The start of a new year is a huge opportunity.
Yes, only the date changes and humans artificially make it anyway. But around this time of year our mind is open to reflection more than normal. That’s something you want to take advantage of.
Here are some basic upgrades to consider for 2023.
Guarantee people think you’re a no one
The challenge I have in real life is if I talk about anything I’ve done online people tend to treat me differently. I hate it.
In 2023 I am going to change how I introduce myself. I will tell strangers I run a small online academy for hobby creators.
The hope is people will be less fake toward me. Try it. Don’t introduce yourself based on your job title or a business you own.
Say “I’m Peter, a father of four from Frankfurt. Pleased to meet you.”
An expectation of a recession
I’m a finance guy … and I’m an optimist by nature.
But the data doesn’t lie. Next year will likely be a recession (again), although politicians and economists love to argue over whether we did go into a recession in 2022.
Either way, when you plan for winter it’s easier to enjoy it when it comes around. I am expecting a recession so my income expectations have eased. This is giving me much-needed peace of mind.
The best part is recessions are the greatest time in history to invest.
Adopt the 10X rule
This rule came from controversial entrepreneur Grant Cardone.
He’s not my cup of english breakfast tea but he makes a damn good point. You have to work ten times harder and do it for ten times longer than you think to achieve a goal. But the result will be 10–100x’s greater.
That’s how I feel about writing. Working harder at writing means doing more research and reading more books than is comfortable.
But I don’t want to fizzle out or back down from my goal to become a writer who reaches millions of people and one day writes a book. Many of you reading this have the same opportunity.
Dare to 10X.
Get rejected more often
How do you know you were stuck in a 2022 comfort zone? Easy.
- When was the last time you failed?
- How many potential employers rejected you?
- How many online publications refused your content?
- When was the last time you said “pay me” or “give me more money?
Your rejection rate equals your growth rate. It’s time to get more noes to feel the ice block in your underpants that is rejection.
Experiment with frugality
For years I’ve lived on much less than I earn.
I don’t own anything luxurious or live in a fancy home. My wife and I cook 99% of meals at home and do our own dishes. No maids or butlers wipe our butts after we poop.
The satisfaction this level of frugality gives us is hard to explain. It just feels …. so … good?
Experiment with living on less than you earn.
Downsize different areas of your life and notice the change. Move back in with the parents to save some cash.
Minimalism isn’t as popular anymore as it was. I predict a comeback in 2023, thanks to the recession.
More time with family
I’m now a dad.
My daughter is at the age where she’s starting to look people in the face. She smiles a lot too. Each of these moments is pure gold to me.
It’s better than watching other people’s lives through screens or going on a million holidays to tropical paradise.
I also have parents who are aging. It’s clear for the first that they won’t live forever and our days together are numbered. So I’m going to invite them to every family event regardless of whether they can come.
In 2023, try to spend an hour a day more with family. Notice if you feel different and more connected.
Go deeper with your ten best friends
When my daughter was born in 2022 it surprised me which friends did and didn’t pay attention.
A few people I’ve known my entire life didn’t so much as send a nice text or stop by to meet my daughter.
In 2021 I experienced a significant tragedy. And in 2011 when I lost everything the same recurring theme showed up again.
In 2023 I will spend more time with the ten best friends who are always there for me in good times and bad. I’m going to stop trying to have lots of relationships with other people that are all shallow, because they add little meaning to my life.
It’s interesting what happens when you stop stealing time away from your best friends and invest deeper in their friendships instead.
Stay away from this unique type of short-term thinker
Unkind people are short-term thinkers who don’t think long-term about the effects on their life.
In my line of work I come across unkind people all the time. In 2023 I am going to take out the trash.
If someone wants to ruin their reputation then I won’t engage. If someone wants to write another “XYZ is dead” article to get short-term clicks that make them look like dicks, good for them.
People with a vision don’t waste time throwing mud at strangers in the street to try and feel better.
Less smack talk, more beautiful silence.
Get around 1–2 people who break your definition of reality
I often tend to think too small.
What’s expanded my thinking is adding a few crazies who clearly aren’t like everyone else. A lot of what they say seems out of control. But a few things they’ve said have helped me break out of my shell.
Like, I tend to set 5-year goals. One of these crazy people said “why couldn’t you achieve that writing goal in 6 months?”
Turns out my goal planning was small thinking in disguise. In 2023 I will add two more of these wild cats into my inner circle. You can too. Or at least add two virtual versions which you follow on social media.
Turn life into a video game
When I worked for a tech company it blew my mind how effective gamification is at getting software engineers to outperform.
Gamification works because you level up, have a numerical score to improve, join quests/missions, and play a cool character.
In 2023 I will (finally) apply gamification to my life. You can too. Because when life feels like a game, it’s more fun to play.
Write more angry letters, ya angry bastard
Ankur Warikoo taught me that writing is a way to express yourself and empty emotional reserves. So when you’re pissed off at the world, write an angry letter to us all. The secret is don’t hit publish.
Now anger is gone. Nice.
If you say 1+1=5 you are right
Keanu Reeves is a philosophical genius.
He once said “I’m at that stage in life where I stay out of discussions. Even if you say 1+1=5, you’re right. Have fun.” This is my mantra for 2023.
Instead of being right, just move on to better things. Happy humans don’t have time to police the internet like mall cops.
Give up these three tortures
Author Leo Tolstoy famously wrote that three temptations in life torture us: sexual desire, pride, and lust for wealth.
This is probably the hardest upgrade to make in 2023. All of us are vulnerable to these three things. I am going to have a crack.
The lust for wealth is perhaps the most toxic. Society forces us to go to work and buy stuff we don’t need. It’s hardcoded into our mushy brains, as much as we pretend it’s not.
If one can give up a love of money, one can access a higher state of consciousness.
Every conversation is a de facto opportunity
Conversations you have in life secretly lead to new opportunities.
When you speak it builds your reputation. Behind closed doors that reputation quietly buys you a ticket to opportunities — or not. You’ll often never know. That’s why it pays to be thoughtful when you talk.
You never know what opportunity it’s about to get you access to. And when you do get a great opportunity, often, the source is left unknown.
This is the mystery of life. Embrace it in 2023. Talk people up, not down.
Do more boring things
As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized it’s our ability to endure the boring things that determines our success.
Much of what I do day-to-day is boring. As David Foster Wallace says, we are fish living in water we can’t see or comprehend. This (life) is water.
In 2023 I’m going to do more unsexy things. Because they are the activities that have allowed me to quit the corporate world forever.
Embrace boring monotony in a field you give a crap about.
We die like we go to sleep
This last upgrade is kinda morbid. Hear me out.
I think about death often because it keeps me motivated. I read a comment online that said we did like we go to sleep. Think about it.
You have no memory of before you were born. You were asleep also known as not alive. When we die it’s like going to sleep. We don’t feel it. We just don’t wake up anymore. We won’t even realize.
And once everyone has had a week or two to mourn, they will go back to their to-do list and maybe think of you once (if that) a year. Within 1–2 generations your existence will be forgotten forever.
No one goes back through the funeral notices for a fun read. Most of us actively avoid them.
Now you know all the things you’ll worry about in 2023 won’t matter so much. Let it set your mind free and inspire you.