The 2018 Year-End Reflection

I was about to go on a call with a client and it got canceled at the last minute. I have time and hence I am going to write this reflection post. I needed a guide post and I found one that made sense to me. Here it is [The 2018 Year-End Reflection] ( by [Brian McFadden] ( on Medium.

1. What went well in 2018? (What were my wins? What did I do right? What shall I continue to do?)

A. Job Upgrade

I was working as a Proposal Coordinator in BNY Mellon's Pershing. Everything was fine and I was getting comfortable in the job. I was not really thinking of changing the job since I had joined only 18 months earlier. Then a series of incidents happened with my then boss which compelled me to think of a change. In hindsight, those incidents did not warrant a job change but it turned out to be for the best.

I did not see myself growing within that company

Having worked for more than six years with big firms such as Deloitte and BNY Mellon I wanted to see how it will be to work for a startup and especially a tech company. I was under the impression that my strengths were more aligned to a startup environment as compared to a conventional behemoth organization. More on what I learned related to this point later.

I interviewed with Freshworks and made it to the final round. Only to get rejected. I remember the moment when I got the email from the HR. I was expecting to get a nod but when I saw the mail that started with the line “We thank you for the time you spent...” I was dejected. In hindsight, it turned out to be for the best.

Thanks to a colleague in Toastmasters I got to know about Chargebee. Went through the interview process and got the job. Got the call from the hiring manager on August 3, 2018. I remember the moment vividly and what I did right after the call.

This change in every way is an upgrade. I went from a semi-client facing role to a full-time client facing role. I joined a startup in the SAAS world of Chennai. Joined Chargebee at a time when they are growing exponentially. They are literally a rocket ship ready to explode. The learning curve has been steep but the exposure and the experience have been worth it.

The job upgrade was the best decision I took in 2018

b. Set up a special screening for Village Rockstars

I set up a screening of the movie which was India's Oscar entry for 2019. I ran a campaign on Twitter and reached more than 1 lakh people and got more than 140 people to buy tickets for the show. I wrote about this on my blog. Please read [here] (

C. Podcasts and Diabetes

I met the doctor who was able to help me control my glucose levels. She advised me to take up walking and I did. I walked for 3KM every day in a park for close to two months. This was the best thing I did for my health for a long time. It is where I got introduced to Podcasts and it was the best combination ever! Listening to a podcast while walking in circles in a park was the best hack I came up with this year. It worked! It worked so well that it had to stop working! When I joined the new job I began working in the night shift i.e. from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. and that has messed up my walking routine. Trying to get back to it but with no luck yet. Not giving up though.

I strongly recommend listening to podcasts while walking, It works!

D. Made a great friend!

I turned 30 this year. It was dreadful. I can write a post on it but let me not do that. I personally felt my quota of making friends is over but I was proved wrong. I met Vignesh at BNY Mellon's Pershing. I can proudly say that was the best takeaway I had from my job at BNY Mellon. Our wavelengths matched and it was great to know a person who challenged my thinking and made me want to improve at all the facets of my life.

E. Family

Mom and Dad came to Chennai and I took them to Rameshwaram. I managed everything from transport to boarding to handling all expenses. Though this isn't something extraordinary I felt proud of doing it.

Both my wife and I had health complications and I am thankful to medical professionals to have given us the means through which we can get better. There are awful Doctors out there but thankfully there are some good ones too!

2. What didn’t go well in 2018? (Where did I come up short? What needs improvement?)

A. Handling emotions at the workplace

When I quit from BNY Mellon's Pershing I did not handle my notice period professionally. I wanted an early release and they were not agreeing. This led me to behave unprofessionally which I am not proud of. Also, when things became ugly I handled the situation badly. I could have done a lot better. I was rightly advised to keep a check on my emotions in the workplace. When I heard the advise I did not take it seriously but that is one of the best pieces of advice I have received in 2018. I agree wholeheartedly.

B. Personal finance

I suck at managing finances. I listened to a few podcasts and read a few blog posts which led me to make a few small minor investments but nothing tangible happened. I am still living my life paycheque to paycheque which as I understand is a stupid way to live! I did save some money but that is nothing compared to what I could have saved! So this year I sucked at it as I did in 2017 as well. This is not going to work out if I continue. 2019, you better behave!

C. Friendships

One more area where I suck. I am very bad at maintaining friendships. I expect to pick up the phone and start a conversation with an old friend from where I left. This doesn't work with everyone. There are obvious issues that I need to figure out solutions to. To all my friends who are reading this! I am sorry! I know it is not going to be easy to forgive. I promise that I will be better in 2019.

D. Anxiety

On multiple occasions this year I felt extremely anxious. It affected me deeply. I could not muster the courage to seek help. I did plan to do it but I did not. I like to believe that I have it under control but I know for a fact that I need help in regards to my anxiety issues. The uncertainty of situations kills me. There are some deeply ingrained issues that need unpacking. Hopefully, I should get it done in 2019.

E. Phone Addiction

I have not said this out loud but I am a phone addict. Spend an awful amount of time on Twitter. I quit Facebook this year and that definitely was one of the best decisions I took this year. Oh wait, Did I quit it in 2017 though? I don't seem to remember. I am glad Facebook app is a non-entity in my life. The Facebook group of companies though continues to have an influence on all our lives. Through WhatsApp, Instagram, their burgeoning ads network and more. I have tried half-baked measures to cut down my usage of the phone but only to return to the addiction. I do not think to quit all the apps and using a sensitized phone works for me. Though I am planning to give that a try. There should a better way of doing this and I need to figure that out.

F. Travel

We (my wife and me) traveled only once this year. In February to a hill station called Yercaud. Though we traveled to our hometown we do not consider it to be travel. We wanted to travel more but we found excuses to not do that.

3. What needs to get edited in 2019? (Where do I need to get rid off? What do I need to stop doing? What needs to be cut from my life?

Though I can come up with a rosy list for this section, I am not too sure if I will implement any of these. I tend to be impulsive by nature. Planning and Execution might not be my strengths. But again we always change, can't we?

A. Mobile Addiction

I need to find hacks using which I can stop being addicted to my phone. Need to spend more time being mindful and living in the present. It is easier said than done. Does quitting social media apps help? Self-control measures maybe?

B. Anxiety Issues

In order to do this, I need to seek help. Need to be a lot more confident in my life as compared to what I am today.

C. Laziness

I want to do a lot of things but I don't do most of them because I am lazy. My energy spike is highest in the beginning and then its a downward spiral from there. Need to sustain the energy and finish the tasks I begin. Do not want to leave them in between. Got to get more shit done!

D. Not reading books

I read close to 10 books in 2018. I wanted to read more. But I just did not. I don't want to be someone who has not read books in 2019. Need to create goals and stick to them. Right now this is wishful thinking. Need to put these to action.

Goodbye 2018. You were good. Though I would term 2018 as a year of missed opportunities, indiscipline and a lot more could have been done!

2019, I hope I get to travel a lot more. Enrich my relationships. Spend quality time with my family. Get rid of my addictions.