Writing Experiment Lab

Category: Year End Blog Post (page 1 of 1)

I have this yearly affair of writing a blog post at the end of the year reminiscing about the year it was.

Year 2019 End Blog Post

So, the fastest year of life is over in a jiffy. I went to Goa in Jan 2018 and it feels like it was just a few weeks ago. That’s how fast the last 2 years have gone by.

There were many learnings this year work-wise. I have now completed more than a decade of working. It went pretty smooth for me for the first 7 years but the last 3 years have made me work as many hours as I worked in the first 7. There were numerous late nights and weekends. The amount of knowledge gained was also enormous. I also completed 5 years working in the same company. So, I have spent more time in office than in the rented house I am living in. Does this mean the office feels like home? Dangerous sign.

And, as much as you want to avoid, but someday politics catches you. But it is fun and challenging and as part of life as it can be. Bring it on!

As I observed, I have been the heaviest this year. Time to look into it in 2019. Better to go into new year with some aim.

Below are the things I enjoyed this year, like a normal human being.

Movies (In theatres)

The least number of movies I watched in Cinema this year.

TV

Movies

  • Movies by Edgar Wright – Scott Pilgrim and Trilogy of Ice-Cream and Blood
  • Article 15 – Dark and brilliantly shot
  • Section 375 – Gripping!
  • A Quiet Place – Goosebumps, silently. Brought back memories of Spielberg era

Series

  • The Office – I haven’t laughed as much I did while watching this in ages. I’m seriously! All hail Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute combo. Things do get weird in S8 but still so much better than all those shows with a laughter track after every 10 seconds. Each and every character in fact make you chuckle. It will be hard to miss. That’s what she said!
  • The Family Man S1 – Superbly made. I think all the things by the creators of this have been amazing.
  • Fleabag – Some 4th wall breaking done really brilliantly, the writing and the acting by the eponymous Phoebe Waller-Bridge is something else!
  • Stranger Things S3 – Still one of my most favorite shows. The ‘Never ending story’ part was the best.
  • Veep S7 – Cannot think of any other show which has so many jokes crammed into every dialogue that before you finish your laugh at one, another one comes which is even meaner. And this was the final season. Elaine, I mean, President Selina Meyer, what a performance!
  • Chernobyl – Highly recommended

Books

The following are the books I read this year. I had targetted one book a month but I ended up 2 short. Currently, I am reading Thinking Fast and Slow but it is not going to get finished in the next 3 days.

One thing I regret about the following books is that in spite of them being definitely life-changing, I didn’t change my life. I will have to read some of them again because they are definitely worth re-reads. Some of them tend to appear a bit lop-sided about growing old and understanding the world more. But then as I said I didn’t let them affect me in any positive or negative manner. One way to actually implement the learnings from the books is to go through them again via a book review which I didn’t do at all this year and that has to be corrected next year.

* All the above links are Amazon Affiliate Links.

Year 2018 End Blog Post

*cough*

What a year 2018 has been! I mean, seriously. This year, I had some experiences which I have never felt in my life before. Most of the experiences were life-altering. I will come back to them later in this post but first, let us look at the so-called resolutions I had promised at the end of the last year. And their outcomes, of course. I don’t make resolutions-resolutions per se but everyone has some things in their minds they want to tick mark every year.

Here’s the breakdown of how my objectives of the year fared.

Resolutions 2018

  • Write daily. This is really important. Seth Godin, here I come.
    • Outcome: 33 blog posts. About 300 posts short but highest blog posts in a year by me, ever!
    • Verdict: Fail
  • Take more photographs. Edit them better. Make better stories. Be a better photographer, better editor.
    • Outcome: About 150 Instagram Posts. I crossed 1000 posts this year. And I didn’t use Photoshop this year at all.
    • Verdict: Pass
  • Be a better storyteller. Better speaker. Better. And don’t let anything distract you from that.
    • Outcome: I completed by Toastmasters Advanced Communicator Bronze which included Storytelling. So technically, yes! Still a long way to go.
    • Verdict: Pass
  • Indulge in Video making and editing. Tough task but time is now! Casey Neistat and likes keep inspiring and sharing new people to get motivated from.
    • Outcome: Video editing is a tough job. I didn’t start a Vlog yet but getting there slowly.
    • Verdict: Pass (barely)
  • Learn something new every week. New technology, science, history, word, technique, skills, something! And write about it.
    • Outcome: Huge scope in this task. I certainly could do a lot more. I will consider myself failed.
    • Verdict: Fail
  • I didn’t have an actual big cycle when I was a kid. I had a small kiddy bike until I was 13. But then my younger brother got a proper bike. So I used it. But not as much as I wanted. So, if all goes well, I will buy a Bicycle soon and just ride it.
    • Outcome: Big fail.
    • Verdict: Fail
  • Overhaul the overall brand. Come up as a person people should look up to. Learn from others. Teach what you know to others. Learn more, be more!
    • Outcome: Long way to go. It is better to stay perpetually fail as this.
    • Verdict: Fail
  • Basically, just do. Don’t complain. Don’t indulge in politics. Don’t share irrelevant details. Don’t consume bad stuff.
    • Outcome: Subjective thing. But I am still sane.
    • Verdict: Pass
  • Don’t intake negative vibes. Just do your thing and be better!
    • Outcome: Same as above
    • Verdict: Pass

