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My 2020 Annual Review

This year is something that we all won’t forget, right? 

Following is the quick recap of my 2020, and I will follow the same pattern of annual review from James Clear, with the following questions.

  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn’t go well this year?
  3. What did I learn?

What went well this year?

Given the crazy pandemic year, surprisingly, I was fortunate to have somethings that went great. 

Recognition at work. I got promoted in less than a year of joining as an associate. While I don’t care about what titles have to say, this one made me happy and made me realize that I can excel in the corporate world. 

In the first three months of 2020, I went to work at 6:45 AM and made it a habit of waking up at 5 AM on weekdays. It took a toll on the body, but I was able to do it. 

Hard work. Even though it’s subjective, I measured my progress with real metrics, and I know the days that I have pushed myself more than what my body can handle. 

One thing that I put myself through was coming back from work and hitting the gym in a matter of minutes. I lifted to put on more muscle and successfully put on ~6 pounds in the first quarter of the year. 

Blog. Just after the pandemic started, I needed a way to use my time wisely. I started this blog back in March, and I have tried to understand my writing style and explored different topics. 

It’s not like I get thousands of views every day, but in general, I have my friends who read it, and occasionally some people find my work recommended in their WordPress feed.

Objectivism. Though people discover Ayn Rand in their teens, I started reading her work this year. I was fascinated by some of the ideas.

Some of the ideas that stood out were:

  1. Derive the meaning of life through the creation of value and the source of man’s values is independent thinking.
    1. Values are those things that one considers necessary to drive the person to purposeful, goal-oriented action. Some examples are a man loving education, art, or a particular woman. 
  2. Rand’s theory of selfishness as a virtue (Rational selfishness): the most misinterpreted objectivism idea. 

What didn’t go well this year?

Given that I was working in the middle of the pandemic (New York City), I got tested for Covid in March and tested negative with a pink eye. 

Anxiety. I have never really cared about anxiety or stress until this year. I was waiting for the Covid test results for seven days, and it was the longest time of my life. 

What would you have done when the doctor said you have the virus? Hell, I even remember his exact words, “Buddy, you got the virus.” At that moment, I knew what trauma is, what panic attack is, and what anxiety is. 

Job Security. The idea of losing the job was scary in the middle of the pandemic, and my company was the first to start laying off people to save money. Even though I was a top performer, the idea of losing the job was a nightmare. 

Millions in the world have lost the job and loved ones this year. You or I cannot fathom what it has been like for them. But, we have to remember to fight back and not give up. 

What did I learn?

Some of my major lesson from this year include:

Gratitude. It’s crucial to be grateful for your current life in whatever position you might be in. 

This year made me a believer in positivity and how not to fall for “what ifs.” Some of my what-ifs were: what if I lost the job? What if I get Covid and die alone? 

Learning. People do so many things to enrich their lives, and I figured that learning makes my mind go awe about the uncertainty that surrounds us.

I learned that following a pre-planned to-do list is challenging and requires a massive amount of effort. Through this learning process to make a list, I learned how much energy I can use without burning myself out after going all in on one day. 

Prioritization. We all want to do so many things in life, but we can’t. The time you have is limited.

If you value your time to be $1,000 per hour, would you still be doing the same thing you do every day? I learned this way of thinking from Naval Ravikant

If I cook a meal that takes one hour and comes out as average, can I automate it? I can if the total cost would be less than my hourly rate. 

Similarly, if you want to spend one hour talking to someone, you have to be sure that it helps you enrich your life for the better. Investing time in relationships is like investing in the stock market; the returns will compound over the long run. 

In short, 2020 has been a crazy year, but still, it’s no excuse for not being productive or slacking the life away. That’s it! 

Filed under: Goals

About the Author

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Hi, I'm Vasanthan Kesavan. I started this personal blog in the most tumultuous period in the 21st century. My writing focuses on topics like productivity, leadership, self-improvement, and much more as I keep learning new things every day.

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