Inner Alchemy Fusion Reaction.

My 2017 Year Review

This review will be diving deep, exploring the 12 different areas of my life in order of priority— highlighted in bold.

  • 1.Transcendence: Spirituality>Systems>Health
  • 2.Love: Family>Friendships
  • 3.Freedom: Skills>Creative>Money
  • 4.Excitement: Adventure>Romance
  • 5.Beauty: Environment>Self-Awareness
Love and Freedom are italicized because they move dynamically between each other — they’re in a dance. Meanwhile, Transcendence (1st), Excitement (4th), and Beauty (5th) are foundational pillars that remain somewhat fixed.

I am cognizant that every part of my life is part of a broader holistic system, and that every area affects every other area. But like a domino effect, by aligning everything in priority, I can rapidly accelerate my development as a human being and affect my environment differently.

Spirituality is metaphorically the smallest piece yet paradoxically the most significant area of my life- since it’s somewhat intangible. It nevertheless creates the right domino-effect in my life.

Before I dive in, I want to preface everything by saying that, it would be easy for someone to read this article and say it’s a purely personal solipsistic luxury of an exercise. But this discounts the reality that, I am building higher levels of self-awareness through this year review, allowing me to make decisions in the future that affect the people around me, and the world at large, for the better.

Also, if someone reads this year review and picks up an insight that they take action on, I have just directly positively affected the “whole” for the better. And we all reflect and affect the world more than we may have first imagined.

Spirituality in 2017

During the second half of 2017, I ramped up my meditation to a minimum of half an hour each day using Holosync (up from 10–20 mins). And sometimes, I ventured all the way towards an hour. I was also consistent with journaling and my visits to temples and holy buildings this year, visiting them nearly once every week.

I joined a spiritual community where we have philosophical, spiritual discussions about how we can lead our lives with more presence, less perturbed by the past, and less worried about the future. I went to 30x two-hour meetings over the course of the year. And as a result, my understanding of human mechanics and how we can bring more of our divine essence into our daily lives took a quantum leap.

One of the fascinating discoveries I uncovered was that each human being has four centers: the emotional center, the intellectual center, the instinctive center, and the movement center. And each person has a dominant center — but we must seek to have a balance between all four.

Funnily enough, I feel like I’ve balanced out my intellectual and emotional centers this year and I notice I’m gravitating more towards emotionally centered people. People who laugh easily, are silly, and aren’t scared to reveal their feelings and encourage those around them.

I also was finally more consistent with the practice of praying every night. This year, I prayed nearly every night for at least two-five minutes. If meditation is receiving energy, then you could describe praying as sending energy.

There’s something immaterial that can’t be seen through our limited senses, that I’m sure of.

My prayers are not about getting any specific thing in my life. They’re about thanking the universe, God, and the unseen. My prayers are about blessing everything that’s coming into my life and everything that’s leaving. Because of my prayers at night, I go into my sleep feeling much more harmonious.

If I do ask for anything during my prayers, it’s about asking for the qualities needed to receive what I want. My prayers are also about asking for forgiveness for the wrong I’ve done.

Where there any attachments I let go off?

Towards the end of the year, I let go of my desire to become a semi-professional athlete, something which was very hard for me. I remember just lying down in my bed and thinking… “Wow, I’m letting go of something that I’ve held on to for so long” — and in that space, I felt like I touched the depths of what it meant to be entirely dismayed by life.

While becoming a paid footballer would have been great, there would have been a high opportunity cost in my development in the other areas of my life in the long term. It would mean I would have far less energy to read, write, and meditate — who knows what else I would have missed out on.

But I’m not oblivious to what I also would have gained. Nevertheless, it’s essential to build on strengths. And I believe my creative, technical powers are greater than my athletic strengths.

That phase of feeling dismayed lasted only a week or two, and I can see that had this happened to me before, it would have taken much longer to process. But I feel like I’ve built such a vast amount of emotional resiliency — nothing can stop me from moving forward.

