Summing up 2018​

Today, many times being proud and speaking openly about your achievements will be taken rather negatively. Considered as bragging while we all should be modest and humble. Well, I dare to disagree. I think that talking about what we have accomplished is very important and should be recognized.

After all, we are where we are thanks to hard work and our own choices. The intent wasn’t to make others look or feel worse. On the contrary, we take action to improve our lives. If we inspire someone along the way – that is just brilliant! However if your success makes anyone feel bad (usually paired with blaming you for it), that is simply their problem (I wrote more about it here!).

“To win” != “to beat”

Also, many people tend to misunderstand what being humble really means, Tony Hsieh (author of Delivering Happiness)  explained it perfectly:

Being Humble is not thinking less of yourself, it’s about thinking of yourself less.

In other words, being honest and feeling proud about what we have accomplished doesn’t automatically mean we are not a humble person.

It does work both ways, of course, we take responsibility for our actions that may end up as both: failure or victory.

So what happened to me this year and what positive changes or decisions I made?
Can’t wait to tell you!

I must say that it was tough and I was struggling. At beginning of the year, I was on a plant-based diet for several months already, I went on holidays and because of tropical weather and a lot of sightseeing, my weight went down to lowest number ever in my adult life. This made me lazy cause it came to me so easily. So I stopped paying attention to what I was eating and gained weight back extremely fast. Now I am back to eating smart and running again. Jogging is something that I enjoy very much. It is so energizing and I like it even more now, when it’s cold, really! It’s been weeks of regular exercising and I am starting to recover my strength.

Foxtrot Alfa
I think this is the biggest success this year for me. The time, effort and nerves I have devoted to Foxtrot Alfa becoming a reality were definitely worth it. I was working on it for a year during my spare time. Could I have had it finished sooner? Absolutely! I just didn’t want to resign from living my life and all the other projects. I learned a lot and I am really proud of how it ended up. I had faced many moments of doubt but the happiness I experienced when it appeared on AppStore with my name next to it was priceless!

After the Foxtrot Alfa launch, I started thinking about other programming languages besides Swift and I decided to give Python a try. I chose it because of its popularity, high demand, simplicity, and versatility – web applications, data science, machine learning, to name a few. I had a Python Bootcamp course hanging on my Udemy account for months when I decided to go on with it. I also attended a data science workshops organized by Aviva in Warsaw – it was a great experience and a valuable insight into this kind of career.

1st of Jan 2018, I said I will read one book a week for a year. Six months later I knew it’s not gonna happen because I was focusing on other things too much. I promised myself to read at least more than a year ago instead. This I managed 🙂 – up to 28 books. Which ones I liked most and why you can read here!

Maybe some of you are familiar with the App 1 Second Everyday (1SE) – with its help, I have been recording moments from my life throughout the whole year. It was a lot of fun, some days were boring, others I spent in bed due to sickness, but overall for sure I tried to do more interesting stuff and went out more! The great year 2018, I had a blast! BTW if anyone is interested in the app – I think it is currently available for free again, as a holiday gift :). How did my year look like? Take a glance!

After my neither successful nor unsuccessful first attempt to investing which I did in 2017 playing around Forex. I decided to give it another shot but this time using a different strategy. I pulled out the books I have on the technical analysis of the financial markets (like the one written by John J. Murphy) and subscribed a newspaper that focuses on financial and business news – Parkiet. By that, I tried to combine the raw statistical analysis with fundamental knowledge about the market – and I went shopping, targeting long-term investments. I am still in the learning phase but looking forward to next year and more opportunities!

WebSummit in Lisbon
This point combines two exciting events. First one is visiting Lisbon which I always wanted to see and second attending the biggest Tech Conference in the world. The whole experience was hyper inspiring. It gathered thousands of people with hopes and visions of better future, sharing their ideas, current market trends and discussing the today’s world biggest problems that we as mankind and societies need to acknowledge, address and face. All of it for better tomorrow. I wrote a piece about it, you can check it out here.

Being self-aware and present in a moment, calming down your mind and thinking about nothing (nothing at all! Imagine!!) had always been a difficulty to me. At WebSummit I discovered the app called Calm and it finally started to make sense. Something that I thought is going to be impossible for me stopped being so challenging. I am still at the very beginning of this path but I already notice the benefits of it – I am calmer, not so much in a rush all the time and I tend to focus more easily. Plus, having a bedtime story told by Matthew McConaughey?
Who doesn’t sleep well after that?!

Three travel wish list updates
First time in years I had a real vacation – it lasted for almost three weeks, I came back happy,  relaxed, with a fresh mind, a lot of energy and new ideas. Before, I was never fully charged after the holidays because I was thinking about work during it. This time, when I came back to the office, I even forgot my password! I think it was thanks to the company I had and the places we visited that helped me truly rest and get some perspective. It was a great trip which crossed out two positions of my travel destinations wish list – Thailand and Cambodian Angkor Wat. The third one I checked out, visiting Lisbon later.

The you see now is a final version of several ideas I had in the past 3 years or so. At last, I feel that this is it. I will for sure work further on its appearance and some functionalities but so far so good!

Bachelorette party
This year I had the honor to be my best friend’s maid of honor at her wedding. Being very happy about the ceremony itself I had to also face a challenging task of organizing the bachelorette party. I admit that I was pretty nervous about it, fortunately, it all turned out as a success and my friend was satisfied (and we all know that bride’s happiness is all that matters!). Great memories!

Book club
This one might seem a little silly but I am really glad that I have participated in it. Becoming a member of a book club opened me up to literature I wouldn’t have reached for under different circumstances. The social events we had with discussions about the plot, characters and our impressions usually also led to many other interesting topics. I learned a lot during these evenings and met some great people too. I would recommend such experience to anyone cause it will widen your horizons.

Quitting my job
Definitely the biggest change in my life. After working for almost four years in a global corporation I decided to turn my life around and try myself in a different field. This attempt required some preparation and setting a plan in motion but most of all it required courage. If not now then when. Right? Stay tuned for more updates on this one soon!!

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