So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun …
John Lennon – So This Is Christmas
This is an unavoidable song over Christmas each year. I often felt happy to summarise the things I had done at the end of the year, but this year I feel I didn’t achieve as much as I expected even though I kept doing slowly. It’s hard to answer if I have tried hard enough. Like this situation, I remind myself what Steve Jobs said in the Stanford Commencement speech (June 2005):
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.
So what have I done in 2018?
* Webinars, recordings and online resources started to take over most of my reading time. I noticed increasing useful resources online. I become catching up things and have to improve my speed reading techniques and the skills of information retrieval. Roughly I viewed 3-4 work-related videos/recordings per week.
* Read 2 hard-copy books (this is a lot fewer than I would like to).
* Reviewed 2 Journal papers and assessed 2 submissions.
* Visited 5 new places in another country and 8 new places in the UK.
* Helped family members to achieve their goals.
* Helped a stranger about Grounded Theory research (I used the methodology ten years ago).
* Continue volunteering.
* Cycling as commute safely for another year. Rebuilt my confidence after my bike accident in June 2017.
* Slipped away from Facebook (Seems I gradually missed the first news about friends’ life…).
* Started to learn an instrument by following YouTube teaching sessions.
* Since November, got up 30 mins earlier each day to do healthy exercises.
“Confirmation bias” is a term I learnt from Alex Edmans’ talk. Regarding to sharing, he says that “… We should ask the following: If it’s a story, is it true? If it’s true, is it backed-up by large-scale evidence? If it is, who is it by, what are their credentials? Is it published? How rigorous is the journal?… If the same study was written by the same authors with the same credentials, but found the opposite results, would you still be willing to believe it and to share it? … Only if it’s true, can it be fact. Only if it’s representative, can it be data. Only if it’s supportive, can it be evidence. And only with evidence, can we move from a post-truth world to a pro-truth world.” I did not really check all tweets I shared. In 2019, I will be more careful and gain more trustful evidence before I share.