Systems in 2017

I used Exist.io to log my daily mood and received a weekly average that I then compiled to build a monthly average. Based on the mood score, my happiness was highest in June, November, and December. ST stands for screen time.

2017 Statistics:

  • Health — Gym workouts: 100x, Sprints: 30x, 90 mins Football Matches: 14x, Floats: 9x, Saunas: 17x
  • Creative — Articles Published: 17x, Articles Republished: 5x, Emails Sent to Subscribers: 25x
  • Skills — Books Read: 54x, Online Courses Completed: 4x, Documentaries: 4x, Spiritual Meetings: 30x, Chess Games: 4x, Coaching Calls: 10x
  • Friends — Meetups: 160x
  • Adventure — Movies watched: 14x, Standups: 8x, TV Shows: 10x, Museum/Art Gallery Visits: 10x, New countries: 4x
  • Goals Achieved — 5 out of 8.
In an ideal world, the number of workouts, books, and social meetups I enjoy each month would be closer to each other.

I was consistent this year with my habit of writing five experiences I was grateful for in the previous week. I also developed an unbelievably intuitive and unique system for tracking and monitoring my weekly habits.

Weekly Habits

The method I used to track my weekly habits.

Daily Habits

The system I used to track my daily habits. I used to track the habits in my morning routine e.g. cold showers, meditation, and reading — but they’ve become so organic and consistently that they no longer need to be measured.

My Life’s Constitution

I created a seven-step constitution for my life. If a nation has a constitution, and a nation is a reflection of the collective of the individuals present within, then shouldn’t every individual have their unique constitution?

Fuel when I’m not Feeling Inspired

A gallery of inspiring photos I go through at least once a week.

Vision Board (Futurism and Gratitude)

Notice the tabs on the bottom and how they point to the different areas of my life.
Not only do I have a future vision, but at the bottom of each page, I have a gratitude board filled with things I’ve achieved — for each bucket of my life. The next step in the evolution of this system will be to add headers with the different years I plan on experiencing each bucket list item.

Health in 2017

I upped my supplement game big time. I now take 8–10 supplements each day, and having experimented with taking them on and not taking them (A/B test) I feel a clear amount of difference in my energy levels with them.

This year was also the year where I became a vegetarian — I used to be a pescetarian. As a result of this change, my thinking feels clearer, and I feel more sensitive to external stimuli. I can pick up on things I wouldn’t have been able to pick up on before, both on the “seen” level and the “unseen” level.

I did briefly go back to eating meat this year because of my curiosity, but I’ve learned that I’ve moved on. At the moment, I have no real desire to return to my old dietary choices.

What did I not do well at?

This year, I didn’t do as many workouts as I would have liked. But to be fair, it just came down to the fact that I was no longer enjoying my workout routine. Thanks to a guy called Martin Berkhan, I’ve found a more minimal workout system that I can enjoy (the workouts are a lot shorter), and I anticipate that doing them from the start of next year should I mean I train way more frequently.

I plan in fact on training every other day, which essentially means an average of 14 workouts per month — but I would be happy with getting 90% of that. In essence, this system means not following a strict paradigm based on going to the gym on particular days.

Workout PRs

  • Bench Press: 70kg x3
  • Incline Chest: 38kg x10
  • Shoulder Press: 45kg x7
  • Lat Pulldown: 73kg x8
  • Front Squat: 100kg x3
  • Stiff Legged Deadlift: 105kg x2

I’ll be looking to make a huge upgrade on those numbers next year. One of the things that’s stopped me from excelling in the gym is my protein intake. Ideally, I aim to hit an average of 120g of protein per day, but it’s become increasingly difficult to do so because of my vegetarian diet and my aversion to beans.

At the moment, I supplement with a Pea Protein Powder (50g protein), and Lentils (25g protein), but I will need to find an additional source of 50g of protein next year if I want my health and performance in the gym to accelerate.

