My 2022 Favourites


Hey friends,

This is a special issue of all my top Favourite Things from 2022.

There are a lot of gems, including my podcast with Will MacAskill, my favourite backpack for 2022, and Nicolas Cole’s ultimate guide to writing online.

If you’re looking to start a cheeky 2023 reading list / podcast playlist / must-buy list… here’s your chance.

A huge thank you to everyone for (at least occasionally) reading my Sunday ramblings.

Enjoy the holidays, and see you in the New Year!

Ali xx

🚢 Ship 30 for 30

And a heads up – my friends Dickie Bush and Nicolas Cole run this amazing online writing course, and the next cohort’s launching January 1st 2023. If you’d like to sign up, use my code ALI to get a $100 discount.

📚 Books

🎧 Audiobook  Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. A classic book that I only just got round to listening to on Audible in December. It’s genuinely amazing – a brief history of humankind. I always used to think “history is boring” but recently, I’ve realised that that’s a childish way of looking at it. Yes, history’s boring at school when we’re forced to memorise names and dates. But it’s super interesting in terms of the rise and falls of civilisation, and how it’s shaped everything we know in our world today. I can feel myself becoming smarter and more ‘cultured’ with every chapter of Sapiens I get through 😀

📚 Book – The Three Alarms by Eric Partaker. I’m really getting into this book. It’s got a cheesy subtitle (‘Transform Your Health, Wealth, and Relationships Forever’). But there are a lot of genuinely good insights on creativity, working distraction-free, and not chasing the wrong things in life.

🎧 Audiobook – The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer. Seriously good, recommended by my friend Dan Murray-Serter. It’s about the author’s spiritual awakening, and decision to “let go of his personal preferences and simply let life call the shots”. Made me think more about how I set priorities.

📚 Book – The Art and Business of Writing Online, by Nicolas Cole. If you want to get better at writing online, this book is currently my no.1 recommendation. Nicolas also co-founded the writing course Ship 30 for 30 with Dickie Bush, so he’s partly responsible for the 🚢 emoji that’s everywhere on Twitter.

🎧 Audiobook – The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. Basically the author’s journey as a high-level tech CEO. Really engaging, good narration. Lots of lessons about running a business, particularly the emotional side of it.

📚Book – The Pathless Path by Paul Millerd. Been highlighting this like crazy, halfway through at the moment. It talks about what to do if you feel you’re wandering down the wrong path in life, and how to figure out what you really want. It’s got me feeling more OK with my decision to quit medicine.

📚 Book – Dotcom Secrets by Russell Brunson. I need to elaborate on this one. I literally stayed up from midnight to 6am on Friday night reading this book. And then read a few more hours over the weekend to finish it, and could feel my mind being blown multiple times every chapter. I first subscribed to Russell’s newsletter way back when I was like 16 years old, but never really read it because the vibe seemed kinda scammy. But 12 years later, having now realised that I have a huge sales & marketing gap in my own knowledge, I gave this book on marketing a chance, and realised he really really knows his stuff. My previous association was “Russell Brunson = scammy clickfunnels guy”, which was based on nothing more than reading random headlines and tweets here and there, and this was a huge mistake – having now started reading and listening to his stuff, I’m fully sold on how incredible it is, and have been highlighting the living daylights out of it on Kindle. So – if you’re interested in growing a business, and you haven’t read Russel’s stuff, I can highly highly recommend it.

🧠 Shortform Summary – Getting Things Done by David Allen. An absolute productivity classic. I don’t use many of David’s techniques, but I refer to his book pretty often. Lots of good quotes, like “there is an inverse relationship between things on your mind and those things getting done”. The Shortform summary is good for a quick recap.


🎙️ Podcast – The Knowledge Project – Neil Pasricha: Simple Rules for Happiness. Neil’s the bestselling author of several books including The Happiness Equation. This was a great chat about how simple acts can change the way you feel, where confidence comes from, and the specific routines and habits you can use to counter anxiety.

🎙️ Creator’s Campfire Podcast – How To Know If You’re On The Right Path In Life with Paul Millerd. A great conversation, sparked lots of thoughts. Creator’s Campfire is hosted by one of my team, Bhav. I loved hearing how she’s navigated from a corporate career to working with me, and her plans for doing more of her own creative work.

🎙️ Podcast – Alex Hormozi on My First Million. About this guy Alex’s journey to being a millionaire by being a consultant + marketing coach for gyms. He’s strongly on the side of “don’t let people tell you that it’s ‘bad work hygiene’ to enjoy your work and have it spill into your life”.

🎙️ Deep Dive Podcast – Daniel Priestley: How Anyone Can Develop The Mindset Of A Multi-Million Dollar Entrepreneur. Daniel’s the author of Oversubscribed, my most-highlighted book ever on Kindle. This podcast episode was a bit of a business masterclass, with Dan diving into the most important lessons from his books.

