directives

0677 – start over again, repeatedly

I happened to drop by a “classic” blog of a friend of a friend, and I was just floored. It has an archive that goe

0676 – exploit the witching hours (?!)

I was never very good at chess, though I geeked out about it for a little bit when I was a pre-teen. I used to borrow books fr

0675 – being smart vs being kind

When I was a child, I was told that I was smart. I wasn’t great at socializing, but I was alright. I was the class clown

0674 – commit to good sleep and good weekends

So it’s the first weekend since I’ve turned 27. I spent Friday evening having chicken wings and beers with my coll

0671 – honor your taste

A friend said something to me today that’s stuck with me. He was telling me about his job search, and how he’s ab

0663 – start over again (and pay attention)

I’ve only published 1 other word vomit in the month of April. This is surely correlated with the amount of uneasiness I

0634 – strive to be sensitive, smart and strong

I wrote a tweetstorm a while ago (two years ago, wow) saying that “a man should be sensitive (to inputs from reality), s

0579 – have something to live for

More than a couple of friends have asked me if I’m depressed, or if I’m experiencing some sort of existential cris

0578 – develop confidence

D asks, what is confidence to you and what is the most charismatic thing about a person? Those are actually two different ques

0577 – make stuff you like

I was reading some Melting Asphalt and Kevin quoted something from Scott Adams. I think Scott said something like, “I en

0567 – Till the ground for the Demon-God

I sometimes have this dream where I’m possessed by some sort of Demon-God. “Possessed” is a bit of a loaded

0565 – ignore the ego’s whining, the point is to act

Originally posted direct to Medium. When I was a kid, I was stuck in a very silly cycle. I’d get home from school every

0560 – figure out what you care about

I want a lot of different things and care about a lot of different things, both to varying degrees at different times, in diff

0559 – hire a competent CEO for Me, Inc

So (again) i was thinking to myself, about myself, and i had to conclude that i am not in control of myself. at least not as

0557 – heal yourself by helping others

So I wrote that last post in under an hour early this afternoon, and posted it on /r/singapore in the hope that it would be h

0553 – self-regulate pt 1

It’s interesting and scary to contemplate the mind sometimes. And how it’s compelled to do certain things in certain ways,

0552 – shed your past selves

Every morning I wake up and it feels like I must’ve smoked a cigarette the night before. It’s felt like this ever since I

0548 – go running every week for mental clarity

I just got home from a run. I found myself thinking, as I often do after my infrequent, irregular runs, that my mind was feeli

0545 – find humor in your dark times

There’s an enticing idea in the game of Zen and spirituality and philosophy and whatnot, which goes something like this:

0540 – strive to break out of your box

This weekend wasn’t as productive as I was hoping it was going to be. That’s interesting– Why do I say hoping? W

0531 – do things for placebo purposes

(Started in Oct 2015) I just downloaded an app called Byword and I’m using it to write right now. It cost me $15. Part o

0529 – gently calibrate your expectations

I’m in an uber on the way home from meeting my friends. My battery died but I just remembered that I have a fully charge

0528 – break things down

Sometimes it feels like there are gaps in my reasoning or gaps in my understanding of my own behavior. Why am I not writing ev

0525 – strive to transition from ordeal to adventure

There are many metaphors for thinking about life. One of the most common is probably “life as journey”. Birth is t

0524 – acknowledge the silly “big-minded man” game

I think I’ve been approaching fiction the wrong way. I start with big ideas. But what’s the point? People don̵

0519 – obliterate your subconscious taskmasters

Day 4 of the new year. Didn’t publish a word vomit yesterday. It’s interesting to think about the psychology and p

0514 – don’t build taj mahals

I’m re-reading Fareed Zakaria’s The Post-American World. [1] I’m at the bit where he’s talking about Z

0511 – prioritize strength

The more time I spend online, the more I read news articles and forums and reddit, the more I look at what’s going on on

0510 – eliminate information feeds that don’t serve you

(This wasn’t a very good vomit. Circling around too many things without drilling into any one thing deep enough. So be i

0497 – adjust the resolution of your map to suit your quest

I’m tired and a little drunk but I feel like I should get a word vomit out pronto because I haven’t done one in a

0494 – get into the arena and play to win

I was just reading an article where someone quotes what Murakami had to say about writing. At some point Murakami talked about

