My Key Takeaways from 2019
Dec 15, 2019
Takes about 5 minutes to read ⏱
“Learning, at its core, is a broadening of horizons, of seeing things that were previously invisible and of recognizing capabilities within yourself that you didn’t know existed” ― Scott H. Young
With the year bidding us goodbye, I would like to share my key takeaways from this year. It’s the year when I decided to develop some basic writing skills, started exploring about efficient learning techniques and started reading on a regular basis. I engaged myself in taking up small challenges to test my limits and in the process of doing so, familiarize myself with some new skills or upgrade existing ones. Not all have been successful, however it kept me away from other distractions and eventually learn few things.
To be precise, here is a list of my key takeaways from this year.
Learning to learn - My preconceived notion about the ways learning evolved a lot during this year. It all started by watching a course on coursera by the name Learning how to learn by Barbara Oakley. I would highly recommend taking this course at your own pace. It has been curated by top educators from some of the best institutes in the world. I adopted of lot of learning techniques from this course and lot of other invaluable resources that are helping me uplift my productivity levels.
Imbibing reading books into daily routine - I have never been a bibliophile and for me reading books was a sporadic activity. This year, I started taking reading on a daily basis. The learning to learn course encouraged me to take reading as a part of my daily routine. I mostly read non fiction books such as autobiographies, technology and productivity best sellers and some recommended by friends. I subsequently purchased a Kindle, and consider it as one of the best investments made. Books are such a rich source of information and provides a unique perspective from someone else’s mind. Though it is impossible to retain each and every information that is read, our mind evolves in a positive way. Some of my favorite reads from this year are
- The power of habits by Charles Duhigg.
- Atomic habits by James Clear
- Ultralearning by Scott Young
- The autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda
- Surely you’re joking Mr Feynman by Richard Feynman
- The checklist manifesto by Dr Atul Gawande
Social Media Fasting - We all are well acquainted with the fact that social media is highly addictive and as a result most people spend a considerable amount of their time staring at digital screens for staying updated with the hottest gossips in town, entertainment and staying in touch with friends. Even I used to resort to scrolling the facebook newsfeed or the latest youtube recommendations several times a day just out of habit. Then I happened to read a wonderful book, Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport which illustrates the steps to become a digital minimalist and being aware of our time spent with the digital world instead of being a slave. I started practicing one of the minimalist techniques which is to delete all social media apps from my smartphone when needed, browse them only on my laptop. In a month, I realized, I no longer feel the urge to open Facebook or checkout the latest youtube recommendation several times in a day. I personally love youtube and I am thankful to the awesome content creators to help me learn things for free. However after removing the app from my phone, I need a good enough reason to browse it on my laptop even for entertainment purposes. I prefer to call my friends or relatives in person nowadays if I really want to stay connected. If I have idle time, I prefer to read, draw or simply taking a power-nap rather than being a social media power user.
Turning Vegetarian - Early this year I became a vegetarian. This is just a personal preference and nothing against non-vegetarian food. Initially it started as a practice to observe activity levels with only plant based diet and then gradually it turned into habit. I started following nutritionists and their views about various diets and observed that plant based diet is in no way inferior or nutrient deficient than animal based diet. Infact, most health professionals and scientific studies have favoured it. There is also a great netflix documentary on plant based nutrition called Game Changers which debunks some common myths related to nutrition. Again, this is a solely personal choice and I find myself more adapted and suited to this kind of diet. It has helped me transform into a fitter version of myself this year.
With just few days left for the arrival of the new year, I have plans to upgrade my blog and share content more often related to topics and activities that fascinates me. I shall be focussing on more intensive Ultralearning projects rather than monthly challenges to give myself more time to acquire new skills or upgrade existing ones.
I wish you all Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous new year well in advance 🎉🥳🎆🎁.