What Newly-Minted Millionaires Struggle With
I’ve written about what I learned from suddenly becoming a multi-millionaire at twenty-seven, and what I learned from gradually spending all of it in mid-life retirement. I have many friends who…
We Don’t Need Personal-Growth and Self-Improvement
When I scroll through my Facebook feed or when I get involved in any discussion about mental health, I frequently experience other people talking about “personal-growth” or “self-improvement.” There…
Why Men Must Learn to Milk Their Urethral Bulbs
I was in the clinic where I was training to be a therapist. After taking my next client to the room where we would be talking, I left the room briefly to grab some notes and to urinate. After peeing…
The Law of Attraction Is Simple
I was driving to Mount Shasta in California with my wife, Cindy, in the back and our friend, Dave, in the passenger seat. Dave and I talked about a lot of things, including The Work of Byron Katie…
Mentioned: Empowerment
Your Most Important Relationship Is Between Your Inner-Parent and Inner-Child
My wife, Cindy, has taken part in many sharing circles. A sharing circle usually consists of one person talking about whatever they want while the others listen, don’t interrupt, and attempt to hold…
Why You Should Keep Track of Your Financial Accounts, and How
I keep spreadsheets on everything, including my financial accounts. I also regularly reconcile my accounts, which means making my spreadsheets match what the statements say. There is a technique…
His Mother Had to Give Him up for Adoption as a Baby
I was on a video call with my friend Dan when we decided to talk about a longing that I had noticed in him. Earlier, in a post on Facebook, he had asked his friends if they would honestly reveal…
Could This Ancient Ritual Be an Effective Treatment for Depression?
I’m writing this in a tent, using a pen, at the Headwaters Outdoor School. The school is in the forest near the foot of Mount Shasta, a dormant volcano and the second-highest peak in the Cascade…
Meditation Is Not About Quieting the Mind
I frequently interact with people on the topic of meditation. It seems that I’ve become perceived as somewhat of an expert on this subject. This might partly be because I’ve done a ton of it myself…
The Healing Power of Hot and Cold Water
Cindy and I are at Harbin Hot Springs in Northern California for the long Memorial Day weekend, staying in a little caravan on this land that we had both independently loved for years before we got…
How I Rewired My Brain to Be Ultra-Social
I’ve always been an introvert. As a kid, I spent many solitary hours taking things apart to figure out how they worked, making things with the limited resources that were available (like legos…
Silicon Valley Is Not a Fad
A 20-year veteran of Silicon Valley outlines the region’s history of technological innovation, and dispels its recent reputation as a shallow, lucrative party for tech bros.
Weird Memories from School
I used to think that my experience of middle school and high school was pretty banal. As I wrote the following memory fragments, however, I realized that perhaps it was far from normal. I was 11…
For Maximum Corporate Performance: Eliminate Internal Competition
We all lined up in front of the whiteboard to so that our coach, André, could explain the workout of the day, which is called a “WOD” in CrossFit. On this day, the metabolic conditioning part of the…
Everything You Need to Know About Grammar in Six Minutes
I left school at sixteen and entered technical college, the place where I learned to solder components, weld joints, and do calculus (go figure). Then I went to university and studied engineering so…
Should Prisoners Be Allowed To Vote?
I’m writing about this topic in the context of a modern democracies in general, but I’m thinking particularly about the United States of America. This is a country that is supposed to exemplify…
The Ultimate Potential of Healthy Masculinity
I’m on a plane flying back to San Jose, California from Houston, Texas. My small, blue fishing rod is in the overhead bin. A couple of days ago, on a small boat, I was piercing a hook through the…
Deadlines Are Killing Us, And Almost Everything Else I Know About Leadership
This morning, I spoke with a good friend who lives in France. He started a business with his wife to develop a web-based, software-as-a-service product. As the business began to grow, his belief in…
Mentioned: 10 Things
You Can Become Whatever You Choose
A couple of days ago, I was presenting a research poster at a machine learning conference called ScaledML. Large groups of people were gathering around my poster while I delivered ad-hoc summaries of…
The Value of Incompetence
At work, I meet with a different person for lunch every day. I also usually have one-on-one meetings with one or two other people throughout the day. All of my lunches are scheduled out until…
My First Public Tech Talk: What I’m Learning in Preparation
A while back I wrote an article titled What Standup Comedy Has Taught Me About Public Speaking and Life. That article provides a pretty comprehensive coverage of everything I know about public…
Anxiety Is Excitement in Disguise
At five am on a recent morning, I woke to find Cindy awake next to me. “What’s going on, babe?” I asked. This got me thinking about anxiety, a topic I frequently consider. Maybe what was trying to…
Why Does Parallel Parking Always Involve Reversing?
Cindy and I were driving around in the Marina District of San Francisco looking for parking when I noticed someone entering a parallel parking spot nose-first. I said to Cindy, “You know that’s going…
What I Learned from My Dream Job Interview
I don’t know how it happened, but I was interviewing with a senior vice president (SVP) in the company where I currently work. I don’t remember what the role was, but I think it was in a…
Why I Never Work Weekends
It’s Saturday and I just signed-off an email to a customer by adding, “Now I’m going to write an article about how I never work on weekends.” I guess it’s more true to say that I hardly ever work on…
Will Machines Ever Be Conscious?
