Words I try to live by

This set of personal guidelines and biases was developed in a very ad hoc fashion over the last 10 years.

For years, I’ve had bits and pieces of this article in my notebooks and journals, on cork boards and post-its, and in Google Docs and Evernote.

This is a more refined version that all seemed to come together recently. Now, I’m sharing it with the world.

Sharing my north star

This set of guidelines was developed in an ad hoc fashion over the last 10 years. I’m sharing a more refined version that really came together as a whole in 2018.


• Create art.
• Connect with others.
• Learn new things.
• Play sports.


• Financial independence.


• Family comes first.
• Focus on “the one thing”.
• Read to understand.
• Step into the fear.


• Go on quests.
• Level up.
• Help people.
• Train for the win.
• Play the long game.

“I'm just about that action, boss…I ain't never seen no talking winning nothing. Been like that since I was little. I was raised like that…I'm gonna get it. Don't need to talk about it.” - Marshawn Lynch, Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day interview with Deon Sanders


• Make something that’s going to last forever.

“The goal is to make forever music. You try to make music of the time, music of the moment. That works and people enjoy it. But when creating, the goal is to make something that’s going to last forever.” - Jay-Z, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman

Claiming my bias

I am an essentialist.

I know that I can do anything, but not everything. So I choose the essential; the vital few; the things that matter to me.

I am not in a hurry.

“I don’t want to hurry it. That itself is a poisonous twentieth-century attitude. When you want to hurry something, that means you no longer care about it and you want to get on to other things. I just want to get at it slowly, but carefully and thoroughly…” - Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

I am a slow thinker.

“I’m a disappointing person to try to debate or attack. I just have nothing to say in the moment, except maybe, ‘Good point.’ Then a few days later, after thinking about it a lot, I have a response.

This probably makes me look stupid in the moment, but I don’t mind. I’m not trying to win any debates.” - Derek Sivers, Hell Yeah or No

I make art.

“Art is a human act, a generous contribution, something that might not work, and it is intended to change the recipient for the better, often causing a connection to happen.” - Seth Godin, What is your art?

Last edited: November 26, 2018