I did create a list of things I wanted to do for 2022. The list changed has changed a few times over the year, depending on what I wanted to focus on. This is how the list looks today:
- Gojek (Highest priority)
- Stretching (Want to improve my mobility)
- Evening walk (Was not consistent with this)
- Football (Was regular for months before hurting my knee)
- Gym (Started working out at home after my football sessions ended)
- Yoga/ Mobility exercises (Started this in December)
- Procreate app (Was consistent in early 2022, then gave up)
- Figma (Decame decent at it thanks to hours creating memes)
- Photography (Took up in the 2nd half of 2022)
- Poker (Monthly home games)
- Master copywriting/story telling (Wanted to do this, but could not spend a lot of time on it)
- Photo editing (Learned Lightroom)
- Learn swimming (Wanted to do this in Q4, could not find the time as work became hectic)
Note I have not put things like reading in the list above because I feel I am already quite proficient at it, and don’t need an item in the list for that.
There are a lot of things I did like buying a PS5 and winning Div 1 again on Fifa 23, but those were not priorities and hence not captured on this list. A few things very high up on the list, but later got dropped include angel investing, industry analysis, and potential side projects.
I try to come with a mission statement for the year. This year was “2022 is the year to get creative, get fit, and explore new things.” Whatever that means. Another thing to keep me focused.
Middle of the year, I wanted to get more structured around my goals and came up with themes. The themes/priorities for me were body, money, adventure, photography/art, and a random bucket.
- Regular football 2X / week (Did this)
- Sub 20% body fat (Failed I think)
- Complete fitness rings on Apple watch daily (Somewhat)
- Run a 5k race (Missed)
- Do 1 thing not related to day job (Started angel investing, realised it is not my cup of tea)
- Angel invest in 3 startups (Ended up with 5 investments)
- Turn 1 lakh in crypto to 10 lakh challenge with friends (Gave up when I remembered I am not a trader)
- Europe backpacking trip with wife (Did just Turkey)
- Do 5 trips with wife (Done)
- Art/ Creativity
- Take better photos (I definitely think I am a much better photographer than what I was in Jan)
- Design 3 apps just for fun (Missed)
- Do exercises from the Art of noticing book (Did a few, mostly a miss)
- Get private Health Insurance (Had been ignoring this for a long time, so finally got this done)
Sometime in the middle of the year, I had to again explicitly write down what I was willing to give up on to focus on the things that mattered. This was the list of non-priorities:
- Angel investing
- What’s next after Gojek? (I decided to continue with my current role after my career reflection checkpoints)
- Writing (Far fewer posts in H2 compared to H1)
Now let’s get to the actual reflection.
2022 recap: (Captured on 25th December)
- Writing: 117 posts (original blogposts as well as book summaries. Down from 2021)
- Reading: ~114 books.
- Worked on a lot of high impact projects at work.
- Given the responsibility of running the entire portfolio of ridehailing products of Gojek. Later got GoSend, Dunzo of SE Asia.
- Got a PS5. Won Fifa 22 and FIfa 23. Was a backseat gamer for a lot of RPGs played by wife.
- Got into a lot of new board games: Catan, Coup, Loveletters. I like Loveletters the most. Fast, and fun.
- TV series recommendation: Wednesday, The Bear, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
End of Year Recommendations:
- Lonesome Dove series (Nothing comes close)
- The Stormlight Archive series
- Project Hail Mary
- The Mistborn series
- Non Fiction:
- The Elephant in the Brain
- Four Thousand Weeks
- Good Strategy Bad Strategy
- Istanbul: Memories and the City
- The Power Law
- Best <1000 Rs purchase made this year: Streaks Habit Tracking App
- Best <10K Rs purchase: Shower filter for hard water (Should have bought this much earlier, my hair would have thanked me)
- Best >10K purchase: PS5 (should have got it much earlier)
Monthly highlights below.
- Spent 2 weeks working out of Guwahati. Longest period spent in my hometown in a long long time.
- Took my family to Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary where we did a Jeep Safari.
- Got CCTV set up for house. My parents are getting old, and I was concerned about their security.
- I decided to get the new Infinia credit card because I wanted an add on card for my wife, and thought might very well upgrade the card if I am applying for a new card. I was using Diner’s earlier. HDFC has cut the benefits of the card by a lot and I would now recommend to not bother with this card. I am too lazy to apply for a new card. And like to keep my finances simple, so will probably continue with this one. It is the only credit card I use.
- Started Dhaniya ventures whatsapp group and got some 80+ founders, angels, and VCs to join. Within a month I realised I hate the community aspects of running an angel investing group and the group died a slow death. It was a very good MVP in case I wanted to do a syndicate later or join a VC firm.
- Invested in [Redacted startup] and [Redacted startup].
- Got an apple watch. It is worth the money in my opinion.
