My 3 Words for 2016

My 2016 take on Chris Brogan's yearly challenge

December 31, 2015

Ten years ago, Chris Brogan started a yearly tradition: choosing the three words that would guide his actions for the next twelve months, and publishing them on his blog (you can read more about it on Chris's blog).

I find this exercise to be extremely powerful, as it forces us to sit down and think long and hard about our priorities in life and business.

I am now sharing my Three Words for 2016: LEARN, EXPERIMENTS, SELF-AWARENESS.

Learn

I will focus on expanding my competence in new areas of knowledge. It is all too easy to just focus on the day-to-day tasks you've been performing for years, get complacent and stop learning. That's how you become obsolete.

Dedicating 2015 to learn the basics of web development and being finally able to deploy a website from scratch, helped me understand how much I missed learning new things and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it.

During 2016 I will double down on learning. A few things I want to learn: to operate a VPS, improve my Portuguese, and get better at fixing things.

Experiments

I tend to gravitate towards the same things over and over again: the same restaurants, the same kind of books, the same passtimes. I like predictablilty and reliability, which probably means that I've missed out on many good things for not experimenting enough.

During 2016 I will focus on trying new things in the spirit of continuous self-improvement.

Paraphrasing Tim Ferriss, if you want opportunities to come to you, you must first throw a lot of things against the wall (experiment).

This guiding word also dovetails nicely with the first one (Learn) as they share many common themes.

Self-Awareness

At this stage it is crystal clear to me that as important as deciding what to do (or even more important) is to decide what NOT to do.

By developing my career mostly in large corporations I've spent most of my working years living up to other people's expectations: there is always a boss to please, employees to manage, politics to play. A few times I have also been required to play roles that were not in alignment with my core strengths and personality traits.

During 2016 and beyond I'm going to do less of what other people expect of me, and more of the things that allow me to leverage my strengths and get me closer to my overarching life goals. I'm going to "trust my gut": if it doesn't feel right, I won't do it. No more painting by (other people's) numbers. Life is too short.


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