After August, my habit of taking a cold shower every morning become so consistent that I no longer had to track it. Benefits of cold showers: improved focus and mood.

New Age Health

I no longer take aspartame, I’m a big chewing gum fan, and nearly all of the over counter chewing gums come laced with aspartame, so I now order Xylitol chewing gums. I’ve also counteracted the EMF fields in my home by buying a plug adapter that neutralizes the harmful effects of radiation emitted by cell phones and WiFi routers. I’m also wearing a negative ion band and necklace as an insurance policy and plan on drinking PH Alkaline water in 2018.

Family in 2017

My relationship with my mother and father improved dramatically this year. I put that down to working in an office space and no longer working from home. Familiarity, as they say, breeds contempt. And by working away from home more often, I learnt to appreciate my life at home much more. Not only that, but I became a more emotionally expressive person this year, and that naturally helped create more conversation between myself and my parents.

What was surprising to me this year, was the number of calls I had with my father who lives in France. Last year, I made a proactive effort to make sure I spoke to him at least once a month. This year, I probably talked to my dad two-three times per month quite organically, which is huge.

I put that down to our holiday in Italy, the first time we’ve ever been abroad together. And because of our shared experience, we naturally built a better relationship together. I love my dad, and I especially appreciate the wisdom he shares with me.

I love you more than you imagine. I hope to become more of the kind of person that can make more of a positive impact on your life.

Friendships in 2017

I’ve come to see my friendships very differently in 2017. The way I see and value them as metamorphosized from what was just a nice addition to life, to something incredibly meaningful for me. I used to value career success more than my friendships, but now I don’t value either one more than the other, as I mentioned at the start of this year review.

They are now two synergistic components of my life that both help each other. I could hypothetically be someone very wealthy, but if I don’t spend time and nurture relationships with my beautiful family and friends, then my life would be incomplete, and I wouldn’t be serving humanity to my greatest potential.

Similarly, if I hypothetically don’t pour my heart and gut into my creative career, then I will come back to my friends and family feeling like I’m not moving in the right direction. And that’s also not serving anyone.

I’m here to help my friends, and they are here to help me. I’m here to share deep belly laughs that help move us all towards present ecstasy and gratitude. I’m not here to compete with anyone; I’m here to express, receive, and share the love in all its different multifaceted manifestations.

It baffles me how people put people their friendships and families in a little corner of their lives.

Life is not a solitary, lonely journey built upon the mainframe of existing to become more successful (a lie we’ve been told — albeit a very “successful” lie).

The reality of the matter is this: what kind of life do we want to look back on when we’re drawing our last breaths on this planet? Ideally, we want to look back on some of the amazing connections we’ve built with others.

That snowman’s my friends too. Haha!

I was a little less open to friendships in 2015 and 2016 because I was doubling double on becoming a more learned individual because I didn’t feel like I was “good enough”.

But because I spent more time enjoying meaningful relationships this year, I’m a lot more content, and I’m a better person because of it. Interestingly, I’ve learned that some of the best insights and ideas can be experienced in a conversation with a friend.

You don’t always have to read a book, or take a course, to grow as a person. And that’s what incredibly exciting about friendships: you can develop and experience love at the same time.

One of the things I’m doing more of is making spontaneous phone calls. I used to see phone calls as a waste of time, but now I see that every conversation, within it has the seed for greater mutual shared growth. I’ve come to see the technological mediums of communication on our smartphones differently.

I used to see them as nothing more than distractions designed to take us away from what was truly important. I no longer feel that way — I now see these online messaging tools as potential gateways to love and appreciation.

That’s why more and more, I’m completely fine with giving quality attention to people via text. I used to believe that giving people late replies was a sign of progress, that I was showing to myself that I was avoiding distractions. But how repulsively ignorant on my behalf to see someone reaching out to me as a distraction?

Sure, I agree that there’s a balance to be had here, and you don’t necessarily want to message back and forth with people too often at the expense of your productivity.

