank account.', "Here are 4 networking tips that are highly actionable and easy to implement so you can get started on this today: One of the easiest ways to make your outreach about the other person is to comment on something that's happened in their career.

My Way:

  1. it's important to get clear on exactly who we should be networking with.
  2. get laser-focused on the handful of people who can really impact our careers and our lives. The people who can have direct influence over what we want and need.
  3. Networking Is Like Managing A Bank Account. Mention about them 4-5 times and then make a withdrawal by asking for something
  4. Adding value: a. Recognizing someone for something they've done (an article they wrote) b. Sharing the success you've seen from taking their advice c. Identifying common ground or values d. Helping the other person achieve a goal e. Finding a way to make the other person's life easier
  5. Send an email to people you want to meet before the event
  6. Warm Them Up On Social Media
  7. First, identify an idea or a strategy that this person has shared. It could be something they posted on LinkedIn, something they shared in an article, on a podcast, etc. Next, go take action on that strategy and work until you get results. Results are absolutely critical here because that is what's going to make you stand out! Then, when you have those results, send an email to that person sharing a full breakdown of the advice you took and the results you got.
  8. a. Ask your contact for specific, actionable advice (give them two options to choose from) b. Go take action on that advice and get results / to take note of learnings c. Follow up with your contact sharing that you took action on their advice, share your results/learnings and then ask for more advice
  9. Add as much value as you possibly can upfront – the more you add, the more you'll get in return
  10. Relationships are a game of small, consistent layers – they're not formed overnight

How to find a mentor

ILTR: 'On the mentee side of the equation, there are a handful of areas that benefit from mentorship: On the mentor side of the equation, there are a handful of assets that address those mentee needs: Prospective mentors are people who can potentially offer these assets in a way that addresses a mentee’s needs.', 'At the same time, you might vibe with someone who shares your traits and sense of humor, but if they don’t have the right experience to guide you professionally, then that person is probably more of a friend than a mentor.', 'Connecting with someone through an established network is usually the most efficient way to meet a mentor, because it reduces legwork and pre-vets you through the network.', 'It’s also worth remembering that an online social network can be a tool to find a mentor through your existing relationship (e.g., mutual connections on LinkedIn) or a tool to find a mentor outside of your network (e.g., tweeting at a leader in your industry for the first time).', 'But the function is the same: you’re being introduced by someone who already knows your prospective mentor, which goes a long way in accelerating the relationship.

My Way:

  1. Understand what you need

  2. Why do you want a mentor? What specifically do you want a mentor to teach you? What are the gaps in your knowledge and skill set? Which goals are you pursuing that would benefit from having a guide along the way?

Industry-specific insight Knowledge about the world Functional expertise Talent, ability, and skill Specific projects and goals Intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth

  1. Find people you resonate with AND NOT JUST SOMEONE WHO IS THE BEST IN THE INDUSTRY

  2. Identify prospective mentor from Online social networks or communities

  3. A brief overview of who you are and what you do What specifically you’re looking to learn or achieve Most importantly, why you’re asking to reach out to this person right now.

  4. The introduction can also include why the other party should meet you, and what possibilities could come of this relationship (mentoring aside). But the important thing to communicate in an introduction is the relevance, need, and value of this new relationship at this moment.

  5. creating value without the immediate expectation of return is hands-down the best way to create a strong relationship.

  6. It’s about conveying character and value worthy of mentorship.

  7. When a prospective mentor is debating whether to advise you, they’re asking themselves whether the energy and experience they have to offer will create a return on investment. That return might be emotional fulfillment, new business opportunities, or the chance to create a legacy. But whatever form it takes, a mentor will only be able to judge that return based on the way you behave at the very beginning of the relationship.

  8. Become an informal researcher or a second brain on the project. Send them cool stuff. Create resource documents for them. Get them publicity

  9. A request for advice is the bridge from a more general networking relationship to a more specific mentoring relationship signaling that you are open to being guided

  10. A request for advice should be: Specific (not vague or too open-ended, and clearly focused on moving closer to a concrete goal or solving a particular problem) Manageable and appropriate (not overly demanding, relatively easy to provide, within the scope and nature of your relationship) Genuine (asked in a spirit of curiosity, openness, and interest in putting the advice to good use, not just designed to advance the relationship)


  1. Whatever the piece of advice is, you must follow through and put it into action. You then have to share the impact of that advice with the prospective mentor.

