A culture doc (work in progress.)

In an attempt to make my life's efforts more clear, I've decided to take some time and outline some of my own core values and purpose in this living, breathing, public blog post. Think of this as a culture doc—somewhat like this one by the wonderful folks at Book in a Box here in Austin.

This is not comprehensive, I'm sure I will add more to it in the future, and I'll probably be never fully satisfied with it. Nonetheless, here are some of my core values, listed in no particular order and currently with no particular organization.

Here are some things you should do:

Be benevolent.

Simply put, do things for good and do those good things for others. Help others in ways that you would like to be helped.

The world is yours. 

Once you realize that everything inside and of the world was created by other humans just like you, the world becomes something that you can be a part of. Just like everyone else did.

Start with why.

Know your purpose, even if it's vague at first.


This doesn't mean simple-minded, just simple. Why complicate things when you don't have to? If it's too difficult to explain to others, then you've complicated it too much.


This is strongly connected to being benevolent. Do things that express love for others. Loving others can come in many different forms. For me, I can love others through my work. I should never lose sight of that as a goal.


Yield to others relentlessly, and never believe that you are the smartest man in the room. You are not the best, brightest, most brilliant person, and you should not even aspire to be in a selfish manner. Yield to others and be unpretentious in your pursuits.


Stagnation happens when you cease to learn. When you cease to learn, you die. Simple enough? Don't stop learning until you go to the grave and you can no longer learn anymore.


Have no ulterior motives and be righteously honest in all situations. In most situations, pure honesty/transparency will work. In the rest of those cases, righteous honesty works—not dishonesty.


Pride yourself on what you say no to. Don't hesitate to say no to good so that you may say yes to great.

Do your job.

Whatever it is, do it with all your heart.

Fold more.

Just because you put money into the hand earlier doesn't mean you have to keep playing.

Put the weed in the bag.

Returns are for tomorrow, the work is for today.

Value learning above all.

If you are presented an opportunity to learn, take it. Even if there's no other reason to take the opportunity.

DNT: Do Not Talk.

This is a good default state—silence.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and nothing else.

If you delight yourself in  anything else, it can be taken away. Don't place your happiness in possessions or anything of this world.

Be wrong more so you're not more wrong.

It's okay to be wrong and make mistakes because you'll learn and won't make the same mistakes in the future. 

Provide value.

Put aside all vanity and think about how you can live a purpose-filled life by providing value to others.


Here are some things you should be:


Like Bill Belichick, be very steady in your emotions. This is not to say that you should aim to be emotionless, but don't let the outside world affect your reason and your temperament.


Those who "think different" are arguably the most important people in this world. Embrace those who think differently than you, and remain steadfast in your beliefs when you think differently than others.


Though clinical insanity would be a bad thing, if people aren't calling you crazy for how hard you work or your focus on your purpose, then you need to step it up.

A leader.

Take that role when it's appropriate and embrace your position by leading others to better places.


From Da Vinci you learned to ask questions and ponder more than necessary—you'll never stop learning if you never stop asking questions.


Here are some things you should live by:

There's no shame in no idea.

Do the work today that will turn into serendipity tomorrow.

It's always morning.

Don't let your day get ruined at any point. It can always be a new day if you start fresh, look at the world and say, "Good morning."

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Have some common sense.

For what?

When you're frustrated, emotional, angry...ask yourself, what are you solving with that?

Honesty goes both ways.

If you're willing to call out something horrible, you have to be willing to praise what's great.

No person, place, or thing is beneath you.

No matter your stature, income, or title, nothing is beneath you. For that matter, nothing is above you, either.

You will die.

There's no reason to be afraid of death—it should be your greatest motivator. You don't have forever, so cut out all distractions and use your time here industriously.

The obstacle is the way.

The difference between a bad day and a good one is your perception. Perceive obstacles you must face as the path you have to go on.

Ego is the enemy.

As you grow, do more, and become more successful, you will be tempted by ego to love yourself more than others. Don't let this happen.

Leaders eat last.

And for this reason you eat last. Put others before yourself always and be a servant before you are a leader.

The best time was yesterday, the second best time is today.

It's never too late to get started, and if you haven't been doing something, don't stop yourself by pitying yourself.