13 Things I Learned about Life, Love, and Career from 2018
2018 is a year of learning and experimenting for me. I changed my career path from an individual contributor to a managerial role. I started to read more books than I’ve ever read in my entire life. I made a lot of mistakes. Met a lot of awesome people. Created a side project, and many other more.
I would say that in 2018 I learned a lot of things that really helped me keep motivated and progressing in my personal and professional life. As I am getting a lot of benefits from this learnings, I don’t want it to stop with me. So these are things that I learned in 2018 so far
1. Setting up a “Habit” is way more important than setting up a “Goal”
Goal: I want to have six pack this year!!
Habit: I will go to the gym at least 2 times in 1 week, do 10–15 min work out that focus on abs every weekday morning
Having a small but consistent habit will give you more benefits than having big and ambitious goals. Learn about Habit vs Goals in this article from FarnamStreet
2. Problems in life are unavoidable
The higher your position in life, you will face a more complicated problem. This is expected and normal. Think about your life as a video game, the higher your level, you will face a stronger and harder boss.
Instead of wasting your time to complain about how big and complicated your problem is, invest your energy and time to think how can I solve this? what l can learn from this problem. See all the problems as a challenge for you to go to the next stage of your life.
“Hey Andrew but focusing on solving the problem is really hard, especially if you are in the situation”. 100% agree!
“Hard Choices, Easy Life. Easy Choices, Hard Life” — Jerzy Gregory
3. Having a consistent morning routine really helps to conquer the day
In the past 3 months, I’ve tried to have a consistent morning routine. It includes waking up at the same time every day, making a bed, drinking mineral water directly, 10–15 min workout, and learn something while commute (Read/ Listen/ Watch).
Different people will have a different preference, but having a consistent routine every morning really help us to prepare our mental model to be ready on handling a more complicated problem. Because we’ve achieved something earlier today.
You can learn more about morning routine here: How to create better morning morning routine
4. The workplace has a huge impact on your life. Be picky!
Not only financially, but also all aspect of your life. Little that we aware majority of the people spent most of our life at the office (9–10 hours/day. 40% our time in a day). Having a bad working environment can really impact the way we think, we behave, we speak, and also we feel.
It super important to be very picky for the next company you want to join. Research more about the people (Team members, managers, senior management, etc), understand their growth, check the investors, understand the business model, ask people who currently work there, read Glassdoor for the review. Long story short do our homework before saying yes to an offer.
5. You can learn anything you want in this era
If you can read this article it means you at least have a smartphone/ a laptop that has an internet connection. It means you can any information you want. There are thousands of great websites, free courses, videos, to learn basically ANYTHING.
If you really want to learn about something, you can. You just need to put more time and energy to learn about it.
6. Reading (Book & Article) is really important
As mentioned earlier, in 2018 I read more books and article than I’ve ever read in my entire life. I really feel the benefits of these habits. I wish I could start earlier, but that’s okay.
What I mean here is read something that can bring values to your life. Read something to improve your knowledge. I would recommend you to read less conventional news.
If you want to start, I have some recommendations for you:
Book: Don’t Sweat Small Stuff (Richard Carlson), Don’t Sweat Small Stuff at Work (Richard Carlson). The New One Minute Manager (Ken Blanchard). Radical Candor (Kim Scott). The art of thinking clearly (Rolf Dobelli), Rich Dad Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki). How to win friends and influence people (Dale Carnegie).
People to follow: Adam Grant, Tim Ferris, Shane Parrish, Naval, David perell
7. Write down stuff you want to learn or do in a physical book
My memory is not that good, and I am aware of this. So whenever I want to do or learn something from book, article, podcast, videos, I will write it down in a book.
What I learned from a lot of research that writing can really help to increase your capability to remember something.
8. You decide everything that happened in your life
So if things go wrong, you have no one to blame than yourself. Always remember that it’s all our choice!
Be it your work, relationship, financial, education and etc
9. Financial Literacy is really important
The biggest problem that we as millennial faced is we didn’t know where our money goes. Most of the time we just realized that we finished money far before the payday.
What I did in the past 7 months is to spend the first weekend of every month to monitor the income and also list down the potential outcome. A new thing I tried in the past 2 months was to plan every detail in advance the outcome (Monthly and daily) and really try to keep with this. I also have a very simple google sheet to track my daily expanse. Maybe I’ll consider moving to an app soon.
10. Being a great manager is really hard..
Shifting from an individual contributor to a managerial role is a huge move for me. As an introvert, I prefer to do the work on my own, I don’t like to deal with people, it’s hard for me to read others feeling and emotional condition.
But I am really lucky to work at iPrice because I get a lot of brutal honest feedbacks, support, suggestion, and also training to improve my managerial skills. If I remember again, my long-term goal is to have my own company, so having great managerial skills is really crucial for me.
11. Don’t be too hard to yourself
I faced a lot of challenges in my new role as a manager, and tend to blame everything happened is my fault. This is really bad for me as it gives a lot of negative feeling and made me unproductive.
After discussed with different people that have more managerial experience, I realized that I just started this role for 1 year. Still long way to go to be a great manager. So challenges are normal and expected.
I learned that we don’t need to be too hard with yourself. We make mistakes, learn from that, and improve.
12. We will have a bad day once for a while, and it’s okay
There will be a time where we think this is the best day of our life. The project went great, get a compliment from our boss, our bus or train come on time, people really friendly, the price of Grab Car to go home is cheap. But there is also a time where we think our life is really hard and bad. Need to wait for 1 hour for bus or train to have a lot of problem and complaint in work, have no lunch partner, and need to pay extra for Grab Car (Surge time).
I learned that good and bad day will happen and it’s okay. Become more and more aware that we will face a bad day really helps me to be mentally ready. When I had a bad day, I can say “Ok, it happens again, let me find the solution for every challenge I have today, eat well, drink a lot of mineral water, and after that take a good rest”
13. Be kind
People have a different problem and struggle that we didn’t know. Just be kind to everyone you meet.
How? For example, smile, say hi and thank you, listen more, ask questions, compliment, hold the door, give your seat and many other things