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


The desire for a situation to be different has a way of making us feel conflicting things:

On the one hand, this desire can be an excellent source of motivation and energy.

On the other hand, it can be an overwhelming source of angst and frustration — especially when certain...
2022-04-25 03:44:30

do what you can

In his book The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher’s Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient, William Irvine says “do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.” 

Some days you’ll have an abundance of resources; other days you won’t. 

Some days you’ll feel like you’re...
2022-04-24 04:49:28

a beautiful, ordinary power

I started this post with acts of kindness in mind — marveling at how being kind to people in our lives can leave a tremendously positive impact. 

At first, I called it a ‘superpower’ because what else do you call an awesome ability? 

But then it occurred to...
2022-04-23 00:28:06

dolce far niente

Dolce far niente is an Italian phrase that directly translates to “sweet doing nothing.” 

Depending on which dictionary you reference, you’ll find other translations like “pleasing inactivity” or, my favorite, “pleasant relaxation in carefree idleness”.

You get the gist: dolce far niente is about doing nothing while having a...
2022-04-22 04:23:04


One of the most important questions anyone can answer is: “when?”

More specifically, when will you do the thing that you’re wanting and thinking about doing?

If you’re not careful, you can spend months, years — a lifetime even — stuck wanting, thinking, and preparing, but never actually making something...
2022-04-21 03:59:01

the moment

Everyone wants to wait for The Moment.

The Moment when the timing is just right. When everything makes crystal clear sense. When there are no inconveniences in the way. When we’re 100% ready. 

And as long as The Moment isn’t here, we allow ourselves to conveniently, comfortably, and confidently...
2022-04-20 00:32:21

a reminder

You get one life.

But you already know that.

The relationships you cultivate and the impact you make will likely matter more than anything else in the long run. 

But you already know that. 

Doing is often more helpful than thinking about doing. 

But you already know...
2022-04-19 05:58:48

Making space for important stuff

In his book Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, Oliver Burkeman presents a sobering reality when he writes, “the problem with trying to make time for everything that feels important — or just enough for what feels important — is that you definitely never will.”
Meaning: trying to Do It...
2022-04-18 06:10:46

untitled story

Periodically throughout life, we’re asked by our peers the strangely existential question: “who do you want to be?”

When my college counselor asked me this question during my freshman year, I felt for the first time an enormous pressure to have an answer. 

I responded with gusto, “a neuroscientist!”...
2022-04-15 17:20:50

bearing the how

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” — Friedrich Nietzsche 

The ability to take on challenges, and to be resilient and persistent often boils down to being able clearly to answer one question: why are you doing what you’re doing? 

A pursuit...
2022-04-14 05:16:27