As we bring 2022 to a close, we all get the chance to look backwards, Our personal After Action Reports. How did we do? How did we perform? Where did we thrive vs. where did we come up short?
Back in the day, my December’s & January’s usually comprised of an annual sit-down with my Franklin Planner’s “Values & Goals” assessment. It was something that I learned from using the system, from the cassette tapes of Hyrum Smith spelling out how Benjamin Franklin charted courses in his life, and how I could adapt goal setting and values into our daily habits. It was a transformative process for me. As a young 20-something, sitting and pondering what was important and what I wanted to achieve in different facets of my life became an anchor for my personal development. This was all in a day-and-age when there wasn’t a lot of personal development focus like there is today. We are inundated with it via social media & the web giving us all kinds of information about how we are supposed to chart our individual courses to become the best versions of ourselves.
But I’d say, in the past few years, I’ve graduated to a different way of thinking. For me, it’s less about goals and more about the journey, not the outcomes. I’ve learned that it’s really hard to reach a hard-and-fast goal – You get the ball down to the 5 yard line, and the the goal posts just get moved further down the field. For me, it’s not about crossing the finish line as much as it is staying on the path, continually progressing on the journey, challenging myself to move up a notch each hour/day/week. I’m not trying to reach an end state – There really isn’t any end to forward progress, so long as you maintain your navigation on the right path(s).
So as I leave 2022, lots of things went right, plenty of good was done, but of course, course corrections lie ahead for me on several fronts. My journal is chock full of notes on what went well & what didn’t. And for me, I don’t need to wait for january 1, 2023 to start working on things, I just need to continue assessing my performance daily, take initiative, make the adjustment, and put course corrections into action.
The Books I Read in 2022
I put up a few posts in 2022 of my book stacks. I don’t know about you, but I love seeing and hearing about what people are reading. I believe that you can gain a lot of insight into an individual by checking out what books they’ve read, and more so, books they’ve enjoyed or that have been impactful.
And I must say this: The more you see & find books that you enjoy, it’s like a self-fueling effort in that books turn you onto more books which make you want to read more. Last week, I had to run into Half Price Books to pick up a few Elmer Kelton titles for my father-in-law. What should have been a 10 minutes errand turned into 45 minutes of looking at book spines & titles. I should have never gone down the Military History aisle – Good Lord, I could have easily grabbed a dozen books, so many great things to read! But I held myself back, taking the road of delayed gratification, knowing full-well that I have at least 30 books sitting on my bookshelves at home that need my attention first….
So below, you can get a little insight into my soul. It was a solid reading year for me: 19 books completed. It seemed like I had read more than that, and looking back, I certainly wish I had read more. Some months were dry, others were solid. You’ll see that I’ve provided links, mostly to ThriftBooks which is where I get the majority of my titles in case you’re interested in checking any of them out:
Grant, Great Generals Series by John Mosier
How to Become a Straight A Student by Cal Newport
The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Hal Moore on Leadership by Harrold Moore & Mike Guardia
Rediscovering Jesus by Matthew Kelly
Hard to Follow by Elmer Kelton
Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t by Steven Pressfield
Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
Range by David Epstien
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
Crossfire Conflict by Randy Keirn
Freedom to Learn by Carl Rogers
The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield
Four Hours in My Lai by Michael Bilton & Kevin Sim
The Artist Way by Julia Cameron