“The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong.” – Winston Churchill
Let’s dive straight into it. Like my friend aka legend Tom “Big Al ” Schreiter https://bigalbooks.com/ often says:
There are two types of people in the world.
The ones that follow an easy crowd, only to discover later on in life that regret is their best friend and the ones that constantly seek to unlock more of their potential every year by making hard choices and re-inventing their skills and attitude.
There are two types of people in the world.
The ones that watch 5 hours of television and social media every day and contaminate their brains with someone else’s agenda and the ones that constantly seek out new strategies, books, studies, documentaries to enhance their life.
Almost everyone that I know acts so happy that the year 2020 has finally passed. We all want to go back to normal, we want things to be like before. I dare to say that 2021 will make 2020 look like a vacation. So the question is how can we act (not react) and adapt to navigate these troubled times of massive change while looking for new opportunities to grow, reflect, and re-invent ourselves and the world around us.
That is why, like I have done for the past years, I will like to share with you some ideas, strategies, books, quotes, podcasts and lessons. Maybe something will resonate with you and give you a new perspective to help you take the next step, get through a difficult situation, improve on a relation or just make you feel a little bit better.
So indulge me in sharing some of the improvement areas that I set out to focus on during 2020. Please have a read and see what you are already doing from this list. As you will see, sometimes I only achieve a few things, but nevertheless every year I keep trying to improve a little. Don’t get sucked in by the THINK BIG, ALL IN mentality that feasts on our minds in the world we are currently living in. Mastery is all about long term gains by consistently doing small things. Often small boring things. Obviously you have to find a way to track your goals, daily actions, and the lessons you learn or else you will be drifting through life like a leaf on the water like my grandmother Georgeta always says. I am not getting paid to recommend you this and there are tons of other tools/journals you can find, but I have been using Living Your Best Year Ever Journal by Darren Hardy since 2010.
SUMMARY LIVING YOUR BEST YEAR EVER
This is the system Darren has used for more than 25 years to design, stick to and achieve his own big goals. Included in this annual journal is a step-by-step, week-by-week Achievement Management System™️ which will act as your GPS guidance system all year long.
IMPROVEMENT AREAS 2020 (Investigate to find out what you are already doing from this list and what you could start doing if you feel it could help you in any way):
- Forgive people that did me wrong (I have been improving on this one, but I am still far from it, because I don’t really have a forgiving attitude. I will keep working on it!)
- Cardio Training every week (I discovered the art of running and I am now HOOKED) Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seenby Moose deals Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0307279189/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_ud08FbCAYRNGA
- No more TV than for an hour/day (I succeeded, however the social media monster it’s still a PROBLEM)
- Undisturbed quality sleep for 8 hours/day (Not yet)
- Be home with family on time every day (Not yet)
- Having a completely detailed budget and sticking to it (Not yet)
- Having a professional designed and diversified financial portfolio (Not yet)
- Saving at least 10 percent of my income every month (Not yet)
- Becoming credit card debt-free (Not yet)
- Having a six month reserve account completely funded and set aside (Yes)
- Having an updated and complete last will and testament (Yes) I did it through Fenix Begravning AB https://fenixbegravning.se/juridik-dodsboet/produkt/testamente-enkelt/
- Having the needed insurance and financial plan in place for my family should something happen to me (Not yet)
- Having a detailed retirement plan that will accommodate exactly what I need to live as I desire after retirement and for the rest of my life (Not yet)
- Living below my means and never spend money imprudently (Not yet)
- Studying my spiritual beliefs every day (Yes)
- Teaching my spiritual beliefs every day (Not yet)
- Living completely in accordance with my spiritual beliefs (Not yet)
- Consistently using my spirituality to help resolve my problems (Not yet)
- Seeking instructional information in my field every day (Yes)
- Never engaging in gossip (Not yet)
- Always say no to requests or obligations that don’t fit my core values or objectives (Yes)
- Attending cultural events at least 2 times/month (ha,ha,ha)
- Vacation at least once a year with no work communications (Not yet)
- Being completely present in every moment of every day (Not yet)
TEN GREATEST HAPPENINGS FROM 2020
- Our beautiful daughter and sweet soul Adeline is born. At 13.31 on July 14th 2020. This coincides with the National Day in France and the swedish crown princess birthday. Adeline means light and nobility so the name has a specific meaning for us! The date is most famously associated with the Storming of the Bastille in Paris, the event which escalated widespread unrest into the French Revolution.
