Self Improvement

Mousuf Chowdhury

I won't become an expert in space of 1-3 months,
At most, I can hope to become top 20%.
At least, be able to answer group audience till daybreak.
A simple desire to understand topics of my personal interest.

Let us take the topic artificial intelligence and machine learning.
How can I have a good grasp? How can I learn?
Topic dependency, it takes 30 hours, 3 weeks or 3 months.

Here is the process I have found to work best.

Feel the topic @Wikipedia, then click through the reference links.
Google: ["Topic Name" + PDF], look for whitepapers and industry reports.
My favourite source,, 1000s of academic research.

Watch and listen to videos/ podcasts uploaded to
Everything related to the topic, be it lectures or interviews.

Take few hours out to open multiple browser window,
Each window, search good and bad related to the topic.
Procrastinate by opening 30 or 40 tabs on each window.

This no doubt will strain you out at the start,
Yet you will figure out sites and curators to trust.

Through practice, you will with ease, grasp anxious intimidating topics.

10am — Get up and to the kitchen for catch-up with grandma. Make breakfast of bread, my favourite.  (I’m typing this at 1 am, as I do my best writing from 12 - 3 am)

10:30-12* — Idea generation for MFluence's customer journey.

12 noon — Make a cup of tea after going for 20 mins walk.

12:30 — Lunch, consisting of glutinous rice with chicken and veg broth (I have this almost every day.)

1-5pm* — Work time! Focusing on MFluence and GYAEN 90% in December. (Have Merlin TV series playing in the background.)

5pm* — Review GYAEN's 50 Young Global Leaders.

6pm — Spend time with family.

6:30-9pm — Go out for a walk, speak on the phone at the same time,

9-11pm — Shower, dinner and then catch up on Tv Series .

11-2am — Chill out and do whatever, probably reading for enjoyment or drinking catching up with team or friends. At home (phone) or out. Followed by sleep!

I have been testing software past 3 months. 80% was atrocious, however, the following free software has become part of me:

- HubSpot customer relation management system online app

- A text expander software 'Phrase Express' (see why you should use it)

- Gmail add-on: Boomerang (
- Gmail add-on: Mailtrack (

- For online Anonymity, switch to TorBrowser (

- Finally, with going back to Universtiy, learn to programme the easy way (

Hope they aid you, like it has with me.

Always, I have always, loathed those who hide award websites.
Absolutely, made no clear sense as to why this happens.
Are you afraid of competition, those you face every day?

Maybe it's just because some are just conventionally that way.
Frustrating it is that, many don't share opportunities which exist.
Open windows, allow those around you to overcome and achieve.

Giving someone the key shouldn't be kept secret, should it?

With the challenge accepted, I decided to solve this problem,
I didn't believe that I could, by myself, change everyone.
Deciding to go the full mile of creating award database.

Knowing it's a towering task, I asked myself the following:
"How would the process look like if it was easy?"
Calling up several award hosts and nomination writers one afternoon,

I give you the company: "Boost", the global awards database author.

“Sorry, I forgot to tell you that I am nearing the last steps of this cancer,”.

We haven’t seen each other or spoken in nearly 10 years. She sent me a message on FaceBook just a few hours before remembering to tell me this. “You around later?”

Let’s do coffee on the beach.

I hold grudges. 10 years ago I got annoyed about something that now seems really unimportant. So we stopped talking.

When the message popped up I thought, why not? I needed to apologise to her.

She came over. He had once done some work together when I was at my first job. We used to hang out with each other most days of the week. Around 2006 was when I last saw her.

“Wait, what!”

It was three years ago where they had spotted something. They removed it, but last year, it had spread to everywhere else in my body with almost no time to live.

I wanted to say I am sorry to hear that but all that came out my mouth was, you look perfectly healthy. Just as I remember her.

Every 2 months, I visit Helsinki for this medical trial but thank you, it’s good to know I look good on my way out. However, eventually, this treatment develops resistance at some point. I’m at 9 months now.

And then, it’s a death sentence. She laughed which felt like she was telling a, on the border joke.

There was, now, nothing, that I knew about her life. A tainted guilt settled within me for holding this grudge for a decade.

I’m happier now than ever. I finally realised that my relationships are so important and for me, as every day passes, it is more and more becoming the most important thing in the world.

I had always liked being around you. But there is always days when I am around people I don’t particularly get on with. Yet, I am surprised I am still alive. I puck my lips and taught myself to constructively tell them what I think.

At any moment in the day I am exactly where I want to be and with those, I want to be around and constructively stick to my values.

It’s a good think you still care about teaching others. I said.

So am I! Because of this, I am always happy, every day I know that I will be doing exactly the things I want to do.

I no longer worry about my future, but only in the present moment. I don’t care about any potential achievement. I no longer feel bad for missing little goals. I actually haven’t been shopping in almost a year, to make me feel better emotionally, I don’t need to. I am so happy.

We took the coffee to go sit on the stones, under the sun, on the beach. She told me how cancer worked. She described the frustration and stress she endured through each stage of cancer. Each individual who had helped her through it.

