Sunday, December 31, 2017

What I've learnt in 2017

Finally, it's December 31, 2017. 
Probably the best day to look back at a year that's coming to an end in a matter of hours.
And look back I shall.

The Social Contract
In Kenya, 2017 is the year we got an excessive dose of politics. For the record, I am apolitical and with all things considered, I'd be remiss in failing to state the following:

All the shenanigans Kenyans experienced, and worse, got caught up in, were only for the benefit of the politicians themselves their family and friends.
The ordinary Kenyan was just a pawn, a dispensable means to an end.
Come January 2018, politicians will retreat to their mansions, high office and businesses.

The ordinary Kenyan will have to navigate a high cost of living. I can say with certainty that the price of maize flour, which has for months been subsidized at Ksh 90 for a 2kg packet, will revert to (obviously higher) market rates.

In essence, the ruling class has now got what they wanted and it's time for the taxpayers to doing what we do best - work.

Blame it on the Weatherman
Political hooey aside, 2017 was a year marked with really challenging weather conditions. The rains were below average and came in late. Crops failed. Animals died. Some areas in Kenya had it so bad they had to be given relief food.

Know Thyself
A fundamental aspect of The Walkabout is self discovery, the other two being insight and inspiration.
The very first thing I've learnt about myself is that I am deeply flawed. Thankfully, mine are not fundamental flaws.

And I must point out that this is not a lame attempt at self-deprecating humor.
My frailties notwithstanding, I continue to ameliorate. Admittedly, I am in repair. Not together, but invariably getting there.

Listening to Daniel Kahneman's Desert Island Discs, the following gem stood out from the many others he shared with Kirsty Young:
"People see others much more clearly than they see themselves."

For this reason, I've opted to focus more on gaining a better understanding of myself.
For a long time, I've willfully succumbed to a confirmation bias that has often clouded my rational judgment and ended up making choices I don't understand well.

I purpose to make significant improvements in my thought process and increase the efficiency of my rational decision maker.
Reading the following three books will be of much help:
  1. Critical Thinking: Tools for taking charge of your professional and personal life by Richard Paul and Linda Elder.
  2. The Person and the Situation by Lee Ross and Richard Nisbett.
  3. Good to Great by Jim Collins.
Having recently read the first and third books above, they are worthy reads. I've already started reading the second one and it is a very good book.

Finally, I look back at how little I blogged here. Not that I was so busy or lacked content and ideas in my overactive mind or my eventful life. The reason is that I happened to one day do a fearless and searching moral inventory of my life and realized I was almost living the life of a sign-post.
It became evident I wasn't living up to the very things I spoke and wrote about, and decided to take a break until such a time that there would be more order and congruent purpose in my life.

By the look of things, we're now good to go as we say goodbye to 2017.
In view of the foregoing, all is well that ends well and we can face the future with confidence.

* * *

In just a few hours, a new year will be upon us.
As 2017 becomes an indelible part of our shadow days, what plans do you have for 2018, starting today?


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