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 performance
My piano teacher once shared with me what it was like to watch a former champion of The International Chopin Piano Competition prepare for their performance. 

For 6–8 hours each day in the week leading up to the competition, the competitor would pick apart different sections of music from...
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attention and direct experience

Today’s post is my third on the development of personal philosophy — a short phrase or sentence that performance psychologist Michael Gervais suggests we establish to help prevent our fear of other peoples’ thoughts (FOPO) from removing your attention from the beliefs, talents, and values that empower us to thrive...
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2022-02-20 01:55:26

incubation

Earlier this week, I wrote about incorporating the Pomodoro Technique into my daily routine.

For those not familiar, the spirit of the Pomodoro Technique is very simple: it’s the incorporation of time-bound periods of work followed by time-bound breaks.  That’s it. 

In my case, I performed 25-minute chunks of...
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2022-02-19 04:41:13

this is 28

New Year's Day and birthdays are unique in that they tend to make the short-lived, blink-of-an-eye nature of a human life span especially salient for me — more so than the changing of the seasons or any other day of the year. 

You only get to ring in the...
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2022-02-18 03:34:42

theory of constraints

The Theory of Constraints is a problem-solving methodology that involves identifying and addressing the biggest limiting factor getting in the way of progress. 

It is a pragmatic theory at heart, implying that you’re much better off focusing on solving one piece of a problem than several pieces at once.

...
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2022-02-17 02:38:27

learning

Dr. Lisa Barrett, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, wrote on Twitter the other day, “The most expensive tasks that brains do are (1) moving your body and (2) learning something new. They have a metabolic cost that may feel unpleasant. So feeling bad doesn’t always mean that something...
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2022-02-16 01:28:56

breaks & movement

On the recommendation of a friend, I spent the day working in 25-minute blocks followed by 5-minute breaks and a 10-minute walk every 2 hours. 

Some of you may be more familiar with the name of this approach — The Pomodoro Technique — which Francesco Cirillo developed in the...
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2022-02-15 01:11:49

leave plenty of room for doubt

The most creative and brilliant problem solvers that I know have one thing in common: they presume to know the least. 

They possess a kind of insoluble doubt about their understanding of the world. Not the sort of doubt that is debilitating, but rather the kind that offers a...
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2022-02-14 03:08:57

courage & vulnerability

I’ve done some more thinking on my Personal Philosophy statement — a short phrase or sentence that performance psychologist Michael Gervais suggests we establish to help prevent our fear of other peoples’ thoughts (FOPO) from removing your attention from the beliefs, talents, and values that empower us to thrive in...
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2022-02-12 15:58:45

the sun isn't guaranteed to rise

When I reviewed my resting heart rate stats from last night (yes, I like to track these things), I noticed a weird gap in the report where my health tracker wasn’t reporting any heart rate data.

Though this was obviously hardware and/or software malfunction, the reporting error did make me...
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2022-02-11 22:35:54

FOPO

My brother texted me the other day about an acronym that I hadn’t heard of before: FOPO or Fear of Other Peoples’ Opinions.*

According to Dr. Michael Gervais — a high-performance psychologist who has trained the likes of Olympians, athletes of other sports, and musicians — not only is FOPO...
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2022-02-11 04:25:56