Although I have lost second branch family members to cancer, I really didn’t know any of this.

We would converse for hours but now, I didn’t know what to say. She was joking around and laughing. She seemed the happiest I have seen her. Do you say sorry?

When sat quietly, do you think about worries, anxieties or old conversations you have had?

Not in the last 2 year.

I live a life where I do things I have personally decided for myself. I was really anxious at first because I had so little time and so much to do. There was no way I couple of years was going to be enough. I was uncertain of what I wanted first.

This uncertainty made me anxiety attacks. I used to find all the worries for my, what would be for 50/60 year of living in one or two months of this treatment. When the treatment becomes immune to cancer, I know I am going to die. I cannot out run it. So I stopped worrying about uncertain aspects of my life and the feeling of anxiety stopped with it.

She became quite for long pause. I looked to tears in her eyes. It didn’t exist. She smiled.

I wish I had messaged you 10 years sooner. It’s funny as it may have been this anxiety which had stopped me. I would have liked to get to know you better.


When we used to be at work, I could listen to her for hours of her culture, beliefs and values. Her home, her family, her religion. It gave her a unique outlook on life.

World problems and issues we disagreed on. I think that time, we were debating a father’s responsibilities. She always challenged me mentally and pushed my ability to think.

At 17, I was immature. She also was almost, always, right. She was right then.

I made good friends through having an informative conversation about Judaism, which I learnt from her. I wonder what else I could have learnt from her in the past 10 years.

Especially in today’s world, learning of values and outlook of life from someone of a different culture has never been more important. Social or professional life. We still have so much more to learn with everyone we encounter.

There are things I regret in life because I was uncertain of the outcome.

Since then, I told someone what was on my mind without any expectation, I know I would have regretted if I hadn’t.

The very same evening, we hosted an event with the aim of bringing different values of different culture together.

I know I will regret it if I don't do it again.

But we are at now. I am not going to be anxious about the uncertain repercussions of my two decisions above. Instead, I am going to be here in the moment, concentrate on her as she reads this post before she presses publish.

When I was in 13, I was obsessed with a late night TV show on channel 4, it was a very sexualised game show. Would pretend to be sleep, but watch the program, fascinated by the stories. Next morning at 7am alarm, I’d realise I had slept 4/5 hours. I had learned something. Not a single thing.


I said ‘yes’ knowing that I’m giving up on many dreams

I am 27 now, at the age of 22, I wish I had never said ‘yes’ to starting a business, to be honest. Here’s the results of my first business:

My partners (old high school friend) no longer speak to me and I lost all the money I made from that business. Over the past 5 years, I have actually MADE, hardly any money.

I still have a dream, but I gave up on this dreams of becoming a pilot. Turning down the opportunity of starting as an apprentice from the bottom up. Thanks to Flight Deck Friends. They put in a lot of hours to help me. Then I turned around and left to do my own business.

I gave up on dreams of studying as I had no time to sleep. I stopped sleeping from 2004 – 2016, put on weight and possibly now have brain damage.

After reading “The Tao of Seneca”, I practiced poverty. Most times as I had no other choice. I learned how to live with fear and hate. Sometimes I still let anxiety and stress get better of me. I wish I hadn’t said ‘yes’ to it.

It’s hard to realise all the dreams you had through your teens be demolished in your mid 20’s.


I said ‘yes’ to be around douches

I wish I never learned and started learning about new up and coming technology or global social-impact. Been running a charity since I was 19. I have nothing really to show for it. I learned a lot about business at the grass-root level in 9 developing countries.

But I also gave up on doing what I was good at. I was good at hunting hidden hotspots in industry trends. I discovered my first 100 innovative companies in the globe straight after college, no one else took notice of them. Then I stopped. One of them raised 750 million last year.

But I moved away. I read on technology and social impact at every chance. 300 books and 100s of academic and industry research papers later, I started networking with other managers in field, now me and the co-founder produce academic research papers.

I really considered myself as a ‘young expert’ in this two entire fields &....

..... You know what… emerging technology based and many social impact business is mostly BS and a scam. Everyone’s product/service is going to change the world so they can sell it a month later launch at the valuation of several billion with just a shell for show. I really am starting to loathe almost everyone in this industry.

Whereas when I finally brought back the passion for hunting global trends for people again, in 2016, I started being around people I liked again. It gave my body the motivation to wake up in the morning again.

I shouldn’t have been struggling to get out of bed in my mid-20’s. I wish I had said, ‘no’ to moving away from what I love 3 years earlier.


I said yes to time wasters

I really wanted to be on radio.

Every time a conversation I would have with someone from a radio station, they would call, I would drop everything. Every single time, I would say ‘yes’ and at the most so far, have travelled 357 miles for three minutes.

Sitting there next to the presenter, I’d stare at their notes and polite “Hello, how are you?” and then just before we were live, they would say “I like your name, how do we pronounce it?”

Every time I went, each three minute visit was about anywhere between 4-8 hours process leaving my house. So many hours wasted because I was too polite, may be stupid as well to reject this offer.

