slan's blog



My 2023

#time: 2023-12-30 08:37

2023 is going to end. This year is the first full year that I'm not working. To my disappointment, I didn't make significant progress with my plans, like building a service, or moving to Canada. It's so sad that time passes so quickly, and I've wasted so much of it. However, time is always passing away, and what satisfies me is that I now know how to live.

In the past, what drove me to live was the future. The future where you will get a good job, so study hard. The future where you will get a big house, so work hard. The future where you will have more freedom, so quit the job. A sentence always comes to my mind: "You need to sacrifice now to get a better future". But the only problem is: "I didn't know what the good future exactly was".A good job, a big house, money, a good education for my kids? All of these are important, but there isn't a clear connection between these things and now. Are they absolutely necessary? How can I achieve them? Only I can answer those questions, and the answer varies at different times. In the past, I didn't think about it carefully, and I just waited for the future to come true.

This year, living with my family, there was so much time to spend. I experienced Blue's kindergarten graduation, her summer holiday, and her start of elementary school. We started reading, both English and Mandarin. My wife is back to work again, and thanks to her work, I can have the freedom to do what I want without worrying about money. Snow is getting older and can express what he wants, but also has the ability to cause more trouble. Time is so good, if possible, I want to stay in this moment.

Now, looking back, I realize that I didn't have a clear goal most of the time. The vague goals, like pursuing freedom, taking care of my family, moving to Canada, and building a service, couldn't drive me to manage my daily life. With a year's exploration, I have a better understanding of what I want and how to achieve it.

First, let us define a person in society:

A human's structure:
- Level 3: Connection // What he provides
    - System
    - Product 
- Level 2: Ability // What he can do
    - Storage: Knowledge
    - Processor: Thinking ability
- Level 1: Body // What he has
    - Health
    - Age
    - Strength
    - Energy

There is also a Chinese idiom: 一命二运三风水四积阴德五读书,六名七相八敬神九交贵人十养生, which means 1. Life 2. Luck 3. Location 4. Do good things 5. Read 6. Influence 7. Good looks 8. Respect God 9. Make friends with nobles 10. Health. This provides a similar structure, telling us that Connections->Ability->Body is the structure that defines a person in society.


Nobody cares about your body, people in society only care about what you can provide, the Connections. But everything begins with the body. That is the basis of my life. This year I have:

  • Run a lot, 20-30km per week, finished a half marathon in 2:04
  • Swim, tried several times, can now do very basic freestyle. After I had the eye surgery, I stopped swimming.
  • Had eye surgery, now I can live without glasses.
  • Improved my eating habits. Since I read the book Glucose Revolution, I know how to avoid the glucose spike. After that, I've been more energetic. I don't want to sleep after lunch now, and my body is more stable.

What I didn't do well:

  • Sleep, always sleep late, tried to sleep early, but often failed.


Nowadays, the ability we talk about usually refers to your brain's ability. It's the quality of your decision-making, it supports what you make. It comes from your knowledge and experience. But what are knowledge and experience? They come from your reading, thinking, and doing. This part is below my expectations.

English, this year I tried to switch to an English environment, tried to catch up with English information directly, it's made some progress, but not enough. I can watch, read, listen to most English material now, but it's still hard for me, and I can't write and speak fluently.


This year, I read:

  • The Dictator's Handbook
  • Control Theory and Scientific Methodology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Speed Reading For Dummies
  • Runner's World, Train Smart
  • Slow Jogging
  • Atomic Habit
  • Same as Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes
  • Glucose Revolution

And many books that I just downloaded or read a few chapters of. English is the biggest problem I need to overcome, and I need to speed up my reading ability.

Mental, as I said in Moments(Caution: I'm losing the ability to think deeply), recently, deep thinking is the most important ability that I lack. It's about focus, about how I can absorb information, about how I can make a clear plan.

Next year, I will endeavor to improve my English and read more books(the goal is 1 book 1 week).


For my family, this year has been the best for me. I spent a lot of time with my family, watched my children grow up, participated in their life events, and faced problems together.

But for living in society, I'm not doing well.

I built an English learning service, called Valid English. I published it, about a hundred people tried it, but only several people use it regularly. The biggest mistake I made is that I built it too slowly, which comes from two parts:

  • My productivity is too low, I'm often distracted by other things. This is because my lower structure is not stable, including Energy and Mental ability.
  • What I wanted to build is a long-term service, I spent a lot of time trying and studying, didn't have a clear goal to fit the user's needs. The biggest user is myself, this App is also growing with my progress. That is slow.

I didn't believe that I couldn't make it, it just needs time. The users use it frequently told me that works. The service is the result of my ability. I need to improve my ability first (including publishing a service as part of learning).

Investing, This year I changed my investment to US stocks, and used leverage to gamble on the Bond market. That was a bad decision, and after some failures, I stopped it. Now I'm holding Bonds (no leverage) at 60%, NASDAQ-100 index at 30%, and Tesla at 10%. This year I got a total return of 10%. Bonds are at -4% (highest -30%), and stock returns are 20%+ which brought my return to positive. I'm satisfied with the result, and will wait until the Fed cuts the interest rate.

What I learned from that is:

  • Nobody can predict the market. Every trade is a gamble. The difference is in probability and risk.
  • Don't use leverage. It makes you take too much risk and will change your mindset.
  • Long-term perspective and knowledge can improve your probability.
    • Interest rates must be cut sometimes and must rise sometimes. That's why 10-year bonds are the anchor of the market.
    • Technology always goes up, that's the reason for long-term growth.


Next year, I will:

  • Try to Maintance a good energy level.
    • running,swiming, exercise
    • good sleep
    • good eating habits
  • Take care of my family. grow up with my children.
  • Improve my English, read more books.
  • Maintain a stable investment system.
  • Learning how to build long-term useful services.

Life is a game, I wish I can play it well, and have fun 😊!