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Life

I love collecting (and sometimes even coming up with) snippets of advice about how to live a ‘better’ life. Here are some that I’ve written about over the years.

How To Stop Procrastinating

How To Stop Procrastinating
Members Public

"Tomorrow - A mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement are stored" Regardless of how many productivity books we've bought (and haven't read) or how many motivational videos we've watched (and never acted upon), we all struggle at some point during our lives with the productivity

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Habits

Atomic Habits (James Clear) - Book Summary, Notes & Highlights
Members Public

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Read more on Amazon Take-home messages What are habits?Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.But when we repeat 1 percent errors, day after day, by replicating poor decisions, duplicating tiny mistakes, and rationalizing little excuses, our small choices compound into toxic results. Favourite highlightsSuccess is the

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Book
Happy (Derren Brown) - Book Summary, Notes & Highlights

Happy (Derren Brown) - Book Summary, Notes & Highlights
Members Public

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Read more on Amazon This is an enormous book, but it's one of my favourites of all time. It's my most highlighted book on Kindle (by a very long way) and while I was reading it, I found myself nodding my head like a lunatic on almost every

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Book
Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships - Transactional Analysis Part 3

Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships - Transactional Analysis Part 3
Members Public

This episode is Part 3 of 3 in our Transactional Analysis series (make sure you listen to the last 2 episodes before this one!).

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Life Positions and Games - Transactional Analysis Part 2

Life Positions and Games - Transactional Analysis Part 2
Members Public

In this episode, we continue our discussion about Transactional Analysis. We recap the Parent, Adult and Child zones of thinking that we mentioned last week, and move on to talking about the 4 different Life Positions and the Games People Play.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
The Parent, The Adult and The Child - Transactional Analysis Part 1

The Parent, The Adult and The Child - Transactional Analysis Part 1
Members Public

In this episode, we discuss transactional analysis. Taimur talks us through the ideas behind the theory, and how your internal mind can be split up into three parts - the Parent, Adult, and Child.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Building a Million Dollar Business – 10 Tips for Entrepreneurs

Building a Million Dollar Business – 10 Tips for Entrepreneurs
Members Public

Sharing my advice and experiences from starting my own business and the lessons I've learned.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Entrepreneurship
Useful Apps To Improve Productivity and Study Effectively

Useful Apps To Improve Productivity and Study Effectively
Members Public

With exam season rapidly approaching, I wanted to write a blog post just listing the best resources and apps that you can use to improve your productivity and efficiency and hopefully help with revision or even just daily life. Flashcards – Anki, QuizletAnki As you’ve probably heard me talking about

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
3 Books That Changed My Life

3 Books That Changed My Life
Members Public

Reading is one of the hobbies that I’ve consciously tried to maintain over the past few years. I think a lot of people underestimate how much we can learn from reading – as well as all the other benefits it can offer. I’ve learnt so many valuable lessons from

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Books

How would you spend your time if you knew you'd die in 2 years?
Members Public

This week we tackle the conundrum of "how would you spend your time if you knew you'd die in 2 years?".

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Low Optionality and Adult Friendships
Members Public

This week we talk about a few topics that Taimur's been noticing more and more with a particular focus on an article about low social optionality and adult friendships.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
40 Concepts for Understanding the World – Tweet Discussion

40 Concepts for Understanding the World – Tweet Discussion
Members Public

This week we talk about @G_S_Bhogal's Twitter mega-thread of "40 Powerful Concepts for Understanding the World".

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Does travel broaden our horizons?

Does travel broaden our horizons?
Members Public

In this episode (recorded on a car journey, sorry for the audio quality), we discuss the extent to which travelling, and living in different countries for extended time periods, actually broadens our horizons.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Book Discussion: The Courage to be Disliked
Members Public

In this episode, we summarise "The Courage to be Disliked" by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Words That Changed Our Lives
Members Public

In this episode, we each talk about 3 words/phrases that have changed the way we think about things and see the world. We touch on Taimur's new addiction to David Dobrik's vlogs, and Ali doesn't stop going on about a magic convention that he attended this weekend. Some of

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

‘Lad’ Culture – An Insider’s Perspective
Members Public

In this episode, we have a guest appearance from Jake, a junior doctor and recovering "lad". We discuss the meaning of being a "lad", the experience from inside the group and the feelings of those of us who feel implicitly excluded from boisterous, alcohol-heavy group dynamics. Some of the highlights

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

External Appearances vs Internal Experiences
Members Public

In this episode we talk about the external appearances of different lifestyles and how they differ from the internal experience of living them.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Inner Rings: The Desire to Fit In - Podcast Highlights

Inner Rings: The Desire to Fit In - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we discuss our desire to fit in, to be part of the 'cool kids' group, to be part of what CS Lewis calls "The Inner Ring".

