Hey, I am in Beijing and I can not get back home for Christmas because I can not get back into China.
Thank you Boris and crew… thank you for being so totally crap at what you are supposed to be doing and what you are ‘paid’ to do.
Yes, did I say. Thank. You. Please. Read. My. Sarcasm. In that praise.
Any way, enough of that stressing over things I can’t control. What I can control is taking the moment to think back over this year and identify the things that caught my eye, my mind and my purse and to share them with you. If you have the time.
So without further ado, here are my recommendations from this year. Let me know what you think and if you can recommend anything to replace what I have listed, I am always happy to learn. Please feel free to recommend in the comments space below…
First up, is the sounds that I lost myself in. The music that made the difference. There was so much music to enjoy this year but the one album that stuck out for me was this beauty from the Scotsman himself! If you can watch the show, it makes a lot make sense.
1. Music: American Utopia, David Byrne (Live)
From the world of movies… there were a few great movies and lots of missing movies. 2020 will likely be remembered for what didn’t get shown, 007!, as opposed to what did get a play.
A wee documentary caught my attention for the very reason that the people who made it demonstrated that they had balls to go ahead and make a dramatic change to their life. It is an emotional ride and they deserved more people to support them by picking up the movie, Netflix should have picked it up. Anyway you can. Do it. Help them out.
For those of you who say; that’s a documentary but what is your movie recommendation. Then my reply would be, Tenet was good because I spent a long time after seeing it in a movie theatre with friends trying to work out… what the feck was going on.
TV was the highlight. More time stuck inside and more time to TV binge, was many peoples life for a big part of this year. In Beijing not so much, so I didn’t catch half of the recommended TV shows… I had to work, but I caught this late in the year and loved every minute of it.
A big win for inclusion and diversity by having such a smart and captivating lead character.
The captivating world of Chess.
From a reading perspective one book won out. I wasn’t a fan at first, but I took the time to work out why, got beyond that and then I became a fan. This book made me reflect on a whole lot of what happened throughout the year and also for the past years, it got in deep, and it also got me over the finishing line for 2020.
4. Book: Think like a Monk, Jay Shetty.
My book recommendation of the year.
Like all of you, I spend a fair bit of time on ‘tinternet’ and there is a magnitude of great sites out there that are enjoyable in many ways. but one of the best financial sites, if not the best is this diamond of a site.
Everything you would ever need to get your head around personal finance and all done in such a simple and engaging way. The guy is a hero. I recommend you spend a lot of time here. The best UK finance site out there. Love it.
Everything you need to know on personal finance is here.
I walk a lot and when waking I listen to a lot of music and a lot of podcasts. What I choose is usually depending my mood. One podcast that always has a positive impact on my mood is the podcast from Rob Dial. His energy and insights are legend and he has built a business on clarity of thought. His podcast are also a perfect length for my walk to work. Have a listen.
6. Podcast: Rob Dial, Mindset Mentor
I like Instagram, not sure why I like it more than the other social networking sites… maybe I’m just more visual and maybe Facebook is such a dogs dinner now it’s best to stay clear.
What Instagram account would I recommend I hear you ask?
7. Instagram account: Use the Search function.
Well I would recommend you just use the search function. Using search opens up a rabbit hole of which it is a pleasure to escape into.
Instagram is not my favourite app. This year my favourite app was one I had used so many times before but fell back in love with… yes, you heard me right. Love. This app is so intuitive, so well designed and has so much functionality that you just can not ignore it. I have set myself a goal of journaling every day for the next year using this app and so far so good. It does cost money, but for me it is money well spent. It’s an investment in me.
WordPress is a great service for my needs at this moment as I learn and explore how to get an online presence. Other services like Moonpig, which I use to send cards back at home and Amazon, which I use to buy gifts for people back home (I know, but they support a lot of small businesses so use that part of it) were also so useful throughout the year. But, something as simple as the ‘notes’ on my apple devices truly made a difference. I won’t go on about how I use it as it is such a personal system that I have, but it is so quick to update and seamless and it means that I can work on the go on all of my devices and it never seems to stress.
One app I recommend to use all the year round
One tip would be to watch some YouTube videos and see how people are getting the most from the notes app and how they use it to be creative as well as manage their data.
You might never use paid services like Evernote ever again.
9. Service: Apple Notes (using iCloud)
Ok, a bit too much apple here… but the Apple Watch has been excellent at keeping me motivated to keep at my fitness. I use an older model S3. I have had it for three years and that is good enough for me because it does what I need it to do. I might upgrade next year, but depends if what is new is a big enough attraction.
There is so much out there to take inspiration from and you can choose to take a sound bite or get in tight with a thought provoking paragraph or even more; a book!!
However for the purpose of this next Christmas gift, I will keep it short. It is for the quote of the year, the soundbite that resonated with me or made me think more after reading it the first or second time. There is a lot for 2020, most notably… ‘wear a damn mask’ which seemed to be a popular one.
But what caught me was this highlight of the ever smart, ever impressive, Seth Godin. So perfect for the year in which so much was tested in so many industries. I recommend you follow his daily blog. Inspirational.
11. My favourite quote of the year: Seth Godin….
‘The experience people have with your brand is in the hands of the person you pay the least.’Seth Godin
Yes, the one and only Seth Godin!
On the same subject of tackling things with a flip of the typical thought process. I am a big admirer of what these guys are championing.
Rebels with a cause
Never sure what they will change in the long run, but they do make the idea of working for the man, that little bit more attractive. Anything that goes against the grain I am a fan of, when it is done so well, then count me in.
12. For the rebel in me: The Corporate Rebels
And finally, what or who would be my person of the year?
I would have to fall in line with the Times magazine choice this year.
My choice is made for all of the same reasons everyone would agree upon, but also for having the perseverance to work in what must be the most chaotic, crazy, energy sapping, soul destroying atmosphere… and yet, he kept solid because he was focused on doing the right thing.
Dr Anthony Fauci
13. My person of the year: Dr Anthony Fauci
A man who played with a straight bat while all around him played their own game.