- Started fitness competitions with friends thanks to Apple watch.
- Started advising a few startups, including the portfolio companies.
- Bought Streaks app. I live my life using the app now.
- Restarted playing football. Thrice a week, mostly in HSR.
- Did a few figma courses on Skillshare.
- Started a regular stretching routine. Have managed to stay consitent with it.
- Too over the twitter account of a friend because I wanted to see if I can build a brand for another person. Killed it. Grew his account from 100K month impressions to 1.4M in 30 days. But I got bored after a while and we both realised that we were not bring autentic and stopped. It was fun to do railway station announcement tweets.
- Bought fifa 22 after resisting for months.
- Hosted poker at home after a long time.
- Started listening to audio books. Realised I don’t enjoy audio books.
- [Redacted startup] investment.
- Played football 4 times a week. Realised 4 times is too much at my age. Got back to 3 times a week.
- Went anon on Twitter. Changed my username. And started mostly shitposting.
- Created a proper night routine.
- Got gifted an apple watch by friends whose startup I was advising. I never really charge for gyaan. This time it was a surprise gift. So accepted. Gave it to my wife who rarely wears it.
- Worked from inlaws’ place. I love Coimbatore a lot. I might even consider settling in this city when I am old.
- Did a stand up comedy course on Skillshare. I have been writing jokes on social media for a long time. So wanted to explore it a bit. Dropped it when I realised I wanted to focus on other things.
- Traveled to Thrissur.
- Took a short vacation in Kochi.
- Hit a major milestone when it comes to salary.
- Gojek IPO’ed.
- Started taking Photography seriously.
- Spent a lot of time learning Lightroom.
- Took some surreal art courses on Procreate.
- Played with random strangers on Playo for the first time. I realised Playo ratings gave me anxiety.
- Got rid of our cook. My wife makes amazing food and our goal is to become better at it.
- Got my Passport renewed. Was such a smooth experience. Felt better about India’s future.
- Did some character illustration courses.
- Took football training with a coach. Left after a few sessions as we could not coordinate our schedules.
- Played football 6 days a week football (5 matches + 1 training session). Just wanted to push my body.
- Got health insurance.
- Officially became product head of ridehailing.
- Came up with new work out system.
- Got sucked into playing FIFA seasons. Went till div 1. Gave up when I could not win the title.
- Tried to get better at the Procreate app.
- I named this the month for learning photography. I consumed a lot of books. Also took photos on my iPhone.
- Got my first mirrorless camera - Fuji’s XE4 after I decided to double down on photography.
- Started weekly routine of getting Kerala ayurvedic massage + Sauna. Continued for a month or so and then lost the routine.
- Went out for my first street photography session using the XE4.
- Decided to go a trip to Turkey. Started immersion: Reading books on Turkey, taking notes from the Lonely Planet guide on Turkey, Watched 100s of Turkey travel videos, and started working on the itinerary.
- Created a few Fuji recipes to get the “film camera look.”
- Started weekly poker night at a friend’s place.
- Had my highest win in Poker when it comes to cash games.
- Travalled to Indonesia for the first time since Covid started.
- Missed a flight for the first time. I did not realised Monday mightnight flight means you have to leave on Sunday. Check the dates carefully folks! Don’t be a dumb dumb like me.
- Created a personal playbook for international trips.
- Went on a street photography tour of Jakarta with a local friend.
- Attended an immersion session organised by our researched team that had us using all available transport in Jakarta. Goal was to travel like a local and not just use Gojek.
- Took over additional responsibility of the GoSend product. Logistics is a new space for me, and I am enjoying learning about a new space.
- This was the month of novellas. I read a lot of them.
- Turkey was nice!
- Did daily walks of 12 km for multiple days.
- Spent a weekend in Gurgaon.
- Took some 1500 photos in Turkey!
- Started tracking calories consumed on Lose it app.
- Started sharing photos I take for the first time.
- Parents came over to visit for the first time in Bangalore.
- Started body care routine.
- [Redacted startup] investment. Was my 5th angel investment. I will be pausing angel investments.
- Started going to out in Bangalore more. Travelled to a lot of touristy places. Realised you should check out your own city first before planning exotic travels.
- Won Fifa 22 Division 1.
- Bought an iCloud subscription as I needed to store more photos.
- Played around with a few AI products. Have to decide if I want to get into this like I did with crypto last year.
- Got a PS5. Money well spent.
- Diversified beyond my usual asset allocation by buying Tbills.
- Started working out using the Fitbod app.
- Took up coding again. This time focus will be on front-end so that I can make more changes to my website.
- Melatonin strips for sleep. Helpful for those where days you are stressed or not getting sleep easily.
- Started doing spin cycling workouts again. I have an indoor cycle that I rarely use. I love the workouts and plan to do them more.
- Took a lot more RAW photos instead of JPEGs with Fuji recipes.
