PJK's Blog

Philosophy, the Internet, the World, and I

The World You’re Born Into

June 2024 – this is a letter to my son about what I’ve learned in life so far and would like to pass on.

You can listen to this article here.

 

Dear Andrew,

We live today in interesting times, perhaps the most interesting of times.  There has never been a world quite like the one you’re joining.  8 billion people share the planet at the moment, and there are more people and more prosperity than anytime in human history. There is more opportunity than ever before.

We have more advancements in science, technology, medicine, and engineering than ever before.  We have more cures for diseases, longer life expectancy than ever, and global poverty rates are at the lowest they ever have been.  Yet, we also face major global issues that plague humanity.  People in the western world aren’t having children anymore. 70% of Americans are obese or overweight which is toxic to the mind and body. We have an ever growing global arms race that threatens global peace.  And screen time and porn addiction have caused a crisis of our attention and of our minds.  It is worth knowing of these issues so you can be prepared to face them.

Life is a miracle, truly.  Of all the possibilities to exist, of all the eggs or sperm that could have been created, you exist.  Life is a gift, and to be born into a family like ours makes you incredibly lucky.  We’re incredibly lucky.  Recognizing this luck is important so you know where you’re at, and you don’t take it for granted.  It isn’t a given, your life must be earned.

Life is full of ups and downs, unexpected events, overwhelming high times, and occasionally some times of confusion.  This is normal.  It is part of the normal development of a human to go through these stages.  Recognize that at each stage, the goal is to constantly improve and get better.  Each day is an opportunity to improve, to learn, to share, to create, to enjoy.  Every day is day 1, it’s a new day.  The past is what has made you who you are, but it is gone, all there is is today, and the future that you create.

How you deal with unexpected events that come out of life is the quality of your life.  Heartbreak, death of a friend or family, accidents, and mistakes are all part of life that everyone goes through.  No one is perfect, but ensure you reflect and learn from the mistakes you’ve made.  Train and prepare your mind to handle anything that is thrown at it.  Mindfulness practice to pay attention to your thoughts is useful.  Exercise is vital to relieving stress and keeping quality of mind, let alone having a strong/fast/fit body.  The mind and the body are one.

Fall in love, enjoy sex, but do it safely.  Use protection and then have fun.  When you’re young, explore.  Travel to places that interest you, be excited to meet other people, be curious about other people.  Everyone has a story you can learn from, and you learn most by asking questions and listening, not by telling others your stories.  But do tell stories when people ask, you can inspire people.  And the practice of telling stories is good for learning how to socialize.

Read often.  You can learn a tremendous amount through the brains and eyes of other people.  Lots of people have existed before you, learn from them.  The more you can learn and understand, the more effective you’ll be at life.  Don’t underestimate how much knowledge you can learn from just 30 minutes of reading a day. A book is a lens into the brains of some of the brightest thinkers of life.  Read things that interest you.  It’s worth studying psychology (how and why humans think and behave in different ways), finance (understand money, business, economics and the broad things that shape the world).  Study history, how the world came to be the way it is.  Read biographies and autobiographies, it is fascinating to see how different people got to where they were in life, and biographies tell their story.

Life’s a pursuit of improvement, and getting better.  Get stronger each day, smarter each day, create a little something each day, be kind and generous to people each day.  Small tiny improvements each day can lead to drastic improvements over time, the key is actually making progress each day.

Life can be overwhelming sometimes, and things can take up all of your time and attention.  Ensure you’re spending part of each day moving forward in whatever that means to you. A stronger relationship, a stronger body/mind, a stronger business, a new experience, etc.  Most importantly, enjoy the ride.  Have fun in life, there is a hell of a lot of fun to be had.

Think independently about what you want to do. When I was a teenager I decided to study abroad in England.  Not sure what triggered it but I was basically the only one in university who wanted to do it, and it ended up being transformational to me as a person and widened my perspective in a big way.  I found that the classic 9-5 route wasn’t for me.

I recall in university when I was about to graduate, everyone around me was talking about the salary and the job offers they were getting, but my mindset was on growing my business and traveling.  It was what I felt deep inside was the right idea, and I always had the plan B to become an engineer worse case, so I really had nothing to lose.

That decision ended up being a great decision.  I tell this story because throughout life, I often felt strongly about a way of life that didn’t align with everyone else.  Even now, at 35, I still feel this way. The way society and even many friends live and behave is quite different to how I think we should live.  Recognize that there is no right answer, but there are better and worse answers.  Think for yourself about really what you want to do and don’t be deterred if society thinks otherwise.  You know best deep inside.  Try it, and see what happens.

When you fall off track and make some bad decision, get back on track right away.  Never have 2 bad days in a row.  Getting back on track is as important as being on track in the first place.

Have a family. Sure, when you’re young explore and date and see what you like and enjoy.  Communicate, it’s all we have humans.  Find a partner you can be honest with.  Monogamy is not for everyone, and we probably didn’t evolve as men to be so.  Sexual variety is important, but don’t let that stop you from committing to a person, having a wedding, and having kids.  A wedding is a great opportunity to bring together a bunch of cool people to celebrate.  Any opportunity to do that is good, celebrate everything, if nothing else, life.

How you communicate is important.  Don’t just say what you think, craft what you say such that the other person will understand.  Do to others as they want done to them, not as you want done to you.  How you want to be treated may not be how they want, so understand how others, including your partner, want to be treated and treat them that way.

Be fit, be active, spend lots of time outdoors.  Play a sport, do yoga, pump iron, run. The stronger your body, the better you think, the more energy you have, and the more motivation you tend to have.  All good things in life come from having the energy to capture them, so being physically fit is vitally important.  The mind and the body are one.  Avoid steroids and focus on being strong, fast, and fit, not just looking strong.

Spend below your means.  Making money and keeping money are 2 different skills.  You can lose money faster than you can make it, so make wise decisions.  Never invest into things you don’t understand, it’s a sure way to lose money.  If you spend below your means, you’ll have a surplus.  Invest the surplus and use it to help others.

Helping others is a tricky issue.  You can’t just give money to someone and expect it to be better.  Give a man a fish vs. teach a man to fish.  But, having the resources to help when one needs it or when an opportunity arises is useful, and gives a peace of mind.  Study the effective altruism movement – people like Peter Singer were interesting to study.  GiveWell.org, and Kiva.org are organizations I’ve supported for years.

Study philosophy, and the various kinds that interest you.  The study of what is, the study of knowledge, and perhaps most importantly, moral philosophy.  What is right and wrong.  It is a fascinating discussion that will help you throughout life make decisions that align with your morals.  But the first step is discovering your own morals, so studying moral philosophy is vital.

