Empowering proactive health

Our weekly e-mail, the TD Digest, curates content with a focus on living an examined life



Past Issues


TD Digest #101 - October 12, 2019



TD Digest #100 - October 5, 2019



  • ARTICLE - The New York Times: How Not to Be Alone by Jonathan Safran Foer - Jonathan's touching op-ed reminds us of the implicit trade-offs we make when connecting via more advanced technologies.

  • BLOG POST - Wait But Why: The Thinking Ladder by Tim Urban - Tim's 'The Story of Us' epic continues, this time with an incredible deep-dive into the different mindsets of knowledge acquisition.

  • ARTICLE - The New York Times: Five Lies Our Culture Tells by David Brooks - Another engaging op-ed from David Brooks advocating for self-transcendence and personal leverage over traditional career success and autonomy.

  • MUSIC - Smash by The Offspring - A classic rock album, and one of my favorites from the angsty teen years.

    "If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between “for” and “against” is the mind’s worst disease." – Sent-ts’an


TD Digest #99 - September 28, 2019


  • PODCAST - The Tim Ferriss Show: Tristan Harris — Fighting Skynet and Firewalling Attention - Tristan is at it again, armed with his core narratives of technological optimism complemented by cynicism for the incentives of the actors who create and control that powerful technology.

  • BOOK - Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (My full Kindle notes) - Yuval's initial pop history opus reveals the tremendous power of shared fictions in humanity.

    "We live in utter certainty about a world that is highly uncertain. Whenever stress comes about through that process, we might be able to downregulate a lot of that stress by just not taking our thoughts and beliefs quite so seriously." ~ Tristan Harris


TD Digest #98 - September 21, 2019


  • RESOURCE - Sensible Living: Reflecting on the Fine Essentials of a Beautiful Life - My ever-evolving framework, principles, and resources for living an examined life.

  • RESOURCE - TSD Ventures Consulting - How I pay the bills and make large-scale impact professionally! We give Proactive Health companies strategic and financial clarity for the best path forward. 2 years and 25 clients in!

  • RESOURCE - TSD Ventures Coaching - How I make 1-1 impact professionally! We help our clients build healthy, fulfilling habits. Definitely does not pay the bills, but incredibly meaningful work.

  • RESOURCE - Key Health & Wellness Behaviors from Research - A snapshot of the handful of key health behaviors that improve productivity across nutrition, exercise, sleep, and mindfulness. Make sure you are doing the basics right! To put it bluntly, fuck silver bullets ;D

  • RESOURCE - Morning Mantras Poster - My current collection of words of wisdom to help me start every day with my desired mindset.

  • RESOURCE - The Habit Digest - A smorgasbord of behavior change nerdiness! If you want to change a habit in your life, I aggregated, curated, and synthesized a ton of research and resources back in 2016.

  • RESOURCE - Applied Mental Health - Practical resources to enhance your emotional and psychological well-being. Mental health seemed stigmatized and complex, so I aggregated and curated a collection of proven tools and providers back in 2017.

  • RESOURCE - Proactive Health Innovation Market Map - My tracker for companies and investors leading the charge in proactive health innovation.

    "The thirst for more sounds comically absurd when you zoom out and see that nothing matters, so it’s about going deep into the zoomed-in life you already lead. Your health, your loved ones, your work, your interests, your desire to help others, your values, your existence." ~ Lawrence Yeo


TD Digest #97 - September 14, 2019


  • BOOK - Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss (My summary) - An incredible book on negotiation that is really a book about empathy, emotions, and self-awareness in disguise.

  • BLOG POST - Wait But Why: A Story of Stories by Tim Urban - A long, beautiful, thoughtful, imaginative, and fun blog post that does an absolutely wonderful job walking through the importance and power of stories in our lives.

  • MUSIC - Shimmy Shimmy Ya by Ol' Dirty Bastard - Raw, unadulterated, classic hip-hop gold.