“Thank you, it can be hard finding different topics for our shows”, as this particular gentleman told me, I was thinking, I am a filler buster. I never did a radio show again. I have cut my friend circle to 4 people. 4 people I spend as much time as I can with.

It’s hard to acknowledge at this age that, in life, not everything or everyone you love will actually ever be beneficial to you. EVER.


5/25 rule.

I started taking Computing & IT and Mathematics a few weeks ago. I really wanted to learn, I am testing the ground.

But then I thought of the 25 things I wanted to do in my life. The rule that Warren Buffett talks about and James Altucher have elaborated on.

What are the top 25 things you want to do in life? Having a week off in hiding from everyone, believe it or not, is IN my top 25. I love isolation

I took my list of 25, took the top 5 tore away the 20 below it and threw it away in the bin.

The reason behind this? As they both put it: “Because you love those 20. But it’s BECAUSE you love them that they will always distract from the top 5 that you SUPER love.”

I super love my family & friends. Traveling. Studying. My old weight of 11 stones. And the remaining businesses that I’m still involved in.

My top 5. It’s not much and that’s all I want. So I said “no” to the other 20. I am sure this will change in the next 3 months or 6 months. Or maybe I will scrap the top 5 after testing and make a new list.


I am learning something about myself. I said ‘yes’ to too many things. The yes’s includes:

Writing a book I didn’t want to write. I was soo complimented to be asked so I took half of the year out of my life.

Being in a relationship when I was really younger. It took me 4 years and scars all over me to finally say “no” to her.

Buying things I don’t need. All the time. I rarely used them again. Giving away 95% of everything I own.

Being part of a start up once because of pure greed and money. The business failed and the feud ended after years.

Too many networking events. I met amazing people however, a handful have ever kept in touch.


I really appreciate every moment I have, I am still surprised I am still breathing. I am surprised I passed 26 into 27. So this is why it really bugs me to know of the many hours which I will never get back.

Saying ‘no’ to things when your heart is not in it adds many, many hours to your life. They add up to days, months and years.

I don’t read the newspaper. I try to avoid social media. I don’t spend time with toxic people. I don’t have life insurance. I’m not fan of weddings unless it’s family or close, close, close friend. I don’t really speak at many events or conferences. Over the years I said yes to buying many things.

List could go on and on, I wasted the moments where I could have been with someone or somewhere I love.


I have no regrets. Because every 'yes' was a lesson. The lesson taught me to say 'no' to all the things bad for me.

‘No’ is how you whittle down and sculpt yourself into a work of art today, I can proudly say I am in a small circle of experts in a niech market. Every ‘yes’ was a mistaken step forward. I have learned. I know exactly what I want today, comfortably be in my zone feeling confused on what will happen tomorrow and yet be very confident going on to become 28.

I said no to someone who always calls me when they want something and then disappear again. Instead, I wanted to write on the subject which consumed my thought last night.

What's your 5 that keeps your want to have many more hours in your life?

Turns out, something as simple as tweaking the colour of a button changes user behaviour or endears people to your product. Buffer's Leo Widrich explains the importance of colour in website and brand design.

This is one of the most-read leadership articles of 2013.

Why is Facebook blue? According to The New Yorker, the reason is simple. It’s because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colour blind; blue is the colour Mark can see the best.

Not highly scientific, right? That may not be the case for Facebook, but there are some amazing examples of how colours actually affect our purchasing decisions. After all, sight is the strongest developed sense in most human beings. It’s only natural that 90% of an assessment for trying out a product is made by colour alone.

So how do colours really affect us, and what is the science of colours in marketing, really? As we strive to make improvements to our product at Buffer, studying this phenomenon is key. Let’s dig into some of the latest, most interesting research on it.

First: Can you recognize the online brands just based on colour?

Before we dive into the research, here are some awesome experiments that show you how powerful colour alone really is. Based on just the colours of the buttons, can you guess which company belongs to each of them?

Example 1 (easy):

Example 2 (easy):

Example 3 (medium):


Example 4 (hard):

These awesome examples from YouTube designer Marc Hemeon, I think, show the real power of colour more than any study could.

How many were you able to guess? (All the answers are at the bottom of this post!)

Which colours trigger which feeling for us?

Being completely conscious about what colour triggers us to think in which way isn’t always obvious. The Logo Company has come up with an amazing breakdown that shows which colours are best for which companies and why. Here are 4 great examples:




Clearly, every one of these companies is seeking to trigger a very specific emotion:

When we feel compelled to buy something, colour can play a major role. Analytics company KISSmetrics created an amazing infographic on the science of how colours affect our purchases.

Green stands out to me as the most relaxing colour we can use to make buying easier. We didn’t intentionally choose this as the main colour for Buffer—although it seems to have worked very well so far.

At second look, I also realised how frequently black is used for luxury products. Here is the full infographic:

How to improve your marketing with better use of colours:

This all might be fairly entertaining, but what are some actual decisions we can apply today to our website or app? The answer comes yet again from some great research done by the good folks over at KISSmetrics.