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Being Weird - Podcast Highlights

Being Weird - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode we talk about 'being weird'. We explore the merits of being weird, the different ways in which people can be weird, and some of our personal experiences.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
A little more effort

A little more effort
Members Public

A few nights ago, I got home from work around 7pm. I was due to meetup with some fans (via my standing offer of coffee) which lasted until 9pm. I got back home and spent a few hours preparing for a physiology supervision I was doing that week. As it

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Expand the Box

Expand the Box
Members Public

In a recent podcast, my brother and I discussed the concepts of invisible shackles, the hidden scripts we follow through our lives. We discussed the analogy of The Box (ie: our cultural norms) and how the boundaries of the box limit our thinking. For example, I never imagined that a

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Pay Yourself First

Pay Yourself First
Members Public

I was thinking today about the phrase ‘pay yourself first’. It’s one of the most important rules of personal finance. The idea is that whenever we get money coming in (eg: our salary), we immediately put aside some percentage (eg: 10-20%) for our savings / investments. Only when we’ve

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Window-openers vs Door-knockers

Window-openers vs Door-knockers
Members Public

I came across an analogy in a podcast this week that really resonated with me. It talked about how there are two types of people. Some are window-openers. When making decisions about what to do with their time, they want to be able to look through a window. If they

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Book Discussion: "The Magic of Thinking Big" - Podcast Highlights

Book Discussion: "The Magic of Thinking Big" - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we try a brand new format! We go through Ali's Kindle highlights, from 4 years ago, from the book "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David Schwartz. We end up talking about mental restraints, making good conversation, setting goals, and a smattering of other topics. Here are

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
The Value of Delight

The Value of Delight
Members Public

In my tech review videos, I sometimes talk about The Value of Delight. It’s the idea that spending extra money to get an more delightful experience can be ‘worth it’ if it encourages us to do more of the thing we want to do. I’ve noticed the concept

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Tools & Tech
Will a new iPhone make us happier? - Podcast Highlights

Will a new iPhone make us happier? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we try to formulate an algorithm for buying new tech. In light of Apple’s latest iPhone announcement, we try to figure out what makes people decide to buy need tech and how we should think about new purchases in terms of their contribution to our overall

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Obvious to you, amazing to others

Obvious to you, amazing to others
Members Public

This week, I want to share a post written by Derek Sivers. I’d been following Derek online for several years (in a non-creepy way), and had the privilege of having dinner with him when he visited Cambridge a few months ago. That was my first experience meeting someone I

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Invisible Shackles & Life Scripts - Podcast Highlights

Invisible Shackles & Life Scripts - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

As we grow, we're subconsciously exposed to various 'life scripts' that can have a profound effect on the way we lead our lives, without any conscious control on our own part. In this episode, we discuss some of the invisible shackles that bind us, and how to 'break free' from

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
The Concept of a Flywheel

The Concept of a Flywheel
Members Public

I came across the concept of a Flywheel this week. I read about it on a post called ‘The Flywheel of Wealth’ on the wonderful personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly. A flywheel is a mechanical device designed to efficiently store rotational energy. Well, that’s how an engineer would

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
What do we want from this podcast? - Podcast Highlights

What do we want from this podcast? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

This episode of the podcast reflects on what we each want to produce through the podcast and how we should judge the quality of our episodes.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
A life-changing change to my lunchtime routine

A life-changing change to my lunchtime routine
Members Public

My life changed this week. I discovered the power of the Light Lunch. I’ve always been a Heavy Lunch kinda guy. For the past year, I’ve looked forward to a hot, hearty meal at lunchtime. I’d buy around £8 worth of hot food from the hospital cafeteria,

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
How I stay productive at work

How I stay productive at work
Members Public

I’ve been on-call as the psychiatry junior doctor this weekend. That’s involved leaving home at 8am each day and returning around 10:30pm each night. This is rather a large chunk of the day spent ‘at work’ and yet I managed to get a lot of side-hustle stuff

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Tools & Tech
What's it like to be internet-famous? ft. Sara Dietschy - Podcast

What's it like to be internet-famous? ft. Sara Dietschy - Podcast
Members Public

This week we're joined by a very special guest — Sara Dietschy, tech and creativity Youtuber and podcaster.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
The Power of Accountability

The Power of Accountability
Members Public

Accountability is a powerful thing. Making a commitment to doing something and then holding ourselves accountable to others is one of the most useful tools in our motivation and productivity arsenals. Without accountability, there’s absolutely no way I would’ve written these mini blog posts for the past 70

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Writing
Is being negative ever acceptable? - Podcast Highlights

Is being negative ever acceptable? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we discuss whether negativity is ever okay...