0490 – mindfully avoid muscle memory

The brain is an interesting thing. If complexity were a measure of interestingness, it would be the most interesting thing in

0484 – use good tools (but don’t obssess endlessly about them)

Back for number 4 at 0633hrs. There’s something very calming about writing in this Byword screen, which is all minimalis

0472 – experiment with pretending you don’t have problems

A: Hey, you free for a chat? B: Always. What’s up? A: I was hoping to catch you in a more relaxed, unprofessional sort o

0471 – strive for mastery in the artful application of force

My mind has been triangulating onto upon a simple idea over time: A lot of life is about the artful, appropriate application o

0469 – make the decision to grow

In both Mean Girls and in The Office and I think in many other stories that we find compelling, the hero goes through a diffic

0460 – dance along to your internal compass

First a quick meatbag management review– I hit the gym about once a week for 3 weeks, and then took a break for a week (unin

0450 – practice taking pauses

I’ve been taking a break from writing for a while but now I’m back. I initially hoped to have August be my “

0434 – go somewhere new

I’m getting tired of writing about the thoughts on my mind the way I’ve been doing for the past 400 vomits or so.

0432 – let go of your fixations

I’m not sure when or how exactly I was triggered to write about this, but it’s been obviously something that’

0428 – define integrity and embody it

integrity (n.) c. 1400, “innocence, blamelessness; chastity, purity,” from Old French integrité or directly from

0425 – replace hyperbole with precision

I’m learning that I have a habit of using hyperbole in my communication. I sometimes describe things as the “best

0420 – intelligently power through plateaus and don’t give up

“What is the present state of the saboteur?” The saboteur is always present, always scheming, and always full of s

0408 – (resist the) tendency to talk in explanations

TLDR: I get neurotic when I try to explain everything, including how and why I try to explain everything. Relax. – IR

0400 – stop hoarding truth in boxes

As I woke up this morning and lounged in bed for a while, before going to the toilet and reading a book (currently re-reading:

0396 – publish crap

I’m approaching 400 word vomits now, which is a nice milestone but it isn’t even half of everything that I’m

0384 – express your values through planned actions

TLDR: Wake up early every day (so sleep early too) Review work daily (with accountability partner) So what’s my plan? I

0381 – fuck fear

When did I first start becoming afraid? I thought I was a confident person, I thought I had it all. There are loads of people

0361 – strive to play the bigger games

I’m trying to make it a habit to start each day with a writing session, if possible. I’m sure I’ve said that

0360 – screw feeling guilty about not appreciating life

In the previous post I tried to think about reconciling my multiple sets of thoughts and perspectives and approaches to differ

0355 – punch the goddamn tires

Woke up, first at 7 and then again at 9, and been in bed since then. I’m going to write this vomit and then leave for wo

0353 – discharge your strength, productively

I make a lot of strange decisions. Right now I’m deciding to write a word vomit in the middle of the day. Is this a bad

0346 – finish (or decisively abandon) what you start

It’s 9.45pm. I slept later yesterday than I would’ve liked, and woke up later than I would’ve liked. I did s

0344 – wipe the slate clean and face your problems now

Let’s wipe the slate clean and start over. I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with this over the years, over the l

0336 – wake up do it now

So I went to bed later than I would’ve liked yesterday, but I thought I’d still get a good night’s sleep- wh

0335 – strive for no zero days

Today has been a pleasant, lackadaisical day. I did a whole bunch of word vomits yesterday. Today I woke up kinda late despite

0327 – beware self-flagellation, move forward instead

I am a self-flagellator. It’s a weird thing to realize, because for most of my life I thought I couldn’t care less

0324 – draw bright lines and stick to them

For some reason I haven’t been able to stick to a daily habit. At 26 years of age, once in a while I leave the house forgett

0321 – move fast and break things

I remember reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done a few different times, and I’ve come to realize that for some

0309 – draw an arbitrary line in the sand

B: So what would you do if you could do absolutely anything you wanted, if money were no object? A: Right now really there are

0308 – Draw, Play, Explore

A: I just need to draw, play, explore. B: Are you saying that you aren’t doing that already? A: I suppose if I’m d

0299 – let go of your guilt, shame and bad estimates

A: I feel like I’ve accumulated a lot of baggage that’s wearing me down and keeping me from living my life. B: Why

0298 – confront the fears that paralyze you

A: People are boring and predictable. B: Why, how boring and predictable of you. A: I KNOW. It bothers me. I don’t want

0295 – forgive your inner criminal

TLDR: Love the sinner, hate the sin. Now I want to reflect on a rather liberating thought that I had awhile ago. I’m not

0293 – get better at estimating (start small)

I would like to do 9 more vomits before I go to bed tonight, though I recognize that that’s probably not very feasible.

