About

Hi! I’m David. I write about ideas, strategies, and experiments to improve the way we think.

The tricky thing about changing how you think is that it’s a mostly invisible pursuit. 

Outwardly, my life probably doesn’t look all that different from yours. Here are a few things I don’t have: 

  • Lots of fancy stuff or a palatial home. I live in a one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, so whatever cliché you’re envisioning is probably true. 
  • A business offering $35 E-Books to teach you how to Make Money Online (i.e., sell $35 E-Books). 
  • A feat in the Guinness Book of World Records. I was on TV a couple of times when I was a kid, but alas, I was not born to superstardom. 
  • An influential Instagram account. I forgot my password five years ago and have yet to reset it. 

What I do have is a brain I can be proud of. Let me explain. 

The (mercifully brief) origin story

I grew up in a lovely corner of the US – a place where nearly everyone seemed to have a picket fence, a dog, and 2.5 children. It was a conventional place for conventional lives. 

As I got older, I began to feel constrained by the normality of it all. My hometown wasn’t going to be suitable for Grownup Me – I needed to cut a new path for myself.

I wanted to: 

  • Test my mettle against the smartest, most driven peers in a high-octane career. 
  • Choose where to live based on interest, even if it meant living hundreds or thousands of miles from home. 
  • Have a more fulfilling life than I saw among my friends or in popular culture. 

I didn’t have the terms to describe it then, but I wanted to live life off the default settings. 

To accomplish those things, I realized I would need to change my identity. Thankfully, I didn’t have to adopt an alias. But I did invest significant time into shaping my beliefs, systems, and daily behaviors.

My primary mission in adult life has been to adjust my brain’s factory settings. I’ve conducted hundreds of experiments – big and small – that have upgraded my thinking in dozens of little ways. 

This work has also led me to three cities, five jobs, and eight apartments since graduation. I’ve had a fair amount of success and lots of interesting failures.

What I’m doing

That brings us to the present. Today, I spend my free time reading and writing about how to adjust our brains’ factory settings. I believe this is some of the most critical internal work we can do.

What happens in our lives represents only a small part of how we feel about them. The rest is about how we construct meaning from experience. 

That’s why building an uncommon brain isn’t a nice-to-have for trustafarians with too much time on their hands. Instead, it’s a pursuit that will heavily influence your long-run outcomes and how you feel about them. 

To that end, I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve our brains – not bullshit lifehacks, but timeless principles. 

When I find something interesting, you’ll be the first to know. Well, not the first. I’ll probably tell my girlfriend and parents before I tell you. But you get the picture.

None of us are robots here, and our inner lives don’t exist in a vacuum. I’ll also occasionally rant about random stuff I like – baseball, music, woodworking, 90s movies, etc. 

I hope you enjoy the site. If you’d like to get in touch, shoot me a note or say hello on Twitter