- Won Div 1 in Fifa 23.
- Got a pigeon net in the balcony. No more pigeons shitting over my clothes.
- Christmas vacation at Coimbatore. I love spending time at my inlaws’ place. Spent my days playing board games: Coup, Love letters, Catan.
- Got a cocktail kit and spent the holidays preparing cocktails for my in-laws.
- Realised it is finally time to grow up.
- 2022 was a great year, both personally and professionally.
- A lot of firsts.
- Questions I am pondering:
- A lot of friends got married and moved outside Bangalore. Some had kids. With each passing year, the number of people I talk to regularly and visit become fewer. I guess this is a part of the growing old experience..
- I never really grew up when it came to dressing and acting like an adult. I am quite raw. One glance at my Twitter feed will tell you that. Also, a lot of people who meet me for the first time ask me if I am still in college. This is not good for my career growth. I need to start acting my age. Look and act like a potential exec. What makes it hard is that I hate fashion. I don’t care about what I wear. I also hate coming on camera during Zoom calls. Furthermore, I am quite blunt when it comes to communication. No one has to guess what is going on in my mind. I don’t do a lot of small talks. I hate to say it, but I think a lot of these things will hold me back. 2023 is when I will try to fix all of these.
- I worry that I will fail in the above task. Even now I am battling with 3 shitposts that I want to post on Twitter, but I know I have to start acting my age.
- What I will miss going forward is posting a shitpost that had been brewing in my head for a long time, getting it out of my head, and then having like half a dozen friends send it to me on Whatsapp, appreciating the tweet.
- My ego is tied to me being funny and coming up with original takes on things.
- I finally tried different asset classes. Diversified my portfolio a bit. I still hold a lot of equities and my net worth is still tied to Gojek stock.
- Failed to create my own money rules.. Will do this in 2023.
- Could have traveled more. I think work from home will end sooner than we expect. I should have probably done more in the last couple of years when it comes to exploring new places.
- I lost a bit of money in the stock market. I went heavy on FANG. And tech stocks crashed this year.
- If you check my last year’s reflection, I was lamenting not having bought more crypto. My laziness saved me a lot of money.
- I hate spending time with people who engage in dick-measuring contests and judge others based on how much they make/ what is their status. I would rather spend time with authentic people who talk about real things and not how much they spent on a vacation on “ a property” in Goa. Have you noted how people have started calling hotels properties now?
- I will probably write even fewer posts next year. As you grow in your career the cost of writing some dumb post that offends someone is far higher. “Being real” is just good on paper. Who knows, there might not even be a reflection post next year. If I can’t be authentic and write what is on my mind, then what is the point of having this blog?
- Getting more plants is always a good idea. So is gifting things and surprising your family/friends.
- Health becomes an even bigger priority once you enter your 30s. Back pain becomes common. I get injured far more now. And I do regret not picking up a sport earlier. I spent a lot of this year building healthier habits.
- Tracking what you are eating help.
- Start with just 5 mins. Want to meditate but afraid to commit to an hour-long practice? Just do 5 mins.
- I am proud that I took the decisions that optimized my long-term happiness and growth. One example is not continuing with angel investing when I realized I don’t enjoy multiple aspects of the job.
- I think 2023 will be even worse for the tech industry. Time to buckle up and grind harder.
- I still suffer a lot of angst because of the constant battle between my need to matter vs not seeking status. An advice tweet that helps others and leads me to think that my thoughts/experiences matter also results in ‘likes’, ‘followers’, and of course rude comments from random people on the internet. I want people to read what I write, and I would be lying if I said I don’t enjoy the dopamine hit from 100s of people liking my tweet, but I also hate internet debates and I don’t want to judge myself based on vanity metrics like followers count and how many likes my latest tweet got.
- Most people are torn between the novelty of the new and the need for structure and constants in their life. Hence you will read about unhappy travel vloggers who in spite of what their Instagram reels say can’t wait to go home. While people in smaller tier 2 towns who daydream about the hustle and bustle of a city like Mumbai/ want to travel the world. The key is to find the right balance for you.
- Neck pain sucks.
- You have to make a lot of big decisions in your late 20s and early 30s and it is honestly scary. There is no correct choice. You are on your own to live with your decisions.
- Managed to cut down on Twitter. Finally. I now post like 30 tweets a month, compared to 600 beginning of the year. There were months when I did not even post a single tweet. My views have gone down. My follower count has remained stagnant. Twitter was also the way people discovered this blog. But I am happy I don’t spend my time arguing with people online, and finally managed to decouple myself from my Twitter identity. For now, I don’t want to play online status games. Later? Who knows. Maybe once I have made enough money.
- Planning to use Twitter mostly as a customer support portal going forward.
- Maybe one day I will create a tab on this website that acts as a proxy for my Twitter profile.
- I focused on the list of things that make me happy.
