The best habits often become traditions and create value through the very act of doing them year after year.

This is certainly true for the yearly wrap up post that I’ve been writing since 2009.

This year feels different in some telling ways as usually it’s technology that has shaped my year as that’s the pulse of my life to a large degree and my livelihood. And certainly, the tech shifts this past year have been profound.

But today, the important things are more personal, more internal. More about me and how I manage myself in the face of change rather than change itself.

And more about my relations to my communities of interest and friends and how I can contribute to them more significantly.

These are the five most important takeaways from 2017.

Coming to grips with the State of the Union

Too much of my time this past year has been spent reacting to politics. Wasting so much time being reactive emotionally and angry.

I’ve found a more peaceful and productive way to deal with this.

Not with the status quo certainly but with an acknowledgement of core beliefs that drive my decisions of what is worth my time and where tolerance is warranted.

The first is ‘No end can ever be used as a justification for an unethical means’. And second, ‘those without a moral compass have no place in my world’.

I’m simple done with people who don’t operate within these core tenants. I see nothing lost by cutting ties with aberrant philosophies and apologists that mouth them.

Diversity of thought does not include the morally and ethically bereft. There is nothing to learn from them.

Compartmentalizing my personal focus

Without prioritizing my physical health, my mental balance and personal productivity, nothing else truly matters. Without them, I’m less use to myself or those who matter or depend on me.

In the face of increasing distraction, these are my core blocks of time I give to myself each and every day.

Carving out time for exercise and nutrition, meditation and cognizance of my inner space, and daily productivity is at the top of my everyday list. There are few emergencies that disrupt these buckets of focus and self-improvement.

This is also somehow about the micro/macro dichotomy as well.

The micro—that which I personally do and can control–is a far more productive focus for me to have impact on the broader macro elements of my world. Working on me is my best shot at making a difference to the greater world at large.

Embracing crypto as a fuel for imagining the impossible

I took the plunge into crypto thoroughly this year though the bug hit a few years earlier.

The profit of trading coins aside. The craziness of ICOs aside. The rejiggering of capital markets aside. Those are not why this inspires me so.

It’s more personal.

There is a giddy optimism innate to the gestalt of crypto economics that the impossible is indeed doable. When you open the potential for personal empowerment as a manner of economizing change in a new market economy.

I also harbor a growing excitement that this reimagining of the world will include lionizing the arts and literacy along with the technological and economic shift.

I’m all in on this.

We need fuel to do the impossible and this is working for me.

Coming to grips with our individual market relevance

We all need to deal with our professional relevance regardless of where we are in life.

The hyper accelerated rate of change in the tech world in some ways levels the playing field.

Relevance is something that each of us is challenged to bring to the market each and every day. We are challenged not to be special team experts as much as fitting our true expertise into the context of the shifting paradigms that we all work on.

The contextual relevance of what we contribute is the new acid test.

If everything is in flux except the very nature of our value to each new circumstance, this in actuality democratizes value itself as contextual.

We are just getting started

On one hand, the utterly unimaginable is now a near-term possibility.

Autonomous and flying cars. AI systems self-learning algorithms. Global markets economizing themselves on the blockchain. The actuality that each individual could own and control their own identity and data.

This is sci-fi stuff of less than a decade ago.

On the other hand, it is clear to me that we are just barely scratching the surface and that everything today is prep for the real work ahead.

AI honestly is in its very early infancy, more about computing power than intelligence.

The understanding of the science of our bodies is at the very best case, primitive with the most serious diseases that plague the world, uncured for centuries.

Even nutrition, for all its advances over the last decade, is just starting to be recognized as science.

We are not at the end, we are simply just getting started.

This breeds humility. And opportunity. And possibility. And optimism.

I wish all of my community a great New Year and a terrific start to 2018!

I’m raising a glass to change and opportunity for all of us.