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Boring is Fun

Boring is Fun
Members Public

Occasionally I come across a blog post, book chapter or podcast episode that makes something click in my brain and I think ‘damn that’s really good’. This week, I stumbled across such a post by James Stuber called ’Master Boring Fundamentals - Boring is Fun’. There were two key

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Birds, Supersonic Jets, Internet Businesses and Trophy Hunting - Podcast Highlights

Birds, Supersonic Jets, Internet Businesses and Trophy Hunting - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

Taimur and Ali feature as guests on the Episode Party podcast. Along with hosts Jack and Freddie, we discuss four episodes from four different podcasts...

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
How do we make friends? - Podcast Highlights

How do we make friends? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we discuss our experiences in making friends and how the process evolves from being at school to university and beyond.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
How I remember what I read

How I remember what I read
Members Public

I like to think I read a lot of books (you can follow my Goodreads profile to see all my past/current books). But a major problem I have is remembering key insights from those books and actually applying them to my life.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Apps
Procrastination, Money-making, Rejection etc - Answering your Questions - Podcast Highlights

Procrastination, Money-making, Rejection etc - Answering your Questions - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

This episode is a Life Advice Q&A that Taimur and Ali did as part of Ali's 300,000 YouTube subscriber milestone video.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Startups, Coding and Making Money Online – An Interview with Taimur - Podcast Highlights

Startups, Coding and Making Money Online – An Interview with Taimur - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, Ali interviews Taimur about his life...

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
How should we give advice? - Podcast Highlights

How should we give advice? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode we talk about whether we should give advice to others, and if so, how to go about it...

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Chance encounters

Chance encounters
Members Public

I’ve been on an ‘anaesthetics taster week’ this week. That means I get to spend 5 days shadowing doctors within the anaesthetics department, getting involved, trying to get an idea of what the speciality is like. On each day, I’ve had chance encounters with other doctors that have

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Is ambition a virtue?  - Podcast Highlights

Is ambition a virtue? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we tackle the issue of ambition. What does it mean to be ambitious?

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
How to become more confident

How to become more confident
Members Public

I’ve become a much more confident person over these last few years. Partly that’s come from recognising that there’s no difference between fake confidence and real confidence, and partly from becoming content to be thought foolish. But another major strategy in my confidence-building system has been to

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Why do we seek permission?  - Podcast Highlights

Why do we seek permission? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we address a question from a listener. She wants to become a content creator but is concerned that because she isn't 'qualified'...

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Getting Our House In Order

Getting Our House In Order
Members Public

Last week, I made a mistake at work. My consultant asked me to check the dosing instructions of two anti-psychotic medications that a patient (“Harry”) had been given while he was in Intensive Care, and that he needed to be weaned off now that he was on our normal ward.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Ali's Journey on YouTube [Inbetweenasode] - Podcast Highlights

Ali's Journey on YouTube [Inbetweenasode] - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

This 'inbetweenasode' is an interview that Ali did on the Social Colours podcast: 'Journey of a Creator'.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
What does it mean to be authentic? - Podcast Highlights

What does it mean to be authentic? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we talk about authenticity and analyse what it means to be your authentic self.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
How To Deal With Rejection - Podcast Highlights

How To Deal With Rejection - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode we look at rejection - how we've each reacted to rejections in our lives and why some rejections affect us more than others.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Our own worst critics

Our own worst critics
Members Public

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about The Reitoff Principle for Productivity. At the time, I thought the post was a load of shite - I had to come up with something for that week, and couldn’t think of anything, so I pulled a few paragraphs out

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
How much of our behaviour is status-seeking? - Podcast Highlights

How much of our behaviour is status-seeking? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we discuss the concept of social status, and wonder to what extent the signalling of status contributes to our own behaviours.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
The joys of handwriting

The joys of handwriting
Members Public

I recently bought a Leuchtterm notebook (after hearing Neil Gaiman’s recommendation). I’ve been using it extensively for the past 3 days, and I’m very pleasantly surprised at the ideas I’ve generated and refined through just writing in it. Yesterday for example, I was sitting at the

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
How can we get into the habit of reading? - Podcast Highlights

How can we get into the habit of reading? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we discuss the challenges of developing a reading habit and how we should approach reading both fiction and non-fiction books...

