This year has been a roller coaster, but the more I look at things that happened the more I realize I would not have it any other way. Here is what I learned (in no particular order or topic ):
Take Care Of Yourself
No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you care about something, if your body and mind are not in the right place you will be miserable.
This is the one I had to re-learn over and over again. In a fast-paced work environment, people forget to think about anything except work. They try to, as Tim Ferris would say, fill in the void.
Truth is, if you are not sleeping, exercising and eating properly you won't get much done. So make sure you do those. Otherwise, things like depression, headaches, low self-esteem await on the other side.
Quality Trumps Quantity
I take great pride in building stuff. During that process, you usually have a choice to build it fast and in large amounts or to build it slowly but with higher quality.
I learned to stay on the latter side of things and build things slowly but with higher quality.
Yes I do understand in startups you need to move fast and break things, but imagine if you give yourself an extra day or two to think about stuff, write more tests and design better things? In the long run, it will give you much better output then shoveling 24 hours of work into 10 hours.
I've been using Headspace for a long time. It helped me in so many ways I can't even start counting. For a very type A person ( me ) I need something to help me direct my mind and focus on things that matter and meditation really helped me.
Short To Do Lists
I always had very detailed to-do lists. Tried to cram in as much as I can.
But I realized that a lot of those tasks were just me being "busy" and not really moving the needle forward. So I took advice from Tim Ferris and a couple of other guys and started making to-do lists that hold no longer than 5 items.
That can be really hard but it does force me to think only about the important stuff and throw the busy tasks away. Good news is, even if you do one task out of that to do list, you moved the needle forward. 😉
Gratefulness Is Magical
A lot of times I have gotten so deep into problems I am solving, or so stressed out about how I think things should work that I have forgotten about of the blessings I am surrounded with.
Once you realize you have a lot, all of a sudden other stuff becomes a lot easier.
Being a dog dad is hard
I got an amazing Pit Bull named Ralph. I adopted him about 5 months ago. Everyone told me that's a lot of work and I completely understood that, but... You never know those things until you do them.
So far it's been a humbling experience and I am learning a lot, but man it can be hard. Good news is he is getting a lot better at basic obedience and going to a professional to get trained for off-leash things. 🐶
Well, folks, that's it. Hopefully, you have an amazing night tonight and here is to another brilliant year 🍺