The 2023 Recap

Reflecting on a year of growth and action. From increased focus to financial control, books that inspired, and top podcasts.

The 2023 Recap

It was a year... a long one.

The real thing about it is, there were pleasant moments and unpleasant moments. Thankfully most of the unpleasant moments helped shape me into a better version of myself. That's what matters to me.

If you decide to stop reading here... the one thing to take away is, this year I learned more about how my actions speak louder than words.

Action is a good word to kick off this summary of my year. It's easy to think and talk about doing something but it doesn't do any good if action isn't taken. Committing to focus on an idea and executing it is what drove me forward. Even if things did or didn't go as planned (which happens more often than not) I learned to adapt and course correct.

Here's some action I took this year:

  • Increased my focus by turning off several distractions.
  • Taking the increase in focus and using it to be more engaged and present with my loved ones and friends.
  • Discovering more about myself through regular therapy.
  • Applying more focus to my work as a front-end developer.
  • I read 30+ books and read 25 books cover to cover.
  • Taking control of my finances and coming up with a good plan (with the help of a finance coach).

In a nutshell, these action items helped shape me into a better version of myself laying the groundwork for the next level of action items in the new year.

My Top 3 Non-Fiction Books This Year

  • The Creative Act A Way of Being by Rick Rubin challenged the lens through which I viewed the world. Rubin's book helped me become more present with my surroundings and understand how who or what I take inspiration from directly drives the result of my work. This book should likens to a spiritual guide or reference bible for those who deeply care about their work.

  • The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices by Casper ter Kuile aligned perfectly with my focus on becoming more present. As someone who was raised in a religious environment and has since left organized religion, it can be easy to disregard the benefits of finding/creating rituals in my daily life. Formerly prayer and scripture were a form of ritual, now for me it might be meditating or taking a walk alone without technology. Ritual has a new meaning for me and this book has helped me think of other ways I can introduce healthy rituals into my life.

My Top 3 Fiction Books This Year

  • 1984 by George Orwell is a novel about a government system that has controlled and brainwashed their people and the account of an individual who found himself living in this twisted system. This novel paints some concerning parallels that compare to some of the modern government systems in our world today. Orwell's text made me think about our present future and the downfall of democracy.

  • The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu the first book in this three-part series is an incredible science fiction read about an incoming alien invasion. While the people of Earth await the invasion, several complex problems around civilization, social issues, religion, and science take place. This book paints a good picture of the complexity of humanity and how humanity responds to certain scenarios.

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - ¬†An edge-of-seat sci-fi story where the real world crosses into virtual reality. A quest between good and evil to have power over a virtual world. This was a fun easy read that certainly kept me entertained.

My Top 3 Podcast Episodes This Year

Top 3 Newsletters I'm Reading

My Top Music Picks

That's the end... a wrap of some of the key moments of the year. Stay tuned to see more in the coming year.