All Posts & Projects

My guiding principles

3 min read

An attempt at identifying the values that I live by (or try to). Recently re-touched. Part of this was made through the help of one of's tools.


Evidence: Base my views on evidence. Admit when you don't know something, admit when you were wrong. Think things through, don't presume you know yourself, or that others know you, don't trust information that you haven't considered the counterfactual for.

Frugality: Don't be wasteful. Frugality is a fundamental value, the economics don't have to work out, i.e. finding something second hand is inherently worthwhile, even if it takes more time than it takes to earn the money to buy it firsthand. Frugality is part of human connection. When you can do something good at little cost to yourself, do it. Don't accumulate a lot of unnecessary material items. Considering spending effort rather than resources - your life is not a YC startup, there is no "exit" you can reach faster.

Authentic relationships: Offer help where possible. Don't refuse conversations. Weird is good. Invest in quality relationships. Don't take people for granted. Recognize the strengths of those around me and celebrate them. Be generous with my assumptions about other people, because everyone has their own struggles, and don't make assumptions about myself. Assume people I meet are interesting and worth talking to.

Embody change: When you see something fixable, fix it, or decide exactly when or how it is going to be fixed. There is no "I'll do it later", there is only "I decided right now not to do this, possibly forever". I can’t right every injustice, but I must at least recognize them for what they are.

Health: Sleep, exercise, and healthy food are the base of everything else. Health does not mean longevity. Try to maximize the years in which you feel able and ready for adventure, not the years of your life. This means occasionally taking risk for activities, like mountaineering, but not keeping base behavior sensible, e.g. not drinking alcohol. Don't be afraid to put myself first and disappoint others when it does not hurt anyone (slightly utilitarian).

Intention: Only commit to something when I fully intend to see it through. Be precise in language and commitment. Teach and lead through actions. Don't put off until tomorrow what I can do today. Be actively aware of your own intention in doing anything (fun and curiosity are valid, but know them for such).

Growth: Aim for growth over comfort. When presented with a choice, choose growth. Seek comfort for active rest, not as the default. Ask myself what a better version of me would do in this situation, and minimize the difference.

Honesty: Admit when you don't know something. Say what is on your mind. Journal and try to figure out what you're avoiding.

Work in progress

These are values that I want to embody, but still need to put in active effort to do so.

  • Strive to be fully present and authentic in my interactions.
  • Hold true to myself even in the face of pressure.