But during the times that I do, I want to make them count. Naturally, I get back to people more than ever, and sooner than ever. I used to have the habit of sometimes replying after a couple of days, but that kind of behavior to me doesn’t resonate anymore and shows a lack of external consideration and empathy. So I make an effort to get back to any friend who messages me within 24 hours at the most, and I feel a lot better for it.

Skills in 2017

Each Level means reading one book. We can see that Money, Romance, and History are the gaps in my current level of knowledge. Naturally, I’ll be investing more of my attention on these three categories next year.

In 2017, I read fewer books than I did in 2016 but I nevertheless feel like I spent more time studying. From all the spiritual discussions I had to all the online courses I took, the 110 book reviews I wrote, I spent my time learning in a more diversified way this year. The truth is, I kind of felt I needed to reduce the number of books I read this year.

Towards the end of the year, I decided to completely abandon Audible’s membership and concentrate on reading as opposed to listening to books. Considering I already listen to a quite a few podcasts and don’t internalize audiobooks that well, I felt like the change was the right one to make. After all, simplicity is mastery.

Besides that, I developed an incredibly intuitive system for organizing my notes and book reviews.

Organisation System

Windows Classic Launch bar on the left for easy access to Documents and Spreadsheets linked to the different areas of my life (Environment Design). Evernote in the Middle has all my book reviews and notes on stuff I’ve studied. Google Keep has a bunch of clippings and random ideas and thoughts for each area of my life.

Books I Read

What was amazing about my studies this year was the way I was able to combine different ideas in different books to form new, unique ideas of my own.

Courses I Took

I prefer reading books to learning online so I’ll be limiting the video courses I take next year to just one or two.

Podcasts I Listened to

I used to listen to a lot more podcasts in 2016 but I’ve learned that just listening to three different ones every now and then works best for me.

The Pyramid of Learning

I’m getting closer to the top three pillars in my studies. Two years ago, I was only focused on remembering, understanding, and applying.

Creative in 2017

I almost doubled the articles I wrote from 11x last year to 17x this year. Although I have to say, I fell out of love with writing towards the last three months of the year. This was coincidentally when I decided to take up a Freelance SEO role to help my income, and although I earnt far more money, the time I invested in my writing career naturally took a nose dive.

Interestingly enough, my original goal this year was to write 52 articles, and while I didn’t hit it, it was only until later that I realized that I nevertheless nearly doubled the number of pieces I wrote this year compared to the last year, and I see that as a success.

September was the first month of my writing career where I measured how many words I was writing per month. This habit is going to be pivotal towards my future success as a writer as it allows me to efficiently gauge and adjust my writing, creating a feedback loop which helps me build more consistency.

What was my best month?

My best month of my writing career was in September, where I managed to write 23,180 words, an average of 1,159 words per weekday. Coincidentally, this was also the month where I invested an average of 13 Hours/Week into my business. To me, this is the benchmark I ideally want to hit every month in 2018.

13 Hours per week might not sound like a lot, but done consistently throughout the year, and I can see myself reaching that place where I’m building more of a reputation and income as a writer. As of this moment, I still haven’t reached that stage.

Yet, you reap what you sow, and I accept that this is fine, and perfectly normal, considering the various other projects I work on each day. My primary motivation as a writer is creating unique value and becoming better at the craft of writing — the money will come when I’m able to make that a more consistent theme in my life.

Wins

I had an article featured on a podcast for Pickthebrain which was very affirming. You can check it out here. I also employed two remote workers on an ad-hoc freelance basis to help me with tasks.

  • Email Subscribers: 1250x (Up 584+ from Jan 1st 2017)
  • Instagram Followers: 580x (Up 500+ from Jan 1st 2017)
  • Facebook Page Likes: 39x (Up 39+ from Jan 1st 2017)

Published Book

My book was also re-released on Amazon, I haven’t done much marketing for it, but I’ll be looking to do that in 2018.

