Few things are worth the stress

09 Mar 2020 | 4 minute read

Today is my birthday. In other words, it's a great day to reflect upon what I've learnt the past year.

Every year, I learn a lot of things. I learn things about the world. I learn things about my emotional self. I learn things about science.

Here are some of the most important things I've learnt in the past year.

Few things are worth the stress

It's easy to get stressed out about things going on in your life right now, or things that could be potential challenges ahead. It could be your career, money, COVID-19 or this weird red spot you have on your chest.

I've tried hard only to focus on the challenges that are here and now, as that is the only kind of challenges that I am certain will ever be a challenge. Getting stressed out about things that could, potentially, maybe, be a challenge in the future, is useless.

Basic is better

Most often, the basics are the best. I've focused on getting back to the basics.

If you want to become better at programming, focusing on the basics is probably better than to constantly focus on the next new thing.

If you want to be better at jiu-jitsu, working on the basic moves probably is better than becoming the berimbolo master.

If you want to invest in financial instruments, index funds are probably the better choice for 99% of people.

Fancy things are overrated

A while ago I noticed that I wasn't a fan of fancy things any longer. This year, it became very obvious. I'm not drawn to fancy things. I don't enjoy fancy environments. I don't enjoy fancy clothes.

(The only fancy things I do appreciate are computers and cameras. They enable me to create stuff).

The past 12 months, I've earned more money than I've ever done before. The past 12 months, I've spent less money on stuff than I have in a long while. Instead, I've experienced more. Travelled more. Invested more.

Ultimately, I've made sure that the money I've spent has served me well.

I like going to bed early

Going to bed early and rising early comes more naturally to me than the opposite. Nowadays, I go to bed at 9 PM and wake up at 5 AM. It's great.

Of course, this somewhat limits me on social events late at nights. But I don't enjoy late-night events, and rather meet people when I'm more alert anyway.