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A small dose of positivity

A small dose of positivity
Members Public

In this post I want to tell you how it looks like to work as a surgical FY1 (junior doctor) in the Emergency Department. This involves fielding phone calls from GPs (general practitioners) who think their patients might have a surgical issue and need urgent assessment. I’m often the

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Happiness
My most popular articles

My most popular articles
Members Public

This post marks the 1-year anniversary of this blog. What started as a deviant thought has grown into a blog with many readers who (somehow) seem to care what a random 20-something has to say. So firstly, thank you - for following and reading my posts, for engaging with the

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

My most popular articles
Members Public

Hey friends, This issue marks the 1-year anniversary of this weekly email newsletter. What started as a deviant thought has grown into a weekly ritual with 6,000 subscribers who (somehow) seem to care what a random 20-something has to say. So firstly, thank you - for allowing me to

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Using Notion as a Resonance Calendar
Members Public

Hey friends, I talked in last week’s email about how I’ve started using the app Notion as a Second Brain. Almost daily I’ve been discovering new ways of using it to make my life more pleasant and productive. Lots of you replied to the email asking for

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Using Notion as a Resonance Calendar

Using Notion as a Resonance Calendar
Members Public

I talked in a previous post about how I’ve started using the app Notion as a Second Brain. Almost daily I’ve been discovering new ways of using it to make my life more pleasant and productive. I had lots of comments from readers asking for specifics about how

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Personal Knowledge Management

Building a Second Brain
Members Public

Hey friends, A few Sundays ago, I shared a link in this newsletter to an article called How to create Idea babies - A knowledge processing system for marketers, creators and knowledge workers. This led me down the rabbit hole of the internet and I ultimately came across the concept

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Building a Second Brain

Building a Second Brain
Members Public

In a recent issue of my weekly email newsletter, I shared a link to an article called How to create Idea babies - A knowledge processing system for marketers, creators and knowledge workers. This led me down the rabbit hole of the internet and I ultimately came across the concept

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Personal Knowledge Management

I'm starting a podcast!
Members Public

Hey friends, No motivational life advice from me this week I'm afraid (although I've included 2 Kindle Highlights below to make up for it). Instead, I want to tell you about a podcast that my brother and I have just launched. It's called Not Overthinking, and it'll be a weekly

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

The 2-minute productivity rule
Members Public

Hey friends, There’s a good book called Getting Things Done - The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen. It’s widely seen as the bible on productivity. There’s a simple concept in it called the 2-minute rule. It goes something like: If a task will take less

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
The 2-minute productivity rule

The 2-minute productivity rule
Members Public

There’s a good book called Getting Things Done - The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen. It’s widely seen as the bible on productivity. There’s a simple concept in it called the 2-minute rule. It goes something like: If a task will take less than 2

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Productivity

Parkinson's Law
Members Public

Hey friends, This week, I met up with a chap called Chris. He's of the Acute Medicine Consultants at my hospital. Some friends and I are working with him on a Quality Improvement Project to improve the way junior doctors at my hospital respond to cardiac arrests. We shared our

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Parkinson's Law

Parkinson's Law
Members Public

This week, I met up with a chap called Chris. He’s of the Acute Medicine Consultants at my hospital. Some friends and I are working with him on a Quality Improvement Project to improve the way junior doctors at my hospital respond to cardiac arrests. We shared our thoughts

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Productivity

My rule for watching TV
Members Public

Hey friends, When I was in secondary school, I used to watch many hours of TV shows each week. At one point or another, I was watching Gossip Girl, 90210, The Vampire Diaries, Greys Anatomy, Chuck, The Secret Circle, The Originals and Suits. And let’s not forget the various

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
My rule for watching TV

My rule for watching TV
Members Public

When I was in secondary school, I used to watch many hours of TV shows each week. At one point or another, I was watching Gossip Girl, 90210, The Vampire Diaries, Greys Anatomy, Chuck, The Secret Circle, The Originals and Suits. And let’s not forget the various series I

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

Keystone Habits
Members Public

In Atomic Habits James Clear writes about Keystone Habits - small choices that lead to a cascade of other actions. For example, when he and his wife get home from work, they either (a) immediately change into their gym kit, or (b) sit on the sofa. Their evening changes based