Feedback I received from Readers

I love stuff l like this because it inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing.

What did I not do well at?

I wasn’t able to consistently start my day with writing, often procrastinating and leaving it to the end of the day, and not getting it done as a result. To take my business even more seriously next year, I plan on working in a dedicated co-working space.

I’ve looked at the Uncommon working space in Borough and a couple of different options. We’ll see what happens.

Work Experiments

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with investing and that’s been great. I love this quote from Robert Greene, which epitomizes the state of being open to different possibilities:

“At a certain point, when you are ready to settle on something, ideas and opportunities will inevitably present themselves to you. When that happens, all of the skills you have accumulated will prove invaluable. You will be the Master at combining them in ways that are unique and suited to your individuality. You may settle on this one place or idea for several years, accumulating in the process even more skills, then move in a slightly different direction when the time is appropriate. The wide-ranging apprenticeship of your twenties will yield the opposite — expanding possibilities as you get older.”

My Vision as a Writer

I expect things to take a big turn next year in my writing career as this will be the first of my life after university where I don’t plan on being employed by any company, after the end of January — when my current contract as a Freelance SEO ends.

Naturally, I’m going to have a shit-ton of more time to invest in my skill acquisition and development as a writer, and as a person. So I’m super excited about what that’s going to mean for me.

In the long-term, I don’t see myself having more than a team of three people working alongside me. I don’t have an ambitious desire to have the most prominent building or business. And that’s fine. I know what suits me best, and how I can serve the world with my skills and vision.

I prefer a minimal kind of work structure with limited interactions between myself and employees — so that I can focus on doing what I do best — being creative. People like James Clear and Mark Manson are some of my role-models when it comes to this work style. Paradoxically, and I think this is a good thing: I no longer identify my excellence in life predominantly through my work.

New Website

The designer did a great job.

Money in 2017

Surprisingly, I made more money this year than I did in the previous two years combined. I feel like all the skills I’ve learned have helped me make that shift. Although, there were a couple of tricky months this year where I had barely any money coming in. Because I worked as a contractor and freelancer I had to accept this. Fortunately, I got an amazing role towards the end of the year.

Besides that, I interestingly got this piece of feedback from someone:

“I think you’re not so willing to think about the commercial side of your life or compromise with things you’re unwilling to do. I think while this is a good thing in many cases it’s also possible to do too much and have it hold you back.”

In response to, what’s the one thing that’s surprised you about me, someone gave me this piece of feedback:

“That you haven’t become a millionaire.”

I’m incredibly thankful for this feedback, and I will be taking it in my stride for next year.

Who is faithful with a few will be faithful with a lot.

What could I have done better?

I could have done a better job of managing and tracking all my food and transport expenses. Although, I’m quite happy that I managed to track all my charity, educational, and travel investments. For the last couples of days as of writing this, I’ve spent 5–10 hours strategizing how I’m going to effectively monitor my expenses throughout 2018, and distribute my budget. I’m pretty certain that this time invested will pay off huge dividends.

This is how I plan to keep track of my expenses in 2018. In the Travel section, you can see the highlighted rows where I plan on traveling (every two months) — I’ve found this to be the ideal sweet spot for me. Notice how ‘Charity’ (which includes gifts) is the very first thing on the sheet — that’s because I want to make sure I 5x my contribution in 2018. Instead of giving money away once every month, I plan on giving money every two weeks for a better feedback loop. I also plan on updating my expenses once every two weeks.

Adventures in 2017

In 2017, I decided to reinstate my habit of doing something adventurous once per month.

Doing something new every month has become way more organic compared to previous years.
  1. Driving alongside the Marina on a Kart in Agadir
  2. Going to a French Concert for the first time with one of my university friends
  3. Exploring a historical cave in Budapest with two of my school friends
  4. Riding a Segway in Budapest :)
  5. Experiencing the summit of the Vesuvius Mountain in Naples with my Dad
  6. Going to the famous Chartres Cathedral near Paris!
  7. Experiencing a natural fire Sweat Lodge
  8. Lying down in a Hammock for the first time
  9. Going to a 4-night conference on Love and Spirituality
  10. Giving out three presentations from my house on the topic of building self-awareness and creating an awesome week
  11. Private
  12. Private

Where did I travel to this year?

