Public Commitment 2018 – Recap
This year my theme was Curiosity. I’ve done quite a few things this year and here I will recap on the trends. To follow along on what I’m intellectually consuming, see my Timeline.
The main challenge is marketing, and I mean that in the broadest sense. Not only paid marketing, PR, or the like. But even more about how to tell our story, about what we do and how it benefits others. I hope that next year we become even better at that.
In 2019 I’ve read about 50 books. I can’t say specifically how at this moment because I haven’t tracked it perfectly. That is something I’m doing now with the Timeline and also something I want to use to apply spaced learning (go over my notes after 1-3-6-12 months and then every year again – and maybe open the book if it’s particularly interesting/timely).
I’ve learned more and more about understanding the world. The book I’m reading now The Beginning of Infinity is maybe one of the best for this. I think David Deutsch defines knowledge there as ‘information that is causal’.
Another great book I read was Triggers by Mark Reiter and Marshall Goldsmith. It looks at how you can use triggers (duh) from your environment to shape new (good) behaviour. It acknowledges that behaviour change is one of the most difficult things to do. To this day I still reflect on the ‘goals’ of each day (Today I did my best to … ). The goals change over time (and for weekdays vs weekend) and it has been a great way to keep myself on track.
Then without going too much into detail here, I also enjoyed the following books very much:
- Ending Aging (longevity, through an optimistic and scientific lens)
- How to Change Your Mind (psychedelics and their uses)
- The Elephant in the Brain (psychology, how we fool ourselves)
It has been a great year for me personally. I enjoyed most of my work (aka the place I spent much of my time), I loved being with Lotte and with my friends. I enjoy how I can spend my time and how I have ‘engineered/planned’ my life.
One highlight of the year was the trip to Jordan with Lotte. We enjoyed the hospitality, the amazing Wadi Rum desert, Petra and more. Although we have nothing planned for the coming year, I do plan on seeing a new part of the world again.
So without spending too much time recapping, let’s take a look at the individual goals I set for myself (in the 2018 Update), and what I made of it (and what I plan to do with it this year).
Goal 1: Write a Sci-Fi novella
Although I started doing this fairly early on, it never got into my rhythm. I still have the main storyline and do think it’s very interesting to do, so this will be one for 2019 too
Goal 2: Assemble a personal board
I didn’t do this and although I can see the value in it, I don’t feel comfortable doing it. Who knows I will do this somewhat formally later on in life, for now I will just do my thing and ask advice here and there where needed.
Goal 3: Consistently share what I’ve learned on my website
The start was a bit rocky but in the last few months, I have been doing this very well. Most are updates around podcasts and books and I think that is the right way for me to keep track of learnings at the moment.
For next year, I want to deepen this by combining more of the topics and making it more searchable.
Goal 4: Improve my spending
I didn’t look at this very precisely, but it’s incorporated in the tracking of finances. One thing I do something think/worry about is spending money together with friends, I do see that I’m more frugal than most and maybe I can be stronger in expressing my preference for doing fun and cheap things.
Goal 5: Cooking basics level 2
I continue to enjoy cooking and have gotten another good vegetarian book this Christmas. One of the ‘improvements’ I want to do next year is think more about good vegetarian and protein rich recipes.
Goal 6: Hit my fitness goals
I’m not at the stated goals of:
- 52kg Overhead Squat Press
- 90kg Clean & Jerk
- 10% body fat
I haven’t measured the Overhead Squat Press, but with the Clean & Jerk I’m at 72kg and I’m very happy with that. For the last year I’ve been working on my flexibility and I can now do Overhead Squats, so I think that next year I will continue to improve on these exercises.
Another thing I measured (and want to keep measuring/improving on) is the Big Three power-lifting moves. I improved quite a bit over my 2014 (when I did quite some fitness) scores:
- Squat: 120kg
- Bench Press: 90kg
- Deadlift: 190kg
Goal 7: Share about Effective Altruism
I did do some for EA, but again not as much as possible. One thing I do believe is that it might be better for someone else to take over since I also have other things I want to be working on (and thus don’t have the drive/energy to organise EA Rotterdam). Yet at the same time I do know a lot of the things that need to happen, so for the foreseeable
Goal 8: Make my house even more beautiful
In the last month or maybe a bit longer I’ve made quite some improvements to my house. I made two sliding doors for the bedroom and future bathroom. This was quite a bit of work and I’m really proud/satisfied with the outcome.
Goal 9: Do something crazy for love
Lotte and I had a great day in Rotterdam. Although my surprise eventually didn’t pan out it was still really fun together.
Goal X: More slack in the system
Yes and no. At work I feel that I’m not too hurried or feeling overwhelmed. And at home maybe also not, so yeah there is a bit of slack in the system.
I do see listen to quite a lot of podcasts and don’t have many ‘do-nothing’ moments. And in other moments I do watch quite a bit of YouTube. One lesson I think I want to take with me for 2019 is to think about what ‘slack-time’ things I can do (e.g. write Spero).
This was my recap of the last year. I really enjoyed my year of Curiosity. Onto 2019 for a year of Connection (at least that’s what I’m calling it now).