- Spent a lot of time re-reading summaries of books I have read in the past.
- I removed all photos of mine from google search.
- Might become even more reclusive next year and say No a lot.
- Nike Training Club app is amazing. Insane that it is free.
- Darwin Nunez is an enigma.
- I played a lot of football this year. Almost unbelievable to me considering I am quite bad at cardio.
- I need to buy a chair with proper lumber support.
- A lot of people spend their time on Twitter dunking on others for clout. Don’t be like them. I rarely QT people, but I did use to subtweet people from time to time. I am not proud of it and have tried my hardest to not be shitty towards others on social media. This does not count people who QT me or post ‘ackchuaally’ replies thinking I am some big account that won’t fight back. Big mistake. I am happy to reply to their snarky comments with even more venom.
- There is no one right way to live your life. Writing an annual review does not make you better than someone who does not. QT’ing someone who shared their new year goals and acting like you are better because you live in the moment and don’t have goals does not make you superior either.
- This reminds me of the time I used to hate Sahil Bloom. Call him a threadboi. I used to think “Aaah, anyone can write generic threads, such a loser.” It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there. Having so many people dunk on you for your threads every day. Continue to show up the next day and write another thread. Another newsletter. I envy his consistency. I also listened to a few podcast interviews with him and found him quite genuine. He knows what game he is playing. I think a lot of the haters hate him because they can’t be like him. He is a successful dude who gets up at 4 AM and lifts weights. It is easy to mock his frameworks, QT him, and feel like you are better because you don’t have to get up at 4 AM and grind. He is doing him. You do you. Hating him just shows your insecurity. And most of you would gladly swap places with him if you could.
- Your environment has a big impact on your habits. I love sweets, but I rarely eat them when I am in Bangalore. Compare this to Guwahati and Coimbatore where my parents and in-laws keep a variety of sweets and so many snacks in the house. It takes a lot of mental strength to not eat the third Kaju Katli of the day.
- The reason I spend so much time thinking about my life and tracking every small habit and to-do item is not because I strive to be 100% efficient and to be a productivity robot. Yes, I want to get more out of my day. But what I desire even more is to live my life with intent. I will happily give up reading 100 books a year if I think another activity will bring me more happiness. I don’t want to set goals based on what everyone else is doing. I want to live my best life. Be true to myself.
- I think there are like a dozen things I would have liked to write about in this post, but I worry about how people will perceive me once they read them. Several of my colleagues and close friends read this blog. So I have to be careful about what I share.
- Don’t copy me thinking my life is perfect..
- I got into Assamese songs big time. Try this one.
- Started wearing shoes more.
- I have hold on to a lot of issues from my childhood. They say ‘Chips on Shoulders Put Chips in Pockets’, but sometimes it is just better to let go.
- As part of my angel investing adventures, and thanks to Twitter, I had the chance to meet quite a few successful people this year. I don’t think of myself as a name-dropper. And someone who ties their self-worth to the circles they hang out in. I still could see myself change. I found it difficult not to mention the cool person I met this week in discussions I was having with my friends. It was cringe-worthy. I had also developed an ego when my net worth crossed a certain number, and I kept shouting about how much I made whenever I wanted to make a point to my parents. I grew up in a family where people judged your self-worth based on how much you made. And how many properties you own. I never wanted to turn into my relatives, but I did. It took an evening with a close friend for it to register. And I promised myself to do better. It is not an easy process.
- They say a lot of successful people are where they are because of their ego. And use their insecurities as fuel. I think this is true. Not sure if I want to be one of those people.
- There are people who play status games, and there are those who play money games. For now I want to focus on making money and enjoying my life to an extent. There were multiple times in the last couple of years when I could have joined another startup for a higher status title, but I stayed back because I felt even though I did not have external status due to a fancier title compared to my role, I have a good charter and I am okay with how much I make. I don’t need to jump ship because almost everyone has done so in the last 2 years. This does not mean that I think titles are worthless, or that I am above status games. It is just that I have realised the folly of playing short-term status games and am optimising for other things in life.
- There are people who don’t even buy tempered glass cover for their phones, and then there is me who is afraid of even taking his AirPods out for fear of losing them. I guess I will always remain middle class, no matter how much money I make.
- I promised not to look at the stock price of my company once it became public and largely stuck to it. It still hurts to watch your net worth drop so much. I have remained surprisingly zen about it vs some of my peers who check the price every hour. I think it is because I have always considered my equity as paper money. But whenever I open our internal stock portal to check the value of my stocks, I mentally calculate how much I have lost since the last time I opened the portal, and what I could have bought with the money.
- I re-read the summary of Die with Zero every few months this year. I was a FIRE advocate for the longest time. This book changed that.
- A lot of my blog posts feel like free therapy sessions.
Want to do your year-end reflections? Try one of the templates mentioned here.