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Keystone Habits

Keystone Habits
Members Public

In Atomic Habits James Clear writes about Keystone Habits - small choices that lead to a cascade of other actions. For example, when he and his wife get home from work, they either (a) immediately change into their gym kit, or (b) sit on the sofa. Their evening changes based

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Productivity

How removing options makes me more productive
Members Public

Hey friends, I woke up this morning at 6:15 and, as usual, I was pretty groggy and tired. At that point, as usual, the Resistance started whispering to me - "You went to the gym yesterday; you should take a rest day and sleep for another hour", "you were

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
How removing options makes me more productive

How removing options makes me more productive
Members Public

I woke up this morning at 6:15 and, as usual, I was pretty groggy and tired. At that point, as usual, the Resistance started whispering to me - “You went to the gym yesterday; you should take a rest day and sleep for another hour”, “you were feeling tired

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

A productivity tip
Members Public

Hey friends, At the start of this week, I found myself feeling a little overwhelmed. I’d been on holiday over the Christmas period, and on returning to the UK I had two back-to-back weeks of 13-hour shifts at the hospital. In that time, various things had piled up in

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
When my to-do list piles up, I use this productivity trick

When my to-do list piles up, I use this productivity trick
Members Public

At the start of this week, I found myself feeling a little overwhelmed. I’d been on holiday over the Christmas period, and on returning to the UK I had two back-to-back weeks of 13-hour shifts at the hospital. In that time, various things had piled up in my email

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Productivity

How to make money in the stock market
Members Public

Hey friends, A chap called Jack Bogle died last week, at the age of 89. You may not have heard of him. He founded a company called Vanguard and introduced the world to ‘index funds’. An index fund is the best way to invest in the stock market. Essentially, when

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
How I make money in the stock market

How I make money in the stock market
Members Public

A chap called Jack Bogle died last week, at the age of 89. You may not have heard of him. He founded a company called Vanguard and introduced the world to ‘index funds’. An index fund is the best way to invest in the stock market. Essentially, when you put,

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Money

Keeping your door open
Members Public

Hey friends, One of the best purchases I made at the start of my university days was a doorstopper. Whenever I was in my room during waking hours, I’d leave the door propped open and occasionally, when people would walk past on their way down the hallway, they’d

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
The £5 item that made my student life much happier

The £5 item that made my student life much happier
Members Public

One of the best purchases I made at the start of my university days was a doorstopper. Whenever I was in my room during waking hours, I’d leave the door propped open and occasionally, when people would walk past on their way down the hallway, they’d pop in

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Happiness

The Mundanity of Excellence
Members Public

Hey friends, On the flight home from Sudan this week, I read an absolutely wonderful paper from 1989 called The Mundanity of Excellence - An ethnographic report on stratification and Olympic swimmers. The author breaks down (in a very readable but rigorous fashion) the differences in daily habits, practices and

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
How to be Excellent

How to be Excellent
Members Public

On the flight home from Sudan this week, I read an absolutely wonderful paper from 1989 called The Mundanity of Excellence - An ethnographic report on stratification and Olympic swimmers. The author breaks down (in a very readable but rigorous fashion) the differences in daily habits, practices and mindsets between

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
A rule to follow in new situations

A rule to follow in new situations
Members Public

I’m writing this post from a small town in Sudan where some other doctors and I are helping out with a medical mission running pop-up clinics in local villages (PS: check out the pics on Instagram). When I’m in new situations like this, my default state is to

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

The Go First Rule
Members Public

Hey friends, Happy New Year :) I’m writing this email from a small town in Sudan where some other doctors and I are helping out with a medical mission running pop-up clinics in local villages (PS: follow me on Instagram to keep up-to-date with the story). When I’m in

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Average Speed vs Maximum Speed
Members Public

Hey friends, Short email today - just wanted to share a great article that I came across this week. It’s by one of my new favourite non-fiction authors James Clear (who wrote the book Atomic Habits that you should definitely check out). Here’s the article: https://jamesclear.com/

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Average Speed vs Maximum Speed

Average Speed vs Maximum Speed
Members Public

Short post today - just wanted to share a great article that I came across this week. It’s by one of my new favourite non-fiction authors James Clear (who wrote the book Atomic Habits that you should definitely check out). Here’s the article: https://jamesclear.com/average-speed His

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

New Year’s Resolutions
Members Public

Hey friends, You’ve probably heard about how most people don’t end up sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions. They buy gym memberships in January, go a handful of times and then stop bothering. Or they decide to eat more healthily, that lasts about a week, and then

