Updated on Tue 17 May 2022


How to lead a great life, live forever and change the world.

This is a collection of advice on a wide range of topics, updated whenever I think of something new. All of it is from how I live my own life, if you disagree with anything please don't hesitate to drop me an email or comment below.


It's important to realize that while you might not be able to change a situation, you fully control how you feel and think about it. If you are upset or annoyed at something or someone, that's purely your own choice. Yes, they might have done something annoying, but you choose whether to get annoyed in turn or to simply take notice and then move on.

You should be happy and content with your situation by default, being sad or angry should be a rare exception.

Definitely read books about Stoicism if you need help with this, I've recommended some. Gratitude meditation (basically just thinking about the things you are grateful for every day / week) or a [cached]gratitude journal is also helpful.


The impact of regular exercise, both endurance and high intensity, on your mood and general well-being cannot be overstated. Aim to exercise at least three times a week, maintain enough fitness so you can easily run 10k and perform standard calisthenics - pull-ups, push-ups, etc.


Reading is the fastest way of absorbing information, and a great way to learn from other people's experience / mistakes. Aim to read at least a dozen books a year (preferably a lot more), but don't restrict yourself to just books - there are great articles on the web, and in some fields (e.g. Computer Science) it's the best way to get information.

For my personal recommendations, see reading


Improving your reasoning ability is probably the best investment you can make. Read [cached]Rationality: From AI to Zombies and/or the [cached]Less Wrong Sequences (the former is an extended collection of the latter). Check whether you are aware of all [cached]these cognitive concepts.


credit cards

Get a cashback card with no fees and use it to pay whenever you can, always fully pay off your cards to avoid interest charges. Never buy anything that you can't afford or don't actually need. Real cashback is better than air miles or other point systems. For international travel, get a card that charges no fees and converts at the interbank rate.


Keep a reserve of several months' to a year's living expenses in cash and invest any surplus in index funds. Only do this with money you don't need for the next decade, as the market could well be down for that period. Never buy individual stocks, these are too risky, always go for index funds and invest the same amount every month.

Generally Vanguard and BlackRock are the best providers of index funds, the easiest option is just buying Vanguard LifeStrategy with a broker that charges you very low fixed platform and trading fees. For comparison, at the moment I pay around 0.3% for platform, trading and fund costs combined. In many countries, you can now directly open an investment account with Vanguard.

I've also made a presentation about this; for more in-depth advice, [cached]Monevator is very good.


Choose your friends wisely, for they will affect who you are and who you'll become. Friends should push you to go further, have qualities that you are still trying to build. Stay away from negative or lazy people if you intend to achieve much with your life.

As harsh as it seems, free yourself from people that have stopped fulfilling the criteria above. It's fine for them if they are happy with where they are, but that doesn't mean you need to hang out with them.


Store all your important data and passwords in an encrypted file; I use the password manager [cached]KeePassXC. Ideally you want this available on all your devices, the easiest way is to sync with Dropbox or Google Drive. Make sure that you can access this file even if you lose all your devices and while away in a different country (I learned this the hard way!), e.g. a link to it on your blog.



I buy from [cached]Yuuki-Cha and [cached]Ippodo for green / Japanese teas, and [cached]What-Cha for black and oolong teas. See also my blog post.

alcoholic drinks

  • plum wine (umeshu, 梅酒)
  • sake, e.g. dassai
  • ice wine
  • eggnog


Standard recipes and my own favourites. I recommend Liquid Intelligence, The Bar Book and [cached]Cocktail Codex.

Cocktail Kingdom has great jiggers (large, small), strainers (julep, hawthorne) and shaking tins (top, bottom).

In the recipes below, "1 oz" can be whichever measure you have at hand, typically 25 or 30 ml.

  • Tenochtitlan: old fashioned with 1 1/2 oz cognac, 1/2 oz creme de cacao, 2 dash chocolate bitters, 1 star anise; build on large ice
  • Midnight Stinger: 1 oz bourbon, 1 oz fernet, 3/4 oz lemon juice, 3/4 oz simple syrup; shake with ice and serve on crushed ice
  • Gordon's Cup: amazingly refreshing, muddle 4 lime wedges and 4 cucumber wheels in as shaker, add 2 oz gin, 3/4 oz syrup and shake with ice; pour into glass with 4 fresh lime wedges and 4 fresh cucumber wheels, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Mai Tai: 2 oz rum (I prefer dark), 3/4 oz lime juice, 3/4 oz contreau, 1/2 oz orgeat; shake with ice, serve on crushed ice.
  • El Toledano: strong marizpan vibes, 1/2 oz vodka, 3/4 oz disaronno, 1/2 oz orgeat; shake and serve in old fashioned glass, decorate with [cached]mazapan from Toledo.


For general recipes, I cannot recommend [cached]Serious Eats highly enough, their recipes are very detailed and well tested. [cached]Kenji López-Alt is especially amazing, I love his scientific approach to cooking, and he has great books as well, The Food Lab and The Wok.


Preferrably raw, either as sushi (寿司), sashimi (刺身) or on top of a rice bowl (丼)

  • Tuna, especially fatty
  • Salmon
  • Eel (unagi)
  • Sea Urchin (uni), unappetizing at first sight, but absolutely delicous
  • Sweet Shrimp (amaebi, 甘えび)


  • Arròs negre, the creamy squid cousin of paella
  • Grilled octopus, Galician style


  • Steak, medium rare
  • Jamón ibérico, Chorizo, Morcilla
  • Korean & Japanese style bbq (yakiniku, 焼き肉)
  • Chicken shawarma
  • Burgers

stew & soup


  • [cached]Shakshuka, poached eggs in spicy tomato sauce. Straightforward to make and great for brunch.


  • Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), savory pancake
  • Croquetas
  • Pizza

rice bowls


  • Vollkornbrot
  • Naan
  • Banana nutella crêpe

sweet bites

  • [cached]Mozartknödel (right), sweet dumplings filled with chocolate/nougat/marzipan
  • Sachertorte
  • Pastel de nata
  • Dorayaki
  • Taiyaki
  • Yōkan (great with tea)
  • Warabimochi

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