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Planting a tree

Hey friends, I’ve been pondering something over the past few days.  What do I wish I’d been doing con
Planting a tree
By Ali Abdaal • Issue #33 • View online
Hey friends,
I’ve been pondering something over the past few days. 
What do I wish I’d been doing consistently for the past 3 years? 
A few things immediately come to mind. Firstly, music - I wish I had consistently and deliberately practised piano, guitar, singing and music theory over the past 3 years. If I had, I’d be a much better musician today. 
Secondly, I wish I had written mini book reviews of all the books I’d read over the past 3 years. It wouldn’t have taken very long - just a few minutes of typing after finishing a book. In isolation, a single book review doesn’t count for much. But when you read as much as I do (#flex), 3 years worth of books makes a very interesting library of content that would’ve (a) been really nice to look back on to remind myself of lessons from these books, and (b) would have been really valuable content for people browsing my website. 
There are plenty of habits, or small actions, that are irrelevant by themselves, but that create magic over time. Deliberately practising guitar only needs 10 minutes a day, but when you do it every single day for 3 years, you look back and think ‘damn I’m so glad I put that time in’. 
The follow-up therefore, is clearly:
What can I start today, and do consistently, that I’ll be really glad for in 3 years time? 
So starting from today, I’ll be writing mini book reviews for every book I read and sticking them up on my website. I’ll also make a more concerted effort to practice new stuff when I’m playing my guitar, rather than just banging out some Ed Sheeran over and over again. 
After all:
The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago. The second best time is now.
Have a great week!
Ali

Stuff I’ve been enjoying this week
Non-fiction: I’m continuing to read James Clear’s Atomic Habits, which is full of gems. I’ve been highlighting the hell out of it on my Kindle of course. Would make for a fun mini book review when I’m finished with it.
Tech: I succumbed to consumerism on Black Friday and bought a few sets of Philips Hue bulbs to replace most of the lights in my flat. So far, I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I like them, and just how much lighting contributes to the vibe of a room.
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Ali Abdaal

Hey friends, I'm Ali, a Cambridge medicine graduate now working as an FY1 junior doctor. I spend most of my spare time making YouTube videos, but every Sunday I send out an email 'newsletter' with some thoughts, life lessons and interesting articles I discover on the internet.

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Ali Abdaal, Emmanuel College, Cambridge, CB2 8RP