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”

A Year in Review: 2019

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

Why Am I Writing This?

Ever since 2016, I started doing these yearly reviews to reflect on the past year. These are mostly for myself as a way to remember what has happened, what I have achieved, and prepare for the upcoming year. It is also a great place for me to express my gratitude for everything in the past year, as gratitude is a huge cornerstone of my reflection process.

For those of you who know me personally, you may know that I do daily, weekly, and monthly versions of this reflection process. I have daily journals to record my activities and thoughts of the day. I have a weekly review where I examine the highlights of my week as well as track my progress on personal goals. My 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 those.

That’s also why it takes me almost 2 months to prepare this yearly post (mostly due to procrastination lol). I comb through my reflections to summarize my year into main highlights and share insights I’ve learned throughout the year.

My intent with making this public is to share what I’ve been up to, share some of my wins, be honest about my losses, keep myself accountable for my big goals, and hopefully inspire others to adopt a mindset of gratitude and reflection in their own lives.

Past Years In Review:

This year, I’ve also separated out my 2019 Life Lessons section into a separate post as a sort of addendum to this main post. Feel free to check it out if you want to hear about what I’ve learned this past year, both from books and from learning the hard way: experience.

Continue reading “A Year in Review: 2019”

Book notes: The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga

The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga book summary review and key ideas.

The Courage to Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change Your Life, and Achieve Real Happiness by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga

Synopsis:

The Courage to Be Disliked, already an enormous best seller in Asia with more than 3.5 million copies sold, demonstrates how to unlock the power within yourself to be the person you truly want to be.

Using the theories of Alfred Adler, one of the three giants of 20th-century psychology, The Courage to Be Disliked follows an illuminating conversation between a philosopher and a young man. The philosopher explains to his pupil how each of us is able to determine our own life, free from the shackles of past experiences, doubts, and the expectations of others. It’s a way of thinking that is deeply liberating, allowing us to develop the courage to change and to ignore the limitations that we and other people have placed on us. The result is a book that is both highly accessible and profound in its importance. Millions have already read and benefited from its wisdom. This truly life-changing audiobook will help you declutter your mind of harmful thoughts and attitudes, helping you to make a lasting change, achieve real happiness, and find success.” -Audible

Continue reading “Book notes: The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga”

A Year in Review: 2018

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

Why Am I Writing This?

Since 2016, I’ve been committed to doing a full-year retrospective and review on the highlights of the year, some fun stats, what I’m grateful for, and goals that I’ve had. I also finish it off with goals for the coming year as well as some of the biggest life lessons learned.

While this is very personal, I really hope that whoever reads this gets some value out of following my journey, whichever part that may be.

Check out past years if interested:

Continue reading “A Year in Review: 2018”

TOTD: Why I Love Mondays

Why Mondays aren’t the worst day of the week, at least to me.

Most people love Fridays & Saturdays but typically hate Mondays or Tuesdays.

My reasons why I love the beginning of the week and why reframing your thoughts this way can be beneficial.

I’m curious: What is your favorite day of the week and why?

As usual, leave me a comment below! I love reading and responding to you all.

If you have any topics you want me to discuss or cover, let me know!

TOTD: Would you rather be stuck in traffic or under a tree?

Why perspective goes a long way.

Would you rather be stuck in traffic caused by a fallen tree, or be the one who’s car had the tree fall on?

This talk was spurred obviously by my frustratingly delayed commute to work. Given my commute is only about 8 minutes, but it turned into 25 minutes, which really annoyed me.

Until I got closer to the reason why there was traffic, and then instantly I changed my attitude. I would rather be in traffic than have my car totaled by a fallen tree.

I think the key idea here is this: there’s always something worse that could have happened.

Also that #gratitude goes a long way in how you see your day going. Whether you’re having a good day or a bad day is soley dependent upon your attitude or mindset.

TOTD: When People Complain About Walking Far

How perspective can change your reality.

The other day I was talking to a friend who works at both as a nurse, and at milk tea shop part-time.

It made me realize that perspective is a powerful thing.

A bit of perspective can dramatically change our experience. Add up those experiences and over time we have a happier life.

What do you think? How has gratitude played a part in your life?

Leave a comment and let me know, I read and respond to every comment 🙂

TOTD: People Who Get Offended Easily

“Those who get offended easily should be offended more often”

Counter-cultural idea: Nobody can offend you, it’s your choice to be offended. When we get offended easily, it’s a sign that we’re either taking something personally or taking things too seriously.

I have to remind myself that when someone says something “offensive” to me or about me, it reveals more about them and their faults rather than myself.

A perfect example: check out the comments section on my original Facebook post. Someone who saw my video got offended by what I was saying and took it down a different rabbit hole.

He interpreted it as being complacent when there is an injustice happening (such as bigotry, racism, etc). This was definitely NOT the spirit or intention of the video.

In my observation, he was noticeably annoyed by the idea and was probably looking to start a fight and demonstrate his intellectual prowess and moral high ground. He also tagged his friend for backup, which seemed to be intended to try and “win” this argument.

While it would have been easy for me to take it personally and attack back, I rewatched my video and took my own advice. I understood where he was coming from, and even though he diverged from the spirit of the idea, I knew this wasn’t a battle I needed to try and “win”.

Instead, I chose to end the discussion with acceptanceempathy, and gratitude for him and his beliefs.

To be completely honest, when I first started reading the thread and the attacks, my heart rate increased as an involuntary “fight or flight” reaction took place in my mind/body. However, I took a second to listen, understand, and calmly formulate my best response.

And in retrospect, I thought it was ironic and hilarious that someone got offended by my video about not getting offended and how you control your own emotional response to things.

We should learn from those who can laugh at themselves easily and not take things personally. These people are almost always much happier.

Even for me, this is a work in progress. And this was such a beautifully-timed challenge for me to face and apply my own advice.

Let me know your thoughts! Do you agree? Disagree?

Originally posted on 7/26/18 on Facebook here.