My lessons from the first half of 2024

I was reflecting on the year so far to ensure I can prepare for a strong second half of 2024.

This has been an incredible year on many fronts. I decided to share a few key insights I've gained.

1.⁠ ⁠⁠Discomfort and growth go hand in hand

I used to wonder why my life had so many ups and downs.

I realized this was the result of a growth mindset and making choices to take up challenges: starting a non-profit; working in Hong Kong; volunteering in an opposition party; becoming a creator and then joining a pre-IPO tech startup.

The truth is: Discomfort and growth go hand in hand.

Any change in our life will always be uncomfortable.

I used to exercise 3 times per week. When I increased it to four and then five, I was really tired. After two weeks, I got used to it.

I used to wake up around 730AM. When I gradually shifted the time back to 7AM and then 6 AM, I was tired. After two weeks, I got used to it.

I used to fear cold and did not like winter much. When I started to do ice baths, 12 degrees was not comfortable for me. After two weeks, I found myself being able to sit in 5 degrees.

Adapting to new routines will tire us initially.

We might feel this change is not suitable for us at the start.

The biggest mistake people make is to give up early and say “This is not for me”

2.⁠ ⁠You are not responsible for other people feeling inferior

This year, I was suddenly asked to share about my success in front of a group of people.

I felt really uncomfortable. This impacted my confidence and it showed.

The host who was a leader I admired spoke to me privately later that week to ask me why.

I responded that I did not want to create a gap and make others feel bad about lagging behind or worse, attract jealousy.

I guess this was due to experience.

From young, my dad will tell me tonot 抢风头 to avoid jealousy amongst others who are doing less well.

This was reinforced in many life experiences.

I remember when I was in school, my peers found out how much pocket money I was getting in a week. They started to expect me to treat and kept bringing it up out of envy. I was singled out and treated differently.

At 30 years old, you can see the impacts of compounding decisions (good and bad) on people's lives.

When I was dating, every time the guys found out I was LinkedIn Top Voices, my job, property, achievements or even my daily routine, I would get treated differently. They’d start to need a lot of assurance about why I choose to go out with them and keep comparing to other guys. My attraction for them will decline at a rapid rate.

These experiences reinforced my fear of appearing ‘too good’.

The leader I admired told me something along the lines of: You are not responsible for whether other people feel inferior or not. Own your success.

This is really true. I will bear this in mind as I enter the second half of the year.

3. Be careful of information overload

One thing I have done well is to curate my information diet. This means I am intentional and selective about the type of information I am receiving.

I realized in recent months that a significant gap in my productivity is information overload.

There was a period where I kept watching endless Anatoly prank videos; fitness videos or how to lose body fat. When I watched the latter, I realized I was not absorbing as much as I would like to.

If you think about it, our ancestors lived in small communities and encountered a limited amount of information daily.

The brain evolved to process this manageable amount of data efficiently.

Yet, with social media, we are bombarded with far more information than our brains are designed to handle.

This tires our brain. The brain can only process a certain amount of information at a time. When flooded with excess of information, this leads to mental exhaustion.

Additionally, with the rapid pace of information consumption, there's less time for reflection and critical thinking. This can lead to superficial understanding and the spread of misinformation.

✅ Continue

  • Not consuming news. No news apps from my phone. No following news channels on Instagram, LinkedIn and Telegram. The exception here is nature and business news for enjoyment and work.

  • No notifications

  • Follow 300 accounts or less

❌ Stop:Consuming mindlessly

🌟 Start: After watching one Youtube video or podcast, write down one important information I learned or one action I want to take. Knowing is one thing, but taking action is key.

You don’t need more information. If information were the problem, everyone would be rich, fit, and madly in love.

Your entire life will change the moment you stop gathering more information and start acting on the information you already have.

Sahil Bloom | Watch full video here

Read my previous years lessons here

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