William Liao @williamliao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)

William Liao last shared their writing Right now will never happen again.
I learned today that a friend I lost touch with passed away a few years ago. 

She was a kind, brilliant, clever, and beautiful soul. 

For the last few years, it was simply a matter of having lost touch with someone I believed was out in the world. ...
William's Pantry
🍺 40 Beers
🥟 46 Dumplings
🧇 29 Waffles
🍪 29 Cookies
🍵 48 Teas
🍣 38 Sushis
☕️ 38 Coffees
🍫 41 Chocolate Bars
🍍 36 Pineapples
🥓 36 Bacons
🥚 36 Eggs
🥩 26 Steaks
🍊 45 Tangerines
🍓 25 Strawberries
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Right now will never happen again.

I learned today that a friend I lost touch with passed away a few years ago. 

She was a kind, brilliant, clever, and beautiful soul. 

For the last few years, it was simply a matter of having lost touch with someone I believed was out in the world. ...
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2022-09-22 01:44:44

anything but complaining

I spoke to 10 customer-support agents today in an attempt to get my internet service set up.

It was a frustrating situation, so my first instinct was to complain a lot. 

But then it occurred to me: to what end? 

Unless there’s hope that complaining will resolve a...
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2022-09-09 04:05:15

where does the permission come from?

Over the weekend I bought a small 8 oz cup designed by the Belgian artist Helen B with the words “f*ck it” printed on it. 

The collectively candid, free-spirited, and abrasive nature of the text was immediately attractive — I guess that probably says a thing or two about...
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2022-09-08 03:54:50

doubt and declarations

It’s normal to occasionally doubt your abilities. 

We do this because we care deeply about doing well, and we care about the outcome — nothing to be ashamed about. 

If we were careless people, we wouldn’t have cause to doubt. 

When you find yourself questioning your abilities,...
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2022-08-31 03:23:30

it is what it is

Whenever I complained to my dad about certain problems growing up, he’d either offer a potential solution or issue the stoic response: “it is what it is.” 

Those five words often felt uncomfortably complacent to me — what do you mean it is what it is? 

Some combination...
2022-08-28 00:57:19

a toast to the things that didn't happen

About an hour ago a vehicle from oncoming traffic swerved in front of me — if I had slammed my brakes a moment later, we probably would’ve collided. 

My immediate response was anger towards the other driver — how could they be so negligent? Who taught them how to...
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2022-08-27 04:16:46

tell and show

I recently wrote about some research from Wharton Professor, Dr. Katy Milkman, that suggests telling people what you’re going to do can be an effective way to ensure that you do something. 

When we raise the stakes — in this case by introducing social consequences — we’re more likely...
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2022-08-24 03:35:38

optimizing for the shortest path

There are multiple paths to completing most objectives. 

Whether it’s making a point clear to someone, learning a subject, or solving a problem — there exists arguably a maximally efficient way to do it, a minimally efficient way to do it, and gradients in between. 

It seems reasonable...
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2022-08-21 02:12:56

the importance of stakes

Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.

In other words — work tends to take exactly how long you give yourself to do it. 

Merely being aware of this law sometimes isn’t enough to get things done faster, though. 

For example,...
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2022-08-18 00:53:41

Insight, leverage, action, and feedback

Becoming more effective at anything — whether it’s becoming a better learner, a better employee, or a better musician — is driven by four interdependent factors: insight, leverage, action, and feedback. 

Insight is the keen recognition of what needs to be done to accomplish a goal. 

Leverage is...
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2022-08-17 01:25:17