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
A simple trick to making New Year's Resolutions stick

A simple trick to making New Year's Resolutions stick
Members Public

You’ve probably heard about how most people don’t end up sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions. They buy gym memberships in January, go a handful of times and then stop bothering. Or they decide to eat more healthily, that lasts about a week, and then they revert

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

Your Stretch Zone
Members Public

Hey friends, This week’s ‘how to do life’ email comes from my best friend Molly. She volunteers each year at Over the Wall, a summer activities camp for children with serious illnesses and their families. --- One of the things Over The Wall speaks about in volunteer training is

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
A piece of advice given to kids with serious illnesses

A piece of advice given to kids with serious illnesses
Members Public

This week’s ‘how to do life’ post comes from my friend and housemate Dr Molly Hunt. She volunteers each year at Over the Wall, a summer activities camp for children with serious illnesses and their families. One of the things Over The Wall speaks about in volunteer training is

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

You should get a Kindle
Members Public

Hey friends, If there’s one thing I’d recommend you buy/request as a gift over the Christmas period, it’s an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. This is not a sponsored email (I wish) but does include some affiliate links as usual 😉 Here are some reasons why you should get

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
You should get a Kindle

You should get a Kindle
Members Public

If there’s one thing I’d recommend you buy/request as a gift over the Christmas period (or anytime really), it’s an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. This is not a sponsored post (I wish) but does include some affiliate links as usual 😉 Here are some reasons why you should

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Productivity
Say yes to everything

Say yes to everything
Members Public

I came across some advice during my early university years that really helped me develop as a person. It went something like: When you’re early on in your career/life, say yes to everything that comes your way. Later on, only say yes to the things you’re really

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

Saying yes to everything
Members Public

Hey friends, I came across some advice during my early university years that really helped me develop as a person. It went something like: When you’re early on in your career/life, say yes to everything that comes your way. Later on, only say yes to the things you’

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Planting a tree
Members Public

Hey friends, I’ve been pondering something over the past few days. What do I wish I’d been doing consistently for the past 3 years?A few things immediately come to mind. Firstly, music - I wish I had consistently and deliberately practised piano, guitar, singing and music theory

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
What do I wish I’d been doing consistently for the past 3 years?

What do I wish I’d been doing consistently for the past 3 years?
Members Public

A few things immediately come to mind. Firstly, music - I wish I had consistently and deliberately practised piano, guitar, singing and music theory over the past 3 years. If I had, I’d be a much better musician today. Secondly, I wish I had written mini book reviews of

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

How many sales will make you happy?
Members Public

Hey friends, Some friends and I recently launched an online Interview Crash Course that helps prepare medical school applicants for their interviews. A few days ago, one of my friends who helped create the course (Kenny) messaged me and asked: By the end of interview season, what number of online

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
How many sales will make you happy?

How many sales will make you happy?
Members Public

Some friends and I recently launched an online Interview Crash Course that helps prepare medical school applicants for their interviews. A few days ago, one of my friends who helped create the course (Kenny) messaged me and asked: By the end of interview season, what number of online course sales

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Happiness
How to minimise regrets - WIN-WIN PRINCIPLE

How to minimise regrets - WIN-WIN PRINCIPLE
Members Public

I got an email a few days ago from a high school student in the Philippines (let’s call him Matt) considering applying to medical school. He was worried because it’s such a competitive process - what if he spends years trying and failing to get in? If that

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

How to minimise regrets
Members Public

Hey friends, I got an email a few days ago from a high school student in the Philippines (let’s call him Matt) considering applying to medical school. He was worried because it’s such a competitive process - what if he spends years trying and failing to get in?

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman

The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman
Members Public

I want to share this fun little story with you today. I stumbled across it a few years ago and it had an immediate impact on me, changing the way I view productivity and lifestyle design. I revisit it several times a year, so even if you’ve heard it

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman
Members Public

Hey friends, I want to share this fun little story with you today. I stumbled across it a few years ago and it had an immediate impact on me, changing the way I view productivity and lifestyle design. I revisit it several times a year, so even if you’ve

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
The Beginner's Mindset

The Beginner's Mindset
Members Public

A couple weeks ago I sent an email asking you guys to send in snippets/quotes that have helped you in your own life. This week, I want to feature one of the responses from a guy called George who studied at Oxford for 3 years and is now applying

