This Annual Review is the first edition I'm making public. I've taken key questions from sources such as books, other reviews, and thought leaders. I've kept the questions in the review, so you, too, can do the same thing!
2020 has been wildly different for many people, but is that any different to other years? I say different because I refrain from saying it's automatically been a tragic year. It depends on who.
I'm not taking away from the deaths but there have been things that have improved due to this pandemic.
Our air pollution has dropped, and it has shown how fast nature can recover if we slow down. The speeding up of remote work. The focus on what is essential. The slowing down of life, the appreciation of what we have. The focus on exploring our own countries and towns instead of always looking for an escape across the world.
Many things have changed outside our control, but it's the ones that have responded with a cool and calm head that have made huge strides this year.
I want to point out that I feel extremely fortunate. Covid hasn't been a disaster for me like it has for many. While I could mope about thinking that a golden year of my 20s has been taken away from me, I decided to double down on the things that help me develop instead.
I've read more than ever, taught more than ever, I've built more than ever. It's the first time I've felt the world and my environment slow down in a long time, and that's not a bad thing. Fomo has disappeared. Living in London is a major head fuck most of the time. Millions are ALWAYS doing something and if you aren't, guess what? YOU'RE A LOSER! (but not this year)
And with this review, I've made a conscious effort to ensure what I say is authentic to me and not what I want people to think/read. Most reviews or highlights are there to show-off. My aim with this is to deep-dive into 2020 and review it authentically.
🌟🌟🌟 Highlights from 2020
P.S. No mention of financial goals as I don't want money to be leading my reflection and future direction. 2020 has been profitable for both RW and LLL, which has enabled us to hire more people and grow a team. This is all that matters because it allows for a collection of people to impact others' lives. Profit matters and will always be focused on, but the bigger picture needs to focus once attained, not how much money can be made.
🔋 What are the events, habits, or tasks that I look back fondly on or energized me the most?
❌ What are the events, habits, or tasks that I dreaded or drained me the most?
📈 How did I grow as a person?
📚 What were my favorite books, podcasts, articles, videos, and how did they shape my thinking?
🤔 How could I have been better as a person? Friend? Manager? Parent etc?
🤗 What am I most grateful for in 2020?
I got this from Donald Robertson but to realise what you are grateful for properly you need to think right now how would you feel if you LOST one of your current 'things'. So if you lost your car right now, how would you feel? Don't just name things you're happy about in your life have a hard think how you would feel if you JUST lost something you currently have.
For me, the first thing that I'd hate to lose right now is both businesses. Both have given me many opportunities in life and have helped build the lifestyle I lead now. If both of those were to be gone, would my life be stable? Would it be fulfilling? I'd say no. I've managed to manifest my true passions into businesses, which I will forever be grateful for.
The businesses give me my time; it's not about the money at all. Cliche, I know, but I've managed to detach myself from money and materialistic things in recent years.
You could say to the extreme level. I do not care to own a house. I will die one day, and so will this earth. I do not care to own designer products; they are for others to be impressed, not me. I do not care for cars; as nice as they are, they bring me no joy. I do not care for expensive holidays; instead, I would go to places with historical significance from the people I'm interested in. This isn't to say I will be saying no to all luxuries, but they don't drive me.
Losing my mother and father would also be devastating for sure. I've spent the last 11 days at home in Wales with my mother, and nothing has given me much more joy than reading on the chair next to her while she's watching T.V. with the dog Lottie. It's a calm, blissful experience. It will be gone one day, I should make the most of it and be 100% aware.
⛰️ What were the lessons adversity and life taught me?
😡 What is currently stressing me out the most?
What is my typical daily routine in 2020?
Bucket all areas of your life to be able to focus on each one. If I had to rank the following in terms of priority right now, what would they be?
Physical health, mental health, spirituality, creativity, relationships, travel, fun, finances, work, or any other self-defined category.
Top 3 work priorities:
💹 Do I currently live in alignment with my values and priorities? If not, where am I most out of alignment?
💪 Physical health
To maintain muscle mass but change my physical training to be performance-based only. Leaving the physical "aesthetic" side to look after itself with nutrition. Strength, power, and speed. I am going back to my roots in Rugby / Martial Arts.
🧠 Mental health
Daily runs and walks
30-minute meditation - self-awareness of thoughts sense not the ums and aaas.
Daily journal with an evening reflection
Read more into Zen Buddhism. Apply things daily. Be more present.
Keep showing my work.
Post more content
Write more articles
Come up with more ideas.
Execute on more creative ideas
Maintain current social network.
Improve current r'ships
Strengthen weakened ones
Let go of ones that bring me down.
Spend more time in Wales with my mother, father, sister, brother etc.
Make them more inclusive in my life.
Stop thinking of myself as 'different' from my family. Different paths but not different people.
Travel to more places where I have an interest in historical people. For example, reading about Napoleon made me appreciate France more. I now want to go back to visit Paris. Napoleon made me appreciate Nice more and realise what the Massena Museum was (his main general) it had also made me fascinated with Lake Grada as he won many battles there (I went to where he had a big battle and won, I never would have driven to the small town without this knowledge). Rome was also WAAAY better because of my fascination with the Stoics and Marcus Aurelius. I want to go to more places like Nicopolis due to Epictetus.
More time with friends such as city breaks, weekend plans and events.
More trips away in general.
More time doing martial arts or sports like five a side
🤯 Stretch Goals
What is my system going to be to make sure you stick to these goals/habits/inputs?
Here are some miscellaneous questions to ask to get the juices flowing.
How would I spend my time if I knew I was going to die in 30 days?
What if I saw my work, social media, website, etc., as someone I admire? Would I be proud or embarrassed?
What would I do if I could only work 2 hours per day?
What would I do if I could only work 2 hours per week?
What would I do if I had to take six months off with no communication from the team starting one week from today?
How would I know the health of my business if I could only use one number?
2020 has been a great year for me in every area. I feel it has been a year I have...dare I say it... 'found myself' more than any other year.
My focus on 2021 is clear, my standards are high and I'm looking forward to taking things one day at a time but with big action.
I will always be a life-long learner, something I've realised only a small % of this world is dedicated to doing.
If there's one thing to do in 2021 is to become curious about everything, go for depth, not width, and see where that depth takes you.
If you are going in many directions at once you'll find you don't move at all.
And I would like to stress that you should not compare your own year to others. You'll see many 2020 review posts on Instagram over the next few days and remember it is a highlight reel and not real life. Like I touched upon in this review, perception is reality. The beauty of this is that reality can change quite easily with your change in perception. Don't look at them with the "oh their life is amazing, I'm sad" (the most damaging perception to have) but see it as "That's their very best highlights and moments, it doesn't mean their year was good at all, it's just photos and videos". Think about when you've posted a nice photo or video in the past, got the likes but deep down weren't happy at that moment in time. X that across the entire globe. That's reality.
But to finish on a lighter note I do recommend you create an annual review. I have made this one public mainly to hold myself accountable next year but also as a template or guide on how you can do one too.
I am excited about creating more content at the intersection of my unique skill-set. As per below!
See you all in 2021
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