  2. mentor someone else

The Big Mistake people make about Networking

ILTR: And one of the most common catch-22s I hear goes like this:\n\nI know I need to be introducing people in my network to build my social capital, but I don’t have enough social capital to know anyone worth introducing.', 'But when you create that value by making an introduction to a specific person, then you create even more social capital.', 'We have the potential to make introductions between all sorts of people, as long as those introductions are meeting a specific need — no matter where we are in our lives, our careers or our relationships.', 'But here’s the really exciting thing: Once you start focusing on value, you’ll automatically begin building connections with more and more valuable people, which will raise the overall social capital of your network, feeding a virtuous cycle.', 'Not by waiting until they magically appear so you can start networking, but by connecting the people you know right now, and watching as that social capital makes its way back to you in the form of your own valuable introductions.

My Way:

  1. An introduction only needs to be one thing: useful.
  2. To put it super simply, an introduction is valuable when it fulfills a need. That’s it. That’s the only metric by which you should judge your prospective introductions. Will introducing these two people help one or both of them fulfill a need? If the answer is yes, then introduce.
  3. And the fact that they need to be met is what creates the opportunity for social capital.
  4. When you fulfill a need for someone else, then you automatically create value, which is the lifeblood of all great relationships.
  5. This is your job as a relationship-builder: To identify needs, find someone in your network who can help fulfill them, and connect those two people.
  6. Your goal isn’t to find the most “important” person to do the job. Your goal is to find the right person to do the job. Because the right person will always be more useful than the important person, all else being equal. And when you’re just starting out, that’s usually the person you can actually find.
  7. Needs are windows into meaningful relationships. They signal that there’s potential value to be created. They reveal an opportunity to get to know someone by being of service. They open the door to real connection.

How to build actionable strategies to do anything?

ILTR: Let's build an 80% strategy in a few minutes with one of my favorite companies: Twitter.", 'Twitter’s mission is: Give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barriers. Let’s start by creating a 40% strategy from this mission using (what I call) the DA Method: Break down your mission statement into two sections: Definitions and Actions. Add: Definitions + Actions = 40% strategy. Definitions create the playing field.', 'Let’s start by defining the nouns in the mission statement given our understanding of the product: Everyone - people, businesses, government, celebrities, politicians. Power - access to information, ability to create and share, access to Twitter Ideas - tweets, multiple languages, inclusive (ex.', 'These verbs are the key actions Twitter will do to advance their mission - making them the starting points of their strategy.', 'Summary: Strategy is the levers you will pull to move towards your mission From a mission, use the DA method to get to a 40% strategy. Get to an 80% strategy by deciding how to execute on each prong of the strategy With a strategy in hand, you can now determine if your strategy is succeeding with goals.

My Way:

  1. create a low-fidelity strategy with the D&A method so you can start executing (and learning) quickly. Don’t get paralyzed by creating a perfect strategy!
  2. If vision is the destination and mission is your route, then the strategy is your mode of transportation. In a sentence, the strategy is the levers you will pull to move towards your mission.
  3. Strategy is not the starting point, it is not static and can never be perfected
  4. startegy.jpeg
  5. An 80% Strategy We're 40% of the way toward a full strategy for Twitter. To add another 40%, we need to understand how to execute on our strategy. We can get a sense of these by answering two questions for each part of the strategy: What makes this possible? What makes that possible?

What to use instead of to do lists?

ILTR: To-do list devotees keep an ongoing register of all the things they promise to get done, but at the end of each day, they’re surprised to find that their list of uncompleted tasks has gotten longer, not shorter.', 'To-do lists lead to distraction. Running your life using a to-do list leads to more distraction, not less.', 'To-do lists destroy the fun in life. Before I staged a coup d’etat against my to-do list, I used to let my unfinished tasks invade my thoughts and leisure time.', 'The tyranny of the to-do list comes not only from its power to waste our time while we’re working but also its ability to take over our minds while we’re trying to actually have a life.', 'Second, unlike a to-do list, deciding how you will spend your time in advance has been shown to lead to fewer distractions.

