How to Build Confidence in 5 Minutes a Day

This summer I developed a morning routine. I’ve read several books about how great men and women worked, and a common thread in almost each individual’s story was a routine they followed each and every morning. Maya Angelou rented a hotel room where she’d start writing every morning at 6:30. Ben Franklin used to sit naked in his chamber for 30 minutes reading and writing,…

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We are all (almost) millionaires

Never before have expectations been so high about what human beings can achieve with their lifespan. We’re told, from many sources, that anyone can achieve anything. We’ve done away with the caste system. We are now in a system where anyone can rise to any position they please. And it’s a beautiful idea. Along with that is a kind of spirit of equality. We’re all…

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Fight Through the Suck

There’s something I’ve been noticing lately as I’ve started to try and develop several new habits. It’s not just me – I’ve had this conversation with several of my friends who’ve also felt or noticed the same thing. The phenomenon is this: when trying to improve at something, prepare to actively get worse while you try to get better. This can be maddening when you’re working hard at something,…

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On Becoming

You’ve decided you want to do something in this world. You’ve internalized the fact that you can do anything you want. How do you succeed? Let’s say your goal is to be a millionaire by age 30. What do you do? Focus on becoming the type of person that can become a millionaire at 30. Why? Because focusing on the process – rather than the outcome – increases your chances of…

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Want to do something? Do It.

There are certain moments in life I remember like they happened yesterday. The time on the digital clock (9:52) I stared at, eyes wide open, during my first kiss. My Dad giving me a pep talk before my first high school hockey game about how the worst that could happen was I give up 10 goals… and then getting scored on 10 times. My first…

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The Fallacy of the Well-Rounded Person

“I haven’t read your last 5 emails. Shorten your emails or stop emailing me these book-length updates.” The message flashed across my laptop screen at midnight. That’s not the response I wanted to get from one of my advisors – someone who’d been nothing but helpful as I stumbled through the process of trying to start a company in college. I’d sent him a six-paragraph…

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The Fat Doctor Problem

A few weeks ago, I took an Uber from my apartment to a friend’s place in the Mission. On the way I was making small-talk with my driver. We started talking about his recent divorce and how it’s impacting his finances and his mental health. I felt bad for the guy. He started giving me advice. It was pretty much what you’d expect – women…

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Evolution and AI

I just finished reading Ishmael, one of the more thought-provoking books I’ve read in months. At one point in the book, during their discussions about evolution and man’s “creation myth”, Ishmael tells the main character a story: This story (Ishmael said) takes place half a billion years ago—an inconceivably long time ago, when this planet would be all but unrecognizable to you. Nothing at all stirred…

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Why Feeling Like a Failure Is a Good Thing

Have you ever tried doing something you aren’t good at? Worse, have you ever really really wanted to be good at something, and yet when you tried you just couldn’t get it? Say you wanted to learn a dance, or tried to hit that high note from “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” And yet, you just… couldn’t. Then comes the confusion, the weight of failure. This…

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