- Built a new brand and a digital education platform Fenix Society for Freelance Funeral Advisors in Sweden, a collaboration with Fenix Begravning AB (www.fenixbegravning.se)
- Developed Frank Bloom & Associates delivering tech profiles to specific companies, and also sold the first real -estate. The best part is all the new relationships being forged along the way withe over 200 new high-level profiles. (www.frankbloom.com).
- I have finally written an extra chapter about how we manage to conquer Kilimanjaro Africa’s Tallest Mountain for my second book Don’t Follow The White Rabbit that hopefully will be released 2021.
- I discovered (with help from a close friend) the beauty of running and conducted 11 weeks of hardcore training, zero alcohol that increased my focus, stamina, and clarity. This is something that has now become a tradition after going through the different phases of idea, commitment, repeated action, habit, and tradition. I rank running to be on the same level with my cold showers when it comes to instantly resetting myself and creating a positive effect in my body, mind and soul.
- I manage to deliver both on the financial and emotional level for our new family of 3 and spent a lot of time with my daughter even though I have been working on different projects, 6 days/week.
- I celebrated Christmas with my family, my father, grandfather, wife and daughter while visiting some great friends along the way, far from how it used to be but still a WIN.
- Great long weekend trip to Cluj-Napoca https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/jan/27/cluj-napoca-romania-city-break-locals-guide with my friend Johannes in september.
- Managed to coordinate and deliver a two day event L.Y.F.T in Stockholm for the freelance funeral advisors from Fenix Society with guest speakers and a lot of good vibes.
- We had a wonderful event for Adeline with almost 40 people attending, friends, godparents and family. This was the last day that so many people could meet in Sweden because of the restrictions connected to the so called pandemic.
THREE GREATEST LESSONS I LEARNED IN 2020
- How to build up a new brand from scratch and market and sell it efficiently
- How to entirely digitalize education programs and concepts
- Running together with cold showers raises my frequency and keeps me on the right path
By tracking your daily actions you will know exactly what is happening or why something is not happening yet. These are some of the activities I tracked in 2020:
20/20/20 (20 minutes reading, 20 minutes training, 20 minutes meditation) : 364 times
New Connections: 391 new contacts (165 contacts less than 2019)
Training: 364 times (14 560 push-ups, 40 push ups/day).
Meditation: 364 times
6 point list: every day I outlined my top 6 priorities/activities connected to my banner goals for the year. At the end of the year I manage to successfully do 311 activities. This is truly the essence, 311 actions are responsible for everything that happened this year!
Cold Showers: 728 ice cold showers. “In Cold We Trust” Read more about the benefits and get after it: https://www.wimhofmethod.com/
6 AM Club: 76 times I got up at 6 am in the morning which is an increase with 52 times compared to 2019. This seems crazy because I am really not programmed to get up early in the morning and I din’t even remember that I did it so many times.
Daily Journaling: 364 times
1.Super Human by Dave Asprey (optimize your health and longevity) https://shop.bulletproof.com/products/super-human
2. Taking to strangers by Malcolm Gladwell (about wrongly assuming things) https://www.amazon.com/Talking-Strangers-Should-about-People/dp/0316478520
3. A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World’s Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire by Ogi Ogas (about human psychology) https://www.amazon.com/Billion-Wicked-Thoughts-Internet-Relationships/dp/0452297877
4. Death is of Vital Importance by Elisabeth Kubler Ross (about lessons from dying people and making sure we don’t have unresolved matters when it’s time to depart) https://www.amazon.com/Death-Vital-Importance-Life-After/dp/0882681869
5. Wonder Weeks by Rijt & X.Plooij (about the different evolution phases of infants, thanks to Lena Gardebrand for lending me the book, it was sold out everywhere). https://www.thewonderweeks.com/
6. Sell Like Crazy by Sabri Subi (about marketing, sales and the psychology behind monetizing on your ideas) https://selllikecrazybook.com/
7. Real Magic by Wayne Dyer (about aligning your goals with your values and you soul’s mission) https://www.amazon.com/Real-Magic-Creating-Miracles-Everyday/dp/0060935820
AUDIO: hundreds of hours of listening involving The Net Principle (No Extra Time). That means you are already doing an activity like cleaning, training, walking, driving and you don’t have to carve out extra time to listen. You do it meanwhile. That kills your excuses. There are so many podcast episodes I would like to share but here is a list with the ones that I liked the most.