My Way:

  1. To-Do lists suck cause you just keep transferring tasks. They lead to distractions
  2. Instead use a schedule builder:
  3. Decide what you are going to do and when you are going to do it?
  4. Planning in advance how you intend to spend your time is the only way to know the difference between traction (what you said you would do) and distraction (anything else)
  5. Use time Boxing or a zero-based calender
  6. As the name suggest, to box your time

Time boxing

ILTR: Understanding Time + How to Think About It The Effect of Time-boxing + How it Improved My Life. TL;DR Understanding Time + How to Think About It There are a couple of things I want to preface before I get into some of the strategies that have worked for me.', 'There are times where my schedule is set and it will go to plan, the events will conclude and I’ll head into the next day and there are times where I will let the week own me and smaller things will dictate my schedule.', 'There have been other times where social media dictated my week and if I got bored during a meeting or task, I would head onto that channel and use it as a distraction which evidently would carry out through the rest of the day and week.', 'Apple has a feature under the screen time sector in screen time where you can disable apps from your phone during certain hours and that’s something that has been SO beneficial to me in regard to letting everything go and 100% focusing on the week’s tasks.', 'I would say find and generate four things you want to accomplish that week, the four main priorities and then create theme days on each, leaving time for overflow tasks and solidifying all the items.'

My way:

  1. Have a full productivity mode by going on all DND mode.
  2. Consider time like you consider money
  3. Remember, time is an asset you want to maintain control, so by taking advantage of it now, you will put yourself in an amazing position for the future.
  4. Set your priorities, goals, and then schedule. Keep in mind you are not going to have time to get everything you want to be done, but continue shooting for execution each week and the results will follow.
  5. It’s all about consistency.
  6. Leverage software like Google Calendar to keep track of all your commitments + scheduling
  7. Theme days help you keep track of everything you want to accomplish during a day + stay consistent. It also allows for a constant thinking thread which reduces cognitive distraction
  8. I would say find and generate four things you want to accomplish that week, the four main priorities, and then create theme days on each
  9. Leave time for overflow tasks and solidifying all the items.

Its "ment" to be: 4 steps to Mentorship

ILTR: A good mentor will help you lay out next steps based on the options on the table, yes.', 'To answer those conditions, you’ll likely need to go over most, or ideally all, of the following: Goals of the mentorship. Length of the mentorship Frequency of meetings Expectations of each other. The key to any good relationship is communication.', 'Once your SMART goals are achieved, be transparent with your mentor about the best next steps.', 'According to many interviews with former and current mentors, a successful mentorship means that. The mentee succeeded in reaching their goals.

My way:

  1. Identify what is missing by asking retrospective questions to yourself i.e. to understand what you need mentorship on
  2. Find knowledge gaps and write them somewhere
  3. Noe begin the search for mentors by finding influential and cool people on LinkedIn and anywhere else you can find.
  4. Reach out to them and try and set up an introductory meeting.
  5. Have goals and objective and be ready for growth and change Define expectations such as time and frequency.
  6. Set SMART Goals.
  7. Ask thoughtful questions
  8. Do not formally ask them to be your mentor. First, try to build a connection.
  9. Don't force it on them and be adjusting according to their time

Advice for 19-year-olds

ILTR: Usually, people are deciding between going to college (and usually working on side projects while they do so), joining a company, or starting their own startup.', '“Stuff” can be a lot of different things—open source projects outside of class, a startup, a new sales process at a company you work at—but, obviously, sitting around talking with your friends about how you guys really should build a website together does not count.', 'In addition to the equity being a great deal (you might get 1/10th of the equity you’d get if you join a tiny new startup but at 1/100th or 1/1000th of the risk), you will work with very good people, learn what success looks like, and get a W on your record (which turns out to be quite valuable).', 'Spending a few years at a company that fails has path consequences, and working at an already-massively-successful company means you will learn much less, and probably work with less impressive people.', 'Remember that there will be lots of other opportunities to start companies and that startups are a 6-10 year commitment—wait for the right one\n\nOne big pro for starting a company is that it’s usually the way to learn the most in the shortest amount of time.

My way:

Time Management Advice

Time management advice to triple your productivity

ILTR: as a rule I hold myself to, sleeping at least 7 hours each night.', 'In this way, you break each of your goals into specific actions and schedule these actions for specific times of the day.', 'If you have any non-meeting down time, only schedule yourself for easily executable, almost mindless tasks, like sending pre-written email messages or finding email addresses for an existing list of people.', 'When possible, decide on a theme for the day (or few hours or week), such as investor catch ups, investor first calls, portfolio company catch ups, new deal flow biotech IT, deep due diligence calls with developer tools companies, or candidate calls.', 'For these few precious hours of the day when I have no way to send or receive messages of any kind, I am able to focus solely on learning and exercising, which helps me work smarter, not just harder, for the rest of the day.

