juliancanderson

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2020 Year in Review


This is my third Year in Review (2018 and 2019). 2020 has been a tough year for most of us. But we all can learn from what happened this year and become better in 2021.

I consider myself lucky. I still have a job up until now and I am healthy. I can spend time with the people that I love and they are healthy too. Here are some things that I’ve learned this year:

Take more (calculated) risks

I am not a risk-taker and looking back I regret that I did not take a risk at all earlier this year. I started to invest around a year ago. Earlier this year the stock market crashed and sadly I did not invest at all. I was putting all my money on my emergency fund (even if I had enough at that time). I am planning to invest more in 2021.

Read more books

I planned to read 2 books a month this year which means a total of 24 books this year. In reality, I read about 10 books this year. The reason why I read fewer books is that I started to take notes from each book and it makes it much longer to finish. And I started to read multiple books at a time, so I have many books that are currently in progress. I believe that reading books and following my curiosities improved my thinking this year. I used to follow people’s recommendations without thinking whether those books will fit my curiosity. I enjoy every book that I am currently reading because these books are within my interest.

Being healthy should be a priority

I was overweight in 2019. I managed to lose 10 kg or 22 pounds in a year. Sadly I gained some weight back later this year. I lose weight by running around 500 km this year. This is a huge achievement for me since I did not like running before. I feel a lot healthier after I lose all that extra weight. I am planning to keep this habit and also develop a more healthy eating habit for 2021.

Things take time

I must say that I am not that patient, I usually rush on things. This year taught me that most things in life take time and I should not rush into it. Being more patient has made me happier this year. Time is more precious than money We can always make more money but the same does not apply to time. We can’t take back time. Sometimes I still waste time and I am not proud of it. Hopefully, I can manage my time better and don’t waste my time on unimportant things.

Being busy does not mean being productive

I started this year being busy. I did not have any priority so I worked on a lot of things and to be honest, some of them were not that important. I had a project earlier this year that I did and regret. I learned that I should be able to say no to those projects that do not align with my long-term goals.

Writing is hard

My goal for 2020 was to write weekly and I did not make it. I ended up writing only a few new blog posts. It was really hard for me to stick to this habit. It felt like I am writing to impress and not to express. This is the one thing that I should change for 2021.

Think for myself

It’s easy to be influenced by other people’s thoughts. I rarely think for myself this year. I mostly consumed everything from books and articles. This essay by Paul Graham, which I read later this year was a wake-up call for me.

if your goal is to discover novel ideas, your motto should not be "do what you love" so much as "do what you're curious about."

The end goal is not to find flaws in the things you're told but to find the new ideas that had been concealed by the broken ones.


I am grateful for 2020, the people that I’m closest with, and the people I met along the way (mostly on Twitter). You guys made my 2020.

My family, Josephine Thallia, my high school friends, my junior high school friends, Ivan Tjandra, Cullin McGrath (my earliest friend on Twitter), Kalani Scarrott, Jan König, Kent de Bruin, Julian Lehr, Jon Borichevskiy, Steven Kneiser, Alexander Hugh Sam, Robin Dechant, Marco-Andrés Camilo, Ben Greenman

Hope you are having a great year ahead!

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