2018: The year in review / by Benjamin Steele

The years come and go, but our progression through life is constant.

I’m not sure why I decided this photo with a horse should be the face of my 2018 review, but maybe it’s just because I’ve been really into Johnny Cash lately. (Boots -  Tecovas )

I’m not sure why I decided this photo with a horse should be the face of my 2018 review, but maybe it’s just because I’ve been really into Johnny Cash lately. (Boots - Tecovas)

Blog #53

Just made that quote at the top up and I think I quite like it. Anyways…

I recently took it upon myself to revamp this blog and while doing so realized that I had written both 2016 and 2017 “year in review” blogs. For the sake of tradition I figured that in revamping the blog, writing about 2018 was as good as place to start as any.

If you had talked to me on a random day in 2018, I likely would have explained how difficult the year had been overall (which it was). That being said, I can see so many positive things that came from 2018 and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Most of the challenges that I faced during the year have been foundational in making me who I am today and are experiences that I will never forget.

In 2018 I took a spur of the moment drive up to NYC and met the owners and founders of my favorite jacket brand,  CockpitUSA . Through this trip I have been able to build a relationship with the owners and have done some content creation and consulting for the brand. It has been a major blessing.

In 2018 I took a spur of the moment drive up to NYC and met the owners and founders of my favorite jacket brand, CockpitUSA. Through this trip I have been able to build a relationship with the owners and have done some content creation and consulting for the brand. It has been a major blessing.

Here are a few highlights from the year:

  1. I attended and successfully graduated from the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School therefore making me a 2nd Lieutenant in the USMC.

  2. While at OCS and among all the challenges there, I rekindled my faith in God and recommitted myself to developing spiritually.

  3. In March I begun the six month infantry focused training course at The Basic School for officers, which I would complete in September.

  4. While at TBS I made a few significant friendships and started rebuilding the muscle that I had lost at OCS. Here I became fairly proficient in some new aspects of fitness such as deadlifts, pull-ups, front squats and nutrition.

  5. Upon graduating TBS I got orders to be a logistics officer and commenced the next training phase in North Carolina. While here I finally begun to have some control over my schedule again and therefore got back into a solid morning routine by working out, eating a big breakfast, and reading every morning.

  6. Also post OCS and TBS, I have been able to pursue my love of anything creative once again. I have begun to take photos wherever I go (sometimes for brands), consult a few different companies including CockpitUSA and Wrangler, build this blog and start a podcast called The Ben Steele Show.

  7. The end of 2018 left me with orders to San Diego CA, where I will be moving in less than a month. I am beyond excited for all that I hope to accomplish this next year. Believe me, it’s going to be the best yet.

I’m pretty proud of this photo from a TBS live fire range that I took off my GoPro. The military training that I had the opportunity to experience this past year was beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

I’m pretty proud of this photo from a TBS live fire range that I took off my GoPro. The military training that I had the opportunity to experience this past year was beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

Here are some things that I learned:

  1. I can do hard things. Even when you’re carrying a ridiculous amount of weight through the humid forests of Virginia with no end in site, anything is possible with enough mental fortitude.

  2. God is there and aware of our personal needs. I have always had a relationship with God, but this relationship got much stronger during 2018. During some of my most challenging moments I learned that he he cares and can support us.

  3. There are so many different amazing people in the world and that the population of wonderful people can never be defined by just one faith, occupation, or nationality. I am so grateful for the wonderful people that I got to meet in 2018. There are so many things that can be learned from everyone around us.

  4. Personal education is in my opinion the best kind of education. Also, it is an essential part to achieving happiness and success. I am often at my best when I am reading or listening to a book, listening to a podcast, watching an interview on YouTube, or reaching out to a friend with a marketing question.

  5. My personal calling is to be an entrepreneur in some capacity and look forward to the day when I can pursue something full-time again. Prior to 2018 I new that I was interested in the creative world and had dabbled in it before, but not until I no longer had it in my life did I truly know how much it meant to me.

  6. Above all, I learned that I am absolutely happiest in my life when I am thinking of others and serving them, rather than thinking of myself. Whether it’s something as small as saying hi to someone working at the local grocery store or if it’s sending a “thinking of you” card to a friend, without a doubt I am happiest when I am thinking of others and making a conscious effort to help them.

At first I wasn’t too excited to be in North Carolina for logistics training, but soon came to appreciate the great beauty that can be found there. I try to go to the beach every weekend if possible.

At first I wasn’t too excited to be in North Carolina for logistics training, but soon came to appreciate the great beauty that can be found there. I try to go to the beach every weekend if possible.

Here are some of my favorites of 2018:

  1. Podcasts: Similar to last year, “The Joe Rogan Experience”, “The Tim Ferris Show”, and Pat Flynn’s “Smart Passive Income”. Additionally The Bill Simmons Podcast “The Ringer” has been great. Also, of course, my own podcast, “The Ben Steele Show”.

  2. Early morning 4:30-5:00 am workouts during the week and long runs on that weekends. My running is a bit poor right now, but I’m committed to get back to 12-15 mile Saturdays.

  3. Chipolte. Always Chipolte. Also, unfortunately someone introduced me to Halo Top ice cream.

  4. Books: “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight is undoubtably one of the best books that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Also, I have loved Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.

  5. Music: According to Spotify, my top artists of the year were (1) Howard Shore because I listen to a ton of instrumental music while working, (2) Post Malone, (3) Imagine Dragons, (4) Florida Georgia Line, and (5) The Killers. I was a little surprised with a few names on this list, but am fairly satisfied with the list. A few noteworthy mentions in addition are Chris Stapleton, Drake, and Mumford & Sons. I really built my love for country music in 2018.

  6. Movies: “A Star Is Born” with Bradley Cooper and Lady GaGa, “The Mule” with Clint Eastwood and again Bradley Cooper, and I actually really loved “Instant Family” with Mark Wahlberg and Isabela Moner.

  7. Television: “Ozark” gets the goat of this category with “Westworld” as a notable mention.

Another one for  Cockpit  in a beautiful town near where I live called New Bern.

Another one for Cockpit in a beautiful town near where I live called New Bern.

2018 was a great year to learn about myself and who I want to become in the future. It wasn’t necessarily the happiest year of my life as much of it was spent completing difficult training in the USMC, but it was foundational to who I will be the rest of my life.

As far as the year to come, I won’t share my specific New Years Resolutions, however, I will say that I plan on making 2019 the best year of my life. I plan to care more, work harder, and grow in ways that I couldn’t even imagine. I plan to grow this blog and my podcast professionally and challenge myself personally and physically as well.

One of my favorite quotes by one of my life heroes Steve Prefontaine says, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” In 2019, I will give my best. Sure, I may still get beaten in one way or another, but at least I will know that I put it all out on the track.

If you are contemplating starting a new entrepreneurial venture of your own or are wondering how to take your life to the next level, feel free to reach out to me at contactme@benjaminsteele.us. I would love to hear your story and help where possible.

God bless,

Ben