6 Countries explored. Unlike previous years, none of them were solo trips — I enjoyed that change.
  • Eight days in Agadir, Morocco between the 21st and 28th February.
  • Six days in Budapest, Hungary between the 21st and 26th April.
  • Three days in Bath, UK between the 23rd and 25th June.
  • Five days in Gloucestershire, UK between the 30th July and 3rd August.
  • Seven days in Naples, Italy between the 24th and 30th August.
  • Three days in Chartres, France between the 20th and 22nd August.
  • Five days in Lisbon, Portugal between the 1st and 5th November.
  • Three days in Tallin, Estonia between the 12th and 14th December.
Travelling is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. Every adventure I’ve been on, has improved me as a person.

Thoughts on Adventures

I killed it this year! Learnt that travelling in the UK can be just as rewarding as travelling abroad. And that’s something I hope to do more of, as there are plenty of towns in the UK I’ve never been to. While many people enjoy longer, less frequent trips in year, I’ve found over these last three years that frequent shorter trips work best for me [Total: 40 days on holiday].

Media

Compared to last year, I approximately watched half as many movies. Although, I watched twice as many different TV shows. At the beginning of the year, I gave myself a talk. I kept reminding myself of what I learned from Zig Ziglar: the “average CEO watches less than 8 hours of Television per week.”

So I went in the year with the aim of watching an average of 4 hours of television per week at the very max. I did far better this year compared to the last.

In fact, there were many weeks where I didn’t even watch any entertainment (particularly towards the end of the year), which was unspeakable for me in 2016.

Gradually, I’m getting to a stage in my life where I’m far less reliant on Movies or TV Shows for a sense of escapism and adventure — and that can only be a good thing. In fact, I struggle to watch a movie to the end nowadays.

What did I learn from my media consumption?

Next year, I can see myself watching few if any movies from home. I enjoy them far more when I watch them with a group of friends at the cinema — naturally, that’s what I’ll be doing. For the TV shows this year, most of them were watched in the first half of the year, and I can say that they were all worthy investments of my time (except ‘Orange is the new Black’ — which became far too political).

Movies

I’ll be watching less Movies and more Stand-ups next year.

TV Shows

TV Shows I watched

Music

I listen to French rappers to add a bit of fun to the day.

Everything else was meaningful for me on my path towards excellence. Some shows (and stand-ups) make me feel more amused about life, while others inspired me to become a better version of myself.

By combining my consumption of TV Shows in the superhero categories with comedy and stand-ups, as well as French rap, I feel like I’ve helped create a better inner-stage for being a light-hearted, playful, yet driven person.

Art reflects life, and depending on what kind of life you want to create, the art you explore can help you move towards what you want by creating an inner contextual environment for the type of person you want to be.

As you can see, I’m not the kind of guy who rejects entertainment as a waste of time — it’s all about the quality and the dosage.

Romance in 2017

I experienced my first ever heartbreak this year when I flew out to Morocco to see my girlfriend. She was dealing with her own story and problems at the time, and so she was avoidant and less engaged in the lead up to my arrival.

I kept asking her what was wrong, and she told me she’d explain everything to me once I arrived. Funnily enough, she did the reverse and essentially ghosted me from the moment I landed.

When you consider that I flew out for the sole purpose of sharing my holiday with her, you would think that the holiday was a mess. Well, the first two days were a complete mess. I remember pouring my eyes on that hotel bed — I couldn’t believe that anyone was capable of this.

I kept messaging her, but she would send me back nothing but scraps. I even remember calling her and her hanging up the moment she heard me speak.