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
High-leverage housekeeping

High-leverage housekeeping
Members Public

This week, my brother Taimur (who I host a weekly podcast with in case you haven’t heard) introduced me to the idea of high-leverage housekeeping. I like the idea, and I’m going to start using it more in my own life. Here’s how he introduces it. —– Work

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Why do we struggle with motivation? - Podcast Highlights

Why do we struggle with motivation? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we talk about motivation and Ali tries to construct a grand theory to explain how we can identify and overcome the issues of motivation.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
3 minutes vs 3 months

3 minutes vs 3 months
Members Public

For the past 3 months, I’ve had an item on my to-do list that’s been taking up mental space and weighing me down emotionally. That item was to create this year’s Google Ads campaigns my side-business. Quick background - Since 2013, I’ve been running a company

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
What makes an awkward silence? - Podcast Highlights

What makes an awkward silence? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we talk about awkward silences, why we think they happen, how we can stop them happening and whether we should stop them happening at all.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Time management, motivation, productivity etc [Inbetweenasode] - Podcast Highlights

Time management, motivation, productivity etc [Inbetweenasode] - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this Inbetweenasode, Ali answers various questions relating to motivation, productivity, time management and that sort of stuff

Taimur Abdaal
Podcast
The Reitoff Principle for Productivity

The Reitoff Principle for Productivity
Members Public

As you might know, I’m a big fan of productivity, consistency, discipline and buzzwords. Often however, I find myself in a place where I can’t fully enjoy myself because I have a certain guilt hanging over me that I should be doing something ‘productive’ instead. I’d like

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Productivity
How should we take advice? - Podcast Highlights

How should we take advice? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we discuss some of the feedback we've got about the podcast so far and wonder to what extent we should change things up based on advice. We then generalise this to general life - how should we take advice effectively without over-correcting our internal models based on

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Why everything is super low risk

Why everything is super low risk
Members Public

This week, I was listening to an episode of Gary Vaynerchuk’s podcast, in which he was interviewing Tim Ferriss. They were answering phone calls from listeners, many of whom were interesting in starting or growing their own businesses. A common thread in questions was the concern about the ‘risky’

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Entrepreneurship
Changing our perspective to make life more pleasant

Changing our perspective to make life more pleasant
Members Public

You know that feeling when you come across something on the Internet and it immediately resonates with you and you think of 100 different applications for it? Well I had that feeling after reading one of Seth Godin’s daily blog posts this week. Here’s what he says: Deadlines

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
Why do we love our jobs? - Podcast Highlights

Why do we love our jobs? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

This is the first episode that features a guest! Paul Tern, a Cambridge-grad junior doctor who works in London, joins the discussion about why we love our jobs.

Taimur Abdaal
Podcast
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
Why should you invest in a good kitchen bin? - Podcast Highlights

Why should you invest in a good kitchen bin? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we explore "Measure" — a mental model for spending time and money more effectively. Based on this framework, we conclude that everyone should get a good kitchen bin and a voice coach, and that Ali probably shouldn't get a Tesla.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
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
Why do we struggle with consistency? - Podcast Highlights

Why do we struggle with consistency? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode we discuss how consistency in almost every domain is a super power, and come to a few conclusions about what helps us be more consistent with things like morning routines, gym workouts and writing practices.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Why do we hate networking events? - Podcast Highlights

Why do we hate networking events? - Podcast Highlights
Members Public

In this episode, we discuss why we hate networking events but love group holidays, and we try and figure out how to better connect with our fellow human beings.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
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

Why are we scared to put ourselves out there?
Members Public

In this episode, we discuss why we were (once) scared to put ourselves out there and how we overcame that fear.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Why do we like to be correct?
Members Public

In this pilot episode of Not Overthinking, we discuss our reasons for starting the podcast, and then have a chat about why we feel the urge to be correct in everyday conversation.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
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

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

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
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 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
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
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
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
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

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
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?

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
The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman

The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman
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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 Beginner's Mindset

The Beginner's Mindset
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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
A simple change to my nighttime routine

A simple change to my nighttime routine
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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
"I'm not very good at languages"

"I'm not very good at languages"
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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
Journey before destination

Journey before destination
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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
Overthinking

Overthinking
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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

Changing direction
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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

Be content to be thought foolish
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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?
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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
"It's busy, but really fun"

"It's busy, but really fun"
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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

The Trichotomy of Control
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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

Don't believe the hype
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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
The Parable of the Pottery Class

The Parable of the Pottery Class
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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
A whole lot better

A whole lot better
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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
How to get stuff done

How to get stuff done
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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
Hustle vs Chill

Hustle vs Chill
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
Time Management

Time Management
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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

The Antidote to Fear
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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
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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
Motivation is a myth

Motivation is a myth
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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
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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
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
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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
Seventy excuses

Seventy excuses
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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
Time vs Money

Time vs Money
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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
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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
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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