2017 New Year’s Resolutions

“There’s a million things I haven’t done just you wait!” –Hamilton

I was born on New Year’s Day, so I’m big on New Year’s resolutions. Last year I started a personal tradition of writing out my resolutions, really thinking them through, and then publishing them online for all to see. I go through this exercise because I know how easy it is to promise yourself you’ll do something in a given year, and then not to make meaningful progress towards that goal or to abandon it completely by March. Instead, I use my New Year’s resolutions as an annual check-in to examine where I think I really need to grow in life and organize specific, measurable, and actionable goals around them. I make these resolutions public in the hope that it will inspire others to take their goals seriously and live life purposefully. I also make these resolutions public because telling the world I’m going to do something and then not following through sounds pretty embarrassing :P.

Summary

  • Conquer my fears and insecurities by cultivating courage.
    • Do at least 150 things total that scare me this year. (Does not have to be 150 unique things if appropriate level of fear is still present.)
    • Conquer my fear of failure.
      • Figure out what I would do if I weren’t working at Palantir.
        • Network with people in non-tech career paths that I’m interested in.
          • Identify and talk to at least 3 people who went to law school after an engineering career.
          • Identify and talk to at least 3 people who went to business school after an engineering career.
          • Identify and talk to at least 3 people who work in legislation.
          • Identify and talk to at least 3 people who work in policy.
          • Identify and talk to at least 3 people who work in politics.
          • Talk to an Air National Guard recruiter.
          • Identify and talk to at least 3 people who have joined the Air National Guard.
        • Network with people working on small companies doing things I care about.
          • Identify and talk to at least 3 companies working on healthcare issues.
          • Identify and talk to at least 3 companies working on education issues.
          • Identify and talk to at least 3 companies working on environmental issues.
          • Identify and talk to at least 3 companies working on social issues that don’t match the above.
        • Stretch: Take a leave of absence from work or quit and do my own thing for 3-6 months or leave my current job to work on something more risky.Conquer my fear of failure.
    • Conquer my fear of rejection.
      • Get rejected at least 100 times trying 100 different things.
      • Complete at least Foundation Level 2 improv at BATS.
    • Conquer my fear of sharks.
      • Go swimming in a shark cage.
    • Conquer my fear of spiders.
      • Hold a tarantula in my hand without freaking out.
    • Conquer my fear of falling.
      • Go bungee jumping.
      • Go rock climbing outdoors.
      • Stretch: Go lead climbing outdoors.
    • Conquer my fear of open water.
      • Complete an Alcatraz swim.
      • Complete scuba certification.
      • Stretch: Go on 2 additional dives after being certified.
  • Become confident around attractive women.
    • Ask out at least one woman I find attractive each week in person.
    • Go on at least one Tinder date.
  • Read more.
    • Learn to speed read.
      • Read a book about speed reading.
      • Watch speed reading lectures I have saved.
    • Read at least 40 books.
  • Become a polyglot.
    • Become fluent in French.
      • Spend at least 1 hour each day learning French.
      • Earn the DELF B2 French language qualification or higher.
        • Stretch: Earn the DELF C1 French language qualification or higher.
      • Read Harry Potter in French.
    • Future: Become fluent in Chinese.
    • Future: Become fluent in Japanese.
    • Future: Become fluent in Spanish.
  • See the beauty and strength of which my body is capable.
    • Develop a 6-pack.
      • Get down to 9% body fat.
      • Do an abdominal workout three times a week.
    • Qualify for the Boston Marathon.
    • Stretch: Lift weights three times a week.
  • Improve my ability to regulate and compartmentalize thoughts and emotions, especially negative and anxious thoughts and emotions such as fear or insecurity.
    • Meditate for 20 minutes every day.
    • Write in a journal at least once a week.
  • Become more politically active.
    • Become more politically informed.
      • Read at least 2 books about healthcare issues.
      • Read at least 2 books about global warming and environmental issues.
      • Read at least 2 books about education issues.
      • Read at least 2 books about immigration and globalization.
      • Read at least 2 books about economics.
      • Read at least 2 books about political theory and political philosophy.

Detail

Objective: Conquer my fears and insecurities by cultivating courage.