🎙️Deep Dive Podcast – Moral Philosopher Will MacAskill on What We Owe the Future. This interview probably changed my life. Will and I discussed how to effectively donate your money, change the world with your choice of career, and ‘longtermism’ – the idea that we should think seriously about how our actions effect humanity in the long-term. Will even got retweeted by Elon Musk last week.

🎙️ Deep Dive Podcast – Sahil Bloom: How I Grew from 0 to 500k Followers In Under 2 Years. Sahil’s a creator, entrepreneur, and former pro baseball player. We discuss finding purpose, the longevity of online careers, and how to become a durable creator.

🎙️Deep Dive Podcast – Logan Ury. I re-listened to my podcast with Logan Ury, author of How to Not Die Alone. We were both pretty authentic and vulnerable, though I say so myself. 😁 I’d like to do more podcasts like this.


📝 Article – How to Get Insanely Rich in the Creator Economy by Nat Eliason. Nat gives a great breakdown of how the creator economy works, but it slowly turns into a dark, ironic takedown: “You traded in one trapped life for another, but you can’t grumble about this new cage you’re in because you built it for yourself.”

📝 Article – Envy Is the Cancer of the Soul by Laurence Yeo (More to That). Admitting that you envy other people is still kind of taboo. Laurence discusses how you overcome that feeling. Makes a great point – that we don’t envy the ultra-successful (Bill Gates, Michael Jordan), but people who are just a few steps ‘ahead’ of us.

📝 Article – Not Caring Lets Us Perform Better by Michael Ashcroft. Why ‘caring too much’ about achieving something (asking someone out on a date, catching a ball, writing an article, etc) can actually make you worse at doing the thing.

📝 Article – The Arc of the Practical Creator by Laurence Yeo. A great, comprehensive article on how to quit your job and start a creative career. Lots of cartoons and graphs.

📝 Article – How to Level Up Your Weird Internet Career, by Gretchen McCulloch. A series of articles on how to start and grow your weird internet career. “The cornerstone of a Weird Internet Career is that you a) make a thing on the internet that people value and b) provide a way to convert that value into money.”

📝 Article – How to figure out what to do with your life, by Julian Shapiro. This is a great framework for deciding what you value most in your life. For example, Julian reckons most of us value money way too much: “In observing friends who’ve sold startups and made millions: After one year, they’re back to toying with their old side projects. They used their money to buy a nice home and eat well. That’s it. They’re otherwise back to who they were.” I actually had a great Zoom call with Julian this week, and got some candid feedback on my book.

📝 Article – The Day You Decided to Take the Leap. Another amazing article by More to That, about manageable concerns vs unimaginable benefits, and why taking big leaps in life is just the logical thing to do.


📱 App – Obsidian. I’ve been loving Obsidian. It’s a ‘tool for thought’ app similar to Roam Research, where you can create interlinked notes, and discover new connections between ideas. I connect it to Zotero so I can import all the research references for my book.

🧭 Web Browser  Sigma OS. A pretty powerful new browser based on Chrome (and can use all the same extensions). The key feature is that it lets you create different ‘workspaces’ for projects you’re working on, where you can group all the relevant tabs. The shortcuts are pretty good as well.

📱 App – This desktop app tracks all your computer activity, and gives you a breakdown of how you spend your time. Which can be a harsh reality check… You can also set focus times – notifications will pause, and the app will play the right music and ambient noise (eg coffee shop chatter) to get you in the zone. If you’re interested, you can use the promo code ALIABDAAL to get 25% off for 3 months. (This is an old promo code that doesn’t give me any kickback by the way).


📝 Stationery – Magic Whiteboard. Essentially a whiteboard that sticks on any wall (using static electricity), which you can roll up after you’re done using it.

📄 A3 Pads – I’ve loved using these big pads to brainstorm video and book ideas. There’s something about Some coloured Sharpies and I’m all set.

🎒 Bag – Nomatic Everyday. I’ve been using Peter McKinnon’s 25L Nomatic backpack a lot this year. It’s got so many useful pockets for iPads, notebooks, water bottles – and of course space for a camera. It’s officially my favourite everyday backpack of all time, and I’ve tried tonnes of pretty high-end ones.

🏋️‍♀️ Massage Gun – Theragun Mini. I put off getting this for a long time. But after seeing it on a lot of YouTubers desks and in Zoom call backgrounds, I decided to pull the proverbial trigger and order one from Amazon. Now when I get a spare minute I whip it out and give myself a mini-massage to unwind, and it’s glorious. It’s a fun toy for visitors and team members to play with too.

❄️ Musical Theatre – Frozen the Musical. When I saw this West End show in London it was magical. Tears in my eyes from the amazing acting and singing. If you’re anywhere near London and enjoy musicals, do yourself a favour and go see it.

🎸 Band – Zac Brown Band. They play country music – I’ve been a fan for years. Recently started listening to them a bit more.

✍️ Quote of the YearYour story must reflect change over time. A story cannot simply be a series of remarkable events. You must start out as one version of yourself and end as something new.

From Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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