What I Achieved in 2020 And The Importance of a Positive Mindset

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2020 was a year of uncertainties with COVID-19 taking everyone’s mind space all year round. However, 2020 was also a year many people got themselves together and overcame challenges. They took on a positive mindset, solved the many – and sometimes crazy – challenges that came with the year, and moved forward – one day at a time.

Restricted traveling affected due to COVID-19 affected me the most.

I work in Bangkok, Thailand but stay far from my native home country of Indonesia. Due to COVID-19, I was away from family and loved ones for long, so calling the year difficult would be an understatement. 

Michael Abadi at iOS Thailand conference in December 2020
At iOS Thailand Conference

However, I embraced the positive mindset too. So even with the difficulty of not being able to travel to my home country, I managed to be twice as productive as ever before. Yes 2020 hurt, but I am grateful there were rays of opportunities to turn the table around.  

In this blog, I share a few things I was able to achieve in the last 1 year by changing to a positive mindset, hoping that it inspires you to take challenges head on, even in the face of uncertainty. 

My website

I joined Agoda in 2020.

It was truly a dream to work here and being part of the travel & tech space. Although the industry faced its toughest year, I am grateful to have been part of a team that shipped and delivered key projects. 

I published my own website in style.

I had always wanted to have my own website and 2020 was the year I finally got around it. I learnt a lot while in the process and look forward to learning a lot more. 

I polished my Github and added an SPM project.

The project is called SFSymbols Finder. It is an open source project that allows you to use SF icons in a project easily and without any hassle. Check it out here. 

I was also able to create a few more small (although incredibly impactful) wins 

  1. I helped a friend start their coding journey.
  2. I helped my university plan an iOS Course.
  3. I won a CodeWar in Bangkok
  4. I did several projects in SwiftUI, some of which will be launching this year

    Michael's iOS project
    One of my projects – a travel itinerary app
  5. I invested some of my time to learn about investing and expanding my knowledge beside iOS Programming 
  6. I became a speaker in Thailand’s and Indonesia’s iOS Developer communities.
  7. I was able to publish 24 articles on Medium. 

But of all the things I was able to do, here’s my biggest win of 2020: I married my wife, and we are expecting a baby soon! 

We have opportunities around us all the time, only if we look

The best use of your resources – especially time and money – is to invest it in your growth. Opportunities consistently knock our doors when we learn something new or enhance our existing skills.  

The best way to be lucky with opportunities is to put the time in your personal growth.

For example, I used my time during the lockdown to learn and unlearn, eventually scaling-up my iOS programming skills that led me to my dream job at Agoda and widening my programming capabilities. 

There’s an opportunity to save more money

I was grateful to be in the position to save money – because most were not – and I took this as a blessing, as an opportunity to build a safety and give back to my community. It’s important to decide wisely – especially when it comes to your money. 

There’s an opportunity to stay closer with family

Even though I cannot spend time with my family back in Indonesia, I am able to stay closer with my wife, my family in law, and fairly sure all of us have a chance to get more closer with our beloved ones. 

The pandemic reminded us of the importance of family in one’s life. For me, I see this as an opportunity to spend more time with my wife and kid – even though I can’t visit my family back in Indonesia – and to get closer with my loved ones. 

Code war 2020
Code war 2020



All of the achievements that I earned this year and am grateful for, are because the way I changed my mindset in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. I could see and feel that this positive mindset has an instant impact. For 2021, I have set new targets – all attainable and realistic with a new fresh mindset.  

So as you take on 2021, here’s my advice to you: keep a positive mindset and bring out your best self; invest more in your personal growth and you will get better – one day at a time. 

About the author

Michael Abadi Santoso is an iOS engineer at Agoda where he works on the Agoda property mobile app team.

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