My Codex Vitae

I created this Codex Vitae, or book of life, as an exercise within the VIP programme on the website.

It is a collection of beliefs and concepts that inform my decisions and life. It is a work in constant flux; as my understanding changes, so will my beliefs. The purpose of this document is to pull my beliefs into the light where I can question them more effectively and to share philosophies, concepts, tools, and inspiration that have been helpful to me.

Read this with the understanding that you are different than me. The way I live my life is not the way you should live yours. Consider creating your own Codex Vitae. Feel free to copy anything here that is helpful.

A note on how the Codex is structured. You will see pre-decisions under many of the categories. You have probably heard the story about how Steve Jobs wore the same clothes every day. That was a pre-decision; it reduced the burden on his attention, freeing him to focus on more important decisions. I have some, which I have described below.

I have also included some of my aspirations. These are habits that aren’t habits yet. Trying to form too many habits at once dooms you to failure, so I log them as aspirations and tackle them two at a time: one habit to start, and one to stop.

Chapter One: Philosophy

Beliefs, principles and political values that guide everything else in the codex.

Meta-beliefs (beliefs about beliefs)


“Don't wish it was easier, wish you were better.”

Politics and Society


What am I currently doing to overcome these fears?

Chapter Two: Personal Systems

Systems and tactics for getting the most out of your life.





Clothing and Style



Three outfits suit me (and most men):



“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.”




Significant Other


“Get to know your parents; you never know when they'll be gone for good

Be nice to your siblings, they are your best link to your past

And the people most likely to stick with you in the future”


Mental Health

“there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”




Physical Fitness

“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training.

It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing

the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”

Material World

Chapter Three: Work

Lessons for business, work, and building things.


“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”


Leadership and management


Public Speaking