Write. Put your ideas onto paper and get them out of your mind.  The sheer act of writing makes your mind come up with more ideas.  Write about anything you want.

Focus and capture energy when it is there.  Sometimes you’ll be motivated and sometimes you won’t, that is normal.  When you have the motivation, or the ideas, do the act and build the thing or write the article or utilize the motivation.  It is normal for it to come in waves and in seasons, and when it is there, use it.

Having downtime is as important as working.  People think of downtime as a waste but downtime is where ideas are formed, it’s where your mind processes what is has taken in, and it is where you become creative.  Downtime is some of the most important time in life to think and recharge.

Start the day with a glass of water next to the bed, and ideally get out into the sun not long after waking up.  It gets your body and mind ready for the day and helps you sleep better at night.

Live diligently. Figure out what you want to do and deliberately go for it. Looking for a partner? Date, and get better at it. Want to make friends? Study how to improve.  Want to start a business? Start building and learning how the best do it.  While life can’t be controlled fully, we can certainly change how we behave, where we live, what we pay our attention to, who we spend time with, how we learn, what we work on, and how we work.  These decisions are the most important decisions of our lives, because they are our lives.  Our life is what we do.  Our life is how we think. Our life is how we live.

Build and create things.  Anything.  Could be a business, a piece of art, a new shop or store, a website.  Humans learn by doing and creating is where fulfillment and satisfaction come from.  We evolved to create so ensure throughout life, you’re creating and building stuff often.

Be reliable.  Always show up on time,  Being late means you’re wasting other peoples time. Don’t waste others peoples time.  When you say you’re going to do something, do it.  Reliability is a human trait that will serve you well over time.  On the same token, avoid people who aren’t reliable, or who waste your time.

The traits that plague many people are envy and resentment.  Wish everyone you meet, especially the people closest to you, the very best.  When people around you succeed, wish them well.  Life is better when the people around you succeed.  And when you’re treated poorly or unfairly, move on and avoid any further suffering.

Never underestimate the value of a solid night of sleep.  You can go to bed feeling one way and wake up feeling another. Sleep a lot.  Sleep is foundationally important to the body and mind, and it not only makes life longer, it makes it better.  Avoid having 2 days in a row of poor sleep.  If you sleep poorly one night, ensure the next night you sleep well.

The modern era is full of distraction. Ensure you’re consciously choosing where you pay attention and what you pay attention to. If you aren’t aware and deliberate in choosing, your attention will be chosen for you and you’ll end up spending your attention on stuff that doesn’t matter or isn’t important.  Focusing and choosing what you pay attention to vital in the age of abundance of everything.

Opportunity favors the prepared.  Be prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they come.  This could be in finding a partner, a friend, capturing a business opportunity, or simply having the freedom to go somewhere when you get invited.

Take action.  Action is where all possibilities lie.  You never know until you try, and action produces information.  Action is also where you learn, come up with more ideas, and gain insight into what happens.  Always bias toward action.

And move fast, time goes by quick. Don’t wait for someday.  1 week is 2% of the year.

Be grateful, express gratitude often.  Reflect on who brought you your food, who cooked it, who served it, where it came from.  Reflect on the efforts of people who host parties, drive your taxi, or clean the building you’re in.  The more you’re aware of how lucky you are, the more grateful you’ll be.  Say thank you to people always when they help, serve, or are kind to you.  You can’t say it too much, but you can not say it enough.

Spend time in nature. It is how we evolved, to be out in fresh air, surrounded by green plants, in a quiet, beautiful landscape.  The Japanese have a term “forest bathing” for therapeutic relaxation.  Never underestimate how important being in nature is to recharge, think, and relax.  The mind enjoys it, so prioritize time in nature often.

Pay attention to the little things, always, And the little sensations.  Taste every bite fully and observe the feeling.  Observe tiny insects walking around in detail, observe buildings and discover how they were built.  Visit beautiful architecture and see how it makes you feel inside.  So much of life is observing in more detail, there is fascination to be found in everything.

Life is a journey, and you learn a lot by simply being.  All the best things take time, and often longer than you think.  Constantly be working to get better and improve at every part of life, that is what life is about.  It is a gift to be, to fall in love, to have friends, to eat amazing food and see amazing places.  Most importantly, enjoy the ride.

I wish you luck and an amazing life, it’s a privilege to have you as my son,

Dad

Becoming a Dad

Note: This post captures my best effort to convey my current perspective on having a kid, and how it affects my mind, perspective, and life at this time. June – 2024

The goal for 2023 was to get a baby in the oven.  It is a strange feeling to do the act knowing that you’re doing it with intention to actually reproduce, and not just the joy of having sex that usually accommodates the action.

When I was in my 20’s, I was confident I didn’t want to have kids or get married.  I didn’t see the point.  But I knew approximately every 4 years my mindset on most things has changed, and ever since I was 14 or so, and this has held true even today as a 35 year old.  As a result, I hold feelings, perspectives, and opinions less strongly than I did before, and always keep an open mind to the possibility of my mind changing on anything.

It is good to do it not only to prevent becoming stubborn, but to be open to change, something most people should strive to do more.  And as we age, we obviously change as we have more perspective on life, and more experience of existence.

Before getting pregnant, the entire focus was on how do we maximize the chances of it happening. The average couple today takes 6-12 months.  As soon as the pregnancy tests positive, our focus quickly shifted from trying to make it happen to then ensuring that it goes as smooth as possible to produce healthy offspring.  It is interesting how quickly that shift happens.  One step at a time.

As things progress, and you can hear the heartbeat, it changes you in profound ways.  The best way I can describe it is the actualization of something.  It’s one thing to imagine a friend dying, it’s another to actually experience it.  It’s one thing to imagine flying somewhere on vacation and having a life changing experience, it’s another to actual experience it.  Many things in life are like this, the actualization changes you in ways that can’t be actualized without experiencing the event itself.

Having a kid is the most profound of any of these experiences, and one that we’re supposed to have.  It changes you in overwhelmingly positive ways.  It is surreal to first hear the heart beat of life you’re creating that is 50% you, living inside of your partners body.  It is your partner, and your partner is it.  It then develops eyes, lungs, a heart, and countless blood vessels, all at the direction of the DNA, the mother just has to eat and the miracle of life works its magic.  It is hard to fathom how experiencing this changes you.