    "One can only be an exceptional negotiator, and a great person, by both listening and speaking clearly and empathetically; by treating counterparts—and oneself—with dignity and respect; and most of all by being honest about what one wants and what one can—and cannot—do." ~ Chris Voss


TD Digest #96 - September 7, 2019


  • ARTICLE - Farnam Street: The Four Tools of Discipline by Shane Parrish - Shane's short and sweet summary of the primary tools to embolden our discipline, which he positions as a crucial tool for solving problems.

  • VIDEO - Black Mirror: White Christmas by Carl Tibbets - A double whammy thought experiment about both the nature of consciousness and self-hood in hypothetical A.I. copies of us, as well as the consequences of 'blocking' other people completely from our lives.

    "It is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn." ~ Shane Parrish


TD Digest #95 - August 31, 2019


  • BOOK - Chasing My Cure: A Doctor's Race to Turn Hope into Action by Dr. David Fajgenbaum - David suffers from a rare disease that put him on the brink of death multiple times, and he responded by building and leading the infrastructure to research, treat, and cure the very thing that is trying to kill him (and many others).

  • KILL MY CONFIRMATION BIAS - DEPLATFORMING - What resources can you share to help sharpen perspective on deplatforming?

  • BLOG POST - A Guide to Getting Unstuck by Chris Sparks - Chris' piece does a wonderful job highlighting the different opportunities for getting unstuck, along with a large variety of tactics to experiment with.

  • ARTICLE - Aeon: If work dominated your every moment would life be worth living? by Andrew Taggart - An intriguing thought experiment that shines a bright, interrogating spotlight on the impact of prioritizing productivity throughout our lives.

  • BLOG POST - Farnam Street: In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed by Shane Parrish - When we stop to think about it (heresy!), the first-order benefits of speed are vastly outweighed by the second- and third-order costs.

    "Fast is busy, controlling, aggressive, hurried, analytical, stressed, superficial, impatient, active, quantity-over-quality. Slow is the opposite: calm, careful, receptive, still, intuitive, unhurried, patient, reflective, quality-over-quantity. It is about making real and meaningful connections— with people, culture, work, food, everything. The paradox is that Slow does not always mean slow." ~ Shane Parrish


TD Digest #94 - August 24, 2019



TD Digest #93 - August 10, 2019



TD Digest #92 - August 3, 2019


  • BOOK - Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (My full Kindle notes) - Sci-fi novel offering a beautiful, vivid, and fun portrait of human social dynamics in the face of imminent extinction.

"The consequences of not identifying and addressing conflicts and corrosive team dynamics are always dire." ~ Laura Gates


TD Digest #91 - July 27, 2019



TD Digest #90 - July 20, 2019



TD Digest #89 - July 13, 2019



TD Digest #88 - July 6, 2019



TD Digest #87 - June 29, 2019



TD Digest #86 - June 22, 2019



TD Digest #85 - June 15, 2019



TD Digest #84 - June 8, 2019



TD Digest #83 - June 1, 2019



TD Digest #82 - May 25, 2019



TD Digest #81 - May 18, 2019



TD Digest #80 - May 11, 2019



TD Digest #79 - May 4, 2019



  • BOOK - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig (My full Kindle notes) - In the work of our lives, we have the opportunity to embrace choice in how we perceive the world, our guiding values in riding towards our goals, and the baggage we bring along for the ride.

  • MOVIE - Battle Royale by Kinji Fukasaku - The Japanese precursor to The Hunger Games and other movies in the 'dystopian society forces kids to fight to the death' genre.

  • OTHER INTRIGUING CONTENT - Difficult Conversations (Podcast); Feelings (Podcast); Mental Models (Podcast); Empathy (Research); Empathy(Article); Idiosyncrasy Credits (Blog Post); Internet Regulation (Blog Post)

    "Gumption is the psychic gasoline that keeps the whole thing going. If you haven’t got it there’s no way the motorcycle can possibly be fixed. But if you have got it and know how to keep it there’s absolutely no way in this whole world that motorcycle can keep from getting fixed." ~ Robert Pirsig


TD Digest #78 - April 27, 2019



TD Digest #77 - April 20, 2019


  • TOPIC OF INTEREST - CANNABIDIOL (CBD) - CBD is a nonpsychoactive derivative of cannabis that is safe, legal, and clinically proven to be effective for treating epilepsy, with initial research suggesting efficacy for anxiety, insomnia, and pain, too. 

