What a wonderful year 2019 has been! a year in which I've grown a whole lot as a human being.
To be honest this year has had very tough times with several relatives passing away, some of them under hard-to-accept conditions, but one of the things I've learned this year is that feeling as a victim doesn't help at all. I've learned this important lesson by observing my relatives/family members cope with all kinds of health issues. Considering yourself a victim is an easy way to blame everyone else, god or whatever you want, to not take responsibility for your own life and actions. There are always other beings suffering way more than you are, remember that things can always get worse. Value and enjoy the good things in your life. Feeling as a victim is not the way I want to go. I did it in the past for a long time and it didn't help.
In 2019 has put the pieces of the puzzle together, a puzzle I've been trying to figure out throughout the last decade. The meaning and purpose of my life, goals, happiness, desires, fears, flaws... understanding life and people. As a result, the relationship with my friends and family members have improved a lot during this year and I am living a great time. I've met new people too. I am very lucky to be in a very good health and to have a great job.
There have been important milestones in my career/life this year:
- Completing the altMBA. This intensive online workshop has been a catalyst for those puzzle pieces to come together. Apart from meeting great colleagues, it gave me tools to better understand myself and others. It gave me powerful leadership tools. If you are curious about the contents, in this recent podcast episode Seth Godin summarizes some of the altMBA lessons - Akimbo with Seth at the United Nations
- I've delivered my first keynote in front of an audience of 1000+ people in Barcelona, at CAS2019. The recording will be published in the upcoming months along with a blog post revisiting my points and even the talk's script. It was a very big challenge for me and I worked on it from June to November. Having to choose what to talk about aiming to make an impact was an incredible exercise to reflect and internalise deep life lessons. I had to grow myself in order to be able to build and deliver a message that sounded authentic and genuine. The truth is that it was a speech to my inner self. I'll watch the keynote in the future whenever I feel lost, down or frightened. Seriously, my endeavour to squeeze the altMBA was incredibly useful to level up my skills as a speaker and leader.
- I've written and published my second book, ten years after the first one - it's a technical book for the IT industry. 150 copies have been sold in the first week, which is totally unexpected and exciting for me. The good habit of shipping during the altMBA helped me push through my book and deliver it before the end of the year, exactly as I had envisioned it. It was way easier to write the second book than the first one and now I plan to publish a new book in 2020 and another one in 2021, both of them technical tool, also in Spanish.
- Our team is stronger than ever, bigger than ever, for the first time in my life I have the feeling that I am doing a good job managing a company and that the best is yet to come. Here is a brief summary of 2019 at Lean Mind
If I had to enumerate more ingredients for the personal growth and success I am experimenting, I would say:
- Support from my friends and family members, specially my dear couple.
- Support from the community - my friends again.
- Meditation: I've been practising for over a decade but it was recently that something clicked in my head and I understood that the same meditating attitude in the dojo works for the rest of situations in my life. It's all about observing thoughts come and go without identifying myself with them, just like watching a movie. Extending the dojo experience to my whole life has been an awakening this year.
- Psychotherapy and personal coaching sessions: there are brilliant experts our there to help you find your best self. I definitely count on talented and seasoned people to help me grow and this is something I recommend to anybody.
- Sport: I don't think I would have achieved half the goals without the right levels of testosterone in my blood. Feeling healthy and strong makes me optimist and energized.
- Books, podcasts, and talks: Pretend you already are the person you want to be and you will become such a person. Later in this post there are resources that have been useful to me.
For a long time I used to think this old idea that all the potential to succeed in life is already inside of oneself was pretty much bullshit. No, it's not. I don't think that anymore. When you feel well in solitude, when you treat yourself with kindness and support, when you manage your emotions calmly, when you acknowledge your flaws and work on them with positive attitude, you instill respect for yourself. When you act as your authentic self, others will notice and feel respect.
When facing a difficult situation you don't have behave like you think others in your circle (or in the society) expect you to behave. You don't have to follow a conventional behavior if it plays against your style. You don't have to like others but to like yourself. You can do whatever is sensical according to your values and principles. If you act firmly with authenticity and self-trust, you will feel good about it and most people will respect your position. You may show up firm but non-violent, or with humor, with a smile, or disobedient. Your dignity is not subjected to what others think of you - that's their affair anyway, not yours.
Working everyday against laziness, procrastination, bad mood, addictions (notifications and likes!) and negative thoughts helps me get closer to the person I want to be in the future. Most of us, most of the time, come up with negative thoughts in our heads. Our perception of the reality has a lot to do with the thoughts we choose to hold. The narrative you tell to your inner self is shaping your reality. You can choose what is your narrative. Every negative idea is an opportunity to practice mindfulness and train your emotional intelligence. The truth lies within, here and now.
Now some resources I've find useful this year (I'll probably add more in the upcoming days):
- Linchpin: Are you indispensable? - Also available in Spanish here.
- The war of art
- Steal like an artist
- A beautiful constraint
- The Speed of Trust
- How to be yourself
- Akimbo.link - Short podcasts by Seth Godin
- Joe Rogan interviews Jordan Peterson (#1070, #1139, #1208) - I don't agree with everything they say but I find some of the topics and points really good food for thought.
- Harvard Business Review Podcasts - Specially the IdeaCast and The Anxious Achiever
- Fitness Revolucionario - Salud desde múltiples enfoques, con Marcos Vázquez
- Entiende tu mente - Breves píldoras sobre psicología, por un grupo de psicólogos
- Hanselminutes.com - Diverse podcast on technology with Scott Hanselman
- RealWorld - Sobre Customer Experience y mucho más, con Carlos Iglesias.
- Brené Brown, the power of vulnerability
- Simon Sinek, how great leaders inspire action.
- Juliet Funt, how to liberate talented teams from busy work and complexity.
- Daniel Gabarro, ¿Vuelven las dos Españas?
- Eduard Quintana, Responsabilidad Social Emocional.
Interviews and talks I've delivered this year - and are recorded somewhere:
- [es] - Comunidad Code: trabajo en remoto
- [es] - JSDay Canarias 2019, Pyday Canarias 2019, CAS2019: Profesionales con impacto - disponible proximamente
- [es] - NorthemQuality Testing Community: sobre TDD, BDD y Testing
- [en] - GSAS: Effective Architecture Practices Debate
Thank for you for reading, and Happy 2020 to you!