It is generally true that if we live within our evolutionary instincts, life is better.  Our bodies and minds evolved for billions of years to work in precise ways.  For example:

  • Health – you have to be active and outside or else your body weakens, you feel terrible, and you become frail.
  • Sleep – sleep with the sun and you live longer, have more energy, and are more aware of the experience of life as more neurons fire.
  • Social – we’re social primates and need friends, if you’re lonely it slowly kills you and you feel horrible.
  • Diet – we need real whole foods or we get diseases that kill us.
  • Sunlight – simply being outside in nature is vital to the mind and the body, and without it, you feel worse.

Mating and reproduction are also perhaps half of that pie of the core evolutionary requirements.  Not reproducing is like eating an unhealthy diet, neglecting your health, rarely getting sunlight, or sleeping poorly, you’re living way outside the bounds of what we evolved to do.  How this affects our mind can’t be overstated – for both men and women.  I don’t think as humans we can understand how much it affects us if we don’t do it, but you can certainly feel the positive effect if you do.

You can speculate and imagine, but without the actualization, you’ll never know.  The effect is profound and life changing.

If you observe pretty much all life on earth, animals are born, spend virtually all of their life eating and mating, then reproducing before dying.  The eating is a massive part of their lives, as is the mating part of life, as well as the raising the young.  The raising the young is vital not only to the survival of the species, but what it teaches the elders about their own lives.  Humans are no different.  We’re born, our parents spend 18 years preparing us for life, and then we venture on our own, to then reproduce.  That experience is core to who we are humans at the most fundamental level.  And for all of human history, it was normal to have 5+ children, without question.

But in just the last 50 years or so, something radical has changed.  Birth rates are rapidly declining and fertility rates are falling off a cliff in all of the western, developed world.  Why is a very interesting and important question to ponder, but for a later article.

If we don’t reproduce, we have a gaping hole in our existence, one that is impossible to over exaggerate, and it is only an illusion to fill it.  Throughout history, if you didn’t reproduce, it was because you had some deformation that prevented the possibility, or you were unlucky to find a partner to reproduce with – both which were incredibly rare.  In modern day, most are choosing not to reproduce for a number of reasons.  It is a radical and abrupt shift.

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Is it that our society has shifted from about the group and others to about us? The 2 most common arguments I hear about not wanting children is the cost and the time.  Cost is a fair point, though the same people who often mention cost are the same people who fly for vacations regularly or have the luxury to purchase a new car or house.  Cost was rarely preventative in history because family was so important – it was the most important thing – more important than anything else.  Today though, prices are higher and we expect more luxury in our western lives.  In some sense, we take for granted how normalized luxury has become – even the poorest in the US on welfare still have TVs, air conditioning, and other luxuries that kings didn’t have 100 years ago.  It is up to each couple to decide what is best for them and their budget, and what their priorities are.

The second point about freedom is certainly valid, but also selfish in that it implies my time is best spent doing something else.  In fact, your time is likely best spent doing nothing more than having a child.  Again, the basis of our existence isn’t just about creating life for the next generation, it is about discovering ourselves, learning through our children’s eyes, having responsibility, and the actualization of it all that changes us in remarkable ways, remarkably positive ways.  I’d venture to say that having kids would make almost everyone better off, contrary to what they already currently believe.

The third part is that we’re social primates.  Social proof is a real and valid phenomena. If we see a lot of people watching something, looking at something, or going to a place, we therefore are more likely to go and do the same thing.  On the same token, if most people are not having kids, the default for us is to not have kids.  It goes against the grain and going against the group is hard.  Since we’re social primates, we evolved to do what the group does.  If the group is misled, so are we.

Society often behaves in ways that I disagree with, and likely you as well.  Overcoming the group instinct in modern day and really thinking independently about what is important and what you want to do is vital.  I think society has this point quite wrong, and most people would be far better off with children.  Society would be better off.

There is also a strong connotation that life is over when you have a kid in the sense that all the stuff you did before you can’t do anymore because you have a family. In fact, the opposite is true, life just begins. As mentioned, there is so much to learn about yourself, life, your family, your friends, and just experience from being a parent.  Again, it is core to being human as food is to us.  We need it, it is part of us, and without out, there is something missing deeply.

People also think they will lose freedom.  Sure, you give up some of your time to raise your child.  With that said, I’m confident I’ll still do whatever activities I desire, whether that be traveling, exploring the ocean, hiking, socializing with friends, or building a business.  Priorities do shift but that is the point. Make priorities or know what is most important in life. And also on that point, I feel more motivated than ever to build and create  It’s all about discovering that balance, seeing how you feel, and setting your priorities.  I have no idea what the future holds, but what I’m saying here is my experience on this journey so far.

It’s now normal to not have children.  As a result, I look around and notice we’re almost alone on this journey as very few of the people we know have any children.  Is it overcoming that tough decision of going against the crowd? Is it being ill-informed about the importance of family on our livelihood and becoming a flourishing human? Or is it that we’ve become such a selfish modern society that we don’t care about creating and shaping the next generation? I’m not sure, all I can do is convey thoughts and make the decisions that I think are best for answering the question of how to live a good life.

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Like most hard decisions in life, there is doubt, and uncertainty.  Most avoid making tough decisions because they are tough.  But, we have this life and we can’t wait around forever.  Think independently about it. Not an easy choice but a necessary choice. You never know the feeling until you try.  All I can convey from this moment is what it has been like for me and why I went about it.

Every hour throughout the day, I have a clear realization that “wow, I’m going to be a dad and Kemji is going to be a mom”.  It is a big responsibility, but a responsibility that I’m ready, confident and eager to learn, and excited to experience.  In my 20’s I was a seeker of ultimate freedom – freedom to do anything I wanted anytime I wanted.

But as I’ve grown into my mid-30’s, I desire responsibility.  Responsibility is not only deeply rewarding, it creates balance, and responsibility also often means you’re serving beyond yourself.  My motivation to wake up each day and build, create, share, and learn is largely driven by the impact I want to have on the people around me.  Many people in life now rely on me, I need to ensure I keep the foundation stable and don’t mess it up.  I want to use the position I’m in, seize the opportunity fully, and have the greatest impact I can doing it.  The world needs more people doing this, now more than ever.

Life is a gift. It is precious, and it is truly a miracle to exist at all.  I’m grateful to my parents for creating me, and if I can be any part of giving that to someone else, I will.

I will say, it has been way more exciting than expected and gives us something profound to look forward to.  It comes up many times a day, and is the last thing you think about when you sleep. It’s truly remarkable to think about, creating life.

