A Template for Creating Your Own Codex Vitae

Jason Shen
Mar 25 · 2 min read

I did a Twitter LIVE session with Coach Tony about creating your own Codex Vitae (Book of Life), which he’s done here, and which Buster Benson has done here.

Buster cites as inspiration the novel Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

“And this is the other treasure. Following in the Founder’s footsteps, every member of this fellowship produces his or her own codex vitae, or book of life. It is the task of the unbound. Fedorov, for example, who you know” — he nods to me — “is one of these. When he is finished, he will have poured everything he has learned, all his knowledge, into a book like these.”

Jordan Peterson has written a whole book about 12 rules, John Perry Barlow has 25 adult principles. (Side note, I have not seem to have found many of these with nonmale authors. Please let me know if you are aware of some).

Why do this

Research has shown that writing down your values can be a powerful way to cultivate courage, compassion, and fight off stress. Great for a pandemic!

Research has shown that writing down your values can be a powerful way to cultivate courage, compassion, and fight off stress. Great for a pandemic!

The Psychology of Change: Self-Affirmation and Social Psychological Intervention — Geoffrey Cohen (Stanford) and David K Sherman (UCSB) (The Annual Review of Psychology 2014)

Tony’s recommendation is to copy someone else’s and then fill in the blanks. I believe for something so personal, it’s better not to be influenced by what someone else wrote, so I’ve extracted out Tony’s sections without the content below, and also Buster’s topics underneath that. Feel free to grab those when creating your own.

I’m also going to write my own Codex and either link to it here or link to a piece reflecting on the experience (if I choose not to make it public)

Tony’s Chapters

Chapter One: Philosophy

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

Chapter Two: Personal Systems

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

Chapter Three: Work

Lessons for business, work, and building things.

Chapter Four: People

Beliefs and practices for other people.

Chapter Five: Nitty Gritty

Important habits to take care of the details of life.

Chapter Six: Influences and Recommendations

Best-of and other greats that you would return to and recommend to other people.

Chapter Seven: A Timeline of My Life

Buster’s List of Topics

Jason Shen

Written by

Serial entrepreneur & Asian American advocate. Co-Founder and CEO of Midgame.gg - esports analytics co. TED, Etsy, Stanford, Y Combinator alum. BOS ✈ SF ✈ NYC.

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