My Key Takeaways from 2021.

2021 was a special year. I spent more time than ever before with mentors, receiving support and advice for my new venture. I picked five lessons for which I am actively seeking opportunities for practice and growth in 2022.

  1. Practical advice for cutting negative cycles: In conversation, pay attention to the parts of you that feel hurt, upset, discomfort etc. when the other party talks to, acts towards you or others in the conversational space. Then when you interact with others, actively avoid behaving the same way.
  2. Bait doesn’t have to taste good to the fisherman: Technological acceleration has given rise to new economic models and businesses formats that can be difficult to understand within context of current classical frameworks. Criticizing is lazy. Just keeping “an open mind” will not be rewarded. True reward comes from the courage to put in the work – psychological, technical, tactical, other – to learn, adapt, and determining how to compete. Respecting the market is an important ingredient for success.
  3. Don’t fear pursuing a goal because you think it’s impossible: Our understanding of what’s possible is handicapped by our frames of reference, personality types etc., and the mere physical inability to know all possibilities. We are in a game where most of us only see the play that’s in front of us. There are others, high up in the booths, who see the whole stadium, maybe have been there before, and maybe they know someone. They might be able to help.
  4. Instead of asking what could go wrong, explore what could go right: Most critical analytical thinking taught in schools seems to focus on the “critical” part. Understanding opportunity is harder. It demands more work, superior imagination, and more courage compared to poking holes.
  5. Embrace doubt: Doubt carries within it the seeds of success. Doubt prevents us from being complacent and allows us to evaluate alternative perspectives with honesty and openness. Often, it is impossible to find true conviction without first having overcome doubt.  

I picked up these lessons in the context of business. I am curious to hear what others in different disciplines are learning.

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