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

The Beginner's Mindset
Members Public

Hey friends, A couple weeks ago I sent an email asking you guys to send in snippets/quotes that have helped you in your own life. This week, I want to feature one of the responses from a guy called George who studied at Oxford for 3 years and is

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
A simple change to my nighttime routine

A simple change to my nighttime routine
Members Public

I want to talk about a simple change I made to my nighttime routine that’s changed the game for me. It came about after I skimmed through ‘Why we sleep’ by Matthew Walker, a book that was doing the rounds on tech/entrepreneur recommended reading lists recently. Anyway, the

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

A simple change to my nighttime routine
Members Public

Hey friends, I want to talk about a simple change I made to my nighttime routine that’s changed the game for me. It came about after I skimmed through ‘Why we sleep’ by Matthew Walker, a book that was doing the rounds on tech/entrepreneur recommended reading lists recently.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

I'm not very good at languages
Members Public

Hey friends, The other day, someone asked me whether I’d ever make a video about how to learn languages. I replied with ‘nah probably not, I’m not very good at languages’. I then stopped and thought about what I’d just said. I’m not very good at

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
"I'm not very good at languages"

"I'm not very good at languages"
Members Public

The other day, someone asked me whether I’d ever make a video about how to learn languages. I replied with ‘nah probably not, I’m not very good at languages’. I then stopped and thought about what I’d just said. I’m not very good at languages.What

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

Snippets of life advice
Members Public

Hey friends, If you've been on this email list for any length of time, you'll probably know that I absolutely love life advice - reading about it, sharing it, attempting to come up with it. In this week's email, I want to put the question out to you - what

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Journey before destination

Journey before destination
Members Public

Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.This is one of the ideals of the Knights Radiant, as told in Brandon Sanderson’s incredible The Stormlight Archive (I’m halfway through book 2). It’s a little melodramatic for sure, but I’ve found myself repeating the last

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

Journey before destination
Members Public

Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.This is one of the ideals of the Knights Radiant, as told in Brandon Sanderson's incredible The Stormlight Archive (I'm halfway through book 2). It's a little melodramatic for sure, but I've found myself repeating the last bit to myself in

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Force yourself to start

Force yourself to start
Members Public

If you want to start something, don’t wait, just start. Writing a personal statement or an essay? Great, just start typing and force yourself to write something. It doesn’t matter if it sucks, because you can always edit it later, but you need to write something. Want to

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Productivity

Force yourself to start
Members Public

Hey friends, I want to share a snippet of productivity advice this week - If you want to start something, don't wait, just start. Writing a personal statement or an essay? Great, just start typing and force yourself to write something. It doesn’t matter if it sucks, because you

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

My first death
Members Public

Hey friends, I'm writing this email after getting home from a shift that ended up lasting 14 hours. One of our patients died tonight. It's the first time that one of my patients who I was directly looking after has died. Pam (not her real name) was ticking along pretty

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Overthinking
Members Public

Hey friends, I want to share a story today. As some of you might know, I’ve recently started my first job as a junior doctor (we’re now around a month into it). Naturally I’ve been trying to make friends with people, generally being nice and open and

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Overthinking

Overthinking
Members Public

I want to share a story today. As some of you might know, I’ve recently started my first job as a junior doctor (we’re now around a month into it). Naturally I’ve been trying to make friends with people, generally being nice and open and friendly etc.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

Changing direction
Members Public

Hey friends, A few months into my 4th year of medical school (ie: the first clinical year), I remember talking to one of the consultants on the ward. He asked our group what we wanted to specialise in and at the time, we were just a few months into clinical

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Changing direction

Changing direction
Members Public

A few months into my 4th year of medical school (ie: the first clinical year), I remember talking to one of the consultants on the ward. He asked our group what we wanted to specialise in and at the time, we were just a few months into clinical school so

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

Be content to be thought foolish
Members Public

Hey friends, Here’s a quote from one of my favourite Stoic philosophers, Epictetus: If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.This fear of being thought foolish lies at the core of that age-old problem of 'caring what other people think'. We all know

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Be content to be thought foolish

Be content to be thought foolish
Members Public

Here’s a quote from one of my favourite Stoic philosophers, Epictetus: If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.This fear of being thought foolish lies at the core of that age-old problem of ‘caring what other people think’. We all know that ideally,

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
What pencil do you use?

