Self-Improvement

Hundreds of bright-eyed 14-year-old faces in their newest clothes herd around the registrars’ table in the courtyard. One by one class schedules are picked up with either sadness or absolute excitement that his or her middle school crush will be in the same classes.


It was my first day of high school and within minutes of picking up my schedule my soon to be arch nemesis Eugene Choi asked to see my schedule. Briefly scanning it, he then proceeds to laugh out loud yelling “Haha, I have more honors classes than you!” I knew little about academic tracking or advanced placement at the time but all I thought was “goddamn Eugene Choi; I’m going to have more than you!” With that began years of competition and ultimately a path towards self-improvement.

  • You're not entitled to anything...ever
  • The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change, the realist adjusts the sails
  • To improve is to change, to perfect is to change often
  • Understand and develop a growth mindset
  • Intelligence is hard work
  • Don't say or believe "it is what it is"
  • Where there is a will there is a way
  • The more afraid you are to fail, the more likely you are to fail
  • The more something scares you, the more you should probably do it
  • Your goals are overrated
    • Habits are more important
  • You are the sum of your habits
  • Be deliberate about the habits you create and eliminate
  • Align your habits to your intended life outcomes
  • Ego, an emotional reaction that prevents you from accepting reality, is your enemy
  • Pain + Reflection = Progress
  • Improve through subtraction
    • You are more likely to improve by eliminating habits than trying to add new ones. The same applies to finances (i.e. you are better off eliminating expenses than increasing income) as well as new product development. Subtract to improve.
  • Your worldview is seriously flawed
  • You don't have forever to find and pursue your passion
  • Complacency is your enemy
  • You'll never have it all sorted out
  • Becoming an adult is not some magical transformation
  • Take advice from people who are living the life you want to live
  • Stay hungry, stay foolish
  • Anything that annoys you is teaching you patience
  • Anyone who abandons you is teaching you independence
  • Anything that angers you is teaching you forgiveness and compassion
  • Anything you hate is teaching you unconditional love
  • Anything you fear is teaching you courage
  • Anything you can't control is teaching you how to let go