0287 – Change the lights

When I bought my home and got my keys and moved in, it was dusty and mildly derelict. The previous owners had vacated over two

0282 – make your plans together with your inner child

This is vomit number 7 in today’s streak. When this is done we’d have written over 7,000 words in a single afterno

0281 – zoom out to see how you’re blocking yourself

Life is full of wonderful ironies that reveal hypocrisy in my thinking. But that’s good, because everytime I discover th

0279 – win yourself over

I think I mentioned this earlier but I’ll repeat it– I’ve been very curious about the problem of akrasia, where

0276 – listen to yourself

Let’s start with the immediate thought– a few weeks ago I did 10 word vomits in a single day. I had previously always

0274 – claw out of delusion

The only way out of a delusion is to test things against reality. So I have to test things against reality. So a natural outco

0269 – leave your comfort zone regularly (lectured to SMU students)

Yesterday evening I did something for the first time– I gave an hour-and-a-half lecture to a group of students at SMU about

0256 – commit to personal daily sitdowns

According to my sleep tracker that I just started using– it’s not entirely accurate I’m sure– I was in bed for

0255 – fail forward

What is it that influences my volume of writing? How do I write more, faster? It makes me sad to think that I might take years

0253 – repeat yourself as much as you have to; just keep moving

Blind hope is a dangerous thing. It makes me believe that tomorrow will be better without me doing anything about it. The most

0251 – practice meditation regularly

I can’t remember when I first started paying attention to the idea of meditation– it’s been quite a long time. I

0249 – take slow walks

Slow walks. As I got out of the train today after a week of sickness, a day of work and a conversation with an old friend, I t

0248 – develop productive rituals

I woke up a short while ago, don’t yet know what I’m going to write. I’m still coughing up phlegm– I told

0247 – reminder to confront limiting beliefs

Integrity, reliability, responsibility. (Leadership, discipline…) All a bunch of buzzwords that I remember seeing on the

0246 – reminder to focus on fundamentals after the feels

So those were some strong feels in the last post, and strong feels are good to have- at least some of the time, from time to t

0239 – keep working on your EQ

Currently going through a phase where I write about all the things I wrote in my “to write” list in my old noteboo

0238 – Strive to be resourceful

I’m currently going through my old notebooks and writing about the things I said I would one day write about. It seems o

0237 – Correct Misperceptions + Asymmetrical Warfare

For this vomit, and probably spilling over into the next couple of vomits, I’m going to go through my old notebooks and

0232 – use stories as a thinking tool

I think I’m entering the zone of “what the fuck”, and this is whre it gets fun. This is where it gets intere

0231 – don’t be an eagle in a cage

Here’s a random thought– I remember once reading in Bass Player magazine about a bassist who played for a circus, and

0230 – clearly articulate your mistakes and successes

This was on my list of things to write about, and I think it’s something that’s always worth revisiting: What are

0229 – regular sync-ups, and the bleeding over of best practices

The single best improvement to my workday has been a daily sitdown that me and my marketing team (writers + designers) do ever

0224 – win the person, not the argument

A couple of vomits ago I wrote about how upset and frustrated I was because somebody was mean to me on the Internet. I decided

0220 – strive for the company of immortals

“Aim for the company of immortals” is a quote by David Ogilvy– I believe he was talking about the sort of atti

0218 – a break from being so goddamn public facing all the time

This would surprise my younger self, I think. I don’t know. Hey Visa, one day you’re going to get tired of being p

0214 – destroy the boxes

I only have a couple of data points [1] but I’ve been enjoying watching videos by accomplished people giving long talks

0209 – repeatedly revisit what you know

Yesterday, I took a post-nap lunch at about 1pm, and I woke up at 4pm. Earlier today, I took a nap at around 145pm, and I woke