This topic is of particular interest to me because I’m an engineer working in the field of artificial intelligence, I have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and I have a lot of experience with…
How I Became a Writer
I’ve been writing publicly for around 13.5 years, and I decided that it’s time to take stock of where I’m at and how I got here. It was during the Summer of 2005 that I first started publishing…
How to Have Compassion for Narcissists
I’ve dealt with my fair share of narcissists. There seems to be quite a few of them in the world. I’ve been gaslighted, projected-onto, and generally treated like I was made of dog shit. Many people…
I Don’t Believe in Climate Change
I was driving to work this morning with Cindy in the passenger seat next to me. I don’t know who she was referring to when she said, “it annoys me that he doesn’t believe in climate change.” I found…
There’s No Such Thing As Ego
Very early this morning, I lay in bed with the fingers of my two hands knitted together and rested high on my chest. I was having trouble sleeping, so instead I was meditating. I started to notice a…
When Work Is Play
I’ve been noticing how I experience work as play. Throughout the day, I keep a list of things to do, which I then get to check-off as they are completed. If I think of something that I could or…
Why the Problem of Consciousness Is so Hard
I just read a great article in The Guardian about the struggle of scientists and philosophers to understand consciousness (link at the end). The Guardian article covers the history of the quest to…
What It’s like to Feel Responsible for Everything
Last night, I woke up at around two a.m. and looked around. It was very clear that all that was happening was what was apparently being witnessed: everything in my field of vision plus the thoughts…
The Most Important Leadership Skill
I think a lot about leadership and how to motivate people, and I also often experiment with different approaches. It seems to me that the most important leadership skill, by far, is the ability to…
If I Was a Recruiter, I Would Do This
I had a long conversation with some recruiters in a bar at Lake Tahoe in Nevada recently. They told me how challenging the work is and that they never get a break because they’re always having to…
My Boundaries Are My Responsibility
I’ve often heard people saying about others, “He needs to learn about boundaries,” meaning that he needs to learn not to overstep other people’s boundaries. To me, this seems like an inversion of the…
Why I’ve Started Unfriending and Blocking People
I used to pride myself for never unfriending anyone on Facebook. I just wouldn’t do it. I wanted to show that I would reject no one, that I was perfectly inclusive. When things got really out of…
A Pointless Poem About An Apothecary
According to tradition, affording her a mission, she takes the tincture in her sphincter, after luncheon, in a dungeon. “I know it’s scary,” says the apothecary, in her mink fur and, after a demure…
Why I Cannot Be Converted To Your Religion
Every now and then someone starts trying to convert me to their religion. It’s usually either Christianity or Islam but sometimes, in a more subtle way, it’s some form of Buddhism. I wonder if there…
Toxic Masculinity Says, “I’m Weak”
I watched the Gillette video about toxic masculinity and my take on it is simply that it reflects how our society is changing: The general trend is that bullying is being increasingly understood to…
Time Is Not Real
Show me the past. Show me the future. The only thing that seems to be happening is the present. But without a past and future, the present is just what seems to be happening, without any context…
The Principles by Which I Live My Life
Over the last couple of days, I’ve been having a conversation about politics with some friends on Facebook. That sounds like a bad idea, I know. One of these friends, who identifies as extremely…
Life is Effortless
I’m writing this on my phone in a small cafe called Abraço in New York City. They don’t allow the use of laptops, so this is my only way of communicating with you. This morning I woke up late, at…
There’s No Escape from Freedom
Last night, as I got into bed, Cindy said, “there’s something going on with my Boo Boo!” I was struggling again with reconciling what seems to be happening in my experience with what other people…
My Struggle with Narcissistic Bullies
I don’t know why, but I seem to regularly get pulled into interactions with narcissistic bullies. They come into my world and they seem to try to invalidate my experience. Most recently, there’s a…
What’s Happening Is Never a Problem
What’s happening is always simply what’s happening. It’s always completely manageable. Problems don’t arise in what is happening, except as concepts about the past or the future, which are themselves…
My Strange Relationship with Yoga
I first did yoga in the late 90s. My wife-at-the-time told me about it and suggested we go together. I realized that I didn’t have appropriate shoes, so I made a point to go to the store and buy some…
What It’s like to Look When There’s No One Looking
Last night, Cindy and I drove to a friend’s birthday party on the other side of the Bay. On the drive there and on the drive back, I spent some of the time examining looking in more detail. At one…
How I Objectify My Wife
Yesterday, I published a story called “All My Wife Needs Is Food and Cuddles” (link at the end). When I shared it on Facebook, one of my female friends, who read only the first two paragraphs…
Life Is Amazing, but for No One
I was having a conversation with a friend recently about “setting intentions.” I revealed that I have been increasingly losing faith in the belief that there is any free-will and choice. I tried to…
All My Wife Needs Is Food and Cuddles
This is an off-the-cuff, quick-start care-and-feeding guide for the wonderful woman I’m lucky enough to call my wife. I’m writing this guide in a little coffee shop in Incline Village, Nevada, near…
The Law of Attraction Only Works When You Don’t Need It
I was in a live conversation today on a podcast show where we were talking about setting intentions for the new year. The show seemed to go a little off-track, and some yelling happened (including…
People Are Perfect Just the Way They Are
Yesterday, while Cindy and I were waiting in line for the ski lift, a guy with his son whizzed past in the channel that was empty and reserved for “ski and snowboard school only.” He and his son were…
Grammarly Doesn’t Understand Me Anymore
According to Wikipedia, “Grammarly is an online grammar checking, spell checking, and plagiarism detection platform developed by Grammarly, Inc.” It’s a pretty amazing tool for detecting errors in…
It Doesn’t Matter How Many Followers I Have
I have recently started sharing more on Instagram. I have noticed that when I include tags, people follow me. Soon, however, those people unfollow me again. I imagine that it’s because I didn’t…
The Power of Holding-On and Letting-Go
Cindy and I have been snowboarding at Lake Tahoe in Nevada. Cindy is a beginner. She had a lesson a couple of days ago, and since then has been practicing on the very-slightly-sloping beginner run…
The Search Ends When You Quit Looking
Most people seem to spend most of their lives seeking fulfillment in illusory alternative circumstances. Even if it’s only subtle, or held unconsciously, there is a belief that when the home is…
I Am the Evil I See in the World
It’s 5:15 am, and I’m writing this from a sofa in an Airbnb a few hundred feet from Lake Tahoe in Nevada. Cindy is asleep in the next room. I felt cold, so I slipped on the sweater that I discarded…
The Purpose of Life Is Not to Find Happiness
The last few mornings, I’ve been waking up feeling kind of depressed. At least, the sensations inside my body are ones that I would normally associate with “depression.” These last few mornings have…
How I Weather a Bear Market
Prices in the stock markets have been dropping recently. Last night, on Christmas Eve, there was a massive sell-off. According to NPR, this has been the worst December for stocks since 1931. My…
Even the Arguments Are Perfect
After eating dinner, I sat on the sofa. Cindy was in the kitchen and she said, “Someone didn’t wash the dishes!” in a way that suggested that I should have washed them. “I’m fine! I just wish you…
It’s Not Possible to Mislead People Spiritually
I’ve been told that I’m misleading people by telling them that they don’t need to do anything to have complete freedom, that freedom is all there is, that freedom is what is happening. I’ve been told…
How We Limit Ourselves by Placing Gurus on Pedestals
I traveled to India, principally to sit with a renowned guru and to receive initiation from him. Every day for three weeks, I went to his concrete home in Benares, the spiritual heart of India, where…
Does the Body Need to Be Conditioned for Enlightenment?