Why

“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” –Aristotle

I believe that I need two main virtues in order to accomplish everything I want in life: the courage to dream, and the discipline to execute. Last year I completed an Ironman Triathlon which, for me, was the ultimate test of my discipline. I now have very little doubt that if I put my mind to something I’ll find a way to make it happen. Instead, I now find myself constrained by what I’m willing to dream up.

Like most people, there are plenty of things I’m afraid of–failure, rejection, and spiders to name a few. Some of these fears dictate the life I live in obvious ways: the fear of failure makes me more afraid to quit my job and start a company, the fear of rejection makes me more afraid to talk to that cute girl over there or show my true self around others, and the fear of spiders makes me scream like a young child and flee in the opposite direction 😛 (ok, it’s not quite that bad, but you get the idea). However, these same fears often control me in more subtle but no less pernicious ways. For example, my fears can lead me to seek comfort, certainty, and stagnation rather than discomfort, uncertainty, and growth. The quest for comfort can even trick me into believing that I don’t want to start my own company, when really I’m just afraid of failure, or that I want to be single right now, when really I might just be afraid of rejection. The quest for certainty biases me towards defining things in blacks and whites, towards over planning and overthinking, and keeps me from fully embracing life which can so often be beautifully messy, gray, and uncertain. Furthermore, it can be hard to be honest with myself about fear which makes it hard to tell if I truly want or don’t want something for legitimately good reasons, or if I’m just searching for rationalizations to mask my fear and avoid discomfort.

Escaping from this invisible prison of the mind and cultivating courage is my top priority this year. I want to do things that scare me. I want to lean into discomfort wherever I can find it. I want to embrace uncertainty. I want to be sure I live the life I do because I choose to, not because I’m afraid of the alternatives.

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” –Unknown

Notes

There are a couple of different kinds of courage. There’s the more tangible and visceral courage involved in facing fears of corporeal things like spiders or sharks, and then there’s the more intangible and psychological courage involved in facing fears like a fear of failure or fear of rejection. At their root, I think these two types of courage are linked and cultivating one also cultivates the other, so I make no distinction between them.

As an example: my little sister recently taught me how to put a candle out with just my fingers. Once she had done it, I knew it was possible. Once she told me how she did it, I knew intellectually that it I could do it. However, even knowing intellectually that I could do it, I hesitated to touch the flame. I feared that if I did it wrong, I’d burn myself and get hurt. In that moment, I realized that the emotions and discomfort I felt were pretty much the exact same as what I have felt right before asking a girl out. In other words, the fear or the flame and the fear or rejection sparked the same set of feelings. Learning to become comfortable with those feelings and quickly move past them in either setting will certainly help with the other.

With such an aggressive set of goals overall, I’m not yet comfortable fully taking the steps I think I need to in order to conquer my fear of failure. Instead, I’m committing to doing some of the prep work to determine what my next career step might look like.

I’ve stolen the idea of getting rejected at least 100 times trying 100 different things from Jia Jiang, who wrote Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection, one of the most memorable books I read last year.

Some of the key results here overlap. For example, I’m sure I will get my fair share of rejections asking women out this year, and I’m sure working up to talking to those women will initially freak me out. I’m expecting the overlap, but have designed this so I’m still forced to get creative with things that scare me (even if I complete every key result on this list, I expect to be well below 150) and with ways to get rejected.

Key Results

  • Do at least 150 things total that scare me this year. (Does not have to be 150 unique things if appropriate level of fear is still present.)
  • Conquer my fear of failure.
    • Figure out what I would do if I weren’t working at Palantir.
      • Network with people in non-tech career paths that I’m interested in.
        • Identify and talk to at least 3 people who went to law school after an engineering career.
        • Identify and talk to at least 3 people who went to business school after an engineering career.
        • Identify and talk to at least 3 people who work in legislation.
        • Identify and talk to at least 3 people who work in policy.
        • Identify and talk to at least 3 people who work in politics.
        • Talk to an Air National Guard recruiter.
        • Identify and talk to at least 3 people who have joined the Air National Guard.
      • Network with people working on small companies doing things I care about.
      • Identify and talk to at least 3 companies working on healthcare issues.
        • Identify and talk to at least 3 companies working on education issues.
        • Identify and talk to at least 3 companies working on environmental issues.
        • Identify and talk to at least 3 companies working on social issues that don’t match the above.
      • Stretch: Take a leave of absence from work or quit and do my own thing for 3-6 months or leave my current job to do something more risky.
  • Conquer my fear of rejection.
    • Get rejected at least 100 times trying 100 different things.
    • Complete at least Foundation Level 2 improv at BATS.
    • See “Become confident around attractive women.”
  • Conquer my fear of sharks.
    • Go swimming in a shark cage.
  • Conquer my fear of falling.
    • Go bungee jumping.
    • Go rock climbing outdoors.
    • Stretch: Go lead climbing outdoors.
  • Conquer my fear of spiders.
    • Hold a tarantula in my hand without freaking out.
  • Conquer my fear of open water.
    • Complete an Alcatraz swim.
    • Complete scuba certification.
    • Stretch: Go on 2 additional dives after becoming certified.