  • BOOK - Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery by Christie Aschwanden (My full Kindle notes) - "Insofar as there exists any magical secret for recovery, sleep is it. The benefits of sleep cannot be overstated. It’s hands-down the most powerful recovery tool known to science."

  • ARTICLE - The New York Times: The Moral Peril of Meritocracy by David Brooks - In our life's journey, we each have the opportunity to transcend the self and our pursuit of success to instead focus on building loving connections and doing meaningful work.

    "If the first mountain is about building up the ego and defining the self, the second is about shedding the ego and dissolving the self. If the first mountain is about acquisition, the second mountain is about contribution." ~ David Brooks


TD Digest #76 - April 13, 2019



TD Digest #75 - April 6, 2019



TD Digest #74 - March 30, 2019


  • BLOG POST - Remains of the Day: Status as a Service (StaaS) by Eugene Wei  - Social media platforms often directly serve our human desire for status by leveraging proof of work and scarcity dynamics.

  • ARTICLE Vulture: How Podcasts Learned to Speak by Adam Sternbergh - Podcasting offers a sense of companionship that is neatly packaged in a recurring audio format.

  • BLOG POST - The Players' Tribune: Letter to My Younger Self by Ray Allen - Our path to success is unique, unsexy, and rife with failure, yet proudly and dutifully walking that path, not just reaching the end, contributes meaningfully to a life well lived.

    "Every day for the rest of your life, you’ll have to choose. Do you want to fit in, or do you want to embark on the lonely pursuit of greatness?" ~ Ray Allen


TD Digest #73 - March 23, 2019


  • BOOK - The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt (My full Kindle Notes) - There are a handful of simple, validated, proactive means for all of us to improve our perception of happiness, both in the moment and ongoing.

  • BOOK (SNIPPET) Model Business Plan from Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson - Business plans can actually be hilarious. Really!

  • BLOG POST Brain Pickings: These Truths: Jill Lepore on How the Shift from Mythology to Science Shaped the Early Dream of Democracy by Maria Popova - The lessons of history, despite the inherent biases in any individual account and the flaws of the decisions made over time, will have so much to teach us if we can observe objectively and inquire with an open mind.

  • ARTICLE Aeon: The growth mindset problem by Carl Hendrick - Translating exciting academic findings into the real world is incredibly hard and faces a few difficult hurdles.

    "[This trend], which everyone knows about, and [that trend], which is so incredibly arcane that you probably didn't know about it until just now, and [this other trend over here] which might seem, at first blush, to be completely unrelated, when all taken together, lead us to the (proprietary, secret, heavily patented, trademarked, and NDAed) insight that we could increase shareholder value by [doing stuff]. We will need $ [a large number] and after [not too long] we will be able to realize an increase in value to $ [an even larger number], unless [hell freezes over in midsummer]." ~ Neal Stephenson


TD Digest #72 - March 16, 2019



TD Digest #71 - March 9, 2019



🔺 TD Digest #70 - March 2, 2019 🔺



TD Digest #69- February 23rd, 2019


  • EXPERIMENT OF THE WEEK -  JIM COLLINS METRICS - Adding two simple metrics to my Life CEO Dashboard, incremental to the current rituals tracked there, can help me stay focused on the right things and enable me to better understand key drivers of my daily happiness.

  • TOPIC OF INTEREST - AMYGDALA HIJACKING - Amygdala hijacking is our "fight or flight" response, but often kicks in unconsciously in non-life-threatening situations. Improved mental hygiene and awareness via therapy and meditation is thought to reduce the frequency and intensity of amygdala hijackings.

