2016 will be over in less than an hour, and as we all welcome the year 2017, here are some of the things I have learned in the past year as well as adjustments that I need to make in the coming new year.
In the middle of the year my father had a serious illness which required hospitalization for several weeks. My mother did her best to take care of him physically while me and my siblings took care of the finances. In the end it was well worth it as my father recovered and is doing well.
My daughter is also growing up very fast. Last year my body aches due to carrying her multiple times a day, but now she prefers walking by herself and no longer wants to be carried that often. I knew it was all cliche back then but they really do grow up so fast.
This year I increased my investments in the agricultural sector, particularly a fish cage operation. However due to circumstances that are not yet clear it looks like those investments are not going to pay off. I am still waiting for a resolution but it made me realize that when investing, it is important to know the type of investment fully, and also you need to have some level of control on how your money is going to be used.
My very small investment in Bitcoin (BTC) grew quite significantly, and it would have been better if I had added more into it in the prior months or did monthly averaging as it would have paid out very handsomely. The global uncertainty brought about by political events have shaken the financial markets and alternative currency such as BTC enjoy the benefits of the chaos.
In 2017 I still plan on investing my money into other ventures, but I will try hard to make investments only on areas where I have at least a small amount of control.
This year I have continued the trend of studying Personal Finance via podcasts, ebooks, and blogs. I have learned that the main concept of good personal finance is quite simple, and it is the execution of those concepts that is 95% of the work. As the fundamental concepts are simple, I also found that common themes are recurring on the books I have read about the subject, and to be honest it lessened my interest in reading about this as I sometimes felt that I have already learned the same concepts on other books that I had read before.
I still believe and apply the concepts of Stoic philosophy, although I have not read much material this year compared to last year. In 2017 I plan to increase the time I have in studying Stoicism so I can practice the concepts more and not feel that its just a hobby.
This year I discovered another philosophical area of interest: the Toltec ancient wisdom as described by the book The Four Agreements, which are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best
I have only listened to the audiobook version once and I plan on listening to it again multiple times until I can understand more of each of the agreements. I also recommend to anyone this book as it is a powerful concept in personal freedom, and together with Stoicism I know this will greatly improve my mental (and also physical) health and well-being.
I started the year strong by resuming my boxing sessions twice a week, and it has resulted in significant change in my physique and stress levels. However starting at the time that my father was hospitalized, my routine was broken and until now I have not come back yet to boxing. Working hard at my job also contributed to not having any exercise, which resulted in a double whammy of increased stress and reduced physical activity. In the next year I will find the time to resume boxing and in doing so take back my real body.
2016 is the year that I worked the hardest for a particular company. I would say that by working too much I have negatively affected other areas of my life such as relationships and my health. In the end, I find that all those effort did not matter that much anyway, and so I will need to make adjustments on how I handle my days and appropriately allocate my time into things that are important to me. I have a tendency to be a perfectionist and try to avoid making mistakes as much as possible, and because of this its going to be hard for me to adjust this behavior.
All of us are not guaranteed a tomorrow, and even so another year, so it is important that we use whatever time we have left on this earth on priorities that really matter to us.