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

Big Deals versus Small Deals

Big Deals matter in years and decades; Small Deals matter in days and months. 

That’s it.

Time horizon is everything. 

For your sanity, don’t treat a Small Deal like a Big Deal. 

For your happiness, don’t treat a Big Deal like a Small Deal. 
2022-04-02 00:08:42

thought acceptance

Trying to suppress a thought hardly works. 

Case: don’t think about a flower. 

Point: I’m willing to wager you thought about a flower, if only for a flicker of a moment.  Suppressing actually just reinforces. 

As an alternative strategy, try acceptance the next time you’re experiencing difficult...
2022-04-01 06:05:32

two sides to every challenge

There are two sides to every challenge. 

Side one: this stinks! Side two: this is a learning opportunity. 

Side one: this is hopelessly confusing. Side two: I bet I can find a way forward. 

Side one: this will drain me.  Side two: I will emerge from this...
2022-03-31 04:42:20

One Big Thing

Yesterday, I came across a document of ‘Big Lessons’ written by Shaan Puri.

In it, he introduces a helpful concept that he calls ‘One Big Thing’ or ‘OBT’ for short, which is inspired by Gary Keller’s book “The ONE Thing.” 

The concept is powerful and straightforward: identify the one...
2022-03-30 04:34:04

you can't tip-toe across a chasm

A chasm is the gap that separates where you right now are from where you know you need to be.

The space between your thoughts and you clicking the ‘submit’ button for an application to your dream company is a chasm. 

The space between your desire to tell someone...
2022-03-29 03:58:22

The First Step

The same activities that are good for growth can also stall it. 

Planning can be good, but it’s possible to over-plan.

Research can be good, but it’s possible to over-research. 

Thinking can be good, but it’s possible to over-think. 

At some point, these activities stop serving their...
2022-03-28 03:50:52

be not coy, but use your time

One of my favorite poems is To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick, which is essentially an ode to the importance of making the most of your time: 

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will...
2022-03-27 00:48:41


Self-contracts are a sacred agreement that you agree to be bound to once you make them with yourself. 

Unlike aspirations, the terms are firm and non-negotiable once the contract is set.  Accountability & self-contracting are mutually reinforcing. 

By keeping an honest count of when you succeed and fail...
2022-03-25 03:16:44

recognizing failure

On a scale of 1 to 7, 1 meaning extremely poor performance and seven meaning extremely good performance, I averaged a two this week on an area of my life that is important to me. 

This isn’t the best news in the world, but it’s also not the worst. ...
2022-03-23 20:36:32

dancing queen

While on a walk the other day, I was listening to ‘Dancing Queen’ by Abba.

About 10 seconds into the song, I was reminded of one of the last memories of my dad where he was, well, dancing to ‘Dancing Queen’ as it was blasting from my phone’s speaker. 

2022-03-23 03:47:22