  • BOOK - Hiking with Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are by John Kaag (My full Kindle notes) - Discovering and becoming ourselves is an active, ongoing process that occurs as we diligently pursue our highest goals.

  • RESEARCH Annals of Internal Medicine: Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity by Nedeltcheva AV et al. (The University of Chicago) - Insufficient sleep can negatively impact body composition and weight-loss efforts.

  • RESOURCE - Thou Shalt Not Commit Logical Fallacies by The School of Thought  - Understanding how to identify the many flavors of faulty logic will help improve your reasoning and conclusions.

    "No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself" ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


TD Digest #68 - February 16, 2019


  • TOPIC OF INTEREST - DRUG HARM, ADDICTIVENESS, AND CONTROL - Social norms and laws for drugs are not well correlated with their actual harm and addictiveness.

  • ARTICLE - Vox: Intellectual humility: the importance of knowing you might be wrong by Brian Resnick - We all have cognitive blind spots and make mental mistakes, so we ought to caveat our convictions with appropriate curiosity and humility, and reward others who do the same.

  • ARTICLE New York Magazine: America’s New Religions by Andrew Sullivan - Our core human desire for meaning leads everyone to adopt some form of 'religion', whether that is traditional monotheism, a political party, a philosophical framework, or something else entirely.

  • BLOG POST - The Most Important Skill Nobody Taught You by Zat Rana - We have an opportunity to face the fear of boredom and silence, to embrace our solitude and enjoy every single scarce moment that life gives us.

  • BLOG POST - The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson - 'Not giving a fuck' is the opposite of indifference, it is actually caring a lot about a very small number of things, so much so that you do the work necessary despite adversity, risk of failure, and feelings of pride and ego.

    "...we need to be thoughtful in choosing our convictions, be open to adjusting them, seek out their flaws, and never stop being curious about why we believe what we believe." ~ Brian Resnick


TD Digest #67 - February 9, 2019



TD Digest #66 - February 2, 2019



TD Digest - Teddygram - January 26, 2019


  • SPEECH - This is Water by David Foster Wallace -  The subjectivity of society is ubiquitous; and if we learn to pay attention to the nuance, we can see other options and choose choice throughout our lives.

"...if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options." ~ David Foster Wallace


TD Digest - Teddygram - January 19, 2019




TD Digest #65 - January 12, 2019



  • ARTICLE The New Yorker: The Philosopher Redefining Equality by Nathan Heller - The requirements for securing equality and freedom vary significantly based on context, so embracing intellectual flexibility over rigid ideology can lead to greater success more often.

  • BLOG POST - Medium:  Connection Is a Core Human Need, But We Are Terrible at It by Brianna Wiest - We must both show up for others and show up authentically to realize our core human need for connection.

  • VIDEO - Wireless Philosophy: The Problem of Free Will by Richard Holton - Free will is still heavily debated among philosophers, with many fun nuances to explore.

  • MUSIC - Bad Religion - If you create twenty-plus albums over forty years, you'll inevitably bring something awesome into the world.

    "I love my computer | For all you give to me | Predictable errors and no identity | And it's never been quite so easy | I've never been quite so happy | All I need to do is click on you | And we'll be joined | In the most soul-less way | And we'll never | Ever ruin each other's day | 'cause when I'm through I just click | And you just go away" ~ Bad Religion


TD Digest #64 - January 5, 2019



  • DOCUMENTARY - Wild Wild Country by Chapman and Maclain Way  - When groups with different fundamental values come into conflict, the ridiculousness of human dynamics can unfold in unbelievable ways.

  • MOVIE The End of the Tour by James Ponsoldt  - No one is too "smart" or "brilliant" or "aware" to suffer from mental health issues. Embrace a mental health toolkit and do the work, the world is better with you in it and fully alive.

  • ARTICLE TechCrunch: We finally started taking screen time seriously in 2018 by Catherine Shu - As evidence stacks up against screen time, we have opportunities to leverage existing tools and perform self-experiments to optimize our usage for our individual goals and context.