Experiences

Chanakya wrote,

A man is born alone and dies alone; and he experiences the good and bad consequences of his karma alone; and he goes alone to hell or the Supreme abode.

Karma is a funny thing. It is certainly the outcome of your actions which you deliberated yourself or someone made you do it. Nevertheless, you must face them at some point in your life. The year 2018 left me with some experiences (which were not my doing necessarily but still I had to face) which were quite new. I am going to jot down these experiences in the classy Health-Wealth-Wise trio format which made me ponder about life a bit more than I would have. This is going to be somber like all previous year-end posts.

Health

I traveled to Goa in the beginning of the year and needless to say I was not interested in sharing my beach pics. I have put more pressure on the weighing scales this year than I ever have. Some of this could be blamed on me living alone for 5 months and using Zomato, Swiggy, and FreshMenu to the fullest. I was, in fact, happy to note that Google Pay got me a lot of cashbacks. But then I fell sick later in the year so the medicines evened out the cashbacks. The silver lining was that I was able to keep the clothes still fit my waist. This sounds all negligible experience actually. This is not life-altering by any stretch of the imagination, to be honest. In more seriousness, the truth is that most of us take health for granted. Only when either we ourself or someone close falls ill, then only we understand the importance of taking care. Some of the people around me kept on falling sick or fell into the trap of diseases which are life-threatening. Even if when you are not suffering yourself, when people around you suffer, that hurts a lot, if not equally. And the fact that one cannot do anything about it, is a tough bullet to chew. To say the least, healthwise 3 of the major experience happened to me this year was:

  1. Having to take someone to a hospital in an ambulance when they had just collapsed and getting to know that it was the case of D.O.A.
  2. Still dealing with the ongoing ordeal of a close one suffering from the monster called Cancer. It sucks the life out of one in all possible ways but you still have to deal with it.
  3. Got to hear about someone giving up on life due to Depression. Enough said.

Wealth

View this post on Instagram

#development

A post shared by Abhinav Bhatt (@abhinavbhatt) on

Till July of this year, I went to the Airport every month. Sometimes, more than once a month. I am not at all a frequent traveler but circumstances made me do it. That also brings me to the fact that, one, everyone knows how painful it is to travel to Bengaluru airport so many times, and second, the amount of money which gets consumed in traveling is immense. People get so much impressed by Travelogs but what about unplanned travels? Who budgets that? So, the first experience was to think about money. Frankly, I have never paid any attention to it. I have been privileged enough to not to worry about it, yes! But also, how much more do I need to be more responsible and be ready for the unplanned things. I finally started investing. Nothing fancy but even investing in FDs and RDs was the first time for me. (I am so posh or what?). But seriously, I should have started this a decade ago. The one thing nobody teaches properly is how to use your money. Those who actually professionally teach have ulterior motives I guess. One important thing I did this year though was to travel to Shravanbelgola and attend the once in 25 years Mahamastakabhishek in proper attire. I don’t know if I will ever get a chance like this.

Wise

With all of the learnings from above, the only take away is that we don’t really have much time. How we spend the time we have makes us who we are! We can get bothered about the events on social media or politics, or we can try to make small differences in anyone else’s lives. We can either Netflix and chill (and that is important too to stay sane but in limited quantity) or we can try to boost confidence and morale of someone by sharing a good positive quote or just talking and listening to them. We can stay in one place or travel.

All in all, 2018 was a somewhat unusual year which sets the tone of future too. But since we have less time in our hands, we can try to be optimistic and just do something about it than letting life happen to us.

The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.
– John Maxwell

Read more

Year 2017 End Post, or is it?

