2012 A Review

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Happy New Year 2013. Its been more than 5 years now since I landed in my first job and this blog as well have been there for last 6 years. A lot of things have changed in the last one year. In this post I will cover what had happened in the areas I diligently follow. Though there has been a lot of ups and also downs in the professional & personal side in the last one year. I will talk about what happened in the 5 areas I spend most of the time outside work – Technology, Behavioral Economics, Health & Fitness, Personal Finance & Tamil movies. This is more of a reflection on what I really learnt last year.
Technology : We have actually moved out of PCs and every company is out with a Tablet / Smart Phone in the Market. The most sold devices in the holiday season was tablets & smartphones. When I did a pulse check in my college new hire day with about 300 participants  - almost 60% of the folks had smartphone. These are folks who are just out of the engineering college. The penetration of Smartphones is just getting deeper. Though Android and iOS leads the market, I have been happy using my HTC Mozart running Windows Phone 7.5. I have got so used to reading in my phone – all my feeds I read through my phone mostly. I do a ton of reading in my phone which is a huge shift personally for me in the last one year. That is why I am even more excited and waiting for my HTC 8X ( yes windows phone 8 ) yet to arrive – this has a stunning a display and gorgeous form factor. I witnessed the most hyped Facebook IPO and the disastrous fall below IPO price, but it did talk a lot about the long term potential. I also got my iPod 4th gen refurbished this year and with my JBL docking speakers great companion to listen to my favorite podcasts on all these areas. Also installed Windows 8 in my home laptop and my mother had to have a bit of learning curve but she has got a hang of it now. Still the charms bar access with mouse is a struggle for people like mother. Touch devices don’t have this problem. With a struggle for initial one day I got used to the new Windows 8 OS now.  Some new learning this year in Excel – Power Pivot – Spent a bit of time to understand BI functionalities in Excel. But this was quite a learning. Being with Microsoft helps a lot to follow this area very closely and had been to Microsoft’s global sales conference in Atlanta in July of 2012 – I should say a life time experience to witness this. So a good progress and will continue the same for the next year.
Behavioral Economics : I did read a few books,  but if I do a YoY comparison there was big dip in my reading habits. So around May – I deactivated my Facebook account and I did see a surge in my reading time – I did read regularly the articles and blogs I followed and a couple of books. Dan’s new book on Dishonesty was wonderful pick for me this year. A must read if you enjoy a bit of phycology. I attended a Train the Trainer program on Insights and got certified as a trainer. This training is built on Carl Jung's phenomenal work on Psychological types. Similar to MBTI / now discover your strengths this training talks about our basic preferences and using that to improve interpersonal awareness. A wonderful learning of last year, I did connect a lot of chord between this and behavioral economics. Facilitated this training to about 400 folks in about 15+ training programs last year. This helped a ton in improving my facilitation skills as well. I am yet to catch up a lot in this area and I hope 2013 I will do some serious reading.
Health & Fitness : More than just reading this involves a lot of physical training here. There was a significant drop in my fitness level with big shift in my eating habits till late October. I should say the last 2 months of the year is where I got back to a better control and have been really improved and back to starting point of the year. last year I completed the Mumbai half Marathon for the first time ( of course with a pathetic timing of 2 hours and 40 minutes). Also participated in my first triathlon, though I completed this with decent timing of 1 hour 50 minutes ( includes 20K cycle, 5K run and 1K Swim) but injured my knee by falling out of cycle during the race. I am yet to fully recover. So an injury prone and not much of progress in my improvement in timing in any of the three areas – Swim , Run & Cycle. I have registered for Auroville Half Marathon in Feb 2013, and hope to improve my performance in the coming year and I would focus big in this year. In terms of reading definitely did some serious reading in this space and really yet to use that though
Personal Finance : Became more passionate in this area. A revelation video I just found out last week – a must see for anyone yet to start planning for his retirement. Most of my reading and research time of last year was in this area and definitely improved my acumen in this area tremendously. I did take action last year – finally signed up for the term insurance and serious look on my financial planning to reach true finance independence. I would rate a positive movement in this area in terms of improving knowledge and also taking actions for last one year.
Tamil Movies : In 2012, of the Tamil movies released ( check out the link) 95% of the movies I have already seen Some great movies in the last one year. This coincides a lot with the Movie crow best of 2012 list also. My top 10 Picks (in no order) of 2012 :  Vazhakku En 18 / 9, Naan E, Saatai, Sundara Pandian, Pizza, Thuppaki, Kaadhalil Sodhapuvathu eppadi, Kalalakapu, Aravaan, & Kumki.
Some movies I did not pick up but worth mention–  Madhubanakadai, Naduvula konjam pakkatha Kanom and Neerparavai were really worth the watch and made the December month release really enjoyable.  Naan – though a good debut movie by Vijay Antony I some how did not like the message in the end and I would not recommend this at all. If I have a confused list of movies : Naan, Saguni and Attakathi would figure in that.Nanban (Since I did see 3 idiots already, did not enjoy a lot.). English Vinglish – Beautifully shot and most enjoyable but just a dub of the Hindi version except for Ajit in one scene.  And worst movie of the year was Billa II. Not worth the money at all. I enjoyed watching as well as following reviews of all the Tamil movies and maybe I should also add my 2 liner (twitter friendly) reviews in the next year.
Regarding my blogging frequency – yes only a very few posts last year. That was a reflection of 2012 , a lot more happened as expected and lot more unexpected as well (yeah else it is not life) and I just learnt to handle both better and will continue to learn. There is no end to learning and I will enjoy learning new things in the coming year as well.