I was hurting a lot. I was supposed to fall in love with this woman; I invested so much emotionally that I genuinely felt that we would share a great holiday that would lead to a more meaningful, loving long-term relationship.

Despite the fact that we were together for six months (long distance) and built what I felt to be a strong emotional connection, I feel like things turned haywire when I sub-communicated that I wanted to have a more open relationship until we saw each other again.

I was insecure, and didn’t want to fully commit myself to someone abroad, even though I already had — and maybe she could feel it.

Because of my experience, I can say that I’m far less naive in my understanding of human behavior and in which ways it can manifest negatively towards me or anyone else — when you don’t play your cards right.

The truth is, I allowed this event to happen in my life and I take full responsibility for it. You could even say that I “attracted” it. By giving this girl who was so invested in me “distant energy” a couple of months before my flight, she decided to reciprocate that in the best way she could.

Distancing herself right when I was on the cusp of investing more towards her. Although, there were probably many elements at play here that I had no control over.

Instead of overly personalizing this experience and making it all about me, as I did in the beginning, I’ve learned to accept that she was doing what she felt was best for her life.

Sure, she could have handled it in a more dignified way, perhaps by telling me in advance to cancel my trip, but external consideration and empathy get thrown out of the window when someone’s thinking irrationally.

Fortunately, the holiday didn’t go as badly as expected. I spontaneously met someone else from London at the hotel I was staying at, and we shared our time together. Nevertheless, it didn’t make up for what I dealt with and the emotional aftermath.

This experience has taught me to a) avoid any long-distance relationships b) avoid models and c) avoid women who are too young. A couple of months after the whole debacle, we had a little contact and I called her a disgrace and tried to get her to explain why she did what she did, and she said she didn’t do it to hurt me but because she was dealing with many personal issues and that she no longer felt the way she once did about our relationship.

A bit of time after that, I found out she’d gotten engaged to someone else, and she confirmed it was true. At the time I was still feeling heartbroken from everything that happened, but I humbled myself and sent her my good wishes via text.

Since then, every now or so she pops up to try to say hi, to tell me that she’s sorry for what she did and that one day she will explain everything. The truth is, I don’t need an explanation — I’ve moved on. And I don’t need to reignite a fire that’s already served its purpose.

Environment in 2017

Towards the end of the year, I began a new habit of devoting 1–2 hours per week to helping others. I usually this did this by helping my little brother or my mother or waking up early on a Saturday to pick up litter outside my apartment. Other times, I shared presentations on some of the best stuff I’ve learned in my home.

I started the habit of helping others late in the year, and so it’ll be interesting to discover whether I’m able to build some consistency with this practice in 2018.

Besides that, giving money away to friends, family, and charities, even though it was just 1% a month, was also a step in the right direction.

Self Awareness in 2017

I took the following self-awareness tests this year, and they all helped me become far more self-aware.

HEXACO-PI Test

Conscientiousness is my strongest quality. The HEXACO-PI Test is the most advanced and accurate psychometric test in the universe; it’s even more scientifically proven than the MTBI Test. It tests you on 6 Human qualities: Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, extroversion, Agreeableness, Contentiousness, and Openness to Experience.

MBTI Test

I’m not that quiet when I get going… Then again, it does say something about an introvert-extrovert paradox in the profile. Here are the ideal careers for this type: Actor, Artist, Consultant, Educational Consultant, Entrepreneur, Marketer, Psychiatrist, Systems Analyst, Teacher/Professor, Trainer, Writer. P.s: I think that beard’s a bit too big for me.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 Test

This test was incredibly helpful for me because it gave me self-acceptance and the knowledge that the kind of creative work I want to do is perfectly suited to my strengths.

Emotional Intelligence Test

I guess all I have to work on now is my self-management and relationship management. Everything else is maxed the fuck out.

Dark Triad Test

Tests you on the three dark traits that every human being has and gives you a score out of 4 for each one.

