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...
William's Pantry
🍺 38 Beers
🍵 46 Teas
🥟 43 Dumplings
🧇 27 Waffles
🍪 25 Cookies
🍣 34 Sushis
☕️ 37 Coffees
🍫 38 Chocolate Bars
🍍 30 Pineapples
🥓 31 Bacons
🥚 31 Eggs
🥩 25 Steaks
🍊 41 Tangerines
🍓 24 Strawberries
🥃 24 Whiskeys

taking 30

I’m going to spend the next 30 days away from writing.

Instead, I will use the space I normally hold for writing to do some much-needed reflection on foundational questions like: 

how do I want to put myself out in the world?

what do I want to express? 

2022-05-17 06:34:15

New Day's Resolutions

It’s more useful to think of a New Year’s resolution as 365 daily resolutions. 

In many cases, the first slip-up in the pursuit of a goal can feel like a pass-fail situation. And when we think we’ve failed for good, it’s very hard to get back up. 

2022-05-14 21:24:55

the point

On the last day of one of my classes in college, the professor offered the class some life advice by way of his own life story:

He had a law career that, by many accounts, was very successful.

He was on track to become a partner at his firm, he...
2022-05-14 03:21:13


A colleague that I’ll never forget working with was known amongst his peers for his exceptional work ethic, levity, and joy. 

He always worked hard but never took himself too seriously. 

He would fail spectacularly in one moment and then reflect, laugh, and learn the next moment. 

2022-05-13 04:57:02


In 2008, John Cook shared a powerful example of queuing theory: 

If you have one bank teller, an average of 5.8 customers per hour, and an average of 10 minutes required to serve each customer, customers will have to wait almost five hours — an entire afternoon — before...
2022-05-12 05:10:19

the forest

One of my favorite adages is “see the forest for the trees.” 

The ‘trees’ are the finer details, the ‘forest’ is the big picture — what all those details amount to. 

This adage seems useful for thinking about how we spend our time. 

The ‘trees’ are the...
2022-05-11 02:54:28


There’s no such thing as perfect decision making — there are just the decisions we make with the best knowledge and judgment we have available to us at the time. 

If you’re spending what feels like too much time deliberating about what to do, it’s because you’re trying to...
2022-05-10 04:17:09

have fun

In his 2008 TedX Talk, Dr. Stuart Brown astutely pointed out that The New York Times Magazine’s cover story from earlier that year, titled ‘Why Do We Play?’, portrayed several kids engaging in different types of play. Conspicuously missing from the cover were adults.

Being playful and being an adult...
2022-05-09 04:24:38

you can always choose to add kindness

You may not be able to control what others do, but you can always choose to add kindness to the world instead of hate. 

You can choose compassion instead of disdain — remembering that everyone is fighting their own battles. 

You can choose constructive words instead of callous...
2022-05-08 03:40:01

important reminders for rough days

The definition of your best effort can fluctuate on a daily basis. 

Some days you will accomplish everything (or almost everything) you set out to do. 

On other days, you might find yourself struggling for any number of reasons. 

In both cases you are doing what you...
2022-05-06 23:49:01