If you are building an app that mainly targets women, KISSmetrics suggests that women love blue, purple, and green, and dislike orange, brown, and grey.

In case your app is strictly targeting men, the rules of the game are slightly different. Men love blue, green, and black, but can do without brown, orange, and purple.

In another experiment, Performable (now HubSpot) wanted to find out whethersimply changing the colour of a button would make a difference in conversion rates.

They started out by trying to guess the outcome of a simple choice between two colours (green and red) and trying to guess what would happen.

"Green connotes ideas like "natural" and "environment," and given its wide use in traffic lights, suggests the idea of "go" or forward movement. The colour red, on the other hand, is often thought to communicate excitement, passion, blood, and warning. It is also used as the colour for stopping at traffic lights. Red is also known to be eye-catching."

So, clearly an A/B test between green and red would result in green, the more friendly colour. At least that was their guess. Here is what their experiment looked like:

So how did that experiment turn out? The answer was surprising: The red button outperformed the green button by 21%.

What’s most important to consider is that nothing else was changed at all: 21% more people clicked on the red button than on the green button. Everything else on the pages was the same, so it was only the button colour that made this difference.

This definitely made me wonder: If we were to read all the research before this experiment and ask every researcher which version they would guess would perform better, I’m sure green would be the answer in nearly all cases. Not so much.

At my company, we’ve also conducted dozens of experiments to improve our conversion rates using changes of colours. While the results weren’t as clear, we still saw a huge change. One hypothesis is that for a social media sharing tool, there is less of a barrier to signup, which makes the differences less significant.

Despite all the studies, generalizations are extremely hard to make. Whatever change you make, treat it first as a hypothesis, and see if the actual experiment supports your ideas. Personally, I’m always very prone to go with opinion based on research I’ve come across. Yet, data always beats opinion, no matter what.

Quick last fact: Why are hyperlinks blue?

This is something that always interested me and is actually a fun story. In short, it's offers the highest contrast between the colours used on early websites.

Here is the full explanation: "Tim Berners-Lee, the main inventor of the web, is believed to be the man who first made hyperlinks blue. Mosaic, a very early web browser, displayed webpages with a (ugly) gray background and black text. The darkest colour available at the time that was not the same as the black text was that blue colour. Therefore, to make links stand apart from plain text, but still be readable, the colour blue was selected."

I think it's fascinating that tweaking something as small as the colour can completely change an outcome. What have been your findings in terms of colours and marketing? Tell me about it in the comments.

Solution to the riddle: Example 1: Facebook, Example 2: Google, Example 3: Flickr, Example 4: LinkedIn


The Full Article was written by Led Widrich at Fast Company:

1 Comment

I always havemy backpack on me. Allows me to work anywhere I want. What to carry was essential and I needed to see what was happening around the globe and what some of the most successful people carried.

Here it is! This was my golden nugget to work it all out. Matt Mullenweg helped me and for sure many other too around March. I should have shared it before - but - when my uncle made a pit-stop in UK when on his way to Spain from New York, lounging with his BackPack with full professional outlook ... I wanted to do this post specifically for him!

Matt, Whats in your Bag?

Many people have been requesting an update to my what’s in my bag post from last year. Almost every single item in the bag has changed, this year has had particularly high turnover. We’re still in a weird teenage period of USB-C adoption, and I hope by next year to have many fewer non-USB-C or Lightning cables. Things with a asterisk * are the same from last year. Without further ado:

  1. This is my favorite item of the new year, a Lululemon Cruiser backpack that has a million pockets both inside and outside, and allows me to carry more stuff, more comfortably, and access it faster. Lululemon updates their products and designs every few months, but if you ever spot something like this online or in the store check it out. Hat tip on this one to Rose.
  2. A short Lightning + micro USB cable, which is great for pairing with a battery pack. I sometimes carry a few of these around and give them away all the time, as “do you have a light?” has evolved to “do you have a charge?” in the new millenium.
  3. Short regular USB to USB-C cable.
  4. Belkin Retractable Ethernet. *
  5. Anker USB-C to USB-C cable. Make sure to read the reviews when you buy these to get the ones that do the proper voltage. I can charge a Macbook with this, and the new Nexus 5x, directly from the battery pack or the #43 wall charger.
  6. Mini-USB cable, which I use for the odd older device (like a Nikon camera) that still does mini-USB (that older big one). Would love to get rid of this one.
  7. A charge cable for #45, the Fitbit Charge HR. You can buy these cheap on Amazon, and if you lose it you’re out of luck, so I usually keep a few at home and one in my bag.
  8. This is my goldilocks regular lightning cable, not too long and not too short, 0.5m.
  9. A retractable micro-USB.
  10. Apple Magic Mouse 2, the new one that charges via Lightning, natch.
  11. Way over to the right, a small Muji notebook.
  12. This is a weird but cool cable, basically bridges USB to Norelco shavers. I use a Norelco beard trimmer and for some reason all of these companies think we want to carry around proprietary chargers, this is a slightly unwieldy cable but better than carrying around the big Norelco power brick.
  13. Lockpick set. *
  14. Lavender mint organic lip balm from Honest Co, which I think I got for free somewhere.
  15. Aesop rosehip seed lip cream, which I bought mostly for the smell, when it’s done I’ll probably switch to their lip balm. (I should do a cosmetics version of this for my dopp kit, it’s had lots of trial and error as well.) I love Aesop, especially their Resurrection line.
  16. Aveda Blue Oil that I find relaxing. *
  17. Short thunderbolt to thunderbolt cable, which is great for transferring between computers. *
  18. Muji international power adapter, much simpler, lighter, and cooler than what I used before.
  19. Way on the top right, this is probably the least-travel-friendly thing I travel with, but the utility is so great I put up with it. It’s the Sennheiser Culture Series Wideband Headset, which I use for podcasts, Skype, Facetime, Zoom, and Google Hangout calls with external folks and teams inside of Automattic. Light, comfortable, great sound quality, and great at blocking out background noise so you don’t annoy other people on the call. Worth the hassle.
  20. A customized Macbook Pro 15″, in space grey, with the WordPress logo that shines through.
  21. Belkin car mount, which is great for rentals. *
  22. A USB 3.0 SD / CompactFlash / etc reader.
  23. microSD to SD adapter, with a 64gb micro SD in it. Good for cameras, phones, and occasionally transferring files. Can be paired with the card reader if the computer has a USB port but not a SD reader. When you get a microSD card it usually comes with this.
  24. One of my new favorite things: DxO One camera. It’s a SLR-quality camera that plugs in directly to the lightning port on your iPhone, and can store the photos directly on your phone. Photo quality is surprisingly good, the only problem I’ve had with it is the lightning port pop-up will no longer close. The other similar device I tried but wasn’t as good was the Olympus Air A01, so I just carry around the DxO now.
  25. TP-LINK TL-WR702N Wireless N150 Travel Router, which works so-so. Not sure why I still carry this, haven’t used it in a while. *
  26. Aukey car 49.5W 3-port USB adapter, which has two high-powered USB ports and a Quick Charge 3.0 USB-C port.
  27. My favorite external battery right now, the RAVPower 20100mAh Portable Charger, also with Quick Charge 3.0 and a USB-C port. This thing is a beast, can charge a USB-C Macbook too.
  28. Kindle Voyage with the brown leather cover. *
  29. Macbook power adapter.
  30. Very cool Sennheiser Momentum Wireless headphones in ivory,customized with the WordPress logo. I’m testing this out as a possible gift for Automatticians when they reach a certain number of years at the company. For a fuller review, see this post.
  31. Cotopaxi water bottle that I got for free at the Summit at Sea conference. The backpack has a handy area to carry a water bottle, and I’ve become a guy who refills water bottles at the airport instead of always buying disposable ones.
  32. Special cord for the #30 Momentum headphones.
  33. Retractable 1/8th inch audio cable. *
  34. Powerbeats 2 Wireless headphones that I use for running, working out, or just going around the city.
  35. Belkin headphone splitter, for sharing audio when watching a movie on a plane. *
  36. Chromecast audio, which I’ve never used but it’s so small and light I carry it around just in case.
  37. Chromecast TV, which I’ve also never used but also small and light and I’m sure it’ll come in handy one of these days.
  38. Verizon iPhone 6s+, which is normal, but the new thing here is I’ve stopped carrying a wallet, and a separate phone case, and now carry this big ‘ol Sena Heritage Wallet Book. At first I felt utterly ridiculous doing this as it feels GINORMOUS at first, but after it wore in a little bit, and I got used to it, it’s so freeing to only have one thing to keep track of, and it’s also forced me to carry a lot less than I used to in my wallet.
  39. Maison Bonnet sunglasses. Hat tip to Tony.
  40. Stickers! Wapuu and Slack.
  41. Bucky eye shades, like an eye mask but has a curve so it doesn’t touch your eyes. I don’t use this often but when I do it’s a life-saver. *
  42. My favorite USB wall plug, after trying dozens, is this Aukey 30W / 6A travel wall charger. I love the foldable plug, and it’s really fast.
  43. I generally only have one wall charger, but temporarily carrying around thisTronsmart 33W USB-C + USB charger with Quick Charge 3.0, which can very quickly charge the battery or the Nexus, and a Macbook in a pinch. Hopefully will combine this and #42 sometime this year. One thing I really dislike about this item is the bright light on it, which I need to cover with tape.
  44. The only pill / vitamin / anything I take every day: Elysium Health Basis. I’m not an expert or a doctor, but read up on them and the research around it, pretty interesting stuff.
  45. Fitbit Charge HR. I gave up on my Apple Watch. I’ll probably try the Fitbit watch when it comes out. My favorite feature is the sleep tracking. Least favorite is the retro screen, and that it doesn’t always show the time.
  46. Double-sided sharpie (thick and thin point) and a Muji pen.
  47. Westone ES49 custom earplugs, for if I go to concerts or anyplace overly loud. *
  48. Some index cards, good for brainstorming.
  49. Passport. * As Mia Farrow said about Frank Sinatra, “I learned to bring my passport to dinner.”
  50. Jetpack notebook, I like to have a paper notebook to take notes, especially in group or product meetings, because there isn’t the distraction of a screen.
  51. Nexus 5x, which is definitely one of the better Android devices I’ve had, paired withGoogle Project Fi phone / data service, which has saved me thousands of dollars with its $10/gb overseas data pricing. Since my iPhone is so huge, I tried to go for a smaller Android device. I always travel with both in case something happens to one phone, for network diversity, and as I said this has better international data pricing than Verizon.
  52. Business card holder. *
  53. Post-it notes.