What pencil do you use?
Members Public

You’ve probably heard of Stephen King. He’s like, the world’s most best-selling author of all time. He apparently attends lots of writers conferences where he does Q&As. Sometimes, a young, well-intentioned, budding new writer asks the question “Mr King, what pencil do you use?” This

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Productivity

What pencil do you use?
Members Public

Hey friends, You’ve probably heard of Stephen King. He’s like, the world’s most best-selling author of all time. He apparently attends lots of writers conferences where he does Q&As. Sometimes, a young, well-intentioned, budding new writer asks the question “Mr King, what pencil do you

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

"It's busy, but really fun"
Members Public

Hey friends, We had a housewarming party last night - lots of our friends came over and we had lots of chats and snacks, and played around 3 hours of Avalon. Paul, one of my closest friends from university and one of the smartest people I know, came up to

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
"It's busy, but really fun"

"It's busy, but really fun"
Members Public

We had a housewarming party last night - lots of our friends came over and we had lots of chats and snacks, and played around 3 hours of Avalon. Paul, one of my closest friends from university and one of the smartest people I know, came up to Cambridge for

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

The Trichotomy of Control
Members Public

Hey friends, Let's talk about control. In a recent video (Life Advice - 50k subscribers Q&A), I alluded to the Stoic idea of how there are only two things we can control - namely our own thoughts and our own actions. I said that everything else falls in

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
The Trichotomy of Control

The Trichotomy of Control
Members Public

Let’s talk about control. In a recent video (Life Advice - 50k subscribers Q&A), I alluded to the Stoic idea of how there are only two things we can control - namely our own thoughts and our own actions. I said that everything else falls in the

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

Don't believe the hype
Members Public

Hey friends, Black Wednesday is nearly here. It’s the first Wednesday of August when doctors throughout the UK start their new jobs. Supposedly, this influx of inexperienced doctors leads to a 6% increase in patient deaths in August… This past week, most of us incoming FY1 junior doctors have

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Don't believe the hype

Don't believe the hype
Members Public

Black Wednesday is nearly here. It’s the first Wednesday of August when doctors throughout the UK start their new jobs. Supposedly, this influx of inexperienced doctors leads to a 6% increase in patient deaths in August… This past week, most of us incoming FY1 junior doctors have had various

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Dealing with Bad Grades

Dealing with Bad Grades
Members Public

I've had a few messages from students who were disappointed by their exam results and wanted some of my wannabe-life-guru advice on how to deal with the sadness they were feeling. Let's tackle the symptom first, and then the disease.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Studying
The Parable of the Pottery Class

The Parable of the Pottery Class
Members Public

There was once a pottery teacher called Brian. One month, he decided to split his class into two groups. Group A had to make a pot every day for 30 days (so 30 pots in total). Group B had to work on a single pot for the whole 30 days.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Entrepreneurship

What to do over summer
Members Public

Hey friends, I’ve been getting messages from people asking variants of “what should I do in the summer holidays of high school” or “What should I do in the summer holidays of my 2nd year at university” etc etc. Here’s my two cents. 1. Don’t study Whichever

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
A whole lot better

A whole lot better
Members Public

I was chatting with a medic friend over breakfast this morning. He told me a great story that I thought I'd share with you. A few days ago, he was on the ward and tried cannulating a patient. He tried once, and failed, and then tried again, and failed. Two

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

Dealing with bad grades
Members Public

Hey friends, Apologies for the post-midnight email this week - I got caught up building furniture and lost track of the time. Anyway, I've had a few messages from students who were disappointed by their exam results and wanted some of my wannabe-life-guru advice on how to deal with the

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
How to get stuff done

How to get stuff done
Members Public

I was chatting with a friend a little while back. He’s a final year medic at Cambridge, goes to the gym like every day, is pretty ripped, plays rugby for the university first team, and is working towards becoming an orthopaedic surgeon in the US. We were discussing techniques

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

The Parable of the Pottery Class
Members Public

Hey friends, There was once a pottery teacher called Brian. One month, he decided to split his class into two groups. Group A had to make a pot every day for 30 days (so 30 pots in total). Group B had to work on a single pot for the whole

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Hustle vs Chill

Hustle vs Chill
Members Public

I'm writing this post from a lovely cafe in Heidelberg, Germany. I'm here with some friends on a bank holiday mini-break - we're trying to take full advantage of our 3 weeks left as medical students before doctor-life starts and we become slaves to our rota. I'm having a bit

