A first-principles approach to fulfillment, James Clear’s approach to writing his next book, and how NOT being an expert is an advantage

Building Blocks: Actionable insights to build an Intentional Life

Hey everybody,

Here’s another batch of actionable insights to start your week off right, so you can be more intentional with how you live, work, and create.

Let’s get started.

Insight 1: Start with your Core Value

“Until we take a step back, dig deep into what drives us, and evaluate what’s important to us as an individual, we’ll never know what direction is worthwhile.”

Do you know what you want on a deep, fundamental level–where your life is fully aligned with what you find meaningful, purpose-driven, and fulfilling?

My latest article is an attempt to help you figure out which direction to take your life and business, so they’re more fulfilling.

Let me know what you think!

A First-Principles Approach to Fulfillment: How to Clarify Your Core Value

Insight 2: Positioning is everything

You know who James Clear is.

His first book, Atomic Habits, is a household name.

He’s writing a second book, and in this article, he shares his approach to writing what is all-but-guaranteed to be an international best-seller.

He goes deep on his process for:

  • Coming up with chapter topics
  • Positioning his book to be a best-seller
  • Collecting, organizing, and synthesizing information
  • Compressing ideas for built-in virality
  • Avoiding complacency after major success

My biggest insight from the article?

He spends over a year positioning his book before he starts writing it.

Insight 3: Beginner’s Mind beats expertise sometimes

The “curse of expertise” is when we’re so knowledgeable about a topic, we take it for granted and assume other people have the same foundation of understanding.

This is why it’s sometimes harder to learn from an expert than someone who’s just a few steps ahead of you.

But there’s another aspect to this “curse.”

Because experts understand how nuanced a topic is, they can drown in hypothetical complexities.

In these cases, not knowing much about a topic can be an advantage.

Here’s the story of how Christine Carrillo created a mental health company, without any mental health background.

Question for the Week

What’s your process for approaching new projects to all-but guarantee success?

Share Your Insights

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My goal is to help entrepreneurs be more intentional with how they live, work, and create.

So if you enjoy Building Blocks, I’ll be forever grateful if you help me spread these insights by sharing this issue with other entrepreneurs.

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Let me know what you think and what you’d like to see in future issues. I’m always working to making Building Blocks more valuable for you.

Insights in Action

One of the best ways to clarify your thinking is to write it out.

So if you want to develop your thinking on the Question for the Week, or start applying insights from today’s newsletter, send a tweet to @CoreyWilksPsyD with your thoughts and put #BuildingBlocks at the end so I can find it.

Not ready to “think in public” yet? No problem. You can also reply to this email if you want to share your thoughts with me.

Until next time—memento mori,

Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Executive Coach


Check out the cohort-based course I’m building here.