2020 had taught us many things in different ways. In fact, all years have their own share of learnings and experiences, but 2020 was different. Yes, there were some happenings we may never want to experience again, but if we apply the lessons learned wisely then we can make the future much more enjoyable and meaningful.
Though the lessons were not New, but in the rigmarole of life, we have forgotten many things and have been taking life for granted. 2020 has made us appreciate the big and small things happening around us and impacted our lives in many different ways.
There were many unique learnings too, like life skills on how to play web games and attend a webinar side by side by not letting oneself caught, we learned doing daily chores in the absence of domestic help. Taking care of kids, work, and family together itself is an art, people have learned. Yeah, it was difficult but finally, you have succeeded.
It was really inspirational to see a lot many people starting their online teaching, bakery and youtube channels. We have learnt to eat home-cooked meals even during weekends. We learnt staying home on Sundays. We have also learnt the art of coughing and sneezing in public without freaking people out.
The most important lesson that 2020 has taught us is the importance of Health.
Something that we knew but have started appreciating this now. When in the beginning of the year, the nationwide lockdown actually started and you keep hearing news of people getting infected and dying due to the virus, you actually started loving your life.
Under the fear of being quarantined and put in isolation for 14 days, people have stopped getting themselves tested. Immunity, Hygiene, Exercise, Meditation all got their attention back. Remember, without health, there is no Present, leave aside the future.
It’s not only physical health, but we learned the importance of mental health too. Working from home was new for many, not meeting friends in person was a painful thought, no chit-chatting, No Gossip tea breaks, No Sutta times, and plus when you hear bad news of job losses, economic slowdown, etc. made the things worse and took a toll on your mental health.
These thoughts of no work, quarantine/isolation, were so scary that we also learned the importance of having a Family around. Without Family and loved ones around, you are Nobody. We were blessed enough to be with our Parents, Kids during those times. With them, we share our worries, happiness, concerns. It’s a stress-buster in itself when you know that you are being loved and people care for you.
Just imagine the state of mind of people who were away, or got stuck in some place during lockdown. But family made sure to not let them feel lonely, even if they were alone, thanks to technology.
Without Family, whatever you have is all meaningless. Afterall, you have to have someone you enjoy your wealth and time with. Remember, neither you can grow alone, nor you can enjoy alone. If you have read my book, then you must agree here – Hum hi Hum hai to Kya Hum hai, Tum hi tum ho to kya tum ho.
Another, important thing that we learned was that time is in limited supply, so use it well.
If you did not find in lockdown days to spend quality time with your family. If you did not speak to your friends in those days. If you have not yet realized the importance of near and dear ones in your life. Then do it NOW. And if you still don’t have time for all this then It seems you really have no time left.
Don’t waste this limited resource on people that don’t add value to your life. Good relations are like long term investments, you have to keep them with you always even if their performance is not as per expectation. Come what may they always carry value in your life. You have to think long term here.
Don’t be so ingrained in your work, money and promotions that you ignore your family and friends. Remember Nothing is permanent.
Don’t Expect, Don’t Judge. Everyone you meet is fighting some battle, and have their own challenges. Try to Listen to them. have patience. Sometimes silence is the best response, you don’t have to have the last word. Happiness is not about agreements, it’s about acceptance and adjustments.
It’s important to use your time efficiently on Improvement. Improving relations, upgrading professionally, Improving health, the happiness quotient., the relationship with money. These are the places where your time should be spent. Not on Watching TV, Social Media, WhatsApp, etc.
Remember the most important connection you have to make is with yourself. Networking with self makes more sense for the long term. It’s ok sometimes to unplug from the outer world and work for self and on self. It’s productive, not selfish or lazy.
Year 2020 has also taught us to differentiate between Essential and Non-Essential.
If you have learned it well, then you know what relations are essential, what things have an essential place in your life. What are the non-essential activities in life where you would not like to waste your time, money, and energy on. How much less you can live on and what is the “more” that you had kept on accumulating in your life, which carries less importance now.
Money lessons in 2020:
Actually, I have always believed that Money is a Part of Life, and if you are living your life well and are happy in there, then Money must also be getting managed well. But if there are issues in your personal life, you must be finding challenges in your Money Life too, and then you must be trying to find the answers in having More and More Money. To manage money well first you have to bring management into your life.
2020 has actually shown us the importance of planning and preparedness. We have met uncertainty face to face. And those who were prepared, sail through well, without worrying about what will happen next. So the basic things like- emergency fund, adequate insurances, following asset allocation, goal-based planning, maintaining financial health, etc. all have their roles in your financial wellness.
And if you feel that you were unlucky as you might have withdrawn your investments in March, or you are skillful as you have entered in the same month, please do not take 2020 actions seriously, as life may show you different colours going forwards. So, don’t be complacent, overconfident, or depressed. Have a rule-based and process-oriented investment approach for the long term. These kinds of times would be a real test of your discipline.
In the end:
No Matter how stressed you are…always remember How Blessed you are
You are blessed enough. Understand the value of what you have. Having a house (rented or owned), 3 meals a day and a loving family are the big blessings we should be thankful for every day. Yes, COVID-19 has been hard on us, but even harder on those who have less than us.
Count your blessings and try to help others in all the ways you can, this is how your 2021 should be like. Make 2021 more meaningful by actually implementing these lessons in life, and be grateful towards all that you have. Stop expecting, and start appreciating. You never know what is going to happen next.