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Diminishing Returns

Diminishing Returns
Members Public

I went to a ball last night. In classic Cambridge style, it started at 9pm and was due to finish at 5am. We arrived an hour early, did a photo shoot (it's on my Instagram story highlights if you want to see) and enjoyed the food, drink and festivities at

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Climbing a Mountain

Climbing a Mountain
Members Public

It’s been an interesting week. I’ve officially graduated and left medical school (check out the pics on Instagram), we’ve had family over from Pakistan for the celebrations, and yesterday got the keys to my new flat in Cambridge (house tour coming soon). Even with all this stuff

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Staying in Touch

Staying in Touch
Members Public

This is our very last week of medical school. It's been 6 years, we've finished all our placements, we had our Graduation Ball last night and now we've just got one more week of balls, garden parties and chilling-with-friends before the Declaration Ceremony when we get sworn in as doctors

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Relationships
Consistency is King

Consistency is King
Members Public

I’ve just arrived back in Cambridge from a weekend in Dorset on a ‘wilderness medicine’ expedition. There was a group of 22 of us, we stayed in this really nice cottage, went on long country walks and did a few medical emergency scenarios along the way. Absolutely wonderful weekend,

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

Climbing a proverbial mountain
Members Public

Hey friends, It’s been an interesting week. I’ve officially graduated and left medical school (check out the pics on Instagram), we’ve had family over from Pakistan for the celebrations, and yesterday got the keys to my new flat in Cambridge (house tour coming soon). Even with all

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Diminishing Returns
Members Public

Hey friends, We graduated from medical school today (or rather, yesterday because I'm writing this at 2am on Monday morning, so apologies for not sending the email on Sunday). It's been a ridiculously hectic and incredibly fun day, but I'll save the details for another email/vlog. A few days

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Staying in touch
Members Public

Hey friends, This is our very last week of medical school. It's been 6 years, we've finished all our placements, we had our Graduation Ball last night and now we've just got one more week of balls, garden parties and chilling-with-friends before the Declaration Ceremony when we get sworn in

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

A whole lot better
Members Public

Hey friends, I was chatting with a medic friend over breakfast this morning. He told me a great story that I thought I'd share with you. A few days ago, he was on the ward and tried cannulating a patient. He tried once, and failed, and then tried again, and

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

How to approach stuff we have to do
Members Public

Hey friends, I was chatting with a friend a little while back. He’s a final year medic at Cambridge, goes to the gym like every day, is pretty ripped, plays rugby for the university first team, and is working towards becoming an orthopaedic surgeon in the US. We were

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Hustle vs Chill?
Members Public

Hey friends, I'm writing this email from a lovely cafe in Heidelberg, Germany. I'm here with some friends on a bank holiday mini-break - we're trying to take full advantage of our 3 weeks left as medical students before doctor-life starts and we become slaves to our rota. I'm having

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Consistency is king
Members Public

Hey friends, I’ve just arrived back in Cambridge from a weekend in Dorset on a ‘wilderness medicine’ expedition. There was a group of 22 of us, we stayed in this really nice cottage, went on long country walks and did a few medical emergency scenarios along the way. Absolutely

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Time Management
Members Public

Hey friends, It's been a pretty interesting week. I turned 24, found out I passed my final year exams, gave a presentation about the YouTube channel to the Cambridge clinical school faculty, and yesterday afternoon delivered a 2-hour revision session on Obstetrics & Gynaecology to around 100 students in the

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Time Management

Time Management
Members Public

It’s been a pretty interesting week. I turned 24, found out I passed my final year exams, gave a presentation about the YouTube channel to the Cambridge clinical school faculty, and yesterday afternoon delivered a 2-hour revision session on Obstetrics & Gynaecology to around 100 students in the year

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

The antidote to fear
Members Public

Hey friends, This week’s email discusses my favourite non-pharmacological solution to stress/fear/anxiety that I hope you’ll find useful. Unsurprisingly, I’ve had a lot of messages from students about to sit exams who are worried about the stress getting to their head and paralysing them when

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
The Antidote to Fear

The Antidote to Fear
Members Public

Fear and anxiety are elements that grip us at various points in our lives both in formal and informal situations. In many respects, there is nott a 'right' answer to overcome either fear or anxiety; nor is there a silver bullet that will dissolve all your worries for ever more.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Future-Self Thinking

