Past Year Review 2021
A Past Year Review (PYR) is used to plan the next year by looking back on the past year. During this review, you examine the people, activities, and commitments that produce the most positive and negative emotions. This information is used to map out the new year by adding positive experiences to your calendar and eliminating negative ones.
This year’s PYR was more intense (and published later) than previous years. The pandemic, and all the associated restrictions and hardships, extended from 2020 to last year. I continued to work from home for most of the year. I also practiced social distancing and was physically apart from friends and family.
I used the extra time to focus on new projects. I was productive and started multiple ventures. But the downside of all that productivity was social isolation and lack of exercise. This led to a year full of highs and lows.
😀 What Caused the Most Joy?
(Small) In Person Gatherings
I appreciated the time spent in person with friends and family. These gatherings were less common than usual due to the Hawaii COVID guidelines. Some of my favorite events include NFL Red Zone watch parties, dinners with family, and weekly Super Smash Bros. game nights. I also enjoyed babysitting my wife’s niece and nephew.
The pandemic made me realize the importance of community and connection.
Getting Married in March
I made one of my biggest and most positive commitments last March.
Getting married was an amazing and, hopefully, once in a lifetime experience. My wife and I were fortunate to have our family share this experience with us. The event went as flawlessly as I could have imagined. Our wedding planner, photographer, and caterer were all fantastic. The passing rain and nearby fireworks capped off an unforgettable evening.
I obsessed over sports and Pokemon cards at the end of 2020. I dreamed of ripping open packs to find a Silver Justin Herbert Rookie Card or a Rainbow Pikachu VMAX. However, card packs were ridiculously expensive at the time (and still are). Therefore, I needed a way to fund this hobby. After some thought, I decided to start a YouTube channel and open card packs on video. I figured that I was going to open cards anyway, so why not do it on camera. I could use the money earned from these videos to pay for the cards.
This led to the creation of the Card Minnows YouTube channel.
Making videos was one of my most positive activities during the past year. I get a sense of joy every time I complete the final edit and hit the upload button. I was able to experience this joy 49 times last year.
This new hobby gave me the opportunity to learn new skills. I knew nothing about video editing and production prior to starting Card Minnows. I learned how to edit by watching lessons on YouTube and Coursera. One of the most important takeaways was the impact of lighting and audio on video quality.
It was rewarding to get recognized and paid for my efforts as well. My videos amassed 247,730 views and 11,568 watch hours in 2021. I also gained 1,926 new subscribers. I was overjoyed when my channel was monetized in August. And I was ecstatic when I received my first check from Google.
Axie Infinity and SFG
I learned about Axie Infinity in May. Then I joined Swordfish Guild (SFG) as one of the founding Swordfish in June. These events led to one of my most lucrative hobbies.
I started with five Axies and a handful of SLP and AXS in May. In 7 months, I grew to 586 Axies and 107 Guppies (scholars)! My team earned 1,897,324 SLP for the year with 1,115,125 SLP going back to the Guppies. With SLP at $0.025 at the end of the year, this equates to a gross earning of $47,433.
It felt amazing to build something from scratch.
I expanded my business knowledge with this project. I got a crash course in accounting. I mapped out cash flows, kept a budget, and prepared financial reports and balance sheets. I stumbled my way through management as well. I recruited and kept track of over 100 people in a distributed fashion.
You can read more about my adventures in the Axie Journals.
I binge watched the first two seasons of Succession right before the Season 3 premiere. This show is fantastic. I haven’t felt so excited to watch a show since Game of Thrones. The portrayal of the uber rich is fascinating. The character and camera movements are amazing. Everything just seems to work on this show.
🥲 What Caused the Least Joy?
Missing FedEx Package
I wanted to get a 1st Edition Lugia card reviewed by PSA. This card would be worth over $100,000 if it graded to a perfect ten. Due to the high value of the card, I used FedEX to ensure that the card got to PSA without any issues.
But this was not the case. The package was rejected before being delivered to PSA. Then, the package was held for weeks at the FedEx facility in Tennessee. After a ton of calls back and forth, the package was finally delivered to PSA.
What should have been an easy process turned out to be full of headaches and delays.
