William Liao @williamliao

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

87 day writing streak
William's Pantry
🍺 5 Beers
🍵 4 Teas
🥟 6 Dumplings
🧇 4 Waffles
🍣 4 Sushis
☕️ 6 Coffees
🍪 5 Cookies
🥓 3 Bacons
🥚 1 Egg
🍊 2 Tangerines
🍫 1 Chocolate Bar

The title must be a string

I don’t know really what I’m doing: 

I feel like I am figuring out my career.

I feel like I am figuring how to live a meaningful life. 

I feel like I am figuring out my relationships with other people. 

I am figuring out this daily practice that I’ve got going called the ‘Daily...
2021-04-09 21:29:14

A letter to my 80-year-old self

Dear 80-year-old William, 

It will be a long time before we meet, which I think makes writing this letter about my deepest wishes for you all the more valuable. 

Also, I hope you’re actually 80 when you read this. As you know all too well, no one is guaranteed a long life...
2021-04-09 01:51:55

A toast to my 'failures'

Dear ‘failures’,

You really upset me when I first met you.

I mean really upset: frustration, anger, sadness, powerlessness, and all.

But as time went on, I had the opportunity to process: the subsiding of the initial storm of emotions gave me space to wonder openly about how I might be able understand...
2021-04-07 21:20:25

Duct tape etiquette

Duct tape can be a great tool for things like holding a package together during transit or temporarily plugging a leaky pipe. 

On the other hand, we generally don’t use duct tape to stand up our households or to hold our cars together because there is an understanding that in the...
2021-04-07 00:22:55

Perfect decision-making is a myth

When faced with multiple options, we often go to great lengths to make sure we make the right decision: 

We conduct an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). 

We consider opportunity cost: what is the balance of sacrifices and gains for each option? 

We seek advice from our gut to understand...
2021-04-05 21:27:41

Determining life in the next moment

In 1999 Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris conducted a study that asked participants to watch a video of two teams passing around a basketball. The specific task was to count how many times people on the white team — designed by white shirts — passed a basketball (Fig. 1).

2021-04-05 01:23:09

Life is not a journey

British Philosopher Alan Watts uses dance and music as analogies for life:

Unlike traffic where the goal is to get from A to B as quickly as possible, we don’t aim to get to a certain point in the room when we’re dancing.

We simply dance to dance.

Watts applies the same reasoning...
2021-04-03 14:09:06

The condition for happiness

“The punch line of life really is that you can’t become happy, you can only be happy” — Sam Harris, Neuroscientist
You are probably familiar with what it’s like to think if only:

I would happy if only I got that job.

I would be able to relax if only I solved this...
2021-04-01 22:19:46

It's okay to not be okay

It’s important to understand that we all have bad days and that it’s okay:

Sometimes your projects will get hit with major road blocks.
It’s okay. 
Sometimes you will have frustrating encounters with a friend, colleague or customer.
It’s okay. 
Sometimes you will feel completely overwhelmed. 

It’s okay. Life happens. 

It’s important that we normalize bad days...
2021-03-31 21:29:18