As humans we evolved to create.  As men especially, I think we evolved to create and provide, and if we don’t, we lack it.  Life is the ultimate form of creating – having a child.  It changes you in ways that can’t be put into words.

The easiest way to see the perspective now and describe it is that as humans, we evolved to reproduce.  It is at the deepest core of life as we know it.  If you don’t reproduce and go through the act of creating, see the baby grow, be born, and raise them, it leaves a gaping hole in your existence and leaves a fundamental stage of the development of life missing.

Adoption

Many people decide to adopt, which is certainly a net positive to life.  And likely you can love a child you adopt as much as yours, but love is a hard thing to measure in quantity.  I will say that the experience of conception, hearing the first heartbeat, watching it grow in the stomach and interacting with it from the outside changes you in profound ways.  Ways that I’ve tried my best to describe here.  I’ll have to write a post after he is born to convey how that changes me, but so far the first 8 months since conception has been overwhelmingly exciting, positive, and it’s hard to imagine life without doing it.  I wish everyone the best, nonetheless, on our journey of creating life and raising the young in the future of humanity that lives on long after us.


In addition to what I wrote above, these are the big changes I’ve noticed/felt, explaining in words to the best of my ability:

  • I’ve learned so much about myself, my relationship to Kemji, and my relationship to simply, life.
  • I’ve noticed and balanced emotions better – When you have an argument with your partner normally, it can get heated, it is human nature.  When your wife is now pregnant and having extreme increases in hCG, estrogen and pro-estrogen, it means the man needs to be calm and empathize with those emotions that she can’t help.  As a result, the man improves his ability to listen, communicate, and react.  I’ve certainly noticed this in myself, which has been massively positive.
  • The feeling of seeing life come to be can’t be exaggerated and is difficult to describe.  Hearing the heart beat, see a human grow, and react to your voice is remarkable, magical.  And knowing that it was created by 50% you brings sheer joy to life.
  • Thoughts leading up to having a kid – doubt, uncertainty, unknowns, responsibility, but a confidence that it can be done and is part of the journey of life.  Now the thoughts are that it is becoming very real in the next month, and it gives me such a feeling of responsibility outside of myself and the need to take better care of myself and become a leader to my son.
  • The future – legacy, meaning, purpose, responsibility, intention, direction – all of the above a child brings.  More than anything, it is a massive part of life to simply look forward to, a journey and a mission, and a new sense of being to perform at your highest level.
  • Others – I hasn’t considered this but it has now become apparent not only the joy our son has created for us so far, but also the joy he’s brought to my mom and brothers, but to Kemji’s mom and family.  Having a kid isn’t just about you, there is nothing more an older parent would rather become than a grandma or grandpa. It’s core to our existence as elders to see the new generation flourishing.  I hope when I’m older I get to experience the same.

This experience also helps create balance, because you have intention to improve your health, your fitness, your diet, and your mind.  This reason to improve is important, because you want to do the best you can.

Each morning we wake up and listen to him.  Each night we say goodnight to him. We deeply look forward to seeing him grow and welcome him to life.

Kemji is now 37 weeks pregnant, so in about 1-3 weeks Andrew will come into the world.  The experience you go through as a human to create life is something that can’t be explained, it can only be felt, but this is my best effort at putting into words.  It is at the deepest core of the human existence, and it changes in in ways that are profound and indescribable, as I’ve repeated here.  Again, only 8 months into the journey and I already feel it, a feeling where it is hard to imagine otherwise.  It’s like seeing the light on the other side, I had no idea what I was getting myself into but it has been a joy.

While our son Andrew hasn’t yet been born, the 8 months so far creating him has been nothing shy of magical.  I’m convinced at this point that most people would be far better off, far more fulfilled, and life would be far more exciting by having children, contrary to what the masses think and imagine.  At the end of the day, to each is their own given their own perspective, understanding, and expectation of what life should be.  When I ask the question “how to live a good life?”, no doubt having a family has to be one of the top suggestions.

This purpose of this post was to do my best to share my current views, and advocate more people to join the journey.  Life has been an absolutely blast so far, I’ve been incredibly fortunate and blessed to be able to do what I’ve done in life so far, and I’m eternally grateful for it.  At the same time, I feel like life is just beginning – I haven’t even experienced what it is like to be a parent, to grow old, and still have an incredible amount to learn, as I discover every time I talk to my elders.  While I’m new to the whole parenting arena, it is way more exciting than expected, and it has made life better in every way.  I’m very much looking forward to the experience.

What changed, of course, is that I had kids. Something I dreaded turned out to be wonderful. – Paul Graham

If you’d like to read Paul Graham’s excellent piece on Having Kids, check it out here.

Here’s to a great 2024 and beyond. All the best.

2023 Year in Review

2023 is already coming to an end, and it’s time for the yearly review.  2022’s year in review I got 80% finished but never published, so I will combine it into this 2023 year in review.

Previous years in review here:

20102011201220132014201520162017201820192020, 2021

2023 Summary:

  • Got married in early January, and my family came out to visit for the first time.
  • In February we did our annual skiing trip to Niseko in Japan which was incredible.  Perhaps the best ski trip I’ve ever had.
  • In March/April, we were in Phuket working on finishing our house (2 years in the making), and we hosted a few friends for Songkran (Thai New Year)
  • In May we were in the USA for a few weeks visiting family (had a great party with Uncle Tim and had a couple fun nights gambling in Blackhawk), and in early June we flew from the USA to Paris (France), took a train to Cologne (Germany), and then a train to Munich to spend a couple days at Therme Erding.
  • We were back to Bangkok in June, got caught up on work, fitness, etc.
  • In July we visited Nan province to visit Kemji’s family up there.  From there we flew back to Phuket to work on the house more and relax in nature.
  • In August we were back in Bangkok visiting friends and catching up on work, and at the end of August I flew to the US.
  • I spent all of September in the US solo, going to concerts (seeing Frank Turner at the Stanley), going bear hunting with Austin, going to Steamboat Springs with Tim/Karla, and attending Richie’s wedding up near Lyons, Colorado.  Was also in Blackhawk for 2 nights with John/mom and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Also saw the Counting Crows at Red Rocks.
  • In early October before heading back to Asia, Renae, mom, and I went to a beer festival in Evergreen, and then saw Gaslight Anthem with John, Scott, and crew the night before departing back to Thailand.
  • I spent 2 weeks in Bangkok getting settled back in before heading to Phuket to get a new couch delivered in the second half of October.  I also attended the vegetarian festival with Steve for the first time finally which people do piercings and push needles and knifes through their skin – it is pretty wild, google “Phuket Vegetarian Festival”.  It is worth seeing in person.
  • At the end of October, Kemji’s parents came to stay with us in the house in Phuket for the first time, and also took them out on a boat around Pha Nga Bay with Aaron and Lenny.  It was an excellent trip.
  • In November headed back to Bangkok, played with VR games at Emquartier, met up with Josh/Shampoo and their new baby, and attended the Bangkok Light Festival at RCA.
  • In the middle of November we flew to Koh Phangan with 10 other friends to stay in an incredible villa as a group.  It was an excellent retreat organized by Chris with a great sauna, cold plunge, and gym in a remote part of the island.  I hardly left for 10 days, and it was productive and relaxing.
  • From there we went back to Phuket and I competed in the Spartan Asian Championship nearby our house there with Gabe and Lenny.  It was a fun challenge and 80 minutes of effort but a lot of room to improve in 2024.  A week later in early December I attended the Cannabis Festival at Blue Tree to see the latest in the industry
  • In early December we were back in Bangkok for a checkup and some business, and currently it’s December 22nd and I’m back in Phuket at our house writing this report.  In 2 days we have 11 friends visiting and we’re hosting a Christmas Party and will be here through the New Year.  It’s been a busy, but fun and fulfilling year.

