My 2022 review and 2023 outlook

Life in 2022 is like a black hole -- they both suck, but there is still hope.

Jason’s Brief

Written by Jason J. Lai | January 11, 2023

It is my weekly notes on tech and law to support your life journey of betterment as a human being.

Happy Brief Wednesday!

I took a two-month break from writing my blog— I was saddened by the crypto collapse, healed by Playstation 5 (God of War: Ragnarok in particular), and finally occupied by a business trip and Covid. Now I’m back!

At a glance:

Featured: My 2022 review and 2023 outlook

Three-sentence version: 2022 is tough due to macroeconomic policy, the Covid pandemic, and crypto’s significant downturn. There is still hope: My three-theme learning plan in 2023 covers technology, history, and practical skills learning by connecting with people. Looking forward to the journey of 2023 and connecting with you.

Two-month rest gives me a break to review 2022 and plan my 2023, along with a 100-hour fun time playing PS5. 2022 was a tough year in many ways. One thing worth celebrating is that I passed my New York bar exam, but the process was unspeakably exhausting, mentally and financially. Speaking of which, the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates for seven consecutive times had a significant impact on the economy, causing many businesses and individuals to struggle financially. Additionally, the crypto market saw a significant downturn, with the market cap dropping from its historical high of $3 trillion to just $830 billion — you’ve probably heard too much about the FTX fallout and TerraLuna collapse. I hope it is not "Winter is coming," but rather "Winter has arrived."

2022 was the year we learned to adjust and rebalance: the loose monetary policy was gone, but the COVID-19 pandemic remains a significant concern. It not only causes inconvenience in many countries but also poses a life threat to high-risk patients. The World Health Organization announced its agenda to discuss the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in late January 2023. Despite this, we've managed to learn to coexist with it. We became better at remote working, while remoteness created some degree of loneliness. That's why hybrid working mode is likely to be the future of work: the sweet spot for balancing work connection and flexibility.

Despite these challenges, I learned that it's important to not lose sight of our dreams and goals. Life and black holes have a lot in common: they both suck. But like how a black hole has a silver lightning that surrounds it, there's always a glimmer of hope that we can cling to.

In the bearish market, nothing better than preparing ourselves for the next economic cycle. Three themes I have chosen to focus on in 2023: Technology, History, and Practical Learning by Connecting. For the Technology theme, I have begun learning CS50, a well-known introductory computer science course by Harvard, and Solidity, a programming language that is used to build smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. I'm particularly interested in exploring the Web3 world and Decentralized Finance (DeFi), which are rapidly growing areas in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency. By learning Solidity, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of how these technologies work and see how I can synthesize smart contracts with my legal skills.

The second theme is history. In particular, Germany and Japan – the languages of which have long been on my second foreign language list. So, I'm thinking, why not learn deeply about their history, respectively? My interest in history also extends to the Roman Empire, particularly the rise and fall of one of the most powerful and influential empires in the history of the world. I have found that unfamiliar names of people and places have been a nuisance in my exploration in history, so I believe it would be a rewarding experience to regularly revisit this history in a year-long project.

Last and the most exciting one, the Practical Learning by Connecting. This theme includes hosting a podcast in Mandarin, writing a blog/newsletter here, and some sort of water sport, specifically either surfing or sailing. These learning plans require time and effort, and I am excited to embark on the journey. Not only do they teach me to be patient and persistent in trying to conquer the waves, fear, and frustration, but they also create opportunities to connect with people and provide an extra shot of adrenaline rush.

Of course, the 2023 journey ahead won't be easy or without its challenges. But by taking things one step at a time and working and learning together, we can make steady progress and achieve our goals. Remember, every small step we take is an important step forward.

See you (probably) next Wednesday!

One Question this Week

If there is a side project lingering in your mind, what small step can you take to kick off or resume it?

Stay safe & sharp,

Jason J. Lai

Credit: Originating from my 2022 review and 2023 plan, this post was reviewed and edited by an AI assistant trained by OpenAI.

Jason's Brief is informative and educational. No accuracy or completeness of the content is guaranteed. This email renders no tax, legal, investment, or any other professional advice.  Please seek a licensed professional's advice for your particular situation should you have any needs.