My Weaknesses and Efforts to Remove Them

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Misc weaknesses

  • Minor: Not spending my money in interesting / creative ways
  • I've noticed that when I've spent a while with someone and gotten very relaxed around them, I sometimes start to unthinkingly lose my politeness and will say slightly aggressive things, like making fun of them in stronger-than-usual-teasing way.
    • It's a lot like when I'm very relaxed and talking quickly and I slip into my NJ accent. It may be the same thing happening, except with a different part of my brain. It actually reminds me a lot of the kind of strong teasing that my friends and I would do when I was in elementary / middle / high school.
    • From what I can remember, the people I've done this to have been my friends (Dev, Alok).
    • I remember I did it with Andy when I joked a little too harshly about his playing Pokemon GO.
  • I've noticed that when someone tells me something, I sometimes reflexively say something that prompts them to repeat themselves unnecessarily, like saying "Sure?".

General thoughts

  • I don't reach out to people enough. I want to be like Richard Branson when he was creating his magazine: just call lots of people and build up a list of people who would be interested in collaborating on a project. I want to get better at reaching out to people.
  • I'm losing many hours when I'm on my own, just procrastinating. I don't have this issue when I'm at work.
  • I'm not spending enough time actually coding.
  • I spend too much time writing emails and chats. I should just talk with people instead to get the information I need.
    • Even if you're just writing out what you would normally say, writing is ~3x+ slower than speaking.
    • And when you also factor-in the over-thinking and perfectionism that you apply when writing, that makes it even slower, possibly 10-20x slower.
  • Practice saying "No" to things you'd prefer to do, rather than just following whatever your current inclination is.
    • Example: Hank Paulson is speaking at the GSB and I'd like to go watch, but I'm forcing myself to not go.

Feedback from others

  • Yuri (2011) - IIRC she said I used semicolons too much.  I'm not sure I agree that this is always weakness...maybe I should just limit my use of them depending on the situation: more informal → fewer semicolons.
  • Yang (2015/2016):
    • Strive to be more:
      • reliable
      • communicative
      • proactive
      • better internalize the context around a task
  • Chung (2016): In our 1-on-1 he mentioned that some programmers will fret when they hit a difficult problem and not know how to proceed.  I suspect he thought I was one of those types of programmers.


If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
But make allowance for their doubting too; 
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, 
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, 
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; 
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; 
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
And treat those two impostors just the same; 
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken 
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
And never breathe a word about your loss; 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
To serve your turn long after they are gone, 
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, 
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 
If all men count with you, but none too much; 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, 
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, 
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!