The past year has been rough. We had the pandemic and transitioned our daily lives completely doing things remotely at home. The year was so challenging that it allowed us to learn how to change the way we live with our lives and somewhat adapted to it. However, changes are not bad at all. These changes have given me liberty to explore things I don’t know and learn it from the ground up. Here are some things I have unlocked the past year:
1. Love People. Use Things.
This is my favorite tagline from my favorite podcast The Minimalists. Seriously, their book has helped me a lot to re-evaluate my life’s values. I discovered Minimalism through their documentary and my life’s perspective has totally changed. Minimalism is not just an ordinary philosophy, but it is a vehicle that will take you to your destination. It is not a destination itself. Oftentimes, I succumb with the idea that getting the latest and greatest THINGS in life will make me happy. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. People are more important than things. I changed my perspective on how I can contribute MORE to the lives of other people rather than feeding my appetite of the things I want. In the past 2020, it became more evident that relationships matter because we live afar from the ones we love. Starting to work remotely allowed me to miss the laughters in our offices since human interactions became limited. Visiting my parents and other loved ones became limited. So, every time I had a chance to grab some time with them, I make sure I provide the most quality. This holiday season, I even decided to give the gift of presence rather than giving things to the ones I care about.
2. Bullet Journaling.
I have spoken about Bullet Journaling recently because for me, it is a new discovery. I found that the Method was simple and the ones I saw on Instagram and YouTube are different. Furthermore, I have bought the book and started applying it in my life. Currently, I am still using Bullet Journal as my primary tool for both productivity and mindfulness because making and using it daily allowed me to have more headspace and think about things that truly matter. However, BuJo has its limitations and far from perfect. Especially since we are living in the digital age where it involves many moving parts. Maybe it’s just me that I think I have been fed up with the #hussleculture and the productivity porn around that tells us to hustle and do more. I have a post here about my dilemma in having so much digital productivity tools. Through bullet journaling, I have found the sweet spot between doing less to achieve more. Not to mention, mindfulness and proper headspace is a better way for me to achieve a healthier me.
3. Slow Living.
It took a global pandemic to tell the world, “Hey, slow down!”. We are living in a world where instant exists — instant coffee, instant gratification, instant noodles, and many more. We are even tethered to our smartphones all day because we are waiting for the next notification from our phones. Since I was talking about headspace, I think slow living has helped me a lot. I have learned the beauty of planning things carefully and allowing time to move slower by reflecting on things that truly matter. I intentionally miss many phone calls and video meetings because of conflicting schedules, but I don’t regret it. Not only that, but I learned that I should prioritize my health (and mental health) more than achieving things that needs to get done. Productivity has been my favorite subject since 2017, but I think I got the wrong notion about it. I have realized that having a better sleep quality allowed me to be more productive. Eating my food slowly and spending quality time with friends and family allowed me to have more focus on what truly matters. Yet, it gave me so much focus when I started to work because I have proper headspace. I became more reflective and have more self-awareness to address the real problems not just passively responding to other people’s problems presented in front of me.
4. Making my Coffee from Bean to Cup.
After embracing slow living, I tried to make my coffee at home since of the limitations of going out to grab some coffee in a coffee shop. I used to have a cheap drip coffee machine, but I switched to a French press. I love the process of making my coffee each morning that it becomes therapeutic to me rather than a chore. The process of grinding manually, heating the water, then brewing the coffee is really taking a lot of time. A time to have more self-awareness and start my day in a reflective routine. Overall, it takes around 15 minutes to prepare my coffee in my morning ritual. Achievement unlocked on my part that I have learned these things during the year and I have grown to love the process. The process of buying the coffee beans, measuring the coffee, grinding to my preferred grind size, boiling water to around 205 degrees Fahrenheit and brewing for 4 minutes has given me so much joy. Something that I won’t get by Not to mention, making your coffee is way much cheaper than buying a $3 latte at your favorite coffee shop.
5. Learning is a Priority.
Since time at home is very much available during free time from work, I can say that books are always within my reach. I have been chewing more pages than ever compared to before since my kindle is just sitting around my desk and all the books in my library is readily available here. I just grabbed a book that I want to read and just chew a few pages each day. Establishing a reading habit is quite difficult at first, but it is very essential to me since I intentionally want to make learning my priority. Just like everyone else, navigating through this trying times in the pandemic is quite difficult. However, I remember a quote from Greg Mckeown, saying, “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” So, I decided to commit myself into learning and improving myself. Reading various self-help books and committing me to finish a book from cover to cover. So in my case, I know prioritizing learning is essential for my growth. Especially if I want to be more skillful in my craft.
So, these are the highlights of my 2020 in regard to what I have learned the past year. Looking forward to learning more things and upgrade my craft in what I am passionate to do.