How to stop snacking at night

If you find yourself snacking a lot at night and want to stop, here’s a simple trick to help you.

Just brush your teeth immediately after finishing dinner. The mere act of brushing your teeth means you won’t try to snack anymore. I mean, you might still be tempted to, but then you’ll have to brush your teeth again.

For this to work, you obviously need to be someone who cares about dental hygiene, and you also have to be somewhat lazy to not want to brush your teeth a second time. If you meet those two conditions, then congratulations! You can now utilize your own inherent laziness to stop snacking at night.

HT Mom

How to appreciate something

I feel like too often, we take things for granted. The only time we appreciate something is when we are deprived of whatever it is we took for granted. The more common or basic that thing is, the more we suffer from its absence.

Take running water, electricity, or the roof over your head for example. We don’t notice how important they are until they’re gone. Can you try a day without running water or electricity? How about a week? What if you had to live without a roof over your head?

That’s the best way to appreciate something, by missing its absence. The next best way? Stop whatever you’re doing and just sit with it.

Stand next to a water faucet and marvel at how the water flows out, or stare at a light bulb and appreciate that you have electricity. Lie in bed and look up at the roof over your head. Imagine how life would be without it, what would happen if it suddenly rains or snows?

What would you do if you didn’t have running water, or electricity, or a roof over your head? Stay with it for a few minutes and just appreciate it while it’s there.

How to appreciate anything

Do you watch sports? Do you understand the flow of the game or what all the athletes are doing? I don’t watch sports so most of the time, I don’t really know what’s going on. Which means I don’t appreciate it as much.

The only way for me to appreciate it is if I understand what’s going on. If only someone was there to explain everything. “See that player over there? Watch how his left leg moves, did you see that?” *Rewinds the tape* “There! See how he steals the ball just like that? That’s called a <insert technical jargon>. ” And so on.

The more you know, the more you appreciate. You might look at a bowl and say it’s just a bowl, but someone who knows fine pottery will tell you all sorts of fine detail about the bowl you didn’t notice, like how it’s crafted, the difficulty in creating the patterns, and all the different techniques used to achieve the outcome. If only you knew, then you would appreciate it so much more.


Inspiration: I randomly stumbled upon this video about a voice trainer commenting/explaining a famous singer’s song (it’s in Japanese so turn on the subtitles and jump straight to 1:55) and gained a whole new level of appreciation for people who can sing.

Mental disability

Consider how difficult life would be if you were born with a mental or genetic disorder like Down syndrome or autism. How do you think society will treat you if they find you “incompetent” at so many things?

Think of all the angry people who yelled at you for your mistakes and not being able to cope or understand “basic” instructions. How terrible would it be for you to struggle to do your best while getting yelled at?

You should be glad if you don’t have a disability. While it might be easy to tell if someone has a physical disability, it’s difficult if it’s a mental disability. There are a lot of people who suffer from it and the person you yelled at yesterday might be one of them.

Life is already hard enough for a lot of people, don’t make it harder by punishing their weakness.

The mistake of defense

They say the best defense is a good offense, which is true. No matter how great your defense is, you won’t be able to win unless you go on the offense.

For a shield to be effective, it has to be big enough and sturdy enough to guard against the sword. But what does the sword need to be effective? It just needs to find a small opening, a tiny gap in the armor, and that’s it.

Going on the defense is inherently a weak move because you’re forced to react. If you go on the offense, you can decide where to strike, and the person on the defense has to follow or risk getting hit. The best defense is to go on the offense and force your opponent to be on the defense, because when your opponent is busy getting attacked, they don’t have the luxury to attack you.

Whenever you find yourself on the defensive side, you’ve already lost half the battle. The only way forward is to be patient and wait for an opportunity to turn the tables. Even the most ferocious attacks don’t last forever, so the moment it stops, take your turn to attack and switch to offense.

As with many endeavors in life, it is nothing more than an elegant dance between offense and defense. To be able to move forward or make progress in anything, you need to stop focusing so much on defense and work on your offense.

Letting others control you

Why do people so easily give up control over themselves? I don’t think many people realize this but the moment you get a little bit too excited about something, that’s when you cede control of yourself to someone else.

Someone said something or made a remark that upsets you? Well, now you can’t stop thinking about it and lost control of your mind.

Tasted something delicious or addictive and can’t stop craving for more? Well, now you can’t stop your desire from manifesting and lost control of your physical self.

Think about it, would you willingly engage in those activities if you weren’t tempted or provoked? No? Then why are you doing it? Isn’t that the very definition of losing control of yourself? Isn’t that what it means to let others control you?

It is surprisingly easy to lose control of yourself without realizing it, so every time you catch yourself doing something stupid, stop and ask yourself. Is this something you would willingly do? Do you really want to be doing this right now?

Save the best for last?

A few days ago, someone made an interesting remark about me during lunchtime.

“You eat your favorite food first? Isn’t it normal to save it for last?”

I absentmindedly chewed for a bit before opening my mouth and answered.

“Yeah.”

I didn’t say it at that time, but I think the better question is:

“Do you prefer to eat your favorite food while it’s hot or cold?”

Do you know what’s cheap?

One very hot day my father came over for a visit. We could not afford air-conditioning, and all three children were crying as my father and I sat there sweating in the 105-degree heat.
My father turned to me and said, “Son, do you know what’s cheap?”

Since I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about, I replied, “No, what?”

“Flowers. Flowers are really cheap. But do you know what’s expensive?” he asked.

Again, I replied, “No, what?”

He said, “Divorce.”

Something about that joke, which was not really a joke, made me realize that I had run out of time. Up until that point, I had not really made any serious choices. I felt like I had unlimited bandwidth and could do everything in life that I wanted to do simultaneously. But his joke made it suddenly clear that by continuing on the course I was on, I might lose my family.

By doing everything, I would fail at the most important thing. It was the first time that I forced myself to look at the world through priorities that were not purely my own. I thought that I could pursue my career, all my interests, and build my family. More important, I always thought about myself first. When you are part of a family or part of a group, that kind of thinking can get you into trouble, and I was in deep trouble.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

I don’t know why

Ignorant is bliss, you can live a long and happy life not knowing why things are the way they are. You don’t have to know everything, you don’t have to know why, you can just ignore it all and focus on doing your thing.

“Science is awesome and I love learning about stuff. Knowledge, to me, is power. Why wouldn’t I want to know more? Why wouldn’t I want to know why?”

Simple. It’s because you only have so much time to learn. Why focus on learning the whys when you can bypass it with pro tips or best practices and get results straight away? Why spend so much of your limited resources learning petty whys when you should be learning the important whys? Why don’t you do just optimize and get stuff done for a change?

“It’s exactly as you said. I don’t know why, and I don’t want to know why.”

A hero or a coward

It’s funny how there’s no midpoint between being a hero and being a coward. You either show up as a hero and fight, or don’t show up and do nothing. Either or, there are no in-betweens.

Most people intentionally choose the path of the coward (myself included) and fail to realize this. They believe that staying silent and not getting involved is the safer and smarter choice. “Not everyone can be a hero, so I’ll just stay quiet and watch from the sidelines.”

They don’t see their choice as choosing to be a coward, they see it as choosing to be “normal.” Whatever that means. Don’t they realize that choosing to be “normal” is the same as choosing to be a coward? I mean, if doing nothing means you’re choosing to be “normal,” then what does it mean to be a coward?

There’s nothing in-between being a hero and being a coward. Either you show up and take action, or you hide and do nothing. So what’s it gonna be?