1. What movie genre would best describe this year of my life?

  • A bittersweet journey of ascension.

2. What two or three major themes kept recurring?

  • Letting go.
  • Self-expansion
  • Unbridled rapture.

3. What are the accomplishments I’m most proud of achieving?

  1. I wrote and publish my first self-published book on Amazon on Aug 31st
  2. I became a vegetarian on Aug 6th
  3. I got my first professional photoshoot done
  4. I discovered an amazing bioenergetics facility in London at the start of July
  5. I developed the habit of writing 1000w daily start of Sep
  6. I built an amazing money tracking system and found way to reduce daily food expenses
  7. I developed the habit of playing football more regularly despite my injury!
  8. I developed a system for measuring my habits
  9. I discovered a new Spiritual family!
  10. I developed a more efficient and amazing yearly review system!
  11. I found an amazing laptop stand and optimal earplugs
  12. I invested 1% into charity a and an average of 20% into self-education!
  13. I joined a writing group
  14. I built far more consistency with cold showers and prayer at night
  15. Discovered the best phone of my life (Blackberry Keyone)
  16. I built amazing systems of organization
  17. I completed annihilated my dependency on caffeine
  18. I finally built the habit of waking up between 6–7AM 80% of the time
  19. Officially registering CreateYourWeek as a LTD Company
  20. Private

4. What could I have done better this year?

  • There were certain women that came into my life this year that I got along with great. But they didn’t have the same life values as me. And so even if we get along great and there was attraction, our inner compasses were pointing towards different directions, and so it would have been impossible for us to build a meaningful, close relationship. I ignored this, and chose to continue investing myself in these women. I won’t be making the same mistake next year.
  • Avoiding investing too much time in boosting my social media following on Instagram. I kind of feel like I was working on the wrong end of the stick in the second half of 2017, trying to get better at upgrading my follower count. The truth is, I’ve come to learn that this is an incredible waste of time and more importantly, mental energy. Until I’ve had more success as a writer, I shouldn’t be fucking around with making my social media following better. I need to focus on the foundation; the marketing is secondary.
  • Wasting way too much time editing articles and books. I kind of feel like this is a subtle form of procrastination for me. Instead of writing new shit, I like to go over what I’ve already done and see what I can do to make it better. It’s true that the art of great writing is rewriting, but I took this principle too far in 2017. And consequently, I wasn’t able to leverage my time to create more content.

5. What was missing from my life this year as I look back that I could implement into the next year?

  • More consistency with my writing and tracking my word count every month.
  • Writing my morning to do list and AAR(After-Action-Review) more consistently.
  • Being more focused with how I acquire knowledge.
  • Going to 4–6 educational conferences/events.
  • Tracking podcasts listened to and days I drunk alcohol.
  • Playing chess more often.
  • Spending more time in deep work at the start of the day.
  • Logging Food Diary on paper more consistently.
  • Not using gym hooks for deadlifts.
  • Spending more time on my creative work. I spent far too much time optimising my systems, but hopefully, this pays off for the next year because now everything’s as sharp as a razor blade.
  • Delegating enough work.
  • Having more mentors.
  • Private
  • Private

6. What major life lessons did I learn this year?

  • I used to be hesitant of inviting people over to my home because I live with family. I’ve come to learn that this has been a limiting belief that has been preventing me from seeing my friends with more convenience.
  • I am more suited to be an entrepreneur than an employee.
  • Writing tasks on paper, in combination with a digital inbox, is far more effective than only using a digital system to manage a to-do list.
  • If I want to feel well rested, 11 PM is my max sleep time.

Summary

This was a cool year, and the last three months were especially amazing. I feel like I’ve changed a lot as a person, probably more than the two previous years combined. There was more pain this year than the last, but the pain was meaningful. And I feel like I’m on the cusp of something that’s about to explode.

My overall rating for 2017 : 83/100 (Rating for Last Year: 82/100).
100+ Hours of Editing & Research to Create 18 Pages.

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