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A reflection on 2022
Key themes from the year
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I love this time of year. The holiday spirit is in the air, and everyone seems more cheerful. People are bundling up to get together with friends and family for a rare get-together. It's the time when people focus on what matters most in life: close relationships and their communities. Folks share their love for one another, share gifts, and, most importantly (for me), food.
I also love this time of year because of how self-reflective it is. I know that people joke around with the idea of "new year's resolutions," but this holiday time is naturally when we have time to reflect on how we want to grow because of the break in work time. A one-week break is long enough to force even the least self-aware people to ponder over their past and ideate about their future.
2022 has brought many changes and learnings to my life. The year started with another month-long lockdown in Toronto during Big 4 accounting season, but it led to me switching into tech, working remotely in foreign countries, and making friends from around the world.
I really enjoyed this year, and I attribute this to putting myself in lucky scenarios, failing multiple times, and being willing to buckle down and learn.
There were times where I felt at peace and had a great handle on my daily habits, routines, and rituals. However, there were other times when life felt very turbulent, but arguably I learnt most from these unstable times.
Reflecting on this year, there were a few key themes that stood out.
Never stop questioning yourself
The pursuit of pain
Here are my thoughts on these themes and how they can impact personal and professional growth.
Coming from a more traditional corporate background, I was conditioned toward idealizing perfection.
Especially with my mathematics and accounting education, I had grown to believe that there is typically one correct answer to most questions. If I worked hard enough, I'd be able to procure the correct answer.
I faced a harsh reality when I moved into a fast-paced environment at a Series B startup. There are too many items on my plate to meticulously problem-solve over each minor issue. I had to learn to embrace failure.
David Friedberg spoke to this on Episode 109 of the All-In Podcast:
The pace of decision making matters far more than the accuracy of decision making.
The rate at which you can make decisions is a far greater predictor of success than the accuracy of the decision you do make.
You have to be willing to make decisions that could result in something not being done correctly, or making a mistake, and even getting embarrassed on the internet.
The reality is that 80% of the results will be conceived via the first 20% of inputs (the Pareto principle). Move quickly, provide a minimum viable solution, and then implement.
Embrace the idea that your solution may fail and that failure is a great result. Further growth comes from iterating the solution from learnings in implementation.
Never stop questioning yourself
I've found that a significant internal battle exists for many of us between what we truly desire and what society tells us to desire. Many of us unintentionally choose the latter when given a choice. Reasons for this can vary: it's easier to fit into the tribe by doing so, it could feel selfish to indulge in our true desires, or we may not know otherwise.
However, consistently choosing the latter leaves a gap. The more frequently the latter is selected, the further we move away from the true desired end goal.
In the book, Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, Héctor García and Francesc Miralles write:
Existential crisis is typical of modern societies in which people do what they are told to do, or what others do, rather than what they want to do.
They often try to fill the gap between what is expected of them and what they want for themselves with economic power or physical pleasure, or by numbing their senses.
This is why it is crucial to question yourself regularly, question the decisions you are making, question your progress, and question what you desire.
On a regular basis (could be weekly, monthly, or quarterly), ask yourself the following questions:
What do I really want?
What really matters in my life right now and are my actions aligned with this?
What important decisions are on the horizon and what are the motives behind these decisions?
Reflecting upon the answers to these questions will ensure that you are aligned closer to the destination that you desire and will fulfill your unique skillset rather than the cookie-cutter path that has been influenced upon you.
The pursuit of pain
This year, I often found that the items I avoided doing out of difficulty were the most crucial to complete. I was preventing pain to the detriment of my growth and learning.
I initially avoided early morning workouts because of the cumbersome pain of waking up early.
I initially avoided cold-calling prospects in my pipeline because it's an awkward conversation.
I initially avoided challenging prospects during sales calls because I feared that they'd pull away if I did so.
Growth does not come without pain and discomfort, so the ability to ruthlessly identify and target pain and attack it with unbiased action is a superpower. You are valuable because you are willing to do the difficult things others don't.
To get better at this, there are two regular practices I am working on adhering to:
Weekly review of what you are putting off out of pain
Daily note of what difficult task (big or small) you are to complete each day
Identifying these items every week and setting a daily ritual to complete these tasks will keep the ball rolling and systemize your problem-crushing ability.
What I’m enjoying right now
White Lotus Season 2 and all of the lovely Italian vibes that come with it
Winter fashion and turtlenecks 🧣❄️
Dance music like this great song from Fred Again! 🕺
Thanks for reading.
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Hope to see you again soon 😊,