This is my first annual review. Writing this and reflecting over the last twelve months has shown me how fortunate I am, and for that, I am grateful.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes.
I’ve always had this feeling of being on a higher level of enlightenment than I was the previous year. I sometimes wonder what I was like before this level. I can’t go back to my earlier way of thinking or acting with what I now know. For example, the Pareto principle (80/20 rule) once you know it, you always see it. You can't unsee it again. Then you begin to wonder how you thought of things before knowing the rule.
This year’s level of enlightenment has been astonishing. With all that we have been through collectively and individually, this year has changed us all, in ways we can’t fathom. The effect? A lifetime.
The losses and wins of this year hits differently.
Three of my friends lost either of their parents, which has redefined how I see my parents. Being present and remembering mortality has become regular. Silently chanting Momento Mori now and then.
My year has been surprisingly amazing, nonetheless. I’d set goals and accomplished some but more importantly, was allowing myself to be flexible with plans. The first two months I spent like every typical (or not) student preparing for my penultimate semester examinations. These months weren’t mentally part of the year for me.
After my exams and my project defence, I applied for a content writer opening forwarded by my close friend, Adam.
After exams, my school and all other federal universities went on strike a two-week warning strike, and then we’re still at home months later.
With lockdown across the country, I stay with my extended family*. I enrolled for many online courses and ended up burning with a terrible sleep pattern that compounded the burnout.
After five months with them, I travelled back home. After a long period of doubt, I finally convinced and created my website using Ghost and hosting on Digital Ocean.
Back at home, we had a reunion for the class of 2015. I met with old classmates, ate and lots of laughter.
Things to celebrate
- Improved typing speed from 24 to an average of 34 WPM on 10 fastestfingers in 2 months
- Wrote for 30 days straight on Medium**
- Took two weeks off social media
- Learning German on Duolingo
Aspiration for 2021
- Typing faster: with an average of 60-75 by the end of next year
- Improved proficiency in German: I want to converse in German for 5 minutes with a native.
- More social media breaks
- Looking forward to completing school: With a semester left before the strike, I look forward to leaving school and being hit by the reality of life after school. More importantly, is having a schedule of mine that I have control over.
- Mindful consumption: For me to create quality, I have to consume quality. Taking time and effort to reduce the amount of junk content I consume.
- Building an Email list: The thought of building an email list has been on my radar for a while. I’m looking to have at least 500 subscribers before the year ends.
- Fitness: I returned to playing tennis after a year break and then pandemic had me pause. Next year I intend to get into a tournament that should force me to swing the racquet better.
I’m pretty fit and have a relatively active life, but the gym hasn’t been my go-to place, and I intend to change that. I plan to hire a personal coach if I have space and time. Hopefully, I get to return to combat sport which I’ve left since my primary school soon.
- Launching a guide to stocks: I intend to begin next year with the launch of my product, Stocks Basics on product hunt. It is a beginner’s guide to stocks. For updates on the product and launch date subscribe here.
I’ve decided to work towards long term goals with an interval of 5 years from this year and I don’t intend to share them. They aren’t numerical, more like system goals. This was inspired by the article Growth without Goals which argues that continuous goals or process-driven action are the by-products of long term thinking.
Scott Adams said:
"To put it bluntly, goals are for losers. That’s literally true most of the time. For example, if your goal is to lose ten pounds, you will spend every moment until you reach the goal—if you reach it at all—feeling as if you were short of your goal. In other words, goal-oriented people exist in a state of nearly continuous failure that they hope will be temporary. That feeling wears on you. In time, it becomes heavy and uncomfortable. It might even drive you out of the game… If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of your success until they bore you, or set new goals and reenter the cycle of permanent presuccess failure."
* Thanks to my host and benefactor, also my namesake, Muhammad
** Initially, I sort to write two articles every month for the year, I discovered NaNoWriMo and decided to write in August instead.