WHAT WENT WELL THIS YEAR?

This year was definitely up there as one of the best so far.  The year started with our wedding, along with my family coming out to Thailand for the first time ever. It was a treat to have so many amazing friends and family together in Phuket for a party and it turned out better than expected.  If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I ever wanted to get married, I’d have said no.  I have and do stand by the perspective though that every 4 years your perspectives can quite radically change, so whatever opinions I’ve held and continue to hold now I’ve always held loosely and open to new ideas and perspectives over time.

The wedding was more than anything a great reason to bring together a lot of amazing people to celebrate life really.  Anytime you get the chance to bring together a bunch of cool people to celebrate, we should do it.  And we should do more of it.  I’d also say the wedding gave a strong sense of direction about where the next years were heading, which actually made life better so far.

The primary goal of the year was to focus on health, having some fun experiences, and to start a family.  Kemji is now pregnant and it’s been an exciting experience – I’ll write a full post on that for another date.

We also completed building our house in Phuket, which took a lot more time than expected and was 2 years in the making.  It has turned out well and I suppose the effort is what makes it satisfying.  We’ve hosted a bunch of friends and will spend Christmas and New Years there this year for the first time.

Witnessing one of my childhood best friends getting married in the beautiful mountains of Colorado was a great experience.  It’s always good to see other people happy and getting what they want out of life.

I’ve also had the goal for awhile to get my mom a new home, but while I haven’t done that, I did get her a new apartment which she is enjoying.

Health wise, 2023 was excellent.  I’m as strong as I’ve ever been, been continuously training for strength and working on improving endurance.  In November, I completed the Asian Championship for Spartan in Phuket, Thailand which was a good challenge, and fun.  It gave a good benchmark to compete against next year.  I go into 2024 in the best shape of my life, but with a lot of room to improve and take health to the next level.

I also cut back on drinking a lot this year.  In part that was due to planning to start a family, and in part because it has been something I’ve been working towards for a few years (see previous yearly reports).

Relationships: This year I had a lot of social activities and a lot of fun adventures with friends and family.  You only have so much time and I would like to spend more time with my family and the closest people to me – this involves saying no to more things.

Business: The business has remained steady this year – I hired 2 new staff to help things run smoothly, and I’ve launched some new projects.  Most importantly, I’ve learned a lot and happy with the current state of the business and where it is going in 2024.  I’m planning to make 2024 the best year yet.

WHAT DID I LEARN THIS YEAR?

I’ve learned a lot this year. I’ve learned how to have a wedding, how to build a house, how to have a kid, and I’ve learned a lot in terms of my business, investing, the state of the world, and the nature of my own mind.  I’ve read a fair bit this year and listened to a lot of podcasts, but I would like to spend more time doing this each day next year.

A lot of these things I’ve learned you can only know through experience.  A lot of life you can gain perspective through reading and talking to others, but many things you have to experience to feel and truly understand.  It’s like hearing a love song and trying to understand it when you’ve never been in love.  You have to fall in love to truly understand.

I learned a lot about patience this year.  Focusing on things within my control and dealing with unexpected events better.  I’ve realized that so much of life and the quality of it is how well you deal with unexpected events that arise and come up often.

WHAT DIDN’T GO SO WELL THIS YEAR?

For all the improvements I’ve made, I still spent too much sitting and indoors.  I make an effort to run in the evenings outside, and get morning sunlight often.  But I still find myself indoors most of the time.  It is a major issue plaguing modern society and we should all be making efforts to spend more time outside in the sun with the people we love.

While I’ve cut back on drinking a lot and happy with the progress, I also smoked a fair bit of THC.  I enjoy it to relax but I know it isn’t good for my health nor my productivity.  It’s all about figuring out balance, as with anything in life.  I probably smoked a bit too much this year and next year plan to largely cut it out entirely.

Reading wise, I need to allocate more time to reading as I didn’t read as much as I would have liked.  My to-do list and notes are growing faster than I can keep up so I’m working to build out a better system to be more effective in that regard.

WHAT AM I WORKING TOWARD?

2024 is shaping up to be another interesting and fun year.  In July, we have our first baby due which I’m very excited about.  We have an upcoming trip in January to Japan for skiing, and after, several friends visiting from the USA.  In March/April we plan to be in the USA visiting family and seeing the total solar eclipse.

Aside from that, we’re still trying to finish the bar and interior design on the Phuket house, and I’ve got a fair amount of work projects I’m working on. Specifically, I’ve been playing a lot with ChatGPT and the Open AI API which is mind blowing to anyone who has used it – highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t yet.  I’m building out various tools that use the API to create useful products and services, and to learn exactly how it all works.  Often the best way to learn is by doing.

Learning to raise a child will be interesting endeavor – I’ve been reading a lot and taking notes, and excited to learn through doing.  Creating life and bringing them into the world is magical in so many ways, and the feelings of doing it are so much different than I initially expected.

I’ve got about 25 books on my Kindle and Audible that I want to get through so I’m going to make time to spend more time learning and taking notes, as well as organizing my “second brain” better so I can be more effective.  I also will create more content publicly this year in effort to learn more about that skill, and do hopefully be useful to others.  It seems creating videos is one of the best modern skills to have and it has to be done by actually doing.