All in all 13 items stayed the same, the other 40 are new to this edition.

That’s a wrap, folks! If you have any questions or suggestions please drop them in the comments. Once my no-buying-things moratorium for Lent is over I can start trying new things out again.

A few people have asked how much the bag weighs with all of this stuff in it. I didn’t weigh it at the time of the photo, but at the airport the other day I put it on the luggage scale and it came in at 16 pounds, which is probably close enough. The pockets on the Lululemon backpack distribute the “stuff” pretty well and it doesn’t feel heavy at all, and doesn’t stick out too far on my back.


See full article at:

Also see one of my fav Podcast at Tim Ferriss's Podcast with Matt Mullenweg at

It's Monday 27th 2016 - 13.25.

No sleep since Saturday. I can't carry on. What the hell am I doing?? I got so much to do. Why bother changing the world.

This is me moaning about my sorrows. Apparently bad, sex and violence sells. So this is NOT A HAPPY SELF-HELP POST. I don't get self-helpers. Most people cry inside, how can they help others.

I am down. 7 am I spoke to my friend in Canada, I made her smile. I felt happy. My insides woke up. That smile was my caffeine.It reminded me of what works for James Altucher. I stole his manifest. It wasn't like he was helping me. He was telling me what worked for him.

Trying it myself.

It worked for me.

It allowed me to remember why I set my path to changing the world. It helps me everyday to not lose my interest. It keeps me going.

Thanks James. This has allowed me to make others smile. My caffeine.

– Do things that will make me laugh. Do things that will make others laugh. Laughter is the one key to long, quality life.

– Treat everyone as if they are going to die tomorrow. My sweet baby.

– Spend time with people who love me and who I love. Your family might change every day.

– Give everything inside of you away. Else your life gets constipated.

– Keep my word. That’s the one thing you don’t give away lightly. Keep it.

– Spend time with people who I will learn things from (and hopefully vice-versa). They were sent to you for a reason. You’re never going to know the reason.

– Books are virtual mentors. Read a lot.

– Move. Then move again.

– It’s ok to be average if you are a good person. In most things, I’m average or below average. I’m average at following this manifesto. It’s hard to be average.

– Follow your curiosity. That means something different for each person, and for each day. Today I was curious about underwear with pockets and how many albums Pink Floyd sold on “Dark Side of the Moon”. No reason.

– I try to eat well. I see too many older people in pain because of poor eating decisions when they were younger.

– It’s none of my business what people think of me. Someone recently called me “hateful” and then lectured me on the benefits of polygamy. Hey man, we’re all brothers. Life’s too short to waste time not laughing at the joke.

– I try not to need permission for anything. Once I ask, I just let someone else build my ceiling, blocking me from the stars.

– One way to choose yourself is to help the person around you who needs the most help today. Do it without expectation and then you exceed all expectations.

– When I depend on others to choose my path, I know that I won’t be as happy as when I choose my path.

– There are many layers to choosing yourself. So treat yourself gently when you think you messed up. I messed up on something recently. It feels bad. I have to wait it out and be gentle to myself.

– Find new things to be grateful for.

– Listen. You can’t learn if you are talking.

– Listen more if someone is in pain. Don’t solve. Just listen.

– Worrying doesn’t solve tomorrow’s problems and only takes away energy from today. And regret is a black hole of nothing.

– Splitting an atom releases 1,000,0000x more energy than smashing a table. I try to celebrate always the smallest of successes. A kiss is a small success. And it splits an emotional atom.

– For every night, there is a day

– I take real delight in people who have stories to tell me. Particularly if the story has pictures.

– Every day I try to get out of my comfort zone at least once. This helps me feel connected to people. I’m grateful for the people who teach me new ways to get out of my comfort zone.

– I try to be creative. But selfishly. Because it makes my brain go on fire and have comic book powers.

– Before, during, or after, I say, do, or think something, I try not to hurt anyone. “After” is just as important as “Before” and “During”.

– When I am feeling low, rest. When I’m feeling high, do my best.

– The best predictor of a good tomorrow, is a good today.

– Honesty, Humor, Health, Help.


Post finished at 13.36.

Only around 10 minutes to tick of another of my manifest. TIme to go back to changing the world.

Let me be a super-hero or stay awake long enough to see myself turn in to a villain.

