A lot of people have been asking me about my “end of the year reflection” recently.
I had two people ask me about this curious exercise just yesterday alone.
It was the weirdest thing.
The truth is 2017 was my “grind” year. After a wonderful 2016 that served as a spiritual awakening of sorts for me, 2017 came in like a tsunami and put all the flames out.
It was tough.
I had a bad falling out with my best friend (we got better, though). I went on a road trip that didn’t live up to expectations. Heck, just two months ago I was at peak stress wondering how the hell I was going to make money as a blogger.
I made two magazines for little to no reason at all. My podcast started (and failed). I lived at home the whole year and hardly ever hung out with my friends. I essentially sent myself to my room day after day for the entire year.
I can tell you one thing: I had big plans for 2017.
After the massive success that was 2016 I thought there was NO WAY 2017 wouldn’t be bigger and better.
It wasn’t bigger and better. It wasn’t even close. And that’s what I want to talk about right now..
Some Years Just Suck
Some years are like the filler episodes in your favorite TV show. Not much progress is made. Lot of exposition is setup. Lots of learning about new characters/etc.
Nothing really noteworthy happens.
Maybe 2018 is going to be the same way.
“Grind Years” are meant to suck. They’re meant to be excruciating. They’re meant to put you under intense pressure so you can mold into something bigger.
These years suck the most, but they’re the most important.
That’s also why they’re awesome.
“Grind Years” Are The Best Years
Grind years don’t get a lot of credit. All the glory goes to the years you break out and show yourself to the world like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.
Nothing is said of these years.
The “Steve-Jobs-in-the-garage” years.
The “Jimmy-Garoppolo-on-the-Patriots” years.
Okay, too soon.
But in all honesty when you look at “Grind years” from the lens of growth, not recognition, you’ll realize these are the most important ones of your life.
I’m sick of saying 2017 sucked.
I literally just said it 60 seconds ago, and I know all the haters are going to come out of the woodwork and nit-pick the fuck out of that, but let’s keep reading first, shall we?
Even though 2017 did suck, it’s time for me to put things in another perspective..
Without 2017, I wouldn’t be in great position for an unforgettable 2018.
I planned to go to Europe for 3 months in 2017. It didn’t happen. I learned patience.
I fucked things up with my best friend in 2017. We didn’t speak for a bit. I learned humility.
I stayed in my hometown for ANOTHER year like a caged bird. I learned gratefulness.
1 Year Is A Long Time
Humans tend to overestimate what they can do in the long-term and underestimate what they can do in the short-term.
Last week I had a few people hop on my article saying June of 2016 wasn’t that long ago.
Hell yeah it was a long time ago.
I’ve made two magazines, went on two road trips, created a podcast, interviewed dozens of experts, wrote hundreds of blog posts, started my own publication, and created my first online course during that time.
Time is relative anyway.
You might not think it was that long ago because you weren’t putting in a ton of work.
After a 10-hour day staring at my computer screen, sometimes I feel three years older.
How can a butterfly look at a caterpillar and say that was “just yesterday”?
Time isn’t just a measure of hours, days, and years — it’s a measure of work and progress. That’s why it feels so long ago.
While you’re grinding, and the months slowly melt away into history, you’ll be making so much progress it’ll be unreal.
Trust me on that.
What Your Mindset Should Be For 2018
If you’re trying to become an expert in your field in 2018, here’s what you need to start doing..
- Don’t go out with your friends every weekend. Put in the work instead.
- Get comfortable being lonely. Learn to love it. You’re not any worse or better than people because you’re chasing your dreams instead of hitting the bar every Friday.
- Deploy gratefulness. Through minimizing your life and spending you’ll feel like your friends have “so much more.” Nobody has more or less than anybody else. Be grateful and be happy for EVERYBODY. You’re on your own mission.
- Reach out to people. Interview people you look up to. Be fearless. Grow your network. This is what made 2017 insanely worth-it for me.
- Dream fucking huge. No holds barred. Dream your heart out. Nothing is off limits. You’ll be surprised how closely you’ll land to your target.
- Do the research. Spend 75% of your time DOING and 25% of your time RESEARCHING better ways forward.
I pray you all have a fantastic 2018 ahead.
Want to build an audience of your own on Medium during 2018? I’m hosting a free webinar next Tuesday called “How To Make An Extra $500 Per Month on Medium” that will teach you how I did it! Sign up for it right here.