Happy 2020! I didn’t write a mid-year update for 2019 because I was putting in crazy 16 hour days, under cyber-attack, and just trying my best to stay afloat. It was insanely tough and there wasn’t much to say other than it fucking sucked. But I got through it and here I am reflecting not only on the past year but the past Decade as well.
A year ago I was terrified of leaving my job to work full-time on mailfloss. At the time it wasn’t doing a whole lot in revenue, had a high churn rate, and a ton of bugs. Mentally, I felt really isolated, unprepared and alone, but in retrospect, it was absolutely the right thing to do. It’s been incredibly challenging at times, but nothing in my life has ever felt so rewarding, either.
2019 gave me a glimpse of a new life and what’s possible. Walking into the new year and the new decade I feel like I’ve gained some confidence back and know that everything is going to be alright.
I spent half the year in Canada and half the year in Thailand. There was one issue with Thailand, and that was the fact that I didn’t work out at all. This is horrible and something I need to fix. I’ve been doing double duty since coming back to Canada for the past month and it’s really made a difference in my size and leanness, but it’s also starting to nag on my joints a bit, especially my elbows.
The good news is I’ll be heading to South America for 3 months starting next week, which was my original plan in 2018. I’ll give my elbows a break from the daily grind for a few weeks, but then I’ll still need to get into a bodyweight routine of some sort, or end up with a dad bod again, which happened this year but thankfully is now under control.
My Spanish will be put to the test while in South America, which is exactly what I need. I had a tutor for over a year and still feel like my Spanish isn’t up to snuff, which is frustrating but is what it is. I feel like I’ll be able to get by without too much trouble, but we’ll see once I get there.
I read 23 books this year and the one that I recommend the most was the first one I finished – Atomic Habits. It’s a blueprint to better habits and really helped my productivity shoot through the roof, eliminate some nasty habits and get better at sticking with good ones.
Some lessons I’ve learned and re-learned from the past 10 years include:
Consistency is everything. Slow and steady wins the race. The tortoise beats the hare 9/10 times.
Don’t tolerate toxic people. Friends, family, SOs, classmates or coworkers, it doesn’t matter. If they continuously disrespect you and don’t support you then get rid of them. You will be objectively happier and better off once they’re out of your life.
Nobody gives a shit about you and nobody owes you anything. Don’t cry about it, this is empowering. You can do anything. Get after it.
Friendships come and go in cycles. Life changes, people get married, have kids, move away. Don’t hate, accept it. You can’t force and beg people to be in your life. If it was meant to be, so be it. You never know when you’ll reconnect with old ones.
Be cautious of the “isms” and worship nobody, no matter how great you think they might be.
Respect everyone until they give you a reason not to.
Be kind, even to those who don’t reciprocate.
Effectiveness beats efficiency, but ideally, you’d want to be efficient at the effective Stuff.
Be micro-impatient, and macro-patient. H/t to Gary V for this one. Meaning go fast and hard short-term so you can reap the rewards long-term. But they don’t come overnight.
Sleep well so you feel great and can perform well.
Kaizen – try to continuously improve, always.
1% improvements add up quickly.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, but don’t underestimate them either.
Believe in yourself, even when nobody else does.
Don’t forget to breathe. This is especially important when shit is hitting the fan.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially if you need it.
Think for yourself and don’t believe everything you read or see.
Balance is still over-rated. Especially when it’s ill-defined.
Just because you love something doesn’t mean it’s good for you. This includes friends and hobbies. And cheeseburgers.
Try to full-ass stuff rather than half-ass stuff.
Travel more. (side note: Instagram doesn’t need to know)
Put away your phone. It’s alright.
Looking back on the past decade, I can say without any doubt that this was by far the toughest decade I have gone through and perhaps ever will go through. I left the corporate world in 2009 and haven’t looked back, but nothing turned out the way I envisioned it. While my friends got married, bought houses, cars, had kids, got promotions and new jobs, I got none of that. I failed, again and again and again and AGAIN, moved home, was ridiculed and laughed at and wrote off, brushed aside, disrespected, ghosted, and thrown shade at more times than I’d like to think about.
But it’s all been worth it for what comes next. I genuinely believe 2020 and beyond is mine for the taking, and I’m coming for it all.
Ready for what’s next is a post from Awesomeness Deluxe.