Milestones

  • End of Q1:
    • Complete scuba certification.
    • Get some professional swim coaching and bring my mile swim time below 40 minutes.
    • Register for an Alcatraz swim.
    • Complete Foundation Level 1 improv at BATS.
  • End of Q2:
    • Complete an Alcatraz swim.
    • Complete Foundation Level 2 improv at BATS.
    • Complete 75 total things that scare me.
    • Get rejected at least 50 times trying 50 different things.

Objective: Become confident around attractive women.

Why

This is a complicated one for me, and probably even deserves its own post.

I want to learn from my mistakes in order to grow and my relationship/dating history has no shortage of useful nuggets. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on past experiences–what went right? what went wrong? what might I have done differently? what might my partners have done differently? In order to contextualize my experiences, I read a number of books about dating and relationships last year.

Many of the ideas I’ve come across in these books have been incredibly enlightening. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind – and Keep – Love by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller helped me become more aware of how/why I behave in romantic relationships and how/why others behave in romantic relationships. That awareness has enabled me to consciously make different choices than I have in the past and given me hope that I can do better. Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson gave me hope that there’s a way to approach dating that is consistent with my standards of honesty, respect, and integrity.

At the same time, some of the ideas have been extremely uncomfortable. In The Manual: What Women Want and How to Give It to Them, W. Anton paints a picture of dating that, while possibly accurate, feels like it doesn’t hold men to a high enough standard. Anton writes about how men must appear “dominant” because it’s masculine and attractive or should not apologize to women too often because it shows a lack of confidence. Further, it often felt like Anton’s singular goal is to seduce women in order to bed them, though he still tries to frame it all as a personal journey. There were moments when I almost abandoned The Manual, but I kept reading because I know there’s growth in discomfort and it’s rare for a book to challenge my assumptions on such a deep and visceral level.

The contrast between the ideas in all these books has made apparent that I must adopt my own philosophy for dating. For example, I don’t believe in the “dominant” approach. Dominance may be a classically male characteristic, but I believe we only speak of dominance over those who are less than us, and I refuse to approach or pursue anyone who I believe is anything less than my equal, or to treat them as anything less than my equal. Additionally, I find the notion that a man should not apologize to women too often ridiculous. Perhaps it looks more confident and self-assured, but I believe it takes honor and courage to admit one’s mistakes and I value these things in an individual far more than I value confidence. I can’t argue that Anton is wrong–perhaps his methods work–but I can choose a philosophy more consistent with my values.

Ultimately, the biggest takeaway from my reading has been that, while self-respect is the singular most important thing men need when pursuing women, the appearance of self-respect is often just as important. If a man doesn’t seem to respect himself, it’s ridiculous to expect that anyone else will respect him either, especially the attractive, self-respecting women that every man wants (or, at least, every man like me wants–I’m not convinced Anton cares if the women he attracts respect themselves or not). Furthermore, if a man doesn’t seem to respect himself his attraction isn’t as flattering to a woman because his implicit belief that he is not the best there is to offer signals to her that she isn’t really the best there is to offer, either.

Self-respect manifests itself in a few main ways: selectiveness, confidence, and boundaries. A person who really respects and values himself believes he deserves the best, and therefore settles for nothing less making him selective. A person who really respects and values himself has no doubt that he is worthy of approaching, talking to, and dating someone he finds incredibly attractive, and is comfortable being himself around her making him confident. Finally, a person who really respects and values himself will not compromise his own needs in order to meet someone else’s–healthy and happy relationships form when two people can consistently meet each other’s needs without sacrificing their own. Accomplishing this often requires boundaries.