My way:

  1. Atomic level task meaning small enough tasks that can be completed in a reasonably small time i.e. 30 mins to an hour
  2. you then track these habits and plan them for an entire day
  3. block out time to do deep work
  4. theme your hours, days and/or even weeks for different stuff
  5. learn and exercise a lot
  6. spend time reflecting on how you can improve
  7. reflect on transferrable skills
  8. form micro habits
  9. work out small tasks as they come
  10. try sitting in a distraction free environment, which is easier said than done

Design Sprinting

What is a Design Sprint? - Design Sprint Academy


The Design Sprint framework was developed at Google, to align teams under a shared vision with clearly defined goals and deliverables.', 'The original Design Sprint framework or Design Sprint 1.0 is a 5-stage process that runs over the course of 5-days to solve big problems and answer critical business questions.', ' 'On Monday, the Sprint Team (which most of the time is different than the one in the Framing) takes the time to understand the problem, context and all available information and insights.', 'We structured the morning discussions leading to the Sprint Goal into an activity called Lightning Talks, where the team shares their points of view on the problem at hand and reviews the Design Sprint Brief.

My Way:

  1. Divided into 5 days: problem, understanding and diving deeper into the problem, deciding features, prototyping and testing.
  2. niche problems, not too broad or overall that they become impractical and nor tee narrow that they are not worth the investment
  3. look for research, insights and all the info that you can find on the contextual problem
  4. the team then does a lightning demo of proposed personalized solutions leading to further brainstorming and inclusion of cool ideas.
  5. prototyping on any no code app
  6. testing it with users through explaining them, what it is, how it works and why. Then letting them explore the application

Tips to get your startup going, even if you do not know where to start

8 Tips to Get Your Business Going, Even if You Don't Know Where to Start

ILTR: Look at work you have done for others in the past and think about how you could package those skills and offer them as your own services or products.', 'In other words, who, exactly, will buy your products or services other than your family or friends?', 'Join networks, such other relevant business groups.', 'When considering your customers or clients, ask yourself this approach can help lead you to new ways to hone your product or service and deliver more value, which your customers will appreciate.', 'If you want to "be your own boss" but\xa0still feel stuck, reach out and connect with other entrepreneurs in a variety of ways

My way:

  1. look into problems through talking with people, forums or just do what you know
  2. Ask yourself some 'why' questions
  3. build a support network through reaching out to mentors, incubation hubs, accelerators and/or communities
  4. try and help customers to be successful in solving problems. What i mean by this is that provide as much value as possible
  5. events, blog posts and use innovative marketing strategies.
  6. try and get some interns to help you start off through your network
  7. work out a plan and choose what do you wanna do: a startup, a project, a side hustle, dropshipping, or something else
  8. try and research different target markets who would want to buy your product. then find a nidhe

Tips for cold emailing(with templates)

  1. Keep it short
  2. An exciting subject line (valuable for them)
  3. clear, direct, and make it worth reading at every sentence
  4. personalize this (do not use a template simply)
  5. be helpful, honest and build rapport from the first email already
  6. Build an email template on your own (done below)
  7. add something unusual such as a video/audio or a document(cover letter) for them. Even a gif to make it interesting
  8. ask a thoughtful question and include a call to action in the end
  9. do follow up
  10. and remove fluff

Template 1

Subject: Hi (firstname), A teensy request/appeal for you (Part of my cold emailing expedition)

Hey there (firstname), thanks for opening my email. Hope you are doing great and a happy (special day reference). My name is (yourname) and I am (your intro). I have been following you on social for quite a while now and have loved every part of this awesome journey or reading your posts(or tweets). I loved your impact and what you are doing, thus I was willing to reach out to you firsthand and ask a couple of questions from you:

Question 1: (an intelligent question)

Question 2: (another thoughtful question)

Thanks a lot for your time reading this email and I hope to hear back from you and learn and explore as much as I can with you in this exciting odyssey.



signature (your website, title. LinkedIn)

Template 2:

Subject: Hey (firstname), your Ideas on (topic you are reaching out for)

Hi (firstname). Hope you are doing great and a happy (special day). My name is (yourname) and (your intro). I wanted to touch base and discuss a couple of things with you through this email. Love this so far? keep going.