Card Minnows and SFG, my two major projects in 2021, took a toll on the other aspects of my life. I put so much time in video production and Axie Infinity that I pushed aside my social life, exercise, and other hobbies. My task list was never ending. I had to breed Axies, shoot and edit videos, publish Axie Journals, claim SLP, write scripts, engage on Discord and promote on social media.
I was constantly fighting for more hours in a day.
Lost of Motivation
I burnt out from the project overload. I lost motivation for my work. I questioned if engineering was what I wanted to do with my life. Where did I want to be in 10 years? Do I want the lifestyle of my bosses? Would I rather spend my time managing a guild or making YouTube videos?
I wanted full autonomy of my time. I desired to own an asset instead of renting out my time. I was inspired by The 4-Hour Workweek to create a business. But that was seven years ago. I felt my life was slowly passing me by.
Lost of Focus
I often felt distracted during the second half of last year. My mind raced between Twitter, YouTube, token prices, Discord, and cash flow projections. I took longer to accomplish tasks because of the context switches back and forth. I couldn’t focus on a single task.
🗓 What Have I Planned for Next Year?
Commit to a Deep Life
A Deep Life is Cal Newport’s definition of a life well lived. He describes the concept in one of his Core Ideas videos. My goal for 2022 is to follow the process outlined in the video to get closer to living my ideal lifestyle.
I will start this process by defining my values for four areas of life, or Newport calls buckets. Those buckets consists of:
The next step involves developing Keystone Babits for each bucket. These habits are actions performed every day that exemplifies the desired value.
After 30 days of Keystone Habits, I will spend four to six weeks exploring each bucket in depth. This involves looking at the things I want to change that would lead me closer to my ideal lifestyle.
I was lacking in the Community (relationships) and Constitution (health) buckets last year. The Deep Life process will help me focus on these areas and, hopefully, create a more balanced lifestyle.
Limit My Projects
I have too many ideas for things to do. Some are good and others not so much. But I don’t have time to test out all these ideas. Therefore, I need to limit my attention and focus on the ones that matter. This concept has been repeated many times in Essentialism, So Good They Cant Ignore You, and other countless quotes, books, and articles. This year I will focus on one main hobby and a rotating secondary hobby.
My main hobby is writing. The thread throughout the years has always been this blog and journaling. It clears the clutter from my thoughts. I also enjoy sitting down with a notebook and pen (or laptop and keyboard) and putting words down. I want to commit to and improve upon this craft. My goal is consistently publish Thursday Thoughts this year. This means no weeks missed in 2022!
I plan to rotate between blockchain games, YouTube videos, and coding for my secondary hobby.
I will continue to manage my Guppies in SFG. But I now have systems in place to help me execute effectively. Therefore, I can spend less time on admin tasks. This allows me to spend my time researching the evolving meta or scouting new games.
I want to restart my YouTube channel in 2022. The creative process behind video production is highly engaging and a nice counterbalance to writing. I hope to build on the sucess of last year and grow my channel. I also wish to continue learning about and getting better at making videos.
My last secondary project is learning Python. Python scripts have been a life saver in Axie Infinity. These scripts shave off countless hours by automating mindless tasks. I hope to learn how these scripts work and be able to create my own code. I always wanted to study programing outside of HTML and CSS and Python is a great language to explore.
Earn More Passively
Although I don’t plan to drop everything and become a digital nomad, I still have a desire to become financially independent before the traditional retirement age of 65 years old. To accomplish this dream, I need to create multiple steams of income. These streams need to be big enough to support my eventual lifestyle. My goal is to earn $1000 each month outside of my day job. This is a great starting point and something that can be attained while still remaining a stretch.
I will use USPS and UPS over FedEx when possible. The experience with the missing Pokemon card was enough to turn me away from their services.
In 2021, I got the most joy from getting married, small in person gatherings, creating a YouTube channel, and discovering blockchain games. I got the least joy from shipping with FedEx and stacking my plate with too many projects.
In 2022, I plan to live a more balanced life by embracing the Deep Life. I will also limit my projects to one main hobby and a transient secondary hobby. I also want to earn more passive income through play to earn games and YouTube. Lastly, I plan to use other shipping companies over FedEx whenever feasible.