There’s a story that goes around in spiritual circles that you have to spend decades meditating in order to condition your body so that it can “hold” enlightenment. It’s said that you need to open up…
You Are Everything That Seems to Be Happening
Wherever you are right now, notice everything that seems to be happening: the thoughts, the feelings, the sights, the sounds. Look around and notice everything you can. Everything that you see is…
Thoughts Are Just Thoughts
I tend to believe that when I’m resisting a thought, I’m resisting what the thought seems to be about. So I apparently resist the thought and then there seems to be an emotion or some kind of…
Enlightenment Is Not a Destination
Enlightenment is not a state, not a goal, not a way of being. Enlightenment is not something that can be attained, not something you will finally get, not something that you can have. Enlightenment…
My Struggle with Projective Identification
I’ve been in therapy on and off, mostly on, for almost twenty years. I like therapy so much that I even trained to be a therapist, getting a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Anyone who needs that much…
It’s Just Another Sunday
One of my favorite things about Cindy right now is the way she hides her smiles from me. Sometimes, when I say something sweet to her, she turns away and hides the smile. When I let her know that I…
The Simplicity of Life
I have psychotherapy every week. I meditate now and then; I meditated this morning. I go to work. I exercise frequently. I try to sleep for eight hours per night, and I try to go to sleep at roughly…
How to Be Happy
I have something I have to sell you. It’s workshop in which I will explain to you how you can organize, run, and sell workshops which teach people about how to get people to come to workshops. One of…
There Is No Truth
If you’ve been reading my articles recently, you might think that I have found some kind of truth. That’s an illusion. What is being revealed is that there is absolutely no truth at all. How can…
I Have No Location
Recently, as part of trying to figure out what’s going on with me, I had a phone call with a woman named Lisa Cairns in France. Lisa is someone who talks about non-duality. I was saying to her that I…
Science Is Purely Subjective
Every scientific instrument that has ever been created has a common component that is usually overlooked; telescopes have this component; microscopes have this component; particle accelerators have…
All Religion is Blasphemy
This has been apparent to me for many years, but for some reason I hadn’t seen it as clearly as I do now. Every religion that exists is based on the idea that there is a self that needs to do…
The Position of Power
In a room, the seat facing the entrance is generally considered the position of power. This is because it is inside looking out, is protected from behind, and provides the optimum vantage-point from…
How I InstaTroll GaryVee for Followers
I’ve been following Gary Vaynerchuck (pronounced vay-ner-chuck) on Instagram for a long time. I haven’t really been using Instagram much, but whenever I would hop on there to look at something my…
There Is Only Dying
I was recently having a conversation with an ultrasound technician who was checking that the vein in my shoulder is now clear of clotting after the medical crisis that happened a year ago (you can…
This Has Nothing to Do with Religion
Advaita is a Sanskrit word that literally means “non-secondness.” Advaita is also apparently the name of a religion. According to Google, it is “a Vedantic doctrine that identifies the individual…
Overwhelm Is Always Just a Story
I woke up in the middle of the night last night, as I often do, and, before my viscerally-held self-concept could come in and claim what was happening, what was happening was just happening. There…
Your Destiny Is Not Personal
You only think you know what’s happening right now, but what is happening is actually completely chaotic, not understandable, and not knowable. What is happening is being co-opted by a separate sense…
How I Write with Authority
It seems that I write about things with a lot of authority, like I know what I’m talking about, like I’m confident. In truth, I am not confident at all. In truth, I am one of the most unconfident…
Freedom from Believing Thoughts
Last night I was at a bar in San Francisco, on a roof-top overlooking the city. I was with two young actors about to begin their careers. We started to talk about what might be possible in their…
Am I Enlightened?
Maybe it crept up on me when I wasn’t looking. But there is nobody for it to creep up on. How can everything creep up on itself? Okay, but there is nothing special happening. Why would everything be…
All Men Are Trash
I heard a story recently about a woman who claimed online somewhere that “all men are trash.” Shocking, huh? On the internet of all places. Who would have thought? What happened next is that some…
Happy Birthlife, Baby!
It was my wife’s birthday recently. She usually declares that the whole month in which her birthday occurs to be her “birthmonth.” At the start of the month, she makes a list of all the things she…
This Is How I Suffer
When I suffer, it is because I am not identifying with myself, apparently splitting myself in two. For example, when there is pain in my body, and I believe the thought that “I am in pain” or even “I…
Meditation Is All There Is
I recently wrote an article about awakening and one of my readers suggested that I “keep meditating.” I really appreciated the pointer because when I’m truthful about what is actually happening, it…
Relationships Work When You Don’t Take Them Personally
I used to take relationships very personally. If my partner said something that pushed my buttons, initiating a cascade of righteous indignation, then I would engage with it: “How dare she say that!”…
The Whole Thing is Always Beautiful
If you have a fully functional parietal lobe, then you’ll be able to recognize and appreciate faces. Facial recognition in humans functions differently than other forms of object recognition. We…
About Parking Hogs (and Blame in General)
I used to get annoyed by people who parked so that their car took up more than one space, or so that there was no room to park my car in an adjacent space. I used to judge them as being selfish…
Searching for Myself
Am I the sensation on my forearms? Am I the aching feeling in my toes as I move them? Am I the uncomfortable sensation in my stomach? Am I the tingling in my head? Am I these sensations? Am I these…
Liberation Is Not an Escape
We tend to believe that liberation is freedom from being human. We think that when we get enlightened, or awake, we’ll no longer have all these unpleasant experiences. In reality, there is no escape…
How Can I Know Anything Without Awareness?
