Day 30: Reflecting on 2012

Random Observation/Comment #317: Success, as a state of being, has been compared too much to our social norms. People think they’re successful when they have the right amount of money in their bank account, live in a house, driving a new car, working at an important high paying job as a CEO, and being admired by all.  This is wrong.  Your own success should be judged by your own reflections.  A mind that constantly strives for more, may never feel successful, while one who appreciates their current situation can feel greater success than others.

japan awesome


Before the Epic 30 Day challenge, in 2012, I: visited Iceland, Ireland, Hong Kong, South Korea, California, Las Vegas, Ohio (road trip with roomies), Bahamas, Montana; Continued foodspotting (548 food photos) and yelpping (152 reviews, yelp elite 2012);  listened to the full Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy on Audible (peer pressure and it was kinda funny); Listened to most of Shantharam on Audible (so much higher appreciation for real writing); got a 1700 rating in Table Tennis; Helped my parents clean-up from Hurricane Sandy; participated in zombiecon; wrote a Bedtime Moo Story; Relived my life in photos and writings; Completed my Epic 30 Day challenge.  (I will write another blog post on the Epic 30 Day challenge conclusions tomorrow).

2012 was the year of review, reflection, and action. I know I review and reflect very frequently on life, but this year I decided to take my first step into doing new things and staying connected with people. I did a ton of traveling with my buddies and decided to just live in the moment with my friends and family.  The hurricane really brought the family together, and if nothing happened this year, I’m glad it was the hurricane that reminded us we have friends.  Besides the few assholes that ruin it for the most of us, we are civilized people and show true colors when in need.  Also, my epic 30 day challenge was a success and I’m happy to keep this up next year.

As per last year’s review and the reviews from the years before (2010, 2009, 2008), I will keep the format of the bucket list to top off the year.  There is actually not much of a change from last year, but I have updated it with small bits of how I’m doing each task.


  1. I want to be a good son, brother, friend, partner, and contributor to this world
    1. Goal:  Reconnect with at least 3 people you haven’t spoken with every month. – sending emails, texts, and fb messages are easier, but handwritten postcards are so much more meaningful
    2. Goal: Do something nice and out of your convenience for someone – it’s always good to be a good person.
    3. Aspiration: Show love and help where possible. – there is never a shortage of loving things to do for someone else. If you think a few layers deep, you’ll know what to get your friends.
    4. Aspiration: Meaningfully keep in contact with as many people as possible. – this will require more organization of #coffeechats and just getting out there more to extend my web of peeps.
    5. Dream: Live a truthful and honorable life. – this will be in 20/20 hindsight. When I read this when I’m old, I’ll know if it’s true.
    6. Dream: Stay true to all promises made. – I don’t make a lot of promises, but the ones I do, I promise they will happen.
  2. I want to influence a community with a product, message, purpose, or even just a comment
    1. Goal: Continue yelping, foodspotting, and restaurant reviewing. – Yelp elite 2013 here I come. Time to attend more of those meet-ups.
    2. Goal: Maintain blogging at a consistent pace, expanding on subjects such as photography, technology, gadgets, and table tennis. – the 30 day challenge helped with blogging consistently
    3. Goal: Have 50 friends use a photo I have taken of them as their profile picture. – this will be in my next 30 day challenge.
    4. Aspiration: Create a well-known blog that encourages contribution and facilitates meaningful conversations
    5. Dream: Make a living traveling, eating, and writing. – it would be a nice life to see once I’m done with the hard work.
    6. Dream: Share this knowledge from across the world – either through the blog or some type of organization, I want to teach.  The Internet and videos have made teaching people around the world that much easier. Just look at Khan academy…
  3. I want to be more productive with my time and finish more projects that I’ve started
    1. Goal: Finish comic book. – although it’s not done, I have helped Ryan as far as I can. I will leave it to him for the project
    2. Goal: Finish Love with an Expiration Date/Bedtime Moo Story – This will take time.
    3. Aspiration: Get an MBA. – maybe this isn’t necessary…
    4. Aspiration: Make my first million before I’m 30 years old. – this isn’t really that important… I still want it to happen, but it’s not that big of a deal if it doesn’t.
    5. Dream: Only work for DigiWeave. – my start-up needs better management. I guess I just don’t have the business mindset to juggle everything together.
    6. Dream: Own a house I’ve designed. – I have a designed house on autocad. Now I just need to save enough money, find a plot of land, and build it.
  4. I want to be a more effective communicator through telling stories, speaking multiple languages, and conveying ideas/concepts concisely and with gusto
    1. Goal: Learn to write better in Chinese.
    2. Aspiration: Conduct seminars on a particular passionate topic. – I will be teaching some photography courses in the near future, but perhaps I can find a job in teaching.
    3. Dream: Speak 6 languages (English, Cantonese, Mandarin, German, Japanese, and Spanish) fluently. – this will need a whole lot of time and a lot of friends that are willing to keep the speech going
    4. Dream: Give a TED talk. – I did a presentation that talked about the 30 day challenge, but it wasn’t on TED. I need to get on TED 🙂
    5. Dream: Get on the Colbert Report. – I think I need to write a book first.
    6. Dream: Earn DTM in Toastmasters. – it takes a lot of work and dedication to get here, but I think I can do it if I keep consistent for the next few years.
  5. I want to always be healthy and active
    1. Goal: Get six pack abs. – this should be more of a dream now due to some type of laziness.
    2. Goal: Reduce alcohol intake to 2 times a week ($3 happy hour at spin doesn’t help).
    3. Aspiration: Beat Edmund in Table Tennis or 2000 TT Rating – just beat Edmund the other day, but I want to do it consistently
    4. Aspiration: Train and compete in a physical type of -athalon
    5. Dream: Live a long and healthy life with all of my health problems resolved and not genetically passed over
  6. I want to understand more about the world
    1. Goal: Speak with old friends from around the world. – postcards!
    2. Goal: Continue to diversify my food palette. – tasting menus!
    3. Goal: Connect with more people around the world
    4. Aspiration: Travel to at least 50 countries (currently at 21). – South Africa and some random country Brian hasn’t told me about yet in 2013
    5. Aspiration: Travel to all 7 continents (currently at 3). – Africa in 2013
    6. Dream: Travel to space.
  7. I want to slow down time in as many ways possible
    1. Goal: Keep diary updated. – still doing it through Google Calendars
    2. Goal: Keep writing about things that matter.
    3. Goal: Keep telling stories so they can be told again.
    4. Aspiration: Learn a photographic memory.
    5. Aspiration: Publish a book about my life.
    6. Dream: Look back to any point in time and smile.
    7. Dream: Live without regrets.
    8. Dream: Live forever through the legacy you leave behind.

As always, Health and Happiness, my Friends…

~See Lemons Look forward to 2013