Good bye 2015, Hello 2016

Image source: http://newyeargreetings2016.comHello my loyal readers,

Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my articles during this year. Unlike last year, this year was a very tough one. It was mainly about making the right choices and taking the right decisions. I can summarize this year as a year of reflection and hard work.

On a global scale, this year was filled with lots of tragedy. Many people were predicting that the third World War would start.

These are the worthwhile things I experienced and achieved for this year:

  • Personal
    • I now have a small family living close by. My elder sister got married and relocated to the US.
    • I started a healthy diet and lost 30+ pounds in 3 month.
    • I started my own company.
    • I had my second bicycle accident (the first one was 4 years ago) and my left elbow got severely broken. I now have screws and a metal plate in my left arm. Thank God, I recovered pretty well.
    • For a good reason, I found it productive to fully convert to Apple products. I have an iPhone now instead of an Android phone.
    • I no longer ascribe to the MGTOW philosophy. Life is good when everything is in balance.
    • I read various books about the minimalist lifestyle and started adopting this philosophy.
      • I quit Costco, Netflix, Hulu and other TV and time and money wasting services.
      • I sold 90% of my electronics gadgets and other items that I don’t add real value to my life.
      • I paid off my car
    • I met many new interesting people, and most recently the artist Michelle Vulama.
    • To me, Facebook is more of a waste of time if anything. I closed my personal but only kept the professional account.
    • I dropped most smartphone messaging apps:
      • If you want to talk to me and you are my friend then call me.
      • No more impersonal relationships. As a side effect, many “friends” dropped off as well.
  • Publication
    • Published my second book as a co-author: The Antivirus Hacker’s Handbook. It was nice working with the principal author Joxean Koret and the professional team at Wiley.
    • Published my first short ebook on Amazon Kindle Direct publishing: First Trip to Lebanon. Now I know how to self publish ebooks. If you need my professional services please contact me regarding this matter.
    • I started writing my first book as the main author. I hope to finish it in 2016
  • Blog
    • I published around ~90 blog posts this year.
    • I had ~163,000 visitors for 2015. Almost the double amount of visitors from last year.
  • Travel
    • I visited Austin and San Antonio in Texas, USA.
    • I visited Vancouver BC, Canda
    • I visited Lebanon two times. Each visit is a chance for me to reflect and think about the difference between first world countries and third world countries. This book came out of my visits.
  • Work
    • I worked for 9 month in the PowerBI team. I learned about big data analytics and business intelligence software.
      • I joined the Windows Security Assurance team thereafter.
    • I received various job offers as a result of co-publishing my second technical book.

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Unlike last year, which I concluded with the Metta Prayer, this year I would like to conclude it with my favorite prayer instead, that of Saint Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

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