ALL TOGETHER

Looking back, it’s remarkable how much can be accomplished in a year.  The key it is stay healthy and fit, make small progress each day, and most importantly, enjoy the journey.  You do better work when you enjoy what you do.  You have a better life when you enjoy day to day.  This year was definitely up there as one of the best so far.  Here’s to an even better 2024!

If you’re interested in hearing more about my daily thoughts, follow me on Twitter @pjkmedia.

All the best in 2024 and thanks for reading.


Last year, in 2022, I had written most of my yearly review but didn’t publish it.  So I’m including a summary below of 2022:

  • We rang in the New Year in Bangkok at Sofitel on the roof.  While the view was good, it lacked any countdown or fireworks which was strange.
  • In mid January we stayed on Kamala Beach with Sam and Chris in a villa deep in the jungle, and later moved to a Hyatt closer to the water.  We were in Phuket to relax, and also visit the construction of the house we’re building.
  • We also went to the Bluetree Waterpark near our new place in Phuket with Sam and Chris.
  • At the end of January I did a fitting for a new tailored suit from Savile Row with Marc.
  • In February, we did a lads trip to Phuket and cannabis was legalized in Thailand.  A big move that made Thailand even better.
  • In March, we went to a great omakase in Bangkok and also celebrated St Patricks day at Osheas.
  • At the end of March we flew to New York City, spent a few days there, then flew to Miami to get on the Flogging Molly cruise.
  • We sailed to the Bahamas with the Flogging Molly and many other bands, along with my brother John and a few other friends, it was epic.
  • In April we flew to Colorado to visit family.  I rented a house in Winter Park with a hot tub to relax in the mountains with some family and friends.
  • End of April, my brother Ron came to town and we went to a baseball game and to walking street in Boulder.  We also hiked around Evergreen Lake.
  • I later met up with Austin in Castle Rock for a day of hanging out and catching up, as well as a gym session.  I also went to a Rapids game with Uncle Tim and Karla at the end of April.
  • During that same week, I took Kemji and my mom to an Avalance hockey game, and also saw Joey Harkum play live in Denver.
  • In early May saw the Menzingers in Denver, and also went up to Garden of the Gods with my Uncle Tim.
  • In June we were back in Phuket for the Kolour Festival.  When back in Bangkok we went to a Westin Pool Party.
  • In July and early August we spent 3 weeks in Turkey traveling with some friends, including 3 Turkish friends.  It was an epic adventure and perhaps one of the coolest countries I’ve ever visited.  We roadtripped for much of it, visiting the famous Cappadocia for a hot air balloon ride.
  • From Turkey, Kemji and I flew to Zurich, Switzerland for a few days before heading to Amsterdam to link up with Bryce and Sam from the US.
  • In September we were back in Phuket and went on a boat with Chris, his sister, and his brother.
  • At the end of September, I took Kemji and her dad to Kanchnaburi and the hotel was generous enough to sponsor the trip for us.  It was an excellent resort along the water and very relaxing.
  • In October, my friends put on a bachelor party to celebrate the upcoming wedding in Jan. 2023.
  • At the end of October, Kemji and I went to Bali for Kemji’s birthday.  I ended up getting food poisoning as I always do there so it made the trip worse than expected.
  • In November we celebrated Loy Kratong, and our friends Josh/Shampoo came from Australia and we rented a villa in Rawai in the southern part of Phuket.
  • At the end of November, Lenny and I ran the Bangkok Half Marathon starting at 2am, so we stayed in a hotel in Chinatown the night before.
  • In December we were back in Phuket to wrapup some things for the wedding.  We then were back in Bangkok and went to Wonderfruit Music Festival near Pattaya.
  • At the end of December we went wakeboarding at Lake Taco and was at Tom and Callum’s for Christmas, along with New Years on the roof of Richmond.

Take Action

Action is where all the possibilities live. And where learning lives. Without action, you always wonder what if. Without action, you don’t know.  With action comes satisfaction – the satisfaction of knowing you tried, and maybe failed but learned.  Or the satisfaction that you took action and succeeded.  Action is required to know.

Action is where luck lives – you can’t get lucky without action.  You have to step up to play.  Playing is taking action.  Launching the project, building the idea, executing on the vision.  Actually doing the work, taking action.  Putting in the reps at the gym, running the mile, doing the stretch, reading the book.  Taking action, doing the thing you think about.

Analysis paralysis is the default for most.  And knowing this, you have to be very cautious to avoid it.  Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution of the idea is what makes it valuable.  Because we don’t know what will work and what won’t, you have to take action often.  Shoot for a 10-20% success rate, meaning you need to take action on 10 ideas before you expect anything to work.  Think of action taking as learning.  Even if the outcome isn’t what you expect, you learned, and that’s enough.

When you browse the web, people created what you’re browsing.  When you’re browsing the library, people wrote the books you’re consuming.  When you browse Tiktok, or Instagram, people created all the content you’re consuming.  When you browse Walmart, people created all the products you see.  Be a creator, not a consumer.  You don’t have to create publicly or on social media, but create.  Build stuff.  And ideally, build stuff that is useful, that matters.

We only have a limited time to exist, why waste it working on stuff that doesn’t matter? Why waste your time if it doesn’t help you or someone with something?  VCs are always trying to find founders who are creating the next big thing.  They look for validation, they look for patterns of what makes a company succeed.  They always say, solve problems.  Solve other peoples problems.  That is creating value, which is by definition why people pay for it.

People will pay for useful products and services, or things that solve their problems.  There are a lot of problems in the world, help solve them.  Take action to solve them.  Work on the ones you find most interesting and rewarding.  You’re going to do better work when you enjoy what you’re doing.  Take action, it’s the only way change happens.

Once action is taken, learn.  Humans learn through doing, not by thinking about doing or talking about doing.  Your life is what you do.  Take action on everything.  Take action on caring for your body, improving your relationships, your mind, your environment, your skills.  Take action on what you want to do in life – your hobbies, your traveling plans, your ideas.

Take action.  If not now, when?

Diligently Living

We are creatures of our environment.  Not that long ago we were hunting for all of our food, and foraging for all of our vegetables.  We were waking up, living to survive, and had limited access to other humans around the planet.  Today we can order all our food on our phones, deliver fresh and hot meals to our houses, we can watch TV while playing chess with someone on our phone on the other side of the world, and we can video call our family to wish them happy birthday.  Times have changed.  Our environment has radically changed.

If a creature is in an environment and simply exists without conscious thought, the environment largely dictates how your life unfolds.  You blow with the wind.  While that is all fine and dandy, blowing with the wind in a modern environment may put you on a path far less superior than one you *could* have lived.

