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
🥃 28 Whiskeys

Aloha 'Oe

In May, I discovered Elvis’ rendition of the song ‘Aloha ‘Oe’, written by Queen Liliuokalani. If you’ve never heard of it, I recommend giving it a listen — it’s beautiful. In fact, there are many beautiful renditions of the song out there. 

The purported backstory of the song is...
2022-08-02 04:40:37

commitment devices

If you’ve ever tried to adopt a new habit, then you’re probably familiar with how hard behavior change can be. 

In her book How to Change, Dr. Katy Milkman introduces “hard” and “soft” commitments as practical, research-supported tools for getting us to adopt a desired behavior. 

A “hard”...
2022-07-31 03:06:30

internal vs external commitments

An external commitment is when we are accountable to or for someone else. 

An internal commitment is when we are accountable to ourselves. 

External commitments involve a specific output that someone is expecting. 

Internal commitments involve a specific output that you are expecting. 

External commitments are...
2022-07-30 03:25:06

it didn't have to exist

The beautiful trees in your favorite park didn’t have to exist. 

Your favorite food spot didn’t have to exist.

Your most cherished friendships didn’t have to exist. 

but they do.

It’s easy for your sense of awe to fizzle out after something has been around for awhile, it...
2022-07-29 03:56:32

reacting vs anticipating

Reacting is waiting for something to become a problem; anticipating is seeing the potential problem before it has a chance to exert any material effect. 

Addressing just what’s in front of you is usually easiest in the short term — especially when it feels like you have a lot...
2022-07-28 04:32:33

stress is...

In a 2020 researcher paper titled Stress, Mindsets, and Success in Navy SEALS Special Warfare Training, authors Eric Smith, Dr. Michael Young, and Dr. Alia Crum write, “Following 174 Navy SEALs candidates, we find that, even in this extreme setting, stress-is-enhancing mindsets predict greater persistence through training, faster obstacle course...
2022-07-27 05:07:31

everything is gonna...

In his song Three Little Birds, Bob Marley sings about three birds perched at his doorstep that sing to him, “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be alright.’

Whenever the world feels chaotic, I gravitate towards this song — not because it’s some magic wand that...
2022-07-26 03:33:37

moments of discord

Every situation where you have free agency yet are choosing to not do the thing you think you should do is an invitation to become more self-aware. 

When you’re tired and lying down but thoughts about how you should be taking care of something else keep circling your mind...
2022-07-25 04:13:23

"it won't work"

People like to declare certain things won’t work like it’s some incontrovertible truth. 

In a 1995 Newsweek article titled “Why the Web Won’t Be Nirvana”, Clifford Stoll wrote, ‘Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM...
2022-07-24 02:15:25

Love & Pain

It’s been five years since dad passed away.

If I’ve learned anything in the last several months, it’s that the grieving process is unpredictable.

The first year was painful, years 2-4 were a little more bearable, and now year 5 is fucking painful again.

I’ve tried to channel into my...
2022-07-22 23:45:30