“You interrupt too much,” people email me. “Let your guests finish talking.” But I can’t help it. I get curious. I want to know! Now!
Over the past year I interviewed about 80 guests for my podcast. My only criteria: I was fascinated by some aspect of each person.

I didn’t limit myself by saying “each one had to be an entrepreneur” or “had to be a success.”

I just wanted to talk to anyone who made me curious about their lives. I spoke to entrepreneurs, comedians, artists, producers, astronauts, writers, rappers, and even this country’s largest beer brewer.

Will I do it for the next year? Maybe. It’s hard.

Sometimes I would pursue a guest for six months with no reply and then they would call and say, “Can you do right now?” and I’d change all plans with kids, Claudia, business.

I had no favorites. They were all great. I interviewed Peter ThielCoolioMark CubanArianna HuffingtonAmanda PalmerTony Robbins, and many more. I’m really grateful they all wanted to talk to me.

Podcasting, to be honest, was just an excuse for me to call up whoever I wanted to call and ask them all sorts of personal questions about their lives. If I wanted to talk about “Star Wars,” I called the author of a dozen Star Wars novels.

If I wanted to talk about Twisted Sister, I called up the founder of the band. If I wanted to talk sex I called the women who ran the “Ask Women” podcast.

I wanted to know at what point were they at their worst. And how they got better. Each person created a unique life. I wanted to know how they did it. I was insanely curious.

As Coolio told me, “You got me to reveal some deep stuff I didn’t want to reveal. Kudos.” Tony Robbins had to literally shake himself at one point and say, “Wait, how did we end up talking about this?” I can’t help it. I want to know.

Here are the most important things I learned. I can’t specify which person I learned what from. It hurts my head when I think about it because many of the 80 said the exact same thing about how they ended up where they were.

Here is some of what they said:

A) A life is measured in decades.

Too many people want happiness, love, money, connections, everything yesterday. Me too. I call it “the disease.” I feel often I can paint over a certain emptiness inside if only…if only…I have X.

But a good life is like the flame of a bonfire. It builds slowly, and because it’s slow and warm it caresses the heart instead of destroys it.

B) A life is measured by what you did TODAY, even this moment.

This is the opposite of “A” but the same. You get success in decades by having success now.

That doesn’t mean money now. It means, “Are you doing your best today?”

Everyone worked at physical health, improving their friendships and connections with others, being creative, being grateful. Every day.

For those who didn’t, they quickly got sick, depressed, anxious, fearful. They had to change their lives. When they made that change, universally they all said to me, “that’s when it all started.”

C) Focus is not important, but Push is (reinvention).

Very few people have just one career. And for every career, it’s never straight up.

When you have focus, it’s like saying, “I’m just going to learn about only one thing forever.” But “the push” is the ability to get up every day, open up the shades, and push through all the things that make you want to go back to sleep.

Even if it means changing careers 10 times. Or changing your life completely. Just pushing forward to create a little more life inside yourself.

Compound life is much more powerful than compound interest.

D) Give without thinking of what you will receive.

I don’t think I spoke to a single person who believed in setting personal goals. But 100% of the people I spoke to wanted to solve a problem for the many.

It doesn’t matter how you give each day. It doesn’t even matter how much. But everyone wanted to give and eventually they were given back. (cc Adam Grant)

E) Solving hard problems is more important than overcoming failure.

The outside world is a mirror of what you have on the inside. If Thomas Edison viewed his 999 attempts at creating a lightbulb a failure then he would’ve given up. His inside was curious. His inside viewed his “attempts” as experiments. Then he did #1000. Now we can see in the dark.

Dan Ariely was burned all over his body and used that experience to research the psychology of pain and ultimately the psychology of behavior and how we can make better decisions.

Tony Robbins lost everything when his marriage ended, but he came back by coaching thousands of people.

It’s how you view the life inside you that creates the life outside of you. Every day.

F) Art and success and love is about connecting all the dots.

Here are some dots: The very personal sadness sitting inside of you. The things you learn. The things you read about. The things you love. Connect the dots. Give it to someone.

Now you just gave birth to a legacy that will continue beyond you.

G) It’s not business, it’s personal.

Nobody succeeded with a great idea.

Everyone succeeded because they built networks within networks of connections, friends, colleagues all striving towards their own personal goals, all trusting each other, and working together to help each other succeed.

This is what happens only over time. This is why giving creates a bigger world because you can never predict what will happen years later.

Biz Markie described to me how he helped a 7-year-old kid named Jay-Z with his lyrics.

Peter Thiel’s ex employees created tens of billions of dollars worth of companies.

Marcus Lemonis saves businesses every week on his show “The Profit.” It doesn’t come by fixing their accounting. It comes from fixing the relationships with the partners and the customers and the investors.

The best way to create a great business over time: Every day send one thank you letter to someone from your past. People (me) often say you can’t look back at the past. But this is the one way you can. You create the future by thanking the past.

H) You can’t predict the outcome, you can only do your best.

Hugh Howey thought he would write novels that only his family would read. So he wrote ten of them. Then he wrote “Wool,” which he self-published and has sold millions of copies and Ridley Scott is making the movie.