Some men struggle with self-respect because they don’t feel successful with women, creating a circular problem. Dating books often try to solve this with a sort of “fake it until you make it” strategy, leaving men initially without true self-respect, but with the appearance of self-respect (e.g. well-scripted pick-up lines can give a man the appearance of confidence even though he doesn’t really have it). While I’m sure there’s some of this for me, I think I mostly struggle with the opposite: on many levels, I do truly respect myself, but when confronted by a woman I find extremely attractive I often fail to show it. In other words, I experience self-respect on at least an intellectual level, but I somehow fail to consistently embody that self-respect in my interactions with attractive women.

There have been times in my life when I might have argued that I didn’t really respect myself–at the beginning of my first relationship in college, for example, and at many points during it. However, at this point I have earned my own respect by adopting a value system that I am proud of–values like honor, integrity, courage, discipline, honesty–and by constantly pushing myself to live a life that exemplifies those values (writing, sharing, and accomplishing these resolutions is part of that). There will always be more work here, and I’ll never be perfect, but I am already enough.

At this point in my life, I have ridiculously high standards because I honestly believe I deserve to meet the woman of my dreams, and I refuse to settle for less–I’m happy enough on my own that I’m willing to stay single until I find her. (Note: I don’t actually believe in the concept of “the one”–the “woman of my dreams” is more of an allegory for the general type of woman and type of relationship I hope to end up with. Some parts of this are more specific, others much less so. The definition is also constantly evolving as I learn more about myself and my values.) However, I’m afraid of approaching women I find attractive due to irrational fear of rejection, which leaves my chances of meeting the woman of my dreams pretty slim. Furthermore, I get nervous if I do finally find the courage to talk to a woman I find attractive. If I make it as far as dating someone I find attractive, I have so little idea of what effective dating looks like (I’ve been on, maybe, two first dates) that I put too much effort into it and then worry I’m crossing my own boundaries or creating an imbalance in the relationship dynamic that I’m not sure any self-respecting woman could truly reciprocate. I start to second guess myself since I don’t really feel like I know what I’m doing, which can lead to feeling and acting insecure. It usually doesn’t end well.

In truth, I’ve known I’ve had this problem for awhile, and have been meaning to do something about it. In fact, I had been preparing to take action earlier last year, when I first began to identify what it is I’m lacking. Then I fell for someone I was really excited about. I knew there were things I wanted to work on, but I wasn’t sure if I needed to work on them before pursuing something serious. I was, however, pretty sure I would regret passing up an opportunity with someone I was that excited about. So I told her how I felt, and tried as best I could in the moment to be honest with her about what I need to work on and where my remaining insecurities lie. I was nervous to talk to her and it all came out different from how I imagined it. It still makes me cringe to think about. Nevertheless, she was gracious, understanding and accepting, and that, to me, was even more incredible. I thought that maybe if we could continue to be honest and vulnerable with each other something really could work–maybe I really didn’t need what I was missing to make it work.

We danced around the idea of a relationship for a little while, but it ultimately didn’t turn into anything serious. The reasons were, I think, complicated on both sides, and though I was disappointed, I understood that both of us would have needed to change and grow independently before something could even possibly have worked. For my part, if I’m honest with myself I now know that the confidence I’m lacking and the insecurities spawned from lacking it are truly holding me back. Because of that I no longer just want to work on building my confidence, I now know that I need to if I am to end up with the woman of my dreams. (This is not to say that the person I considered a relationship with is the woman of my dreams or that she is not–we didn’t really get far enough for me to determine.) The woman of my dreams deserves–expects, even–a man who has the confidence to sweep her off her feet, the courage to love her fearlessly, and the integrity to always be himself. I hope to become that man. I don’t think I should consider another serious relationship until I do.

