A Year in Review: 2020

Blessings, achievements, goals, and life lessons of the past year

Why Am I Writing This?

It’s that time of year again! I both look forward to and dread this time of year. I enjoy it because I get to reflect on my year as a whole, revisit good memories, lay out my achievements, and express gratitude for all of the blessings in my life.

I don’t enjoy it, however, because it’s such a huge endeavor. That’s why I put it off each year. I think last year I didn’t finish it until the end of March? That’s already 1/4 of the year gone. *facepalm*

As of this writing, it’s almost the end of February. I only put it off this time because I wanted to catch up with my January book notes before getting started on this. (See my most recent book notes: The Autobiography of Malcolm X which is a fantastic read. I highly recommend it!)

And now that I’m caught up, I have no other excuses haha.

2020 Has Been One Heck of a Year

I would be remiss if I didn’t mentioned what an unprecedented year 2020 has been. Not only did we have a global pandemic that claimed a lot of lives, completely tanked the economy, and halted travel around the world, but it was also a time of social unrest. The BLM movement gained momentum in response to police brutality, and racism was stoked by white supremacists supported by arguably the worst president in modern U.S. history, Donald Trump.

This year forced us as people to learn how to cope with adversity and adapt to hardships many of us have never experienced before. Unfortunately, some of us had to also deal with the loss of family, friends, careers, and overall a sense of security.

While I’m grateful that none of my immediate circle of family and friends have gotten sick, I do know people who have lost loved ones. But as we wrap up the 1st quarter of the year with several vaccines being distributed, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. They’re projecting that by May, there will be enough doses for all adults in the country. So hopefully I’ll be able to travel and fly to the Bay Area and visit family.

For me personally, this year has been a year of creative growth, deeper personal connections, and honing in on developing my skills. But I’ll go over these later on in this post.

A Tradition Since 2016

Since 2016, I’ve been doing these yearly reviews mainly for my own records. However, these reflections may also be beneficial to others, so I write them with the intention of a public audience reading them.

For those who don’t know, I do daily, weekly, and monthly versions of this reflection process.

  • Daily journal entries – to record my activities and thoughts for each
  • Weekly reviews – I examine the highlights of my week as well as track my progress on personal projects
  • Monthly retrospectives – focus mostly on big highlights and life lessons I’ve learned that month

This yearly reflection is a culmination of all three of these at a higher level.

Writing this reflection is an arduous process because I have to comb through all my reflections and synthesize them into something like an annual report.

The reason I make this public is to

  • Share with my friends and family what I’ve been up to
  • Keep myself accountable with my big goals
  • Share the life lessons I’ve learned along the way
  • Hopefully inspire others to adopt a mindset of gratitude and illustrate the value of continuous self-reflection

Past Years In Review:

This year, I’ve also separated out my 2020 Life Lessons section into a separate post as a sort of addendum to this main post.

Continue reading “A Year in Review: 2020”

2020 Year in Review: Life Lessons on Success, Relationships, and Well-Being

What 202 has taught me about success, people, and my well-being.

The best way to reflect is to sit on a couple of stools in a park while dressed like a flower boy in a wedding

At the end of every “Year in Review” mega-post, I compile a list of all the major Life Lessons I’ve learned that year. Last year, I started the tradition of separating this into a separate post from the main 2020 Year In Review post.

In compiling these lessons, I noticed they fell into 3 major categories and have grouped them accordingly:

  • Career & Success
  • People & Relationships
  • Health & Well-Being

Feel free to skip to the sections most interesting or relevant to you. Or just go through them all if you’re feeling in the mood.

Continue reading “2020 Year in Review: Life Lessons on Success, Relationships, and Well-Being”

Book notes: The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X book summary review and key ideas.

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

Synopsis:

“Experience a bold take on this classic autobiography as it’s performed by Oscar-nominated Laurence Fishburne. In this searing classic autobiography, originally published in 1965, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and Black empowerment activist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Human Rights movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential for anyone who wants to understand the African-American experience and America as a whole.” -Audible


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Book notes: Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld

Is This Anything by Jerry Seinfeld book summary review and key ideas.

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Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld

Synopsis:

“Since his first performance at the legendary New York nightclub “Catch a Rising Star” as a 21-year-old college student in fall of 1975, Jerry Seinfeld has written his own material and saved everything. “Whenever I came up with a funny bit, whether it happened on a stage, in a conversation, or working it out on my preferred canvas, the big yellow legal pad, I kept it in one of those old school accordion folders,” Seinfeld writes. “So I have everything I thought was worth saving from 45 years of hacking away at this for all I was worth.” 

For this book, Jerry Seinfeld has selected his favorite material, organized decade by decade. In minute after hilarious minute, one brilliantly crafted observation after another, listeners will witness the evolution of one of the great comedians of our time and gain new insights into the thrilling but unforgiving art of writing stand-up comedy.” -Audible


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Book notes: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi book summary review and key ideas.

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How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Synopsis:

From the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a “groundbreaking” (Time) approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society – and in ourselves. 

“The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.” (The New York Times

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism – and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes listeners through a widening circle of antiracist ideas – from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities – that will help listeners see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.” -Audible


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Book notes: Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey book summary review and key ideas.

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Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Synopsis:

From the Academy Award-winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.

“Unflinchingly honest and remarkably candid, Matthew McConaughey’s book invites us to grapple with the lessons of his life as he did – and to see that the point was never to win, but to understand.” (Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck)

I’ve been in this life for 50 years, been trying to work out its riddle for 42, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last 35. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me. 

Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries…I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges – how to get relative with the inevitable – you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights”… It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights – and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green, too. Good luck.” -Audible


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Book notes: Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker

Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker book summary review and key ideas.

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Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker

Synopsis:

“”Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves – their strengths, their values, and how they best perform.” -Peter F. Drucker

Throughout history, people had little need to manage their careers – they were born into their stations in life or, in the recent past, they relied on their companies to chart their career paths. But times have drastically changed. Today we must all learn to manage ourselves.

It may seem obvious that people achieve results by doing what they are good at and by working in ways that fit their abilities. But, Drucker says, very few people actually know – let alone take advantage of – their fundamental strengths.

Today’s successful careers are not planned out in advance. They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they have asked themselves those questions and have rigorously assessed their unique characteristics.” -Audible


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Book notes: Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer

Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer book summary review and key ideas.

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Off to Be the Wizard: Magic 2.0, Book 1 by Scott Meyer

Synopsis:

“Martin Banks is just a normal guy who has made an abnormal discovery: he can manipulate reality, thanks to reality being nothing more than a computer program. With every use of this ability, though, Martin finds his little “tweaks” have not escaped notice. Rather than face prosecution, he decides instead to travel back in time to the Middle Ages and pose as a wizard.

What could possibly go wrong?

An American hacker in King Arthur’s court, Martin must now train to become a full-fledged master of his powers, discover the truth behind the ancient wizard Merlin…and not, y’know, die or anything.” -Audible



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