Living diligently is simply becoming conscious of your environment, realizing that environment shapes a lot of how we behave, learning the importance of how to live a good life, and taking deliberate action to steer the outcome.  While life can’t be controlled fully, we can certainly change how we behave, where we live, what we pay our attention to, who we spend time with, how we learn, what we work on, and how we work.  These decisions are the most important decisions of our lives, because they are our lives.  Our life is what we do.  Our life is how we think. Our life is how we live.

Living diligently is coming up with strategies to life, games to play in life, goals of life, and attempting to shape life to how you want it.  It is making life what you want it to be.  It is largely choosing how to exist.

Certainly there are factors far outside of our control that arise in life often, from the very beginning of our existence.  But within the things we can control, those can radically change the trajectory and outcome of our life.  A few things that can change how you live your life:

  • Exercise – people mention it often and there are gyms in every city in the world now.  Our modern environment doesn’t require us to hardly move at all, so diligently spending time each day working on your body is vital to living a good life and having the energy it takes to seize each day we have.
  • Friends/family – learning how to make friends, how to socialize, and working to improve relationships is vital. Choosing wisely who you spend time with and how you spend your time with them is key.  Most opportunities in life arise from the people you know.
  • Create – humans evolved to create, to provide, to contribute.  Build stuff you need, build stuff other needs, create value for the world.  The world needs more entrepreneurs to solve the worlds problems that the government is incompetent to handle.  Plus, creating is fulfilling, fun, and rewarding.
  • Be kind – we all share this rock together for a short period of time.  Genuinely wish the best of everyone you interact with.  Be generous, be kind.  The more we work together, the better off we all are.
  • Learn – learning is important because it makes you more effective – you’re able to understand the world slightly better and therefore make better decisions, share what you know, and hopefully use that information to drive curiosity or help improve your life and the people around you.  Reading is one of the easiest ways to get access to some of the brilliant thinkers minds throughout history – and books have never been more abundantly available.  Podcasts and audiobooks also work.  Constantly be actively learning – dedicate time to learning each day.
  • Time yourself – if you don’t measure it, you can’t change it.  Most people think they spend 3-4 hours a day on their phones, when in reality they spend double that.  Considering how abundant the information is on your phones and other screens, it is important to time it and moderate it so it doesn’t deteriorate your mental health.
  • Get outside – spend more time outside than inside each day.  Get sunlight into your eyes to set your circadian rhythm.  Breath fresh air, focus your eyes far away, smell the roses.
  •  Know the game – what is your goal in life? Know what game you’re playing. If you’re trying to make money, there are certainly better and worse ways to make money in the world.  If you’re trying to find a partner, come up with a strategy of who you want and how you’ll meet them.  There are better and worse strategies to live life and diligently knowing your strategy is vital.  If you don’t have direction then how can you move anywhere.  Bias towards action, it’s where we learn most.

Don’t let your environment be random, and your life just blow in the wind.  While it can work for some people, it rarely does.  Diligently think about what kind of life you want and how to get it, then constantly take strides each day to get there.  Remember, consistency is key.

2021 Year in Review

I started this post towards the end of 2021, but didn’t get around to finishing it until April, 2022.

It’s that time of the year again where we look back on the last year of our lives and look forward to the next.  It is useful because it allows us to review what we did right, and what we can improve on in the future. You can see my previous years here:
2010201120122013201420152016201720182019, 2020

2021 was a unique year in many ways.  The US began to open up after a year of lockdown, while Thailand started to lockdown after a year of being open.  This meant that we spent longer in the US than usual, longer than anytime since 2012.  We also had 7 friends from around the world visit us in Colorado for the first time, which was a lot of fine. Here’s a look back in what I did in 2021.

SUMMARY

  • 2020 winded down in Bangkok on the roof of our place in Bangkok with friends.  January started with a 30 day hip stretching challenge, and working on getting a loan in the US.
  • The later half of January we spent in Phuket.  At the end of the month, we celebrated a friends birthday in northeastern Thailand.
  • In February, we went to Pataya with Kemji’s family.  At the end of February, we went wakeboarding with a bunch of friends and got chess cake for my birthday.  I also closed on my first property, a place in Chicago.
  • In March, we went to Koh Samui to view property, though didn’t find anything we liked.  At the end of March, I was part of the filming of a music video with our friend Taime.
  • April began with Kolour Festival in Phuket, which was a nice opening from the covid lockdowns.  Mid April a group of us did a staycation at Four Seasons along the river, and at the end of April went to Mahanakhon Skywalk.  I also purchased a property in Bangkok.
  • In May, we went to US at the end of the month.  We met in Chicago with my cousins, then flew to Colorado and played disc golf, as well as visited rocky mountain national park.
  • In early June we got vaccinated, went to Ft Collins with my uncle, saw Joey Harkum with Erika and Scott, and drove up to Evergreen with Tim.  In mid June we went to Las Vegas and visited my brother in Salt Lake City.  At the end of June, Marc and Taime came to Colorado and Marc and I went to the Kelly campout for a few days.  After returning to Denver, we hiked south table and took them to their first baseball game.  Richard also came to stay with us for a few days.
  • In early July, Chris and Sam came from Bangkok to visit Colorado. On July 9th, we saw Lindsey Stirling at Red Rocks with Chris/Sam/John/Marc/Taime/Jesse.  On July 11th, we (Marc, Taime, Kemji, and I) met my brother Ron in Montrose and climbed Mt. Sneffels.  The following day we did a night in Salida and visited Andrew, and the following day drove to Winter Park and stayed at an epic cabin.  Chris/Sam flew back from LA and stayed there with us – it has a sauna, hot tub, and epic views.  After Winter Park, we flew to Las Vegas again to see Kygo at XS Club.  Once there, we drove Mustangs to “Grand Canyon”, which was actually just an Indian reservation but still impressive nonetheless.   On the way back we visited the Hoover Dam, and at the end of July we flew to Portland, Oregon.
  • In early August we all drove to Seattle from Portland.  We met our friend Luis (who we know from Bangkok) there. After a few days there, Chris and Sam left to the UK.  The rest of us went to a MLS game.  We flew back to Colorado while the rest of the crew flew out of the country.  Once back in Colorado, we celebrated Ryan’s birthday at his cabin,  my brother John and I played disc golf at an epic course on the way up.  Later we took Kemji’s friend Oui up to Rocky Mountain National Park. A few days later we visited a MLS rapids game with Tim and Karla. and went camping in southern Wyoming with Tim.  At the end of August, I went to the golfing range with my uncle Jeff.  A few days later 2 other friends from Bangkok came to Colorado, Chris and Namtarn.  The following day we took them to a Molly Hatchet concert, which was memorable.  The following day we took them to Boulder.
  • In early September, with Chris and his girlfriend, we drove up Mt. Evans, and took them to their first Rockies MLB game. My brother Ron and his wife came out from Salt Lake City and we went to art gallery in Cherry Creek.  We also met another friend from Bangkok, Lenny, in Ft Collins which was a pleasant surprise.  On Sept 8th, we saw Jimmy Buffet at Red Rocks, which was a lot of fun and something I’ve always wanted to see.  In mid September took my mom and uncle to Bootleg Bottom.  Towards the end of September, I closed on rental property in Virginia.  We also went to Steamboat Springs to support Richard in his 100 mile Run Rabbit Run race.  Afterwards, we drove with him and his girlfriend to Geneses to stay with their friends Jon and Aaron who have a beautiful property there.
  • We later saw Twenty One Pilots in Denver, which was epic.  Our friends from Guatemala, Rodrigo and Natalia, came to visit and we got to spend time with them for a few days.
  • In early October we flew to Chicago. saw the symphony orchestra there.  On October 10th, we arrived into Phuket, Thailand for a 14 day quarantine.  We also viewed property in Phuket and I refinanced the Chicago property to purchase a villa in Phuket.
  • At the end of November, we went to Chiang Rai to visit Vy and Ann, and then took a taxi to Nan to visit Kemji’s family.
  • For Christmas, about 20 friends and us rented a villa in Phuket and had a memorable time celebrating there.  New Years we went to a rooftop bar in Satorn.