Future-Self Thinking
Members Public

You know that feeling when you have a reasonably fixed opinion on a topic that you haven’t really thought about extensively? And then when that opinion gets shattered and it makes you think a lot about it? I had that this week after watching 2 videos by CGP Gray.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life

Death & Future-Self Thinking
Members Public

Hey friends, You know that feeling when you have a reasonably fixed opinion on a topic that you haven't really thought about extensively? And then when that opinion gets shattered and it makes you think a lot about it? I had that this week after watching 2 videos by CGP

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Motivation is a myth
Members Public

Hey friends, I've had a lot of messages recently from (mostly) students asking about how to motivate themselves, especially during exam season. The quandary goes along the lines of "I know I should be studying, but some/most days I just can't seem to find the motivation. How are you

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Motivation is a myth

Motivation is a myth
Members Public

I’ve had a lot of messages recently from (mostly) students asking about how to motivate themselves, especially during exam season. The quandary goes along the lines of “I know I should be studying, but some/most days I just can’t seem to find the motivation. How are you

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Hedonic Adaptation

Hedonic Adaptation
Members Public

Hedonic adaptation is (according to Wikipedia) as follows: Hedonic adaptation is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. I think hedonic adaptation is probably the single most important (and somewhat unintuitive) part of

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Happiness

Hedonic Adaptation
Members Public

Hey guys, Welcome to my first ever weekly email. Feels a bit weird to be writing one of these, but I've heard that anything that's worth doing feels weird initially, so it's fine. Of course, even stuff that isn't worth doing feels weird initially - guess we'll just treat this

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
My weekly email newsletter

My weekly email newsletter
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Fancy getting a short, weekly email from me with motivation /inspiration /interesting links? Sign up to the mailing list here.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Why and how you should learn to code

Why and how you should learn to code
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This is the first in a series of posts where I’ll be sharing stuff I’ve learned from 5 years of running a pretty successful medical education startup whilst being a medical student at Cambridge University. Quick background - my company (6med) has been running since 2013, and averages

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Tools & Tech
The secret to success

The secret to success
Members Public

The secret to success is to pick something, and work on it for 10 years. I came across this quote in a Y Combinator interview with Courtland Allen, who made an amazing website/community called Indie Hackers. I think he attributed the quote to ‘some guy on Twitter’, and that’

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Exams are a game

Exams are a game
Members Public

I’m writing this with 2 days to go until my final exam in my penultimate year of studying Medicine. I’ve just bashed through ~120 psychiatry and obstetrics questions, with around 700 left to get through by tomorrow night. A friend of mine got a lovely email from her

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Studying
Seventy excuses

Seventy excuses
Members Public

I was having dinner with a friend recently (let’s call her Annie), when conversation turned briefly to a mutual acquaintance (let’s call her Jane). Annie voiced an issue she had with Jane, paraphrased loosely as: I don’t like Jane. I saw her in the corridor the other

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Saving time with Alfred

Saving time with Alfred
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This post discusses how I use Alfred to increase my efficiency/productivity on my MacBook. If you spend some time in front of a computer (even if it’s sadly not a mac), you might find the principle vaguely interesting. The Problem Time is our most valuable non-renewable resource. I

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Tools & Tech
Time vs Money

Time vs Money
Members Public

A business can’t stay the same. It’s either growing or declining. A small business that is declining is already dead many months, even a year, before its employees know it. - James Altucher There’s something that’s been playing on my mind for the past few months,

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Entrepreneurship
Expectations/Hopes vs Training

Expectations/Hopes vs Training
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We don't rise to the level of our expectations/hopes, we fall to the level of our training. - Archilochus I came across this quote a few days ago, and it really resonated with me, so I thought I'd write this. I tend to come across quotes/cliches like this

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Dealing with Competitor Anxiety

Dealing with Competitor Anxiety
Members Public

By the grace of God, 6med is doing alright. Without going into the specifics, we’re at a point where we could potentially make it a full-time thing. We wouldn’t want to, of course, as ‘dropping out of medical school to run a company that does courses for people

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Entrepreneurship
Getting over the fear of personal blogging

Getting over the fear of personal blogging
Members Public

The idea of setting up a personal blog has been swirling around in my head for some time, but I’ve never before managed to shake the nagging suspicion that to write about my own experiences, ideas, life etc, would be unbelievably narcissistic and should therefore be avoided at all

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life