A while back, a friend was attempting to persuade me that awareness is real. He told me that all the saints and sages have talked about Awareness or Consciousness as being primary. Until recently, I…
What Are We Searching For?
Today, Cindy and I went to Costco to buy supplies for Thanksgiving. I have always been amazed at the abundance and fullness of Costco, and I have often felt irritated by the throngs of people pushing…
Seeing Harmony as Disharmony
There is a way of perceiving the world in which everything is whole, complete, and perfect. This is what is sometimes called the non-dual perspective, or the enlightened perspective. This way of…
I Did Fuck-All This Weekend
This weekend was an anomaly, not because I did fuck-all, but because I did fuck-all with abandon. I didn’t just do fuck-all and pretend to myself that I was going to be productive; I did fuck-all…
My Struggle with Enlightenment
I think that my writing is at its best when I address, as directly as possible, what is alive in me, which includes where I struggle. My writing becomes a way of publicly reflecting on things…
What Is Unconditional Love?
To the individual self, unconditional love usually means that we will be loved no matter what. We’ll be loved even when we’re sick and poor. We’ll be loved even as we become old and useless. It may…
Luckily, My Wife Married No One
I’ve been worried about waking up from the dream of self (the dream of separation). I was worried not because I need to exist, to have a purpose, or to achieve anything. It’s understandable that…
What CrossFit Has Given Me
I’ve been doing CrossFit four about six years now. I used to train five or six days per week. More recently, while recovering from illness, I have been training about three times per week. Here are…
Consciousness with a Big C: The Spiritual Red-Herring
In certain spiritual circles, what you’re about to read is extremely controversial. It strikes at the heart of many people’s core beliefs. Whether you’re seeking Consciousness or Self, you’re never…
How I Write Every Day While Working Full-Time
A while back, a person that I was coaching revealed that he thought that I was a full-time writer. Then yesterday, a friend at work asked me how I was able to write so much while working full-time…
Networking for No Reason
I usually have one-on-one lunch meetings booked for weeks, if not months, into the future. Most of the people I have lunch with work at the same company as me, but sometimes I invite people from…
How to End Suffering
Many people seem to think that suffering is the same thing as pain. They ask, “If I didn’t have suffering, then wouldn’t I burn my hand on something hot?” In this case, pain is a sensation that the…
Psychopaths in a Nutshell
I’m not a world-class expert on psychopaths, but I’ve thought about them and read about them a lot. I believe that understanding psychopaths can help us to understand ourselves and to dispell an…
How I Finally Quit Smoking and How to Change Any Behavior
I was at university and I had been smoking cigarettes for years. I was exercising most days and I had begun to notice that my level of fitness seemed to be capped by the smoking. My body and…
We Cannot Own Anything
We usually live our lives with the idea that we can touch things, hold things, and own things. There is some sense that we are able to acquire things, but when we take a close look, real ownership…
I Love You Like Shoes Love Feet
I love you like mountains love clouds, like cats love lasers, like the rough nib of a pen loves the words that flow from it, words it will never understand. I love you like a dog loves the sound of…
I Will Never Be Enlightened
Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and looked out of the door of our bedroom. As I looked, I was not able to understand what I was looking at. It was like a mirror was looking into a…
Life Is Ever-Changing Flavors of Perfection
This morning, I woke up with a full bladder, as I often do. I walked to the bathroom feeling the fullness, and with what is often considered pain. As I walked, a thought appeared: “It’s always been…
How to Be in the Now
Let’s assume that now is a thing, and let’s find try to find it. Here is an experiment you can do at home: take your finger and point to something, anything, and ask “is this now?” Point to something…
The Futility of Asking Why
In my training as a therapist, I had to learn to stop asking people “why?” Asking why tends to send a client into a spiral of thinking, taking their attention away from the immediacy of what is…
The Freedom of Uncertainty
In the last few weeks, maybe months, everything I thought I knew has been turned on its head. Actually, it’s worse than that; it’s become clear to me that I can’t truly know anything. All the…
Seeing Is Not What You Think
I sometimes find myself at work, sitting at a table, looking at the edge of it. I am engrossed. I reach out and start running my finger over the edge. I am engaged in a set of scientific experiments…
What If This Is What We Really Want?
What if what we’ve been searching for has been here all along, right in front of our eyes? What if it’s been the simplicity of what is happening, no matter what seems to be happening? What if we’ve…
The Illusion of Choice
I’ve been examining the concept of free-will and choice. When I pay attention to what’s happening, I notice that there is only reality (what is). On the other hand, what isn’t is just a concept…
Awareness Is an Illusion
This is a very controversial statement in any circle, spiritual or not. We all assume that awareness is real. It seems like we’re looking out of our eyes at reality. It seems that we’re aware. The…
We Are Not All One
It has been said to me, “It’s easy for you to say that we are all one when you are a privileged white male. Try telling a person of color who has been treated unjustly that we are all one!” The…
A Brief Glimpse of Reality
About seventeen years ago, I had a series of experiences that I called spiritual. These experiences went on for years, at least six years. Some of them seemed to involve the revelation of what I…
What Happens When My Wife Says Woof
Many years ago, I was listening to an experienced meditation teacher counseling a student about her practice. The student complained that every time she sat to meditate an owl started to hoot outside…
Transform Group Dynamics by Diffusing the Drama Triangle
Once you know about this pattern of human behavior, once you’re able to recognize it, and once you’re able to avoid or resolve it, your life will become much more pleasant. Pretty much exclusively…
My Quest to Not Exist
I remember, many years ago, learning about nirvana, the ending of the suffering self by the ending of the self. I wondered what the point of that was: nobody can be free from suffering. This was a…
Nobody Meditates
The bed is warm and comfortable, but this body and mind cannot, will not, drift back to sleep. They have been conditioned to awaken to this schedule, and they contentedly and effortlessly comply. The…
Above All Else We Must Practice Falling
Have you ever watched a child learning to walk? They stumble left and right, forward and backward. They fall over often. We notice parents standing near their children, creating guard rails with…
Are We Remembering the Future?