  • BOOK - Man's Search for Meaning by Dr. Viktor Frankl (My revised Kindle notes) - Finding meaning, embracing our freedom to choose, and forgetting ourselves are important keys to a happy life, regardless of external circumstances.

    "The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life." ~ Dr. Viktor Frankl


TD Digest #63 - December 29, 2018


  • TOPIC OF INTEREST - 2018 ANNUAL LETTER (My 2018 letter)


  • BOOK - Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (My full Kindle notes) - We can all unleash our creativity if we get over our fears and diligently do authentic work.

  • BLOG POST Medium: The Unifying Theory of Alcohol by Dan Kieran - All of our consumption choices, regardless of rituals and social norms, can add positively to our lives with thoughtful experimentation and re-framing.

  • MUSIC - Christmas in Hollis by Run-D.M.C. - Christmas makes me long for quality 80's hip-hop juxtaposed with egregiously dorky video production.

    "The essential ingredients for creativity remain exactly the same for everybody: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust—and those elements are universally accessible." ~ Elizabeth Gilbert


TD Digest #62 - December 15, 2018



TD Digest #61 - December 8, 2018



TD Digest #60 - December 1, 2018


  • BOOK - 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (My full Kindle notes) - Accepting the fallibility and limitations of the human animal will enable us to improve our individual and group processes to solve the key challenges of the 21st century.

  • PODCAST On Being: The Difference Between Fixing and Healing with Rachel Naomi Remen by Krista Tippett - Our imperfect, wounded, authentic self is more than enough to heal the world immediately around us.

  • BLOG POST - Reboot: The Gifts of Relationship by Ali Schultz - Our intimate relationships offer tremendous opportunities for growth.

  • MOVIE - Groundhog Day by Harold Ramis - Serving others is one of the easiest (and counter-intuitive) paths to deep joy and meaning.

    "Yet if you want to go deeply into any subject, you need a lot of time, and in particular you need the privilege of wasting time. You need to experiment with unproductive paths, explore dead ends, make space for doubts and boredom, and allow little seeds of insight to slowly grow and blossom. If you cannot afford to waste time, you will never find the truth." ~ Yuval Noah Harari


TD Digest #59 - November 24, 2018


  • DOCUMENTARY Free Solo by Alex Honnold & Jimmy Chin - Human potential is beyond imagination; nature is awe inspiring; and climbing still scares the shit out of me.

  • MEDITATION APP Waking Up by Sam Harris - Sam Harris created a new meditation app that offers a more intellectual and analytical entry point into meditation practice.

  • ARTICLE - Aeon: Can relationship anarchy create a world without heartbreak? by Sophie Hemery - There are myriad ways to construct meaningful relationships, and your personal choices ought to reflect your (and their) needs and goals.

  • BOOK - Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (My full Kindle notes) - Within each of us lives the full spectrum of human nature.

    "You will always feel fear, but over time you will realize the only way to truly manage your fear is to broaden your comfort zone.'' ~ Alex Honnold


TD Digest #57 - November 10, 2018



TD Digest #56 - November 3, 2018



TD Digest #54 - October 20, 2018



TD Digest #52 - October 6, 2018  ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY



TD Digest #50 - September 8, 2018



TD Digest #48 - August 25, 2018



TD Digest #46 - August 11, 2018



🥤 TD Digest #45 - August 4, 2018 🥤



TD Digest #41 - June 30, 2018



TD Digest - Teddygram - June 26, 2018




🕺 TD Digest #40 - June 23, 2018 🕺



TD Digest #39 - June 16, 2018



TD Digest #38 - June 9, 2018



🦒 TD Digest #37 - June 2, 2018 🦒



TD Digest #36 - May 26, 2018



TD Digest #31 - April 21, 2018



TD Digest #30 - April 14, 2018



TD DIGEST #4 - OCtober 13, 2017