Tag Archives: josh waitzkin

Seeking Tribe #11: Good Vibes and Gratitude


What if we started every day with gratitude?

Many of us just celebrated Thanksgiving. For some, this may have been the first year that we didn’t celebrate with our family (this was the case for me, out of an abundance of caution).

Personally, I love Thanksgiving. I think it’s great that we have a national ritual focused on expressing gratitude and sharing food with loved ones. It was weird to not celebrate with my family but, like with many things in 2020, the absence of what’s normal emphasized its value. It’s easy to take many of the most meaningful experiences in life for granted.

This has been a strange year and gratitude has been critical for persevering through it all. If you’ve been having a tough time over the last few weeks (or not), consider doubling-down on gratitude in whatever way makes sense for your situation.


  • Donating to a local food bank to help those who are struggling to meet their basic needs
  • Writing out a list of relationships and amenities that you are grateful for (reach out to some of these people!)
  • Tipping more than 20% for delivery, ride-shares, etc.
  • Pausing to appreciate how wonderful every day experiences are: wake up to watch the sun rise just because, stare in awe at the shelves in Costco like you’ve never been there before, take a deep breath and smile like someone just told you that you’re having a good hair day

Life is hard. Regardless of if it’s particularly good or bad right now, being grateful for what’s going well can enable you to create moments of peace. 

I hope that everyone of you can find a way to consciously celebrate and affirm life. I would love to receive replies about what you’re feeling grateful for!

The Best of my Recent Reads:

  • “I don’t believe in revolutions. I live here now, with the cows and goats. What I see out there, where you live, when my iPhone reception is good, is a kind of cosplay, which shows us that the wishful divide between “online” and “real life” is no longer real. The machines ate us, whether in the form of massive multi-player-role playing games that advertise themselves as a form of politics, or online platforms that stole everyone’s family pictures under the guise of greater social connectedness.” from Year Zero by David Samuels

    Highly provocative piece criticizing our extremely online zeitgeist and the accelerating consolidation of power by technology companies

    Thanks, Joseph Keegin for the recommendation, it’s a lot to process.
  • “Those who excel are those who maximize each moment’s creative potential — for these masters of living, presence to the day-to-day learning process is akin to the purity of focus others dream of achieving in rare climactic moments where everything is on the line…

    The secret is that everything is always on the line.” from The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin

I hope you find opportunities to appreciate the little things this week. Please don’t forget to share, if you feel like it!

As always, thank you for reading and for the lovely replies.

This post was initially sent on November 29th, 2020 as part of an early prototype of my newsletter Seeking Tribesubscribe here!


Seeking Tribe #5: Friendship on a Boaring Friday Afternoon


I hope that you’ve had an excellent week and you’re excited to enjoy whatever your weekend has in store.

Today I’m feeling grateful for the opportunities presented by the social internet. While these tools are certainly being used to exacerbate fear, outrage, and polarization, they also enable people from all over the world to develop friendships, organizations, and feelings of belonging.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve created connections between various friends of mine and I’ve been shocked by the end results. One of them ended up getting a job offer, another ended up finding a technical mentor in their rapidly developing field (AR), and everyone involved was glad to have connected.

I have a strong feeling that we can find better ways to use the internet to have a positive impact in others’ lives. Creating connections between our friends who’d love to meet, but don’t know it, seems like a low-risk, high-reward place to start. None of the social platforms do a powerful, systematic job at facilitating these types of connections.

If you have any thoughts on this topic, I’d love to hear them. 

The Best of my Recent Reads:

  • Josh Waitzkin was a chess child prodigy, becoming an International Master at age 16. He then went on to win the 2004 world champion title in, a completely different field, Taiji Push Hands. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about pursuing mastery in their field(s).

  • “There are as many as 9 million feral swine across the U.S., their populations having expanded from about 17 states to at least 39 over the last three decades.” from The Clock Is Ticking on America’s ‘Feral Swine Bomb’ by Diane Peters and Undark in The Atlantic.

    This story is a great example of a complex problem. Ultimately, people will need to cull the swine to prevent them from causing exceptional damage to the ecosystems they invade. However, legalizing the hunting of these boar is believed to have exacerbated their spread and population by pushing them into new territories.

  • [LONG]: What’s Wrong with Social Science and How to Fix It: Reflections After Reading 2578 Papers by Alvaro De MenardThis is a thought-provoking piece on what many have been calling the ‘replication crisis’ in social science. If you’re actively reading and citing literature in the social sciences, you should probably at least skim it (that’s what I did)!

Question for you all:

What types of connections are you looking for? I’d love to create more valuable, mutual relationships between my friends. 

This post was initially sent on October 9th, 2020 as part of an early prototype of my newsletter Seeking Tribesubscribe here!