I saw that you are quite accomplished in this (topic) and would love to discuss stuff regarding this such as (subtopic 1), (sub-topic 2) and (subtopic 3) over this email (thread). A couple of questions to begin with:

Question 1: Your thoughts (on a news update/ topic related to your idea)

Question 2: an intelligent question

Thanks a lot for reading this email and I would love to remain connected and help out as much as I can while growing with you.




Template 3:

Subject: Hi there (firstname), Establishing touch base through a video request

Hey (firstname), hope you are doing perfectly well. My name is (yourname) + your intro. I have a suit for you which is attached in the form of an unlisted YouTube video. I would love for you to check it out and please do reply back with your suggestions/thoughts on the same.



If you would prefer to read the transcript, hear it is:


Thanks for reading this email and I sincerely hope to hear back from you soon enough




Template 4:

Dear [NAME],

I know you are extremely busy and receive a lot of emails, so this will only take sixty seconds to read. (This may seem counterintuitive with seemingly, a lack of confidence, but in the mind of a ceo who values his/her time, this incentivizes them to continue and conveys a very important message: you understand the value of time)

I came across [COMPANY NAME/WORK] and am astonished by the ingenuity of [SOMETHING ABOUT THEM THAT IMPRESSES YOU]. (You have to send out several cold emails to get what you want. Expect the response rate when you just start off to be about 10%. As you send out high numbers of emails, it is critical that your emails do not seem generic; you must personalize every email to ensure quality and high response rates)

My name is [NAME], a high school student from [CITY/REGION] who [ESTABLISH WHO YOU ARE] (Give some background in what you are doing and your interests. Most importantly be authentic; people value that)

I would like to [ESTABLISH WHAT YOU WANT] by having an unpaid mentorship opportunity at your company. (Feel free to not include the unpaid part, however know that including “unpaid” will increase your

response rate) I

believe my extensive knowledge in [EXPLAIN HOW YOU

ADD VALUE TO THE FIRM] paired with my ability to [EXPLAIN SOFT SKILLS YOU VALUE] would be perfect for both the development of the company and myself. (Since high schoolers do not always have many credentials, establishing the soft skills you value can be critical. Values like

“eager to learn” or “good problem solver” are highly valued by these


COLLABORATION WILL CREATE] (This is the part where you further incentivize the recipient of the email. Quickly paint a nice picture of how your involvement in their company will be mutually beneficial)

Attached to this email is my resume. (Give them something else to look into before replying to you. Remember that the person you are emailing is very busy and the less email correspondence you both have, the easier it is for them. Include as much information in the email as possible as quickly as possible. Leave your resume so that the person you are reaching out to can have the option to learn more about you without having to read an

extensive email) I

would love to talk with you in more detail regarding

potential opportunities for me to work at [COMPANY] (Establish the immediate next step, so that you do all the thinking for the ceo)

Of course no worries if you cannot reply; I know you are very busy, but even a one or two line response would make my day. (give them a way out. It has been proven psychologically to increases the response rate and also is polite)



Hi [Name],

My name is [Your Name] and I found your info while I was looking for people who made the transition into [New Industry] from a non-traditional background.

Your experience making the transition from [Old Company] to [New Company] really stood out to me.

I know you’re probably extremely busy and I also know your time is valuable. If you do have a few minutes, I’d love to learn more about your journey and ask you a couple of questions.

I know that’s a big ask from a stranger, so no worries if it’s too much. If you do have a few minutes, I’d be really grateful. Either way, have a fantastic week!

Paul Graham: Growth

ILTR Usually successful startups happen because the founders are sufficiently different from other people that ideas few others can see seem obvious to them.', 'When a startup both begins with an idea exposed by technological change and makes a product consisting of technology in the narrower sense (what used to be called "high technology"), it's easy to conflate the two.', 'So the real question is not what growth rate makes a company a startup, but what growth rate successful startups tend to have.', "As the startup figures out how to make something lots of people want and how to reach those people, there's a period of rapid growth.", 'Eventually, a successful startup will grow into a big company.