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Some of my favorite poetry, vol. vi

tags: poetry

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Portia Nelson


I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk I fall in. I am lost … I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place but, it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in … it’s a habit. my eyes are open I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

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Good thing, bad thing

A common piece of willpower advice for breaking bad habits is to insert a short pause in between the arising of the desire to do the thing and actually doing the thing.

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My to-do list addiction as a high leverage meta-habit

Over the past 4,093 days I’ve completed 43,736 to-do’s.

Creating my to-do list habit 11 years ago when I was deeply struggling to understand my place in the world, and then re-committing to it mid-PhD (even more strugs) a few years later was one of the primary moves that pulled me out of the downward spiral I was in and put me on the path I’m on today.

Since then I’ve completed an average of 10.7 to-do’s/day. After switching to Todoist and starting my company ~three years ago, I’ve completed an average of 21.2 to-do’s/day. And over the last three months since going through CBTi (and also doing a round of ketamine therapy + beginning somatic therapy) my daily average has increased to 30.1 to-do’s/day, which is some of the clearest evidence I have of the efficacy of these interventions.

My to-do list is one of my most valuable keystone habits and it plays a pivotal role in nearly every aspect of my life. The reason for this, I believe, is that used correctly a to-do list can become an incredibly powerful meta-habit—i.e. a habit that makes it easier to create other habits.

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How to sleep

Welcome weary traveler…

This is a collection of slightly-less-than-obvious sleep advice that’s actually worked for me.

I had poor sleep for my entire life until figuring out most of the below—the result of which is that I now feel that I have agency over whether or not I sleep well. Which has been life changing.

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Some of my favorite poetry, vol. v

tags: poetry

O Me! O Life!

Walt Whitman

O Me! O life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?


That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

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