5 things to be Grateful For in 2023

By Paul Yung

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As the holiday season rolls in with the monsoon, I cannot help but reflect on what has been a heart stopping, breath-taking, topsy turvy year. Despite a world that seems to buzz with challenges like inflation and global tensions, I’ve realized that here in Malaysia, we’ve had our fair share of silver linings in 2023.

Here are 5 things that I am grateful for this year.

Business Growth Amidst Challenges

In a year marked by economic turbulence, the resilience and adaptability of businesses have been remarkable. Despite the daunting challenges, many have not just survived but thrived, pivoting to new strategies, embracing digital transformations, and finding innovative ways to serve their customers. This resilience is not just a testament to business acumen but a reminder of the human spirit’s indomitable will to persevere and grow. There is still going to be much market correction with some companies and entire industries being casualties, but this opens the door for many more opportunities to take advantage of!

Advancements in Sustainable Practices

Companies are increasingly focusing on sustainability with climate change, ESG’s and UNSDG’s finally being brought to the discussion table. Sime Darby Plantation, for example, has been making strides in sustainable palm oil production. Their efforts in reducing deforestation and promoting sustainable practices are commendable. From big companies to our communities, it will take a collective, consistent effort to be more sustainable and I am thankful more people are taking sustainability seriously.

The Joy of Learning: AI and Beyond

One of the most exhilarating aspects of this year has been the journey of learning new things, especially in the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The rapid advancements in AI have not just opened doors to futuristic technologies but have also democratized learning, making it accessible to all. This surge in AI-driven tools and platforms has reshaped how we approach problems, innovate, and even perceive the world around us. Thank you ChatGPT!

New Experiences: Travel and Exploration

Despite the challenges, 2023 has also been a year of new experiences. Covid revenge travel has definitely continued, with the more cautious people who haven’t travelled since the pandemic taking their first trips again. Traveling to new places, whether for work or leisure, has provided fresh perspectives and a much-needed escape. Even though it feels like a long time ago, the ability to travel freely again is not something I take for granted. I am thankful for the medical innovations that helped create, distribute and administering vaccines have saved countless lives and allowed us to once again experience the beautiful diversity of our world.

Cherishing Moments with Family and Friends

Above all, the time spent with family and friends has been the cornerstone of this year’s joy. In a fast-paced world, these moments of togetherness are priceless. The laughter, the conversations, and even the silent companionship has been a source of immense comfort and happiness. Personally, parenting has been a privilege. Watching Adelia grow up (way too fast) has been bittersweet, where’s the pause button on your kids? However, it’s certainly something I am thankful for in 2023

As we bid farewell to 2023 and welcome 2024, let us carry forward this spirit of gratitude and hope. The challenges we face globally – from inflation to conflicts – are real and daunting. Yet, in the midst of these trials, there are countless stories of human resilience, kindness, innovation, and growth. These stories, often overshadowed by the grim headlines, are the real essence of our shared human experience.

Let’s step into 2024 with a renewed sense of optimism, cherishing the lessons and blessings of the past year. Let us embrace the uncertainties, not with fear, but with the conviction that within every challenge lies an opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.

Last but not least, I am thankful for all of you, the wonderful people who bother to read my article monthly. You are absolutely awesome!

Here’s to a year filled with hope, growth, and endless possibilities. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!