P3 Historia: https://sverigesradio.se/p3historia
I have underlined the top 3 podcasts that I enjoyed the most
- Julius Caesar – mannen myten och mordet https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/1646456
- Snapphanarna och Göingehövdingen Sven Povlsen https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/1635550
- Sophie Scholl – studenten som trotsade Hitler https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/1008211
- Carmen Miranda – sambadrottningen som dansade med döden https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/1625447
- Gertrude Stein – modernismens matriark https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/1606863
- Drottning Jinga – kampen mot kolonialväldet https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/1598241
- Sokrates – fredlig filosof eller samhällsstörtare? https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/1592042
- Charlie Chaplin – från rännstensunge till Hollywodds hetaste https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/1581920
- Hirohito – regent genom terror https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/1576604
- Karl XII – vägen till Poltava https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/1182857
- Caligula – från guldkalv till galen panna https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/1288709
The Tim Ferris Show: https://tim.blog/podcast/
I have underlined the top 3 podcasts that I enjoyed the most
- Leo Babuta on Zen Habits, Anti-Fragility, Contentment and Unschooling https://tim.blog/2020/12/21/leo-babauta/
- Dr. Martine Rothblatt – A Masterclass on Asking Better Questions and Peering into the Future https://tim.blog/2020/12/16/martine-rothblatt/
- Harley Finkelstein – Tactics and Strategies from Shopify, The Future of Retail and more https://tim.blog/2020/12/09/harley-finkelstein/
- Jerry Seinfeldt – A Comedy Legend’s Systems, Routines, and Methods for Success https://tim.blog/2020/12/08/jerry-seinfeld/
- Daniel Ek – CEO of Spotify- Habits, Systems and Mental Models for Top Performance https://tim.blog/2020/12/03/daniel-ek/
- Steven Rinella – A Short Introduction to True Wilderness Skills and Survival https://tim.blog/2020/11/24/steven-rinella-wilderness-skills-and-survival/
- Dax Shepard on the Craft of Podcasting, Favourite Books and Dancing with Your Demons https://tim.blog/2020/11/18/dax-shepard/
- Scott Kelly – Lessons Learned from 500 + Days in Space, Life-Changing Books, and The Art of Making Hard Choices https://tim.blog/2020/11/05/scott-kelly/
- Yuval Noah Harari on The Story of Sapiens, Forging the Skills of Awareness, and The Power of Disquised Books https://tim.blog/2020/10/27/yuval-noah-harari/
- Seth Godin on the Game of Life, The Value of Hacks, and Overcoming Anxiety https://tim.blog/2020/10/26/seth-godin-the-practice/
- Matthew McConaughey – The Power of No Thank You, Key Life Lessons https://tim.blog/2020/10/19/matthew-mcconaughey/
- Dr. Mark Plotkin on Ethnobotany, Real vs Fake Shamans, Hallucinogens and the Dalai Lamas of South America https://tim.blog/2020/09/30/mark-plotkin/
- Richard Koch on Mastering the 80/20 Principle, Achieving Unreasonable Success and the Art of Gambling https://tim.blog/2020/09/22/richard-koch/
- Jamie Foxx on Workouts Routines, Success Habits and Untold Hollywood Stories https://tim.blog/2015/12/06/jamie-foxx/
These are the 3 books I will start 2021 with. There is a clear reason behind it, which is that they combine psychology, life-experience, soft values with concrete and detailed strategies. Like a yummy cocktail at the Rum House in New York City, a place that I highly recommend when and if the restrictions get lifted. https://www.therumhousenyc.com/
- Your Music and People – Creative and Considerate Frame by Derek Sivers https://sive.rs/m
- Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey https://greenlights.com/
- Sell Like Crazy by Sabri Subi https://selllikecrazybook.com/
BEST ARTICLES OF 2020
Bitcoin for The Open Minded Skeptic: https://www.matthuang.com/static/Bitcoin_For_The_Open_Minded_Skeptic.pdf?fbclid=IwAR32HqucXG_2dZDYjDjDHjwF6LBs3FnWeXlRRlNfoEtdzvNFiMUymwRSElE
These are the relationships I seek to expand on in 2021 (both resonated with me in a very special way and I really think they are great humans).
