2013 was a very busy year. I read a lot of interesting books and had a lot of brand new experiences. I wanted to briefly capture the spirit of the year and mention some of my favorite memories.
1. Antifragile: Eye-opening combination of philosophy, classical wisdom, biology, finance, and entrepreneurship. It now colors how I look at everything.
2. Fooling Houdini: Really fun read for a magician and fan of psychology.
3. The Big Short: Interesting back stories and great inside peek at a lot of the mortgage meltdown craziness.
There is so much mystery and magic in the world around us. There is no need for something supernatural or out of this world to impress or inspire; just look around you at people and nature, and that will be the greatest source of awe. I love how magic can recreate this experience of awe and wonder in a controlled setting and reignite curiosity in others.
When I went dolphin watching in Moorea, I learned how fascinating these beautiful creatures are. My mind was blown when I learned that dolphins breathe totally consciously and need to sleep one hemisphere of their brain at a time as they continue to consciously swim and breathe with the other hemisphere. Now if that doesn't show you how freaking cool science, nature, and reality are, then I don't know what will.
I also learned how critical practice and diligent craftsmanship are to creating the results you want for yourself. I want to take pride in what I do and produce, and that comes with really hard work and lots of practice doing things that are not very glamorous.
Things that were good
I tried lots of new things and opened myself up to tons of new experiences. That was really fun for me. I also achieved a number of my goals, like successfully ramping up with Google and passing my Castle audition.
Things that were bad
I slacked off in some of my relationships and could've done better to keep in touch with close friends. I also overstretched myself and didn't go deep enough in the areas that showed promise. I also rushed myself too often and failed to stop and smell the flowers sufficiently. I also failed to push forward my exercise and physical training regimen as much as I would've liked.
Focus on a few critical areas. Time to go deep. Set some ambitious goals in a couple areas and work towards them. No excuses on health-related goals. Invest the time to build and strengthen some new friendships I've been starting to cultivate. Do a few things that will let me find myself and my next big projects in life.
The Google Self-Driving Car.
Maybe it's because of the Udacity Self-Driving Car programming course I took. Maybe it's because I hate traffic and inefficiencies. Maybe it's because I'm sad every time I hear about human errors leading to death and major injury, especially from car accidents.
I did a bit of research into the leading causes of death, and while more people still die of age-related medical problems, car accidents are the leading cause of injury-related death (though this may have been surpassed by suicide in recent years). In any case, car crashes kill over 30,000 people per year, and in my book that means they still suck.
Time recently wrote a case study about Google's initiative. With this post, I wanted to simply express my own excitement for this invention and why I think it's cool.
I can't wait to buy one when it comes out. I also believe this will drive tremendous value for Google as a company.