On Facebook, I recently shared a video that was clearly intended to inspire people to envision the future they want. The video suggested that when we think about the future, we are actually…
A Conversation with God, Part Two
This is the continuation of an earlier conversation between two parts of myself. One part is my “normal” state of consciousness, while the other part is non-duality, what I consider to be God. To…
How Scientific Breakthroughs Work
I have a good friend and colleague who is a very accomplished engineering leader. During lunch yesterday, he told me a story about how he solved what at first seemed to be an extraordinarily…
A Conversation with God, Part One
In December of 2001, after meditating for only thirty minutes per day, every day, for four months, I came to know what I understand to be the fundamental nature of reality. I have written a little…
Why I’m Grateful for My White Privilege
Recently, I was having a conversation with a white female friend about white privilege. She denied that white privilege is real and told me that it’s a concept designed to shame white people. I…
STOP: The Counter-Intuitive Secret to Success
We read and hear so much about how to be more productive and efficient, and to stay motivated, and to do more. Gary Vaynerchuk tells us to always “hustle,” to sleep less than six hours per night, and…
The Perfection of Reality
This morning, I was riding my motorcycle to work when I realized, again, how perfect everything is: the glint of the sun on the edge of my visor, the bumpiness of the road, and the cracks in the…
How to Respond to Bullies
In this article, I’m going to instruct you on how to respond to bullies. First of all, we need to define what a bully is. If you witness someone trying to get others to do things by threatening them…
Some Snapshots from My Shitty Childhood
When I was about five, my parents divorced. I have very vague memories from that time. In one of my clearer memories, I was standing in the driveway of our house, presumably lost in thought, when…
What Gardening Has Taught Me About Life
I was sitting in my therapist’s office, telling her how much I enjoyed gardening, when she said, “Gardening seems like a spiritual practice for you.” I stopped talking and looked at her in silence as…
My Struggle with Impostor Syndrome
I sat in the meeting room filled with other engineers and stared at the projection screen. Like a newborn child, I couldn’t understand most of what I was looking at or hearing. I recognized almost…
Hugging for High-Achievers
I’m usually at my desk in the early morning, writing nonsense like this, when I hear a distressed-sounding “boo boo?!” from the bedroom. When Cindy was very little she used to sleep in the same bed…
The Insanity of Driving
Recently, I was driving back to the South Bay from San Francisco when I got caught in some stop-and-go traffic, which is a common experience in the Bay Area. I was on the 101, a freeway (motorway in…
How to Learn Anything
Even though I almost failed my school exams at age 16, I turned my life around and went on to get a bachelor’s degree (BEng) in electronic engineering, a master of science (MS) in electrical…
The Parasite Behind the Cat Lady
Cindy and I were sitting in our hot tub the other night, talking with a couple of friends from England, when the topic of cat ladies came up. That was probably because my friend Daniel is the…
Statistics for Trolls and What I’m Learning from Perilous Bridge Crossings
I get approached by trolls of all shapes and sizes, and I’ve come to learn a thing or two about them. I know that the basic one-size-fits-all admonition regarding trolls is, “Don’t feed the trolls,”…
I Won’t Wipe Your Ass for You, and Other Sound Financial Advice
I frequently get messages from people on Facebook Messenger, and through other channels, asking me to give them stuff. Sometimes it’s a house, and sometimes it’s a few hundred grand; what’s a few…
True Selfishness is a Virtue
We talk about people with “big egos” as if big egos are really big. What we forget is that big egos are actually very small. Someone with a big ego thinks that they’re very important and special, and…
How to Turbocharge Your Meditation with Gratitude
One of the simplest and most common forms of meditation is to pay attention to the breath. To practice this meditation, you sit still, with your eyes closed, and notice the breathing process without…
How to Sleep Like a Boss
As a teenager, I often stayed up all night watching TV, and then I slept when I was supposed to be in class. I got depressed, I was failing academically, and I was struggling to maintain supportive…
Great Writers Preserve the Cognitive Resources of Their Readers
Recently, a friend messaged me, asking me to review something he had written and then give him some feedback. When I started reading his writing, I quickly started to feel disoriented and…
How to Build a 100x Company by Fully Unlocking Human Potential
Many years ago, when I was a manager, I spent at least fourteen hours per week in one-on-one meetings with the people who reported to me. As a problem-solver and an optimizer, I sought to understand…
Beat Insomnia with a Spoonk
A spoonk is a type of acupressure mat, sixteen inches wide by twenty-six inches tall, which is soft but covered with hundreds of sharp, plastic spikes. I heard that two-thirds of families of Sweden…
A Satirical Look at a Mythical Startup / A Leadership Teaching Story
CarPusher started out as just Stanley Bucket, a sole trader, pushing cars out of his parent’s garage in Mountain View, California. Before long, word got around that Stanley was great at pushing cars…
How to Stop Your Clothes From Smelling of Vaginas, Bum Cracks, and Testicles
One morning, I had just sat down in my home office, after taking a thorough shower and donning clean clothes, when I smelled something odd. It smelled worse than someone who had not washed for a few…
I Relentlessly Drench My Wife With Love. Here’s How and Why.
The first thing I do in the morning, when Cindy wakes up, is to tell her that I love her. With emphasis and enthusiasm, I say, “I love you soooooo much!” Then the last thing I do before we go to…
How I Forgave My Abusers and Escaped From Victim Mentality
My eyes opened slowly. Above me, I saw a meadow of beautiful pink and violet flowers. The scene was filled with a light that danced between the blossoms and washed across the field of soft, delicate…
How to Make People Laugh
This is a compact guide to making people laugh in everyday life. This guide is going to teach you how to add real and effective humor to your work meetings, to your presentations, and to your dates…
How to Know What You Want and How to Get It
I recently had lunch with a friend and colleague. He’s early in his engineering career, a young father, eager, innocent, and intelligent. He came to me with the same question that most people have…
How to Learn to Surf
I pick up the board, feeling the sticky wax under my fingertips. I carry it, under my arm, over the soft sand, and wade slowly into the cool water, sometimes feeling a smooth pebble under my toes. I…
Flow
When pen is placed upon the page there is nobody here except a peaceful, humble sage; his Master standing near. Even in the person third, my essence you can trust will fill him up with words absurd…
Medium produces audio versions of my articles. What’s that like?
