William Liao

October 5, 2021

Glass half...

The glass-half-full versus glass-half-empty analogy is great because it succinctly highlights your ability to choose how you react and respond to a situation. Put another way: at any given moment, your life is like a mad lib or a blinking cursor with empty white space waiting for you to dictate. The difference between a problem and an ...
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October 4, 2021

"Can't" and its alternatives

“Can’t” isn’t inherently bad. Sometimes we are sufficiently preoccupied and we can’t — or better yet, won’t — do something. That’s okay — even preferable when we’re trying to manage our workloads and hold the space we need in order to thrive mentally and at work. Other times, “can’t” is a conclusion we hastily jump to: “We can’t get th...
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October 3, 2021

Audit your energy

Several months ago I audited where I was allocating my energy. The whole exercise presented a humbling reminder that energy is a finite asset that can either be diligently invested or clumsily thrown away. A few activities where I have thrown away my energy include: 1. Complaining 2. Checking things more than twice (the first check off...
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October 2, 2021

Don't wait for next time

When I was at a beach in San Diego a few weeks ago, my brother asked me if I wanted to go into the ocean. Thought I knew I would enjoy it, I had this strange — almost reflexive — feeling of reluctance. I told him “next time”. Immediately after I said that it occurred to me that eventually there will be a time when I say those exact wor...
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September 30, 2021

This, not that

Every day is punctuated with moments where you can decide how to respond. Every response is an implicit assertion that this (the response you chose) is more valuable than that (the response(s) you didn’t choose). For example: When a mistake is made, you can choose grace, not punishment. When you or a teammate is having a difficult time...
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September 29, 2021

You can find out

When I started working 5 years ago, I would shudder in the face of questions that I didn’t have an immediate answer to. In my mind, not have the answer at the ready was synonymous with failure. I’d have toxic, counterproductive thoughts like: “Why can’t you be more prepared?” “You should know better.” In hindsight, I suspect that comin...
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September 28, 2021

Striving Mindset

A striving mindset is process-driven instead of output-driven. It prizes the race over the finish line, the incline over the peak, the journey over the destination. Stanford Neuroscientist, Dr. Andrew Huberman, recently shared on his latest podcast that framing our pursuit of things as a reward in and of itself leads to the release of ...
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September 28, 2021

Worrying

Worrying can be a good thing. Yes, you read that correctly: a good thing. When you worry, you tend to pay extra attention. You plan more carefully. You double (or even triple) check your work. In situations that are under your control, all of this extra effort is capable of making the difference between an exceptional outcome and one t...
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September 27, 2021

How much do you need to understand?

One of the many traits I admired about my dad was his relentless desire to understand why things were the way that they were. As a software engineer, he would rather pour over documentation to solve his coding problems than copy and paste StackOverflow code that he didn’t fully understand. When I needed his tutelage for math assignment...
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September 25, 2021

We are not finished

“We can be very proud of our achievements last week in Malaysia, but there is no room for complacency”. Those were the words that Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, told his team after winning their second race in a row in the 2014 Formula 1 Championship Season. It’s hard not to feel some ambivalence when seeing these two st...
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