Notes

I want to be clear in my intentions for this, since there’s a very fine line between confidence and narcissism or arrogance. I need to build my confidence with attractive women and my method for doing so will be to practice and put myself in more and increasingly uncomfortable situations where I risk rejection. However, I don’t intend to do this in a way that compromises on any of my values. I will continue to treat others and myself with the respect, integrity, and honesty they deserve. I will continue to be selective, and will do my best to balance the need to gain practice in various situations with not wanting to move forward with someone for the wrong reasons (paradoxically, practice is definitely a wrong reason). I don’t intend for my quest for growth here to be a closely held secret (otherwise, I wouldn’t be making it public), and do intend to be honest with the people I meet about where I am in all of this if it comes up. This is not about playing the field, this is not about casual sex, and this is not about becoming a “player” or a womanizer. This isn’t even about meeting the woman of my dreams. This is about personal growth and becoming the person the woman of my dreams dreams of, not because it’s who she will want me to be, but because it’s who I want to be.

“Be with someone that makes you happy.”

Key Results

  • Ask out at least one woman I find attractive each week in person.
  • Go on at least one Tinder date.

Milestones

  • End of Q1:
    • Feel comfortable approaching and talking to an attractive woman in a bar or club.
    • Go on a Tinder date.
    • Increase goal number of attractive women to ask out each week to two.
  • End of Q2:
    • Feel comfortable going on a first date with someone I find attractive but don’t know very well.
    • Increase goal number of attractive women to ask out each week to three.
  • End of Q3:
    • Feel comfortable approaching and talking to an attractive woman in any setting.
    • Increase goal number of attractive women to ask out each week to four.

Objective: Become a polyglot.

Why

Language is the gateway to truly experiencing a new culture. Without speaking a language, I can travel and see a foreign culture from the outside, but I’ll never be able to truly experience the culture. I’m also excited about the idea of reading books and other cultural outputs in their original language, even the best of translations can never capture everything about the original ideas encoded in the author’s choice of words in the original language.

I want to learn French so that I can, eventually, go live in Paris and attend Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in French. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll even convince Palantir to send me to Paris for 3-6 months this year.

I want to learn Chinese so that I can fully understand and experience my Taiwanese/Chinese heritage. It sucks feeling like an outsider in the country of your ancestors.

I want to learn Japanese because I’m still in love with Japanese culture, and it feels like a shame not to finish this language out after spending a year learning it in high school. Would also be fun to attend the Tokyo Sushi Academy in Japanese.

I want to learn Spanish because it’s an incredibly prevalent and useful language where in California where I live. Since Spanish is a romance language, I’m also of the notion that Spanish will be easy to learn quickly, especially once I’m done with French.

Notes

Many of last year’s goals were dropped due to accelerating my Ironman timeline, but I have found that it is hard to focus on more than one language at a time. I don’t think it’s impossible, and I think I could do it if I really put my mind to it (and sacrificed some other goals), but I’ve decided to put Chinese on the backburner to really challenge myself to reach fluency in an easier language in a shorter time frame. I think that once I’ve achieved fluency in French, the lessons I learn from the process of learning language will help to greatly accelerate my learning for other languages. I’m also trying to define fluency in more practical terms this year e.g. the ability to read a book or watch TV in a foreign language. I would also like to complete a qualification test, but most of my milestones will be in terms of more practical skills.

I’m also changing my methods this year. Instead of using tools like Duolingo, I’ll be taking a more self-directed approach to my learning as outlined in the book Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner. This approach will involve using a spaced repetition system to quickly memorize vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. I’ll also be using frequency dictionaries to memorize the first 600-1000 words in my target languages so that I’ll very quickly be able to understand writing and television.

Key Results

  • Become fluent in French.
    • Spend at least 1 hour each day learning French.
    • Earn the DELF B2 French language qualification or higher.
      • Stretch: Earn the DELF C1 French language qualification or higher.
    • Read Harry Potter in French.
  • Future: Become fluent in Chinese.
  • Future: Become fluent in Japanese.
  • Future: Become fluent in Spanish.

Milestones

  • End of Q1:
    • Memorize the 1000 most frequent French words.
    • Attempt the DELF B1 French language qualification test.
  • End of Q2:
    • Attempt the DELF B2 French language qualification test.
    • Read Harry Potter in French.

Objective: Read more.

Why

The more I read, the more I fall in love with reading. I’ve read books about all kinds of topics last year, and feel like ideas from books are responsible for an impressively large proportion of my growth. This year, I hope to continue to read often, but I’m also lowering my yearly reading goal in order to make time to speed read. My hope is that by learning to speed read, I’ll have the chance to read many, many more books in the long-term. There are just too many interesting things out there to learn about!