Medium just released the audio version of What Standup Comedy Taught Me About Public Speaking and Life. This is the third time that one of my articles has been recorded and released by Medium. Last…
What I’ve Learned About Thieves and Patent Law
Before going into the ocean, I had carefully placed my flip-flops next to an odd-looking arrangement of driftwood on the beach, near a broken and abandoned fold-away camping chair. When I returned…
For Our Anniversary, We Almost Died Together
It was the fourth anniversary of our relationship. We were playing in the waves in Costa Rica when I saw that Cindy, five or six feet from me, was looking concerned. I remembered reading that…
Callipygian Swagger
She’s so much more than Mother Earth with sun and moon about her girth; a goddess in the underbrush with skin so soft and hair so lush. I’ll caress her in Orion Beta; she’ll shower me with sweet…
Why My Wife Thinks That I’m a Good Man
Recently, my wife has been calling me a good man. She said to me, “You’re such a good man, Duncan!” It really struck me hard because, while some kids want to grow up to be fire fighters, or…
What Standup Comedy Taught Me About Public Speaking and Life
A few years ago I went through a period of intense training and practice in standup comedy. I took a 12-week course in the UK, and then I started performing regularly, both in the UK and in the San…
Resentment
Resentment: a yacht I used to feel with drafting sail¹ and canting keel²; once plied upon the sea of life, then harbored, safe, towards my wife³. At last I chose to seek the sane, with eyes washed…
Unleash the Buddha Within
I want you to stop pretending that you’re not enlightened. I want you to remember that you’ve been fooling yourself. You’ve been telling yourself stories about yourself that are not true. Look at…
How to Create Outstanding Titles
I used to get upset when people complimented me for my titles, mostly because I spent so much time and effort on generating high quality content, and not on creating the titles. “It’s not about the…
I Feel Terrified in Restrooms. Here’s Why.
I need privacy to pee. If there is nobody else in the restroom, then I can pee freely, but when there is someone standing next to me, even if my bladder is close to exploding, my urethral sphincters…
Our Beautiful and Painful Relationship
I don’t care if my wife leaves me. Why would I want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me? Sure, it would break my heart. Sure, I would cry in strange locations at random times for many…
How to Debug Any Problem
The ability to quickly and effectively find and resolve bugs in new and established systems is one of the most valuable engineering skills that you can develop. Since this skill enables the rapid…
Mentioned: CSS Weekly
The Biggest Secret of Great Writers
Writing that people love, and that they share with others, has several distinguishing characteristics. Great writing is not only free from errors but also pleasurable to read. The information flows…
How to Become World-Class at Anything
When I was 16, I performed relatively poorly in my GCSE exams, exams which every kid in the UK takes. Having missed most of my classes, and barely studied, I received a D in math and an F for French…
How to Get Rich Slowly (or Quick)
So you want to be rich, huh? I receive many messages from people via LinkedIn and Facebook Messenger asking for my advice on getting rich. Most of these questions come from young men aged between 15…
Why You Need This Powerful Self-Knowledge Tool
At psychology graduate school, I heard about the enneagram of personality, referred to as “the enneagram” for short, and I was initially very skeptical of it. The enneagram is a system for…
Why I Write
I’m usually awake by 6 am every day. Today I got up at 5 am. I meditate, spend some time with my wife, and then I write. My first real task each morning is to write, and I write for between one and…
Letter to a New Manager
Sixteen years ago, at 27, I was promoted to a managerial position at work. I was employee #197, and I had joined the company several years before the initial public offering (IPO). When I started…
A Short Story About Ego
Elijah Scattergood strolled along the prow of the cliff. Not only had he been afflicted with a large and bulbous nose, but he had also developed a trait of wandering barefoot in public places…
How Do We Stop Child Molestation?
I have been wanting to write this article for a long time, but I have held off because this subject is so taboo. Since I don’t adhere to the socially acceptable position of “They should just be…
How I’m Training Duncan to Be a Better Husband
Over the holidays, my husband Duncan published an article entitled How I’m Training My Wife to Be Happy. It’s a brow-raising title and one I knew would catch people’s attention, making some curious…
A List of 100 Things That Work Really Well
I wrote this list down, and I wanted to share it with you. I could write a whole article, at least, about each of these items, but I wanted to give you this list and see what you think of it. Here…
A Chinese Unicorn (Unintentionally) Shoots Down Medium’s Read Ratio
This started on Saturday January 6, 2018. I was looking at my Medium stats when I noticed that the reads-per-view ratio on one of my stories, entitled I Almost Died. This Is What I learned, was…
How I Increased the Medium Read Ratio Without Changing the Story
I recently published a story in P.S. I Love You, originally entitled How to Be Powerful in Relationship, and was then surprised to discover that, even though it was getting a lot of views, it was…
A Short Story About Awareness
Elijah Scattergood sat quietly in the corner of the pub. Not only was he afflicted with a seventeenth-century name, but he was also plagued by a rampant imagination and a deeply inquiring mind…
The Theory of Adorable Attachment
I’m going to start by summarizing attachment theory, and then relate it to my relationship with my wife, Cindy. If you’re already thoroughly familiar with attachment theory then you might want to…
Your Superpower Is Also Your Kryptonite
My superpower is the ability to work really, really hard. I have incredible persistence and work ethic. This has served me well. I’ve made millions of dollars, and achieved some pretty impressive…
I Almost Died. This Is What I Learned
This is an epic recounting of what happened when I was suddenly hospitalized with a rare condition, what the medical staff did, what the homeless and drug addicts did, and how I handled all of it.
