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books ideas

On “Quiet” and befriending your introvert self

I originally resisted reading Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking because it sounded like a pop psychology book, an ideal publication that could be touted to the majority of the book-buying population. “Of course introversion has strengths and weaknesses, duh!” I thought, rolling my eyes at the […]

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books contemplation habits ideas the truth about life

On forming Forever Habits

Several years ago, I found myself in the predicament of being unable to read nonfiction books. I could, of course, read the words just fine, but the act of sitting and reading one page after another stirred an overwhelming anxiety: I knew so little and learning took so long. Each sentence I read was a […]

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books contemplation the truth about life

On failing to be the change you wish to see in the world

Several years ago after watching a video, I deliberately erected a bubble of ignorance around environmental issues. This video, not four minutes long, showed that birds on a tiny remote island were dying. Their corpses decayed to reveal a skeleton stuffed with an assortment of colorful plastic rings and caps and doo-dads. I was depressed […]

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books contemplation ideas

Digital Minimalism

Cal Newport is probably the current “thought leader” whose convictions I am most sold on, but despite numerous rereadings of Deep Work, I’ve failed to live up to the practices he prescribes. In Digital Minimalism, Newport attempts to help people like me close the gap, providing mindsets and strategies for fighting back against the digital […]

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contemplation

Some thoughts on travel

2017-2018 was the first time that I seriously traveled. When digital nomad blogs told me I could have a glamorous life working remotely and building a business from exotic locations, I made the leap. I felt both ashamed that it took me so long to dismantle my ignorance of the world and humbly privileged to […]

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contemplation

When the years tamed me

I used to think that a strategy for success was throwing every ounce of my being at something. And so I’d live off caffeine and sugar and spend every waking moment working at something. And what I focused on would slowly become successful, but I as a person would not be successful. Begrudgingly, I’ve come […]

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contemplation ideas the truth about life

Surrendering self-cherishing

A little while ago I had the striking realization that all of my suffering—all of my hopes, cares, and tears—are private only to me. I guess it made me feel like… why do I care so much about myself? If all of my desires to have a nice life are only going to affect me… […]

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contemplation

That time I traded a comfortable life for a one-way ticket

One year ago, I traded a comfortable life for a one-way ticket from San Francisco to Hong Kong. I had no idea what was on the other side, just that I needed to leave everything to grow into whatever was next. Travel reminded me that life is a single player game. I had a backpack, […]