0205 – reflect on recurring dreams and pay attention to yourself

I just woke up from a shitty dream. I’m not sure how it started (dreams usually begin in the middle, right?) but involve

0201 – breathe

I did not imagine that this is what I would begin the 200 series with. I knew that it was probably going to be something diffe

0198 – progressing recursively

Progress is really slow and frustrating. I don’t know if that’s the case for everybody but it’s the case for

0195 – strive to globally-maximize your enjoyment of life

I lost my last word vomit- it felt like it was some of the best work that I’ve ever done, and I lost all of it before I

0165 – read what you love and teach people to fish

This was written in June 2014. I am trying to rekindle the habit of doing vomits. I did one this morning on the way to work an

0155 – write to solve your own problems

A blog is a thinking tool. Anytime you write your thoughts anywhere, you’re forced to make your thoughts more precise. T

0143 – question your assumptions about how life should be lived

This post was written in May 2014. Lost Illusions I find myself questioning many of my assumptions about how life should be li

0138 – Identify what makes YOU happy

For two weeks I managed to stick to a daily habit of writing down what I had done that day, watching a motivational video (why

0135 – strive to go from 20% to 25%

This was written on March 3rd, 2014. I think I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling like I’m only as 20% as productiv

0134 – address your anger and jealousy

This post was written a while ago. Not sure exactly how long ago.  I’m feeling angry and jealous. Jealousy of course is

0109 – Manufactured Context + commit to flow, and interestingness

TLDR: we don’t have much free will if any stop insisting you’re in control modify your context/environment pursue

0097 – use condensed terms to simplify your thinking

<!– dream interpretation It has been a long and strange night, yet not really. I slept late, at 1am. Yet I am wide an

0085 – Keep the psychologically-insulated parasite at bay

Random thoughts are hard to come by these days but I just found myself thinking about language and social hierarchy, thanks to

0083 – avoid talking over people, ask questions and listen instead

I’m up and out a little earlier today, which is great. Still not as early as I’d like- I remember reading up when

0081 – evaluate and improve your publishing configuration(s)

Alright! This is starting to feel really natural now, I write in evernote on my way to and from office. I’m not sure why

0073 – strive to transcend local optimums

I’m feeling somewhat calm. My cat is asleep beside me. The wife is cleaning up the house- some of my cousins are visitin

0071 – manage your energy by focusing on small tasks

I wrote about things like “big problems” and “abstract problems” and things like that, but if I may be

0069 – navigate by excitement

This is an immediate followup to what I was writing earlier (yeah, I’m running straight through it). I was talking about

0051 – strive to appreciate and embody happiness

I saw my wife reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and it was something I had stumbled upon on some book revie

0050 – pursue flow

My last blogpost got significantly more attention than any of my other word vomits. (I was going to say “a surprising am

0036 – strive to be thoughtful and compassionate

Yes I know, I fell off the bandwagon for a while, and I got a little worked up trying to think about how I was going to fix it

0031 – identify limiting thoughts + avoid excessive safety

I went up to shower and I was so overwhelmed with thoughts I’m not sure if I can capture all of them: limiting thought,

0029 – strive to maximize flow

Well this is a little sobering- it’s 3:36am- the time that I said I would be done with all 4 word vomits, and I’m

0021 – let go of your judgement of others

Well so today is the first day of a new year, and I promised myself that I was going to do two word vomits a day, so here̵

0019 – expand your scale of influence

So I went to bed at midnight and I just woke up (at 3:45am) and I’m not sure why exactly that is, considering how sleepy

0016 – identify what you’re repressing and express that with art

Just got back from my run and am still in my sweaty shorts. Have a few things on my mind. The first is how so much frustratio

0014 – protect others from needless shame

1000 words 15 minutes unedited donch read I did something naughty last night, and I do regret it. I think. I was surfing EDMW

0006 – Extract signals from the recurring ideas and experiences of your life

Word Vomit is 1000 words in 15 minutes, unedited. Today’s thoughts are about recurring insights, and about changing your

0004 – Pursue and embody mastery, like Wilbur Wright

Word Vomit is when I write without editing. Don’t bother reading. I have been falling in love with Mastery by Robert Gre