The Truth About The Old iPhone Slowdown Fiasco
For a few weeks now, I have wanted to write an article about the slow-down of old iPhones. This desire started when I was having online conversations about it. In those conversations, many people did…
How I’m Training My Wife to Be Happy
Cindy and I were married three-and-a-half years ago. Our companionship, intimacy, and love have deepened over that time, and we have developed an extremely stable foundation. This has been possible…
Republished: The Good Men Project
Why the Internet Must Be Regulated
This article explains, in-a-nutshell, why it’s actually anti-capitalist to not regulate internet services providers (ISPs). In free-market capitalism, monopoly must be addressed and regulated.
Your bank is training you to have your identity stolen
A number appears on my phone that I don’t recognize, and, just this one time, I pick up, and I hear, “Hello, my name is June. I’m calling from the fraud department of
Republished: The Next Web
The Most Important Relationship Skill
There is a one key skill that you can develop that will make you masterful in relationships. Without this skill, your relationships will be unsatisfying and short-lived. With this skill, you will be…
Is Bitcoin a Pyramid Scheme?
Cryptocurrencies are important and valuable. Distributed blockchain technology, as pioneered by bitcoin, is important. The future of money really is cryptocurrencies, possibly led by bitcoin. I’ve…
How to Create True Love
A relationship usually starts with a honeymoon period in which each person is infatuated with the other. This period can last from a few weeks to a few years, but usually last for about six months…
How I Write Stories That Go Viral
My articles have been in the top-twenty on Medium multiple times, and I have been a Top Writer in Relationships, Health, Productivity, and Start-Ups. So far, I have written three articles that have…
What 4,300 hours of meditation has taught me
I started meditating consistently in the summer of 2001. I had just finished developing the first Microsoft Xbox, and I literally sat with my feet on my desk. I should have felt proud and satisfied…
What The Buddha Taught (in a nutshell)
Over 2,500 years ago, Siddhārtha Gautama was born into a rich family in India. Having noticed that suffering seemed to be pervasive, he left his opulent lifestyle in search of a solution. After…
Everything is my guru (including the internet trolls)
I’ve been struggling a lot with trolls recently. They show up and try to spoil the party. They tell me that I’m pompous, or a psychopath, or unfaithful to my wife. They tell me that I should stop…
It turns me on when she cries
I’m going to tell you about an argument that my wife (Cindy) and I had last night. I’m writing about it partly because I want to show you how unexpectedly productive an argument can be; I want to…
I spent all of my millions. This is what I learned
I have written about how I became a multi-millionaire at 27, and what that taught me. I was at a meditation retreat recently, when it became clear to me that I had to write this story about how I…
Republished: NY OBSERVER | Mentioned: Bloomberg
I’m antifragile as fnck. Please break me.
This is a story about me and my friend up-leveling our careers, about him becoming a React Native developer, and about me becoming a world-class expert in AI. It’s a story of reciprocal inspiration…
I’m wealthier than ever. Here’s how.
I am painfully introverted. I’m also a workaholic. I can go days, or even weeks, without talking with another person. I dislike being in large groups of people, and much prefer being with just one…
I succeeded by following the path of least resistance
My wife recently gave me a piece of driftwood with a quote from David Foster Wallace laser-engraved into it. It reads, “Almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer…
What I learned from dating a female narcissist
Only a small fraction of the women I have dated have acted-out consistently on the narcissistic spectrum. I have combined the experiences with those women into a composite for the purposes of this…
I married the first person I had sex with. Here’s what I learned.
She stroked my leg under the table in the Student Union. I liked that, so I married her. I’m serious. This is what I’m like; I tend to go all-in immediately. I commit like crazy. At least this is…
Republished: THOUGHT CATALOG and Fatherly
I achieve my goals daily, and it’s easy. Here’s how.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to have, do, and be, whatever you choose. You going to have an experience of what I’m talking about while reading this article, and you’re going to gain a…
Multi-millionaire at 27. What I learned.
In the early two-thousands, I was an early employee at a Silicon Valley technology company that designs and markets cutting-edge computer processing chips. When I started, there were a few dozen…
The Good Person’s Guide to Kicking Ass
There’s a reason that we see so many corrupt people in positions of power and authority. It’s not because they’re particularly competent. They’re not there because they do a good job. The reason they…
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
Bulletproof coffee is just lab-tested coffee with grass-fed butter and 8-carbon, medium-chain triglycerides blended into it. That’s literally what it is, nothing more, nothing less. No magic, nothing…
Who wins when a snake devours its own tail?
I have been told that our society is moving inevitably towards a totalitarian regime, and that our only choice is which type of totalitarian regime it will be: fascist or communist. I was told that…
You don’t need therapy. You need lifestyle.
I’ve provided about 3,500 hours of supervised psychotherapy. I’ve also had around 1,000 hours of psychotherapy myself. The conclusion I came to at the end of my pre-doctoral internship is that most…
Leadership for “Winners”
Leadership is big in the news right now, and for good reason: leadership is important. You are important. Being a leader makes you feel good and look good. It also brings other benefits, like being…
How to Lose Friends and Manipulate People (Don’t Do These Things)
In today’s world, people rarely ask me how they can effectively alienate everyone around them. It’s one thing to be truly and deeply successful, happy, and fulfilled, but who wants that, when you can…
21 Relationship Principles You Need To Know
Everyone wants a great relationship. Most people either don’t know what they need to do consistently to have a great relationship, or they struggle to take action they know is necessary. Having a…
Spiritual Instruction Manual for Skynet
Everyone is all up-in-arms about general superintelligence. “Will it be good, or will it be bad?” Some folks believe that this superintelligence will be a reflection of its creators: if we are…
Why The Terminator Doesn’t Bitch About Money, and Why You Shouldn’t Either
Money is an amazing thing. It’s a powerful thing. Money represents a massive opportunity given to us by society. Money is the distillation of all the efficiencies we get from human collaboration on a…
How to avoid a carb crash (and other productivity hacks)
You know that feeling you get between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. every day, that tired feeling where you don’t want to do anything? You want to lie down and sleep, but you have to work, or at least you have…
Little Blue Crosses
Morning pages is one of the life bootstrapping practices that I have been using. I have a stack of sheets from doing morning pages for the past six months. It’s something that I have created…
My Resolution: Fewer Resolutions
I’ve been doing this lifestyle challenge now for four months, and I’ve learned a lot about what motivates me from the process. Last month I had a row entitled, “Bed before 10 pm.” I almost never put…
What Is the Lifestyle Challenge?
