When I think of 2020, I feel fear, panic and helplessness. These are not classified as good feelings.
The reason I am writing this article is that I want my community to understand even though 2020 was not a very good year to a lot of us, we can't give up hope and stop living our life as we thought we would live if 2020 would have been a good year.
We need to continue living our dreams even if it didn't go according to our plans. One reason I believe why our plans did not work is maybe because we have missed some important factors in our plans.
2020 has provided us with opportunities to reflect and reconstruct.
During the peak Covid-19 period, a lot of people got laid off and some people were living with basic food items. Some of us did not have enough food in the house not because we lacked the money to buy them but rather, we could not go out and buy. Our life and the lives of our love ones could have been at risk if we leave the house. We worked out and lived with what we have available to us at then.
A lot of people are still going through difficult situations and a lot of people are still experiencing the post effects are Covid-19.
All luxuries we normally take for granted were the most precious thing at that time, our life, health, safety and family. It is not that we did not care for it at all previously, it is we did not give it enough importance.
Coronavirus or Covid-19 has highlighted my 2020 with the importance of self-care, the value of life and relationships.
I would like to share with you 10 lessons I learned in 2020.
1. The only time we are sure about is NOW
As Eckhart Tolle has said
"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life"
NOW have so much power that it can change our future. Do not wait until tomorrow to act upon things that are not making you happy and being yourself.
If you want to have a peaceful retirement, start working your way to it now!
If you want to start a new business in the future, make your plan now!
If you want to say I love you to your mom and dad, say it now!
What is your primary focus? What kind of person you always want to become? Is this the life you always wanted?
I have started acting on my focus. I started taking actions and working towards the life I always wanted.
Now, I do not wait for a special occasion to tell my husband how grateful I am to have him in my life. I tell him every day through words, actions and gestures.
2. Small things matter too
During the non-Covid-19 times, we used to go outing with friends and family, visit new places or try new outdoor activities like bungee jumps etc.
During that time we often unnoticed the joy we gave to our little brother when we play a board game with him.
Eating homemade food everyday was boring but we often neglect the fact that the homemade food was made out of love to nourish our mind, body and soul.
How often did you consider those little things?
I started to appreciate and be more grateful for the mere fact that I am alive and breathing freely.
3. Self-reflection is the way to improve our short-coming.
I never really gave a lot of attention to my shortcomings.
Do I lack patience? How am I living my life?
Do I make unhealthy food choices often? Am I living my values?
The lockdown time has allowed to check with myself and I have made some adjustments in my life. I would consider "these adjustments" as an upgrade.
I have upgraded to a new version of myself.
I have realised that we are all so focused on working towards our future that we do not pay enough attention to our present.
What makes us happy?
Is happiness related to our previous shopping?
It is dependable on somebody? Are we responsible for our happiness?
I tried to explore and research on my reflections. I started to craft the journey of my life and since that, I have noticed a remarkable change in my wellbeing.
4. The environment we live in is very important
Our environment is the people we are surrounded by, whether it is our family, friend, colleagues and team.
But the question is, are we surrounded by people who are lifting us? Are we expressing our gratitude to our surroundings?
It is very important to be around the right people. Life is a team effort.
Choose the persons around you wisely, we often attract negative energy from pessimist people.
Surrounding yourself with realistic and non-toxic people empowers you.
5. We all have something to contribute
This pandemic has provided people with opportunities to care for each other. The communities are helping elderly people with purchasing groceries and delivering them to their door. People are taking interest more in community service such as prescriptions pick up.
People are playing music on the balcony so that everyone can feel connected again.
How amazing is that?
Next time instead of accepting I am okay for an answer, maybe ask someone if they slept well or if there is anything you can do for them. We did it during the quarantine time so we can do it now also.
The lockdown has taught us we can connect with people and making a difference in their life even in our hardest time.
6. You are not a failure if you cannot do it all
Apart from being isolated, playing multiple roles at once was one of the hardest things for many.
Many mom and dad have to play the role of a mother/teacher/cook/cleaner/coach/friend. It was certainly not an easy task playing all these roles together while working at home.
If you think you were not the best cook or friend.
It is okay!!
That does not make you a failure, you are a human. You can still learn.
You tested your potential and maybe you can see it as a way to improve.
7. Everything can change overnight
With the experience that anything and everything can change overnight, we need to be more mindful. What are we focusing on?
My people are more important than any other kinds of stuffs I may have.
I need to give them the time and care they need. This is how it should always be.
I am more mindful to the choices I make every day.
8. Self-care is a priority, not an option or a privilege.
I have started taking care of myself more than ever during the lockdown time. I have never really found it important to take care of the other aspect of wellbeing.
I have always focus on my physical well-being. I have to exercise; I have to eat well, and I have to cut down on sugar and carbs.
That's what was always in my mind. Although physical well-being is related to psychological and emotional wellbeing. I have never taken the time to learn how can I keep myself "fit" emotionally.
We have more emotions than we think we have. We have a primary and secondary emotion. We often categories our emotions into anger, fear, happy, disappointed etc.
According to a 2017's article in Forbes, we have 27 different emotions.
I was able to recognise my emotions and thus I was able to express correctly.
9. Happiness is self-created.
You can be happy if you decide to be happy. You create your destiny. Most of us tried to stay calm and happy during the lockdown situation.
It was stressful and depressing but yet we managed to gather the courage to stay calm, hopeful and happy for our family.
So if you can stay calm and happy during that pandemic. You can do it now.
Let us assume the pandemic represents the obstacles in our day-to-day life and we need to keep fighting, be courageous and lead our lives.
We can't easily get angry or discourage when someone has been rude to us at work.
10. Follow your passion
Does your current job sparks joy in your heart? Is it what you always wanted to do? What was your dream job? Are you still passionate about it?
Maybe your current job makes you happy, but it took too much time of yours that you forgot you had a hobby.
Are you still in your job because it gives you the financial security you need at this point in your life? I did get it. I am not asking you to leave your job and follow your passion. You can do both together and when you find similar financial stability in your passion, you can leave your toxic job.
The main thing is that you know and understand what makes you happy.
Your passion or hobby is important too.
If painting is your hobby, do it. You love singing, maybe try to look for some free singing classes. You can find a lot of free classes/tutorial online.
Try to allocate some time for it, because it makes you happy and awakes your soul.
For a second, just imagine how much happiness you used to get when you used to practice your hobby. Don't you want to feel the same again?
You may have your own 2020 lessons, but most importantly is that you have to do something about it.
Lessons are for learning.
Take actions from those learnings.
You can't just have your 2020 lessons written somewhere and after 1 month in 2021 when no one will talk about 2020, you completely forgot about it.