Clayton Anderson applied to be an astronaut for 15 years in a row and was rejected each time until the 16th.

Coolio wrote lyrics down every day for 17 years before having a hit. Noah Kaganwas fired from Facebook and Mint without making a dime before starting his own business. Wayne Dyer quit his secure job as a tenured professor, put a bunch of his books in car and drove across the country selling them in every bookstore. Now he’s sold over 100,000,000 books.

Sometimes when I have conversations with these people they want to jump right to the successful parts but I stop them. I want to know the low points. The points where they had to start doing their best. What got them to that point.

I) The same philosophy of life should work for an emperor and a slave.

Ryan Holiday told me that both Marcus Aurelius, an emperor, and Epictetus, a slave, both subscribed to the idea of stoicism. You can’t predict pleasure or pain. You can only strive for knowledge and giving and fairness and health each day.

Many people write me it’s easy for so-and-so to say that now that he’s rich. Every single person I spoke to started off in a gutter or worse. (Well, most of them.)

Luck is certainly a component, but in chess there’s a saying (and this applies to anything) “it’s funny how always the best players seem to be lucky.”

J) The only correct path is the path correct for you.

Scott Adams tried about 20 different careers before he settled on drawing Dilbert. Now, he’s in 2000 papers, has written Dilbert books, Dilbert shows, Dilbert everything. Everyone was shocked when Judy Joo gave up a Wall St. career to go back to cooking school. Now she’s on the Food Channel as an “iron chef.”

Don’t let other people choose your careers. Don’t get locked in other people’s prisons they’ve set up just for you. Personal freedom starts from the inside but ultimately turns you into a giant, freeing you from the chains the little people spent years tying around you.

K) Many moments of small, positive, personal interactions build an extraordinary career.

Often people think that you have to fight your way to the top. But for everyone I spoke to it was small kindnesses over a long period of time that built the ladder to success. I think I’m starting to sound like a cliche on this. But it’s only a cliche because it’s true.

L) Taking care of yourself comes first.

Kamal Ravikant picked himself off a suicidal bottom by constantly repeating “I love you” to himself. Charlie Hoehn cured his anxiety by using every moment he could to play.

I’ve written before: The average kid laughs 300 times a day. The average adult…5.

Something knifed our ability to smile. Do everything you can to laugh, to create laughter for others, and then what can possibly be bad about today? I think that’s why I try to interview so many comedians are comedy writers. They make me laugh. It’s totally selfish.

M) The final answer: People do end up loving what they succeed at, or they succeed at what they love.

Mark Cuban said, “My passion was to get rich!” But I don’t really believe him. He loved computers so he created a software company. Then he wanted to watch Ohio basketball in Pittsburgh so he created I worked with a little bit back in 1997. They were crusaders about bringing video to the Internet.

Sure, he wanted to use that to get rich. Because he knew better than anyone then how to let a good idea lead him to success.

But deep down he was a little kid who wanted to watch his favorite basketball. And now what does he do? He owns a basketball team.

N) Anybody, at any age

The ages of the people I spoke to ranged from 20 to 75. Each is still participating every day in the worldwide conversation. I asked Dick Yuengling from Yuengling beer why he even bothered to talk to me. He’s 75 and runs the biggest American-owned brewery worth about $2 billion. He laughed and said, “Well, you asked me.”

I just realized this list can go on for another 100 items.

The specifics of success. How to overcome hardships. How any one person can move society forward.

Down to even what are the most productive hours of the day, what’s the one word most important for success, and what we can look forward to over the next century and maybe 100 other things.

O) Figure out How to Make Uncertainty Work for You

Nassim Taleb makes sure he walks on uneven surfaces for at least 20 hours a week. The idea is not just exercise, but to get rid of the artificial comforts of certainty we think we have built for ourselves over the past 200 years.

When I interviewed him I was particularly worried that I was “fragile” as opposed to his concept of “Antifragile”. That once things break down in my life I have a tendency to break down with them. His book was rooted in economic concepts but it also applied to the personal.

Getting out of your comfort zone frequently and randomly is a way to boost your anti-fragility. Do something that might not work. Be around people who challenge you.

See what happens.

Then I learned many things about myself.

Most of the people I asked to come on my podcast said, “NO!” I told Claudia the other day I haven’t been rejected this much since freshman year of high school. I had to re-learn how to deal with so much rejection.

I’ve always been a big reader but never as much as this year. I read everything by all the guests.

Some weeks I felt like I was spending 10 hours a day preparing for podcasts. I learned to interview, to listen, to prepare, to pursue, to entertain, to educate.

Podcasting seems like it’s becoming an industry, or a business idea, or something worth looking at by entrepreneurs or investors. I have no clue about that.

For me, podcasting this year was just about calling anyone I wanted to call and talking to them. I felt like a little boy interviewing his heroes.

I highly recommend finding ways to call people for almost no reason. I learned a huge amount.

But it was hard.

It’s one of those things where I can say, “I don’t know if I can ever do that again.” But I also know I’m probably going to say the same thing next year.