Weekly I/O #7

Top 5 Regrets, Astronaut, Whiplash, The Opposite of Happiness, Alicia Keys

Cheng-Wei Hu | 胡程維
3 min readJan 6, 2021

Weekly I/O is a project where I share my learning Input/Output. Every Sunday, I write an email newsletter with five things I discovered and learned that week.

Sign up here and let me share a curated list of learning Input/Output with you 🎉

The below is extracted from the email sent on Jan 3, 2021.

Here’s a list of what I’m exploring and pondering this week.

1. The top of my todo list

Article: The top of my todo list

This is from Paul Graham’s blog post: The top of my todo list. The blog post mentioned a list of the 5 biggest regrets of the dying made by a palliative care nurse.

The five are

  • I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
  • I wish I’d had the courage to live the life true to myself
  • I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  • I wish I’d had let myself happier
  • I wish I’d kept in touch with my friends

To avoid these mistakes, PG inverted the regrets to five commands:

  • Don’t ignore your dreams
  • Don’t work too much
  • Say what you think
  • Cultivate friendships
  • Be happy.

He put those at the top of the todo list he’s using.

2. Unexpected and Unimaginable Astronaut Story

Podcast: The Unimaginable Path of Jonny Kim. SEAL Combat Medic, Doctor, Astronaut

Jonny Kim is a Navy SEAL, a Harvard MD, a physician, a NASA Astronaut. When first hearing his story, I was expecting he might have a more “born-to-be-an-astronaut” childhood: decided to be an astronaut at 3, straight As, privileged family, etc.

From an almost five hours long podcast from Jocko Willink interviewing Jonny Kim, the astronaut talked about his childhood. Surprisingly, his childhood is a nightmare. His father was abusive and an alcoholic. One night his father almost murdered him and his mom and got gunned down.

The episode is the longest podcast I have listened to, but it is so inspiring to just listen to his talking. In the podcast, he also talked about emotional stories of his deployment in Iraq, where he lost teammates in the war, the struggle of his post-deployment emotion, his life in Harvard Medical School where he woke up at 3:30 and already had three kids.

Despite all the crazy accomplishment, he still considers himself average both physically and mentally.

3. “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job’.” — Whiplash (2014)


Good is the enemy of great.

4. The opposite of happiness is boredom, not sadness. Just like the opposite of love is indifference, not hate.

Book: The 4-Hour Workweek

This is from the book The 4-Hour Workweek. The concept here is similar to what Ray Dalio mentioned in his book Principle, “I also feared boredom and mediocrity much more than I feared failure”.

The author Tim Ferriss also argued that the question people usually ask themselves, “What do I want”, is too imprecise to produce meaningful and actionable answers. “What would excite me” is a better question than “What do I want” or “What are my goals” since excitement is a more practical synonym for happiness.

5. Alicia Keys in Paris | A Take Away Show

Music: Alicia Keys in Paris | A Take Away Show

Alicia Keys in Paris | A Take Away Show is a beautiful live performance in 2016 filming by a production media named La Blogothèque.

That’s it. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy it. If you would like to receive the content every Sunday, sign up below 😎



Cheng-Wei Hu | 胡程維

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