Each year, at the end of December, I like to look back at the year, summarize it and set a roadmap for the following one. It’s a great tradition that my wife came up with 5 years ago (thanks love). It helps me see how successful am I at living my life. This summary, however, is only a list of facts what happened in the past and what I want to happen in the future. The most important is to analyze those fact and LEARN. That’s what made me realize my strengths, weaknesses and opportunities to improve.
1. There is no such thing as jinx
I used to take three steps back when a black cat crossed my path. Even hypothetical ones, when I was driving for example. And I NEVER told other people, not even my parents or best friends, when something big and exciting was going to happen. Because things really used to end up bad when I did.
Early in 2014, when we were fundraising at Mentegram for the first time, I had a usual weekend lunch with my parents. Of course, they didn’t know anything about the negotiations. I also didn’t realize that and started talking about it before it was late, and jinxed it…
How did all it end? Of course, there was no jinx. We did well and signed the deal a few weeks later. That’s when I realized that I’m the one to blame for my “bad luck”, not the universe. Life has been so much easier since.
2. When you want something, say it
Are you worried that other people say “No!” when you ask them to do something or do something what you want? I bet that you do. At least somewhere deep inside. I’ll tell you a secret, me too. But I fight it. I don’t get anything if I don’t work for it. If you don’t consider luck, it happens sometimes. But I don’t want sometimes, I want to control it.
If I don’t tell what I want, how could other people know and give it to me? Or at least let me do it. Getting “No!” isn’t a bad thing. It’s just another opportunity to get “Yes!”, just the person wasn’t right. Or, in the worst case, it’s a clear answer and you don’t have to worry about it anymore and move on. Isn’t it much better than getting nothing and even regretting for not trying?
3. KISS (Keep it simple, stupid)
Well, this isn’t that new. I’ve been KISSing for a few years and I’m pretty good at it. What I learned in 2014 is that KISSing comes in stages. What I considered simple in January, wasn’t simple in December anymore. Of course, the goal isn’t to make things as simple as possible. Because focusing on making things simple would make it complicated. Wait, what have I just said? It’s getting complicated, isn’t it?
Anyway, I still have to learn. And the point is, there is always a simple solution. And a big solution to a complicated issue isn’t anything else than many simple solutions to many smaller problems combined.
4. Be human
“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” has been my motto for ages. Often, it’s so much easier to stop caring or scream at someone. However, if you are strong and pursue it, the reward is priceless. There will always be jerks, but it’s great when most of the people really treat you like you deserve to. And 2014 has proven me right. A lot has changed in my life and I met a lot of new people. I can say for me is that I’m really happy how it worked out with them. And I hope that they feel the same.
Bonus – Focus on what has the biggest impact
I consider myself a busy person. And I bet the most of you think the same about yourselves. For me, my life is too short to worry about all the problems, issues and roadblocks that we stumble upon. I want to enjoy it and have fun. I want my work be my hobby. Yes, there are many things that I have to do. But usually only one or two of them are the ones affecting the most things. And the best thing is that getting them off my plate doesn’t take that long. I just have to be honest with myself and identify them right. Just do it. No-one will do it for me or you, I promise. I don’t want to waste my time, do you?
EDIT: If you aren’t sure how to identify those things, they are usually the ones that you keep delaying and always find other things to do instead.