Roman Malanke

Plus One to Experience

Last Monday was my 27th birthday. The times when this day brought excitement because you added another year and you would get presents are long since gone. But still, I love the day, primarily because just like the end of a calendar year it’s a great moment for reflecting on what you have done and learned during the last year.

When I think about what changed in me since I was 26 I see two main things. First, I’ve got much better notion of time. From one side, now I’m much more aware of how precious it is and how quickly it passes. From the other side, I realize how long it takes for some things to really change. Second, I’ve started to more fully understand the value of “experience” and that confidence that comes from having seen and having done something before.

On self-development front I didn’t try to develop new habits. Instead I focused on those good habits I’d already had making them even more internalized. Swimming and running continued to be part of my regular routine, and every single time I practiced them, I understood them on a bit deeper level, and they became part of me a bit more.

Also, I continued to regularly consume educational material by listening to English and Spanish-language podcasts during commutes and walks. This year my focus was in two primary areas: management and economics. I keep finding these disciplines super interesting, because they study how humans operate in the context of an organization and in the context of the society. Both are very practical, as every single day we live and work inside organizations and the society.

One particular book that I found the most useful this year was Peter Druker’s “The Effective Executive”. Although written in far 1967 it contains all the timeless wisdom on how to be more effective at work compressed to less than 200 pages. In terms of podcasts, my biggest discovery without any doubt was Manager Tools. Besides providing tons of actionable advice that helps to become a better professional, listening to this show also gives me energy and inspiration to drive things at work place. In fact I like it so much that I actually downloaded the complete archive of 500+ episodes and have already gone through half of it, which amounts to over 120 hours of listening. Most of all I like how show’s hosts Mike and Mark talk about management as something “routine, boring, and unsexy, which works like a charm”. For me it’s the best affirmation of my innate love to do things methodically and meticulously.

During my 28th year of life I plan to focus more heavily on my career applying things that I’ve learned so far to real-life situations, growing a manager and contributing to the growing success of my company. At the same time, in my leisure hours I will be learning to enjoy even more those simple things that I love doing.

P.S. By the way, the present on a photo above is an actual present I received from my beloved girlfriend and it had nothing less than a long-craved Apple Time Capsule inside!