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How to Conduct an Annual Review (2020 Edition!) 🗓

Every December for the past fifteen years, I've completed an exercise I call the Annual Review.

This year is different in some ways, but then again, so is every year for one reason or another. In fact, that's one of the things that's so beneficial about the Review: in the midst of whatever craziness is happening, it helps to ground your attention and give you something to work on over the next year.

This post contains an overview of the process, along with links that might be helpful for your own review. If you'd like to go waaaaay back to the original post from 2008, you can do that too. Enjoy!

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New! A Reading Group Guide to The Money Tree

Link: --> Download the Money Tree Reading Group Guide

In addition to the Third Way group that I’m starting, a lot of people have asked for materials to facilitate conversations around The Money Tree.

I’m glad they did! We now have a free reading group guide that you can access for book clubs, friends and family, or just your own reflections. If you’re reading the book with a group (or if you’d like to!), this might help.

Spoiler warning: if you haven’t finished the book yet, you might want to hold off before looking at this document.

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The New York Times Reviews The Money Tree (and actually says good things)

Link: New York Times on The Money Tree

When I heard that the New York Times was reviewing my new book, I was simultaneously excited and worried. I was excited because, well, it’s the New York Times! And despite several of my previous books selling well, they never really paid much attention to me.

But I was also worried because the Times is not always kind to authors. In fact, many of their book reviews consist largely of 600-word critiques on why a particular book is terrible. I’ve even known authors who have stopped writing for months or years because of a bad review.

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New YouTube Series: Watch Live Every Weekday at 9am PT

Daily YouTube Series: --> Subscribe Here

So I decided to start a YouTube channel, because a) why not, b) I need to adapt just as I encourage other people to do, and c) I’m not going to 40 cities at the moment.

Every weekday at 9am Pacific time, I’ll be teaching a short lesson and taking live questions.

The theme of the new show is: Finding Opportunity in an Uncertain Time. We’ll be looking at different, creative ways that people are making things work during a time of disruption / disorder / chaos, and talking through projects with anyone who’d like to share theirs with the group.

Here's an example from Day 2:

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Big News: The Money Tree Is Out Today!!

Buy Now: Amazon | BN | Audible | Apple Books | Indie Bookstores

Greetings, friends and readers!

A very quick note to say ... my new book The Money Tree is out today! 💰🌳

My new book is all about Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard. I hope it will help people who are navigating difficult financial times, especially anyone with debt or those who are struggling during this time of chaos and turmoil.

The-Money-Tree-Book-cover-indoors

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THE MONEY TREE Book Launch: Join Me From Your Couch on April 4th!

—> Virtual Book Launch: April 4th

Greetings, friends and readers!

I had hoped to visit 40 cities on an extensive tour for my new book, THE MONEY TREE. But then, well, you know what happened. No one is going anywhere for a while.

Naturally, I’ve been regrouping and making a new plan. This live event will be worldwide and virtual—you can join in from your couch!

That’s right, we’re going digital. My book tours have always been about bringing people together, and this event is no exception ... we’re just doing it from a distance.

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New “Hustle Up!” Experience Offers Resources for Students to Take their Side Hustle to the Next Level

MSFT 365 Aside from advertisers for the podcast, I do very few corporate partnerships—in fact, I think the last one was more than a year ago, when I worked with Alexis Ohanian on launching 1850, a new coffee brand from Folgers. But when Microsoft Store asked me to be part of creating a new resource for higher education students, I was intrigued.

The goal was to help students learn better ways of side hustling ... which, of course, is right up my alley! And they wanted to do it through a mobile-first experience that would be completely free for everyone.

That experience is called “Hustle Up!” The idea is that each of us have various strengths and weaknesses areas for improvement, in addition to differing interests, and it helps if you can get some direction in deciding what kind of hustle to start.

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WDS Videos Are Now on YouTube!

For the past eight years, I’ve been part of producing an annual celebration called the World Domination Summit. It’s one of the few things I’ve made that holds up over time. I love everything about it, even though we’re choosing to end it after 10 years in 2020.

A lot of people have asked how to watch the talks that our main stage keynotes have given. Since year one, we’ve had a bunch of them online… but never before on YouTube!

Well, guess what: now whenever you’re watching cat videos or teenage makeup videos, you can also check out keynotes from some of our most popular speakers.

Check them out, and subscribe to the channel.

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The Future of the World Domination Summit

World-Domination-Summit Way back in 2011, 400 adventurers gathered in Portland, Oregon to consider an important question, "How do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?". Embracing the core values of Community, Adventure, and Service, the event was called the World Domination Summit.

8 years later, our once "little" community has grown to over 10,000 adventurers representing all 50 states and over 40+ countries.

We've broken world records, learned to Bollywood dance, faced our fears, found true connection, challenged conventionality, and supported each other's dreams.

At this year's gathering, we made an important announcement that we'll produce two more years of our epic annual gathering. Next year is WDS 2019, and then WDS 2020 will be our 10-year grand finale!

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Language Matters: Lessons in Editing from Mr. Rogers

This week I went to see Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and found it as heartwarming and uplifting as I expected.

If you’re able to see it in a theatre, don’t hesitate. At the screening I attended, everyone applauded at the end. This doesn’t happen much in Portland, Oregon. It felt like we were on a flight landing in Miami from Central America (it’s a thing).

Afterwards I stumbled on an article that details the level of precision that Fred Rogers put into editing the language used on his show. The man was relentlessly focused on connecting with children. He would go back and edit previous episodes if he found they no longer stood up, or if language had changed and required an update.

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Choose a Long Life, Be Forgotten Immediately Afterwards

Even if you've never read Homer's Iliad, you're probably familiar with parts of the story. Much of it is about heroism and valor, but it's also about choice.

Here's an alternate history interpretation of a choice that Achilles faces:

He gives this speech, this response that is weird, where he says, effectively, “The prophecy is that if I go back to fight here, I will die here. My name will be immortal. If I don’t go back to fight, I’ll go home and live a long life and will be forgotten.” He chooses to go back and be forgotten. Then, later, he changes his mind because his friend gets killed.

I think the existential examination of this Greek warrior and this heroic culture that clearly valorizes heroism and deathless fame and everything, and who is, canonically, the most famous heroic warrior and the one with the most deathless fame, he’s the one who says, “Nah, I’d rather go back and live a long life on my farm.”

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Is It Better to Have Status or Be Likable?

I’ve always thought you aren’t supposed to try too hard to be liked. You should be nice, of course—but choosing likability as a goal feels odd.

Still, new research shows—and 9 out of 10 dentists agree—that being likable is more important than being “known.”

"People who seek to be likable tend to end up healthier, in better relationships, with more fulfilling work, and even live longer. Status-seekers, on the other hand, often end up anxious, depressed, and with addiction problems."

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Feeling sad on the holidays? Me too. Here’s all I know how to do.

clem-onojeghuo-178228 Maybe you like hearing Christmas music in September. Maybe you can’t get enough of Rudolph's story of triumph over reindeer bullying. And let's all pour another glass of egg nog!

If you’re wearing matching sweaters while stringing lights and singing carols with your family, good for you. I really do mean it. Take joy whenever and however you can.

The thing is, not everyone feels joyful this season. In fact, not everyone likes the holidays in general. Some of us actively dread this season, because it tends to correspond with seasons of sadness.

Sometimes these seasons of sadness are connected to specific events, and sometimes they aren’t.

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