New Year Resolutions are something which I never pay attention to. They’re not for me. I stopped thinking long-term a while back and took life as it came. That worked most of the time but there are times for which one should also be prepared. But if I have to rate no-long-term-thinking-theory, it would still be one of the best decisions I made to stay happy. Fewer Expectations, Better Life.

This time, however, I am thinking of taking a Strong New Year Resolution which requires full-time dedication. We will come to that in a minute or so. The year 2016 was a fine year by the way. Although I changed my ‘status’ that year, still I lived alone for 8 months. The latter part of 2016 was not good though. I got to know that Depression was something real when it happened to one of my close ones. Also, I had a motorbike accident which left me with not being able to use my right hand for more than 2 weeks. Plus, in my journey to be a more confident speaker, I came across an obstacle which made me question my decision itself to become a more confident speaker. Long story short, as I was entering 2017, I was not in my best state of mind and body.

So, let’s have a thorough look back at the Year, Twenty Seventeen was.  Did it turn out okay, did it turn out alright? Boom! Here we go…

  • Firstly, I am very proud of this year. I learned a lot of things, both professionally and personally. The thing which was bothering me at the end of 2016, I took it head on and instead of running away from it (Public Speaking), I decided to confront it. I got my Competent Communication module of 10 Speeches done by May 10th. And that was the time (January-June) when I was peak busy at Work. This taught me a lesson that when one is super busy and focused at work, that is the time when the brain is at its optimum energy level to do things which can give you a break from work.

Lesson Learnt: If you’re busy with work, that is the best time to do things which are totally unrelated to work. Break the monotony

Break Monotony

Break Monotony

  • I also gained enough confidence to recite poems (in my case, these are just words put in an order to rhyme, after every line) in front of a live audience. Although, the audience was known me, reciting a rhyme, in public, is a feat.

Lesson Learnt: Let some skill, which you always have been shy about, come out in public. Some might like it. Overcome inhibitions!

overcome inhibitions

overcome inhibitions

  • For the first time, I traveled to Kerala i.e. Kochi, Alleppey, and Munnar. It was such a wonderful trip which left us wanting for more.

Of course, needless to say that the lesson here is travel more. Anyone has anything to say against travelling?

Some pics here:

View this post on Instagram

#Houseboat #boomerang

A post shared by Abhinav Bhatt (@abhinavbhatt) on

  • I took over as the President of a Toastmasters Club which had 31 people when I started and my term ended (will end on Dec 31) with 24 people. Heh! Now, have I failed? Have I embarrassed myself? Have I lost the cause? Well, actually no. This experience of serving so many people is a humbling experience. This isn’t managing people. This is more like leading people to something they want to do, but they probably aren’t as enthusiastic as you are. I would say, being a President of a corporate Toastmasters club is a difficult task. But I am proud to say that I didn’t give up at all. I didn’t fail because I kept at it. I, with the help of some other people, always kept my members on their toes. Surely, we could do a lot better but I hope the wheels of motion are now set. I was commended by few people for the job I was doing. I was also praised by some that there won’t be anyone like me in future. But I would like to believe that at least one a couple of people would have taken some inspiration and would continue to work for others. Working for others give a pleasure which is immeasurable.

Lesson Learnt: Experience Selflessness. Do something for others and enjoy their success.

experience selflessness

experience selflessness

  • Now some selfishness. I bought a new phone after 3 years. I was using Moto X2 since October 2014. The only issue with that phone was Battery. I had no issues otherwise and quite enjoyed the phone. But there was one caveat. The camera quality was not very exciting. So, I got myself a new One Plus 5t and since then, I am spamming Instagram almost daily. And I feel good about that kind of spamming!
  • I read more numbers of books this year than I have ever read in my life. Isn’t that awesome? This number also included so many superb books. I have written some reviews of those too. Kindly check them out here.

read more

read more

  • One important thing also happened this year. I didn’t miss Twitter. I didn’t miss TV news. That reaffirmed my belief that most of the social media and other media I have been consuming is a farce. I deserve much better and my time deserves the much better use of media. I don’t even want to spend any of my words here about how Twitter and stuff are full of crap. I would rather suggest a Chrome Extensions here: Nudge. This extension helps you to unfollow everyone and everything on Facebook. And block Twitter and all addictive social media sites. I installed and did exactly what it was supposed to do. Unfollow everything. Now, that’s something you should try!