Busy year, fun year, and satisfying, though didn’t have a lot of downtime.  It was certainly a year to remember.

WHAT WENT WELL THIS YEAR?

2021 was a year full of a lot of uncertainty, but also a lot of adventure.  When we left Bangkok in May, somewhat last minute, we left as lockdowns were becoming more strict.  On the flip side, the US was opening up.  We left in May with the plan to spend a month or two abroad, but ended up extending multiple times and spent several months in the US.  We had 7 friends from all over the world visit us in Colorado and had a blast sharing the adventure together.  It was the first time that many of our closest friends in Thailand had the chance to visit Colorado.  I also had the chance to spend more time with family, the most amount of time back in the US in a year since I left to Thailand in 2012.  It was enjoyable, but also a long time to be on the road.

Overall, the US trip was full of parties, concerts, camping, hiking, and eating.  I was surprised by the costs of Colorado shooting up with inflation and with the influx of people moving there – AirBnb and car rental prices had increased substantially.  Finding an Airbnb for more than 10 days was nearly impossible as people often book just weekends.

We arrived in the US in May, and only planned to stay for a couple months.  However, due to the conditions in Thailand not improving, we kept extending our trip.  In total, we spent nearly 6 months in the US, departing in October to Phuket, Thailand.  It was a fun summer and the longest time we had spent in the US since I had lived there.

Health: The first quarter of the year I ended up in perhaps the best shape of my life in terms of strength and endurance.  At the end of 2020 I’d been training for a trail race that ended up being cancelled, and I had kept doing the Stronglifts 5×5 program, which has been effective in building strength.  After departing to the US and being on the road, the lack of routine made it hard to keep the gains but nonetheless stayed active.  Upon returning to Thailand, I started again.  Overall, I’m happy with my health progress for 2021 and plan to improve in 2022.

Knowledge: 2021 I certainly learned a lot – ended up purchasing 4 houses by leveraging low interest rates and it was quite a learning experience.  I didn’t get to read as many books as I’d planned, but felt satisfied with my improvements in this realm.

Relationships: Between getting to spend months with my family and friends in Denver, and being able to have some of my best friends from around the world visit Colorado in 2021, the experiences I had with the people around me were enjoyable and fun.  I had the chance to go camping a few times and go on some fun adventures.

Business: 2021 was another year of progress in the business side of things.  Along with real estate, which was a big focus on 2021, I made progress launching a new brand for a hangover cure, as well as improving and growing my existing businesses.

Overall, most of the stuff I was working towards in 2020 I improved on in 2021.  I continued to stretch consistently, worked out at least 3x/week, sauna 3x/week, and had a lot of fun.

WHAT DIDN’T GO SO WELL THIS YEAR?

It’s hard to complain after 2021, but I could have definitely done a better job with routine, both in terms of staying active on the road and consistently lifting/running, as well as writing and reading.  I see writing and reading as fundamental pieces of life in terms of learning and communicating, and I can certainly do a better job at that.  Aside from that, I definitely partied a fair amount and could do a better job at minimizing the late nights and work on waking up earlier in the day.

WHAT AM I WORKING TOWARD?

One of my goals for 2021 was to get a house in Colorado for us and my family/friends.  However, due to low interest rates and Denver’s market exploding, none of my offers went through and was unable to purchase a property.  Nonetheless, going to wait to see the effect of rising interest rates and reevaluate in a few months.

Aside from that, health wise, will continue to do the hip and back stretching 2-3x/week, lift 3x/week, and implement at least 2 days of running a week.  I want to get to 100kg bench for 5×5, maintain 110kg squat 5×5, and continue to work on flexibility.

Business wise, I’m launching 2 new brands this year and excited to see how they turn out.

Lastly, our house in southern Thailand should be finished by October and excited to spend more time there and work on furnishing and improving the first real home I’ve ever opened, which is exciting.

ALL TOGETHER

Overall, I’m satisfied with the progress and experiences I had in 2021.  Looking forward to what is in store in 2022.  I’m about 4 months late in publishing this post as I had it half written but failed to finish it until now.

I’m excited to get back into a regular writing schedule as I’ve written a fair bit but haven’t published much in the last year or 2.  I have a lot of ideas in my mind that I want to write down to clarify my thinking and I enjoy the research/writing process, though it takes a fair amount of work.

Currently, we’re in Denver, Colorado and just finished a trip to New York City and Miami/Bahamas for the Flogging Molly Cruise, which was epic.  We plan to be in Colorado another month or so before departing back towards Asia, potentially stopping over in Europe.

In 2021, I only published one post:

Here a few interesting links from 2021:

Quote to ponder:

Money buys happiness in the same way drugs bring pleasure: Incredible if done right, dangerous if used to mask a weakness, and disastrous when no amount is enough. (?)

A book worth checking out: The Psychology of Money

You can follow me on Twitter here.

Thanks for reading and all the best in 2022 and beyond.