It’s the eve of the new year. Tomorrow will be 2017. I’m on day 118 of this lifestyle challenge and I realized that there are some things about it that I have not yet explained. A lot of people have…
Letting Go of Limiting Beliefs
Today I was sanding some spackle that filled a hole in the wall, a hole that I made by mistake while mounting a shelf, a shelf I put there to hold remote controls, remote controls for our TV and…
On Being Imperfect
It’s Christmas Day, and I’m on day 112 of my lifestyle challenge. This past month has been, how do you say, different. Taking a look at this month’s chart and comparing it with the previous three…
Hurting Women Is Not Manly
This is an amazing and thorough analysis of the problem with street harassment and rape culture. I was proud to see that much of my intuitive understanding of why men catcall and harass women on the…
Social Time
I’m an mostly an introvert. I’m also a workaholic. Left to my own devices, I would never see anyone. Enter social tracking … I’ve been tracking social time for a month-and-a-half, and I’ve been…
The Power of Not Reacting
This is at the core of everything I teach. It’s what I keep coming back to. I struggle with it, and everyone struggles with it. When we don’t react, we leave space to respond. You get that text…
Problem Solving
Every day I use a brain training app called Peak. I’ve been gradually increasing my scores and noticing improvements in other areas of my life, which I believe may be related to the training. The…
Being Together
Every day we sit for 30 minutes, on the floor, looking at each other, eye-to-eye, sometimes in silence. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we talk about what we’re feeling, sometimes about what we’re…
Day 86: Tiny Little Squirts of Insulin
When I used to eat a regular “healthy diet,” low in fats and moderately high in sugars and starches, I would spend most of the afternoon falling asleep. Now I almost never eat refined sugar, and I…
Day 85: Soft as a Baby
This is a weird and unexpected benefit of my new lifestyle: my skin has become silky soft, non-oily, and zit free. My skin feels really, really smooth and soft. I also used to get really dry elbows…
Day 84: Strategies and Tactics
It’s really important and valuable for me to be aware of, and pay attention to, both my strategies and my tactics. My systematic strategic thinking is currently most apparent in the creation and…
Day 82: Drinking, Sleeping, and Socializing
The chart shows that I have had 20 standard drinks over a period of 21 days, that’s an average of less than one standard drink per day, which is much less than the recommended maximum average of two…
Day 80: Watching
While sitting in the cold-plunge again this morning, I noticed a bit more about what makes life extraordinary. This whole process of getting into the cold plunge, with the deep breathing, and the…
Day 79: Surrender
I watched Cindy go ahead of me into the water, sitting back, holding her nose, and sinking into its cold embrace. I followed, slowly, taking several deep breaths before lowering my trunk down into…
Day 71: The System Serves You
Every 30 days or so I pivot with this lifestyle challenge checklist. I review, revise, and change things. This is both to challenge myself, and to make it work better for me. Here are some things…
Day 69: Use What You Have
People have asked me the same question I ask myself: why do I share these charts and write these articles? It’s easy for me to look for, find, and express an “acceptable” answer: I want to help and…
No, America Is Not Full of Assholes
A lot of people I know are very surprised that Donald Trump managed to win the US presidential election. How is it possible that someone like Trump can be the President? His character seems to be so…
Day 62: Grow Your Emotional Bank Account
I was talking with a friend recently when I mentioned the emotional bank account. He had not heard of the concept, and I realized that many people might not know about this. I learned about the…
Why My Wife Comes 40 Times per Day
I’m not writing this article to shock you, or to brag. I know that, mostly because of shame, sex is often not discussed, or is glossed-over. I know that problems with sex is one of the main factors…
Day 60: The Dirt IS the Gold
I’ve completed day 60 of this lifestyle challenge. As I have written about in earlier articles and posts, I feel consistent energy and mental clarity from when I awake until I go to bed, I sleep…
Day 40: Success is a Dynamic Bell Curve
I’ve been tracking and improving a lot of things recently, from my time under a cold shower, to the amount of water I’m drinking. One of the things I’ve noticed is that when I have a clear goal, and…
Day 34: Goal Setting
Some people tell me that I have experienced a lot of success in my life. I understand that this “success” is the result of goals that I set in the past. I once wrote down that I would be a “world…
Day 52: The Path is a Blazed Trail
On my recent meditation retreat, I was meticulously scanning the vedanā (sensation) inside my body when I reached the top of my head. At that moment, departing from the instructions, I felt compelled…
Day 50: Strong Determination (adhiṭṭhāna)
I returned from a ten-day meditation retreat on Sunday. From the fourth day to the tenth day of the retreat, three of the one-hour meditation sessions each day focused on developing adhiṭṭhāna, which…
Day 49: Equanimity is Purity
I’m counting the last 12 days as day 49 in my lifestyle challenge: a ten-day meditation retreat, plus a day to get there and a day to get back. The water in Lake County (the location of the retreat…
Ego Is Just a Bad Habit
I’m not even going to pretend to be spiritual. I’m not going to tell you that I’m religious either. I’m an atheist, and I have been since I met God. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s…
How Five Months of Intense Meditation Changed Me
It’s been five months since I started consistently doing two hours of vipassana meditation per day. I have previously provided updates after one, two, three, and four months. Here is where I’m at…
The Meditation Experiment: Two Months
This is an experiment to see what would happen if I consistently meditated for two hours per day, once roughly every twelve hours. I wrote an update after one month, and it’s now been over two months…
The Meditation Experiment: Month One
I did my first 10-day vipassana retreat back in 2011; ten days of up to 11 hours of meditation per day. It was life-changing, but when it came to an end I did what most people seem to do: decide to…
Meditation: Enlightenment Is Not the Goal
On the final day of a recent 10-day vipassana retreat, the first and only day when we could talk with each other, another participant posed an interesting conundrum: “I don’t know whether it’s worth…