How to Live Life

This is an accumulation of the life lessons I have learned and rules I wish to abide by. This idea was inspired by Mau Pan, a great friend of mine. Check out his amazing blog here! Reading this will give you a sense of who I aspire to be. For a shorter version: click here.

Disclaimer: Who I wish to be may change over time.


  • On being present
      1. Realize the dangers of thinking too deeply about the things that have passed.
      2. The past is exactly that, it will not change. Learning from the past is all the control I have over it. Come to terms with this and learn from my mistakes.
      3. Plan for the future, but if too many days go by where I don’t like what I am doing, set aside time for lifestyle design. (Steve Jobs)
      4. Cage the monkey mind (Tim Ferriss), chill the fuck out and think deeply on ways to stay present.
      5. Meditate on “Gone.”(Chade Meng)


  • On obsession
      1. Think about your current obsessions
      2. Test if your obsessions is right for you, the two questions below should answer yes.
        1. Does my obsession improve my life and/or others’ life?
        2. Does my obsession move me to reveal more of my potential?
      3. Be obsessed with lifestyle design. Stop doing things that are irrelevant and chase the things that make you feel alive.
      4. Be obsessed with growing your personal brand.
      5. Be obsessed with equilibrium. Find the right balance!
      6. Be obsessed with constantly learning new things.
      7. Be obsessed with going outside my comfort zone
      8. Be obsessed with failure, remind yourself that you are not and never will be perfect.
      9. “Fine” is okay, but strive for “greatness.” If things are “fine,” ask yourself if you can make things “great.”


  • On mastery
      1. You can put in 100% of your effort to have a chance at becoming the best in one field. Or you can put in 20% of your effort into 5~ areas you wish to be master-class in. (Pareto Principle).
      2. You currently tend to find interest in many things. Choose one thing at a time and think about how you can achieve mastery. Don’t multi-task.
      3. You are young. Say yes to new experiences that you think you might find interest in. You may find things you wish to develop mastery in. Expand your interests so you may find things that fulfill you. (Derek Sivers 10:44)


  • On planning
      1. Plan big portions of your day ahead of time, leave some room for spontaneity. (David Heinemeier Hansson  1:54:21]
      2. As of today(11/23), you are a terrible planner. This can change. Realize that habits take time to form, but don’t use this as an excuse to become complacent.
      3. Plan your study hours. Remember the conversation with Maple. Disable newsfeed & social media 2 months before finals. Get used to the hard work and dedication so that you aren’t forced to cram.


  • On gratitude
      1. State -> Story -> Strategy (Tony Robbins)
      2. Practice gratitude every single day. Write down the things and people that you are grateful for.
      3. Be mindful of my your own accomplishments. You traveled to a foreign country and lived there for 3 months. Have confidence in your ability to analyze and adapt to the situations you find yourself in.
      4. Be grateful for all that you have. I’m privileged to not have to worry about the bare necessities of life.
      5. Be grateful for your friends and family who love you unconditionally.
      6. Be grateful for nature.
      7. Life itself is a miracle. Find gratitude in the majesty of the living world.
      8. Before you sleep think of 3 people you wish happiness for. (Tony Robbins)


  • On self-doubt
      1. A big thing that’s holding you back is doubt. Get rid of doubt by developing a greater sense of confidence. Constantly do things outside your comfort zone. 
      2. You don’t know when you will die. Engrave that into your head. Most of the small things you care about are not going to matter long-term. 
      3. Do not be anxious over your anxiety. Anxiety is a normal part of life. Embrace it instead. There is no courage without fear.


  • On good habits
      1. Learn how to manage money better. Learn good spending habits now before you graduate, as then you will have a gauge to keep yourself financially stable and independent. Don’t be dependent on your parents.
      2. READ MORE
      3. Keep room clean at all times before starting anything.


  • On leadership
      1. There are no excuses for anything not being done, you must take full responsibility at all times. This is the only way your company will progress.
      2. Getting upset won’t help things. (Matt Mullenweg)
      3. Don’t try to micro-manage everything, outsource! (Tim Ferriss 4HWW)
      4. Develop empathy, and start looking at everything from other people’s perspectives. Do not be selfish. Do not think of things narrow-mindedly. Seek to always view things from ALL sides. This will allow you to better connect with people and also become a better leader.
      5. Give people the benefit of the doubt.


  • On charisma
      1. Smile and laugh more. But do so at appropriate times. Being genuine is key.
      2. Make small talk with people I come across! Ask how someone’s day is going, compliment them, etc. Always look for opportunities to talk to new people.
      3. When talking with strangers, start by thinking that they already like you. Act as if you are interacting with a friend.
      4. Everyone has bad days. When people are being difficult, show some empathy. If someone is very difficult, avoid them until next time.
      5. Be the person that you would want to be friends with. (Napoleon Hill)


  • On substances
      1. Avoid smoking marijuana and consuming copious amounts of alcohol. These things tend to have a negative effect in regards to your anxiety.
      2. Research thoroughly before consuming anything. Substances can help in special situations, but realize there are no shortcuts in life. You have an addictive personality, so do not be dependent on substances to get through your routines.
      3. Achieve the best version of yourself in a sober state.
      4. Dabble with psychedelics. In the right scenario, these tools can be used to increase long-term mood and come to life-changing realizations. (Johns Hopkins Study)


  • On hard work
      1. Remember your conversation with Derek about the value hard work. He is the best example of someone close to me who has achieved mastery in skills due to the effort he puts into the things that interest him most. Look at what he has already achieved.
      2. Work hard every day. This is something I NEED to prioritize.
      3. It is through hard work that I can achieve mastery. Stay persistent.
      4. Work harder. Put in AT THE VERY LEAST 6 hours of work a day.
      5. Stop using your phone as a form of procrastination, especially social media.
      6. Ditch the hip-hop and highly stimulating music when studying for technical material. Put all your focus on studying and set aside time to just listen to music. Don’t do both! (Frederic Chopin Classical Music)


  • On stoicism
      1. Think about your own mortality to visualize the things you want to achieve in life. Carpe Diem(Marcus Aurelius, Steve Jobs, Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins)
      2. Use negative visualizations to detach yourself from your material possessions.
      3. All cruelty and thoughts of such things stem from weakness. (Seneca)
      4. Difficulties strengthen the mind, much so as labor does the body.
      5. Try to avoid physical altercation, but unreasonable people should be incapacitated. Stand firmly for your beliefs and your friends.
      6. You often suffer more in imagination than in reality.
      7. At all costs avoid giving yourself the status of “victim” (Joseph Brodsky)


  • On mentors
      1. Surround yourself with motivated individuals and masters in their respective fields.
      2. Pursue those that inspire you to be better.
      3. Ask your mentors good questions. Learn how to formulate good questions.
      4. Study their habits, and incorporate them into your life if they will help you reach your goals. (In Tim Ferriss fashion)