So that was mostly it! Enough about 2017. Now, it is time to share

Thoughts on 2018

Day One

Day One

The above poster is inspired by this post by Ryder Carroll: https://www.instagram.com/p/BSeYbRPhDNs

There’s one thing I have been meaning to do for a long time. That is to write daily. There is also a HUGE GAP in my usage of Adobe Photoshop this year as my laptop had crashed. Plus, this year I discovered vlogging and scope of me learning video editing. Also, I also have started to indulge in jumping on to the bandwagon and sharing ‘Stories’ on Instagram. So, I am looking at following things this year:

  1. Write daily. This is really important. Seth Godin, here I come.
  2. Take more photographs. Edit them better. Make better stories. Be a better photographer, better editor.
  3. Be a better storyteller. Better speaker. Better. And don’t let anything distract you from that.
  4. Indulge in Video making and editing. Tough task but time is now! Casey Neistat and likes keeps inspiring and sharing new people to get motivated from.
  5. Learn something new every week. New technology, science, history, word, technique, skills, something! And write about it.
  6. I didn’t have an actual big cycle when I was a kid. I had a small kiddy bike till I was 13. But then my younger brother got a proper bike. So I used it. But not as much as I wanted. So, if all goes well, I will buy a Bicycle soon and just ride it.
  7. Overhaul the overall brand. Come up as a person people should look up to. Learn from others. Teach what you know to others. Learn more, be more!
  8. Basically, just do. Don’t complain. Don’t indulge in politics. Don’t share irrelevant details. Don’t consume bad stuff. Don’t intake negative vibes. Just do your thing and be better!

My Mantra for 2018 is going to be: JUST DO. If I get some more motivation, I will probably get a T-Shirt made out of this.

Just Do

Just Do

On second thought, I think Nike has already done something similar. Nevertheless, I am going to follow-up on this motto and show up more often here.

I am psyched!

Year 2016 End Blog Post

2016 is almost about to end, finish, over, poooof!! YAY!

Now, for some reasons, I don’t understand what the hoopla was about. Bad things happened this year, sure, but that happens every year and this is going to continue to happen next year as well. Probably, I don’t feel as impacted as supposed to, by most of the things which happened this year, as I transitioned from being, how to put it mildly, Sngl to Mrrd in January itself. Once you have made that change in your life, every other impact feels like falling of a 1 KG metal ball or a feather in space.

So, as goes the tradition, this is the year-end summary blog post for 2016. Some major things are summarized below so that I can read the same 10 years from now (if all goes well):

  • January was something. Apart from the D-Day, I also stepped outside Indian soil. And landed on a semi-Indian soil. And it was fun.
  •  And the events that followed after Jan’s main event, have been fun alright!
  • For the first time in my life, I got to live alone. Like actually alone. Sounds very weird after the first 2 points but that is how it was. I lived alone for about 8 months, with occasional visits from friends and family. But living alone gives you some perspective in life which nothing else does. I recommend, everyone should live alone for a month of two, at least. I played a whole lot of Pokemon Go for 1 week, before those idiots took it down.
  • Around mid-year, I joined Toastmasters. One, to slow myself down. Second, to become a better public speaker. The journey has been super exciting as having an aim in life, a purpose, gives you a lot to look forward to. Also, the club gives you an environment which one craves for in a job, that it is not just rewarding, but also competitive and that school-college-classroom feel is there. However, I don’t know how much have I improved as a public speaker, I surely have become more open to talking to any number of people. I would go in more confident now, as compared to past. There are still many glitches to overcome, but we shall do that in 2017. And yeah, I have completed the CL Manual, and very soon, I would be a Competent Leader officially. Yes!
  • I got the opportunity to visit Gokarna for the first time, and Ooty for the 2nd. But, I couldn’t give myself much time to click photographs, so there is one things I missed out on. I should have clicked more.
  • I moved to a new place. After spending full 6 years in the most North Indian part of Southern Bengaluru, I moved to Eastern Central Bengaluru. I am going to totally miss, Bun, Tea and Momos. And the people there which made the place worth living.
  • Last but not the least, I had my first ever and the most severe, Bike accident. I had forgotten that Bengaluru’s roads have potholes and I drove in to one. Bike toppled, as did I. Luckily, only bike’s headlight got broken and my right hand got muscle sprained. Nothing bad happened. But my right hand is still recuperating. I got to wear that protective sling thingy for the first time ever. Hopefully, I will remember how to ride on roads in this country.

Have I changed? Yes, to a certain extent. I have realized that time doesn’t stay the same always even when it seems to have frozen for some time. And most importantly, life after marriage is fine. It only seems dangerous till you haven’t done that.

2017, bring it on!