Nir Eyal: American author, lecturer and investor known for his bestselling book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.
David Meltzer: David Meltzer is the CEO of Sports 1 Marketing and formerly served as CEO of the renowned Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment agency, which was the inspiration for the movie Jerry Maguire.
An American writer, musician, programmer and entrepreneur, best known for being the founder and former president of CD Baby, an online CD store for independent musicians. A professional musician since 1987, Sivers started CD Baby by accident in 1997 when he was selling his own CD on his website, and friends asked if he could sell theirs, too. CD Baby went on to become the largest seller of independent music on the web, with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients.
In 2008, Sivers sold CD Baby to focus on his new ventures to benefit musicians. His current projects and writings are at sive.rs.
In June 2013, Sivers launched his new company, Wood Egg, which published annual guides on how to build companies in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
If you don’t already have an accountability partner I highly recommend you get one!
Why? Having someone that can keep you accountable, exchange ideas and help you be your best is imperative.
I have had the privilege to be connected to my accountability partner Dr. Antonio Soler for 8 straight years now! I am so thankful. If you want to find out more about Antonio and his amazing work regarding health and nutrition: https://www.linkedin.com/in/antonio-soler-m-d-0a63025a/
3 Things that I am worried about going forward:
- Cancel Culture: the freedom of speech getting more and more suppressed to the point when people no longer have the courage to share what they really think and stand for. Getting banned from social media, loosing your job or not being able to get on a plane soon because you don’t conform. Having been living under the communist regime in Romania I know how it feels. Most people in the western world and the younger generations have no clue. It stinks and it will take a long time to get the stink out.
- Fragility: people becoming more and more fragile especially children. Without going through all experiences in life so we can fall and get up, we become paralyzed to the point where fear runs our decisions.
- Divide and Conquer: friends and family members going head to head on different issues and subjects to the point where they hate one another. This is exactly what the Romans used to do when conquering other countries. They made sure to first divide the people so they couldn’t organize themselves and attack back. This phenomenon is now massive AND all over the world. The strategy is old but effective. Who gains from it?
3 Things I am looking forward to going forward:
- Re-invention: Stephen Hawking gave humanity maximum 100 years to develop the technology to be able to leave earth and populate other worlds before we auto-destruct and cause the 6th mass extinction.
- Entrepreneurship: the so called C- Crisis has convinced more and more people that there is no spoon (safety net) and you can’t solely rely on your government or workplace to thrive. You have to take initiative and responsibility for your life. This will lead to more entrepreneurs solving problems all around the world something that is crucial going froward.
- Day Dreaming: creativity and fantasy together with emotional intelligence are hard assets going forward. The reason is that technology will allow you to do whatever the mind concedes. So now maybe we can stop telling children in school to not daydream in class.
As usual I want to thank everyone that has helped me and inspired me:
My wife Michélle, my sweet Adeline, my grandfather Vasile Moldovan, my grandmother Georgeta, my father Dr.Vasile Salagean, my business partner Claes Blomqvist, Anders Karlsson CEO of Hygiene of Sweden, my great friend Sami Sulieman Plexian, my great friend Johannes Ekblad and my spiritual guide Mats Lundberg and obviously Dr.Antonio Soler my accountablity partner.
In the end I also like to thank myself for absolutely refusing to give up and always striving to become a little bit better even though I fail and will continue to fail many times again in all aspects of life.
You should also thank yourself if you really have read the entire post. That means you have stamina 😉
Bug Out Extra Material: if all goes bananas and the aliens invade us or you just have to make a swift move and remove yourself from the equation here is a list with things you should prepare. (thanks Peter Lång)
Swim far, go deep and trust the process!
Founder Frank Bloom & Associates
Author of Rise Up Champion: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1537798340
Featured on TEDx: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppbwElbRuiM
* I AM THE LINK *