Key Results

  • Learn to speed read.
  • Read at least 40 books this year.

Objective: See the beauty and strength of which my body is capable.

Why

Before I completed an Ironman last year, I joked frequently that I’d be content to eat popcorn on my couch for the rest of my life once it was all over. Those who know me well know that I’d go insane if I actually did that :P. Though the Ironman is done, I’ll keep exercising because it helps me destress, makes me feel and look good, and helps to build overall confidence. I’d like to see what I’m capable of before I get too old to do so.

Notes

The Ironman is done, but I’ve still got plenty of work to do. In particular, I’m hoping to compete in the Boston Marathon in 2018. The Boston Marathon is going to be tough, as it will test of speed more than a test of endurance, but I’m hoping to leverage my Ironman endurance to springboard me into Boston Marathon training. On the bright side, at this point a marathon sounds pretty short ;).

Additionally, I’m still hoping to develop a 6-pack. Last year, once I had decided to do an Ironman, I stopped messing with my nutrition (restricting calories when already burning an extra 2500 calories most days just sounded like a bad idea). This year, I’m making it a priority, and am hoping that marathon training will help.

While I’d like to keep lifting weights to maintain my upper body muscle mass, I’m not yet sure if I’ll have the time to make building more upper body muscle a priority. Thus, I’m leaving weightlifting as a stretch goal in favor of ensuring I have the time to run consistently.

Key Results

  • Develop a 6-pack.
    • Get down to 9% body fat.
    • Do an abdominal workout three times a week.
  • Qualify for the Boston Marathon.
  • Stretch: Lift weights three times a week.

Milestones

  • End of Q1:
    • Get down to 13% body fat
  • End of Q2:
    • Get down to 11% body fat
  • End of Q3:
    • Get down to 9% body fat.

Objective: Improve my ability to regulate and compartmentalize thoughts and emotions, especially negative and anxious thoughts and emotions.

Why

Over the years I’ve learned that I sometimes struggle to regulate and compartmentalize my thoughts and emotions. Often this means getting caught in negative thought and emotion loops, which spiral downward. When I’m in this state, it’s really hard to maintain a positive perspective. Being stuck in these loops negatively affects how I perceive the world, perceive others’ actions, and how I react to things.

Fortunately, I’ve gotten a lot better at managing this with practice. Through meditation, I’m learning to become more aware of when I’m in a negative loop or beginning to enter one and learning to accept and then let go of thoughts and feelings rather than hold tightly onto them. Once I’m aware of what’s going on, I can sometimes compensate and restabilize.

I think there’s still work to do on this front, however. I’d like to get to a point where I regulate automatically! Additionally, getting better at being aware of and letting go of emotions should also help me break through the feelings of fear, anxiety, and discomfort I expect to feel while cultivating courage this year.

Key Results

  • Meditate for 20 minutes every day.
  • Write in a journal at least once each week.

Objective: Become more politically active.

Why

When Donald Trump was elected president last year, I was still spending most of my free time training for an Ironman. After the election, part of me was frustrated that I hadn’t done more to make sure the values I hold dear are defended and upheld in our government. I think a lot of liberals, myself included, were shaken out of complacency last year.

The rise of anti-intellectualism and populism around the world concerns me. Demagogues are popping up everywhere to take advantage of isolationist fears and tendencies brought about by globalization and terrorism. I worry more and more that the peace the world has enjoyed during my short life is unstable, that rational thought is being cast out in favor of blind emotion, and that most politicians today don’t truly embody principles that I can respect or admire.

Longer-term, I hope to do something about this. I think the first step is to educate myself, so I plan to read a number of books both about political theory in general and about specific issues relevant in today’s world. Once I have more of a stance on how things should be, I’ll be ready to take more direct action to make it a reality.

Key Results

  • Become more politically informed.
    • Read at least 2 books about healthcare issues.
    • Read at least 2 books about global warming and environmental issues.
    • Read at least 2 books about education issues.
    • Read at least 2 books about immigration and globalization.
    • Read at least 2 books about economics.
    • Read at least 2 books about political theory and political philosophy.

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