Life Lessons From the Year 2020
Exactly a year back on December 29, 2019, I wrote an article on ‘how to live a worthwhile year’.
Guess what, one year has passed since then and here I am writing about the year 2020.
Who thought a year back that we would witness a dramatic year as 2020.
And truly we are witnessing a time that once in a century people usually witness.
A major pandemic hits every 100 years once and we are those lucky (or rather unlucky) people to witness such an extraordinary time.
But every cloud has a silver lining.
Yes, a lot of people has died, many people have lost their jobs, we all have seen difficult times in 2020,
But do you want to remember 2020 as the year of disaster, pain, and unfortunate?
Or the year that has taught us most about our own lives?
Whatever you believe is true.
I would rather want to remember 2020 with most teachings.
Remember in schools, you had some teachers who pushed you hard to make you learn.
They even punished you or used to scold you, but they did all those for your benefit.
So that you learn and grow in life. Today you might want to thank those teachers who pushed you hard to make you learn.
The year 2020 is exactly like that hard teacher. It has given us pain and suffering but has also taught us valuable lessons.
So before we welcome the new year 2021 with new enthusiasm and hope, here are 8 worthwhile lessons this year has taught me.
1. Life is uncertain
Let’s be honest here, we humans don’t like uncertainty at all.
We want security, stability, and a predictable future.
But alas! life doesn’t work that way.
This is the most important lesson in 2020 has taught us.
Who thought in 2019 life would change so rapidly in 2020.
But here we are, coping up with a new way of living life. All those plans and resolutions you made in 2019 perhaps have not seen the true light.
How happy you would be in 2022 depends on how well you will cope with uncertainty in 2021.
If you are someone who focuses just on goals and ambitions and never on the present moment, then hey, the year 2020 is screaming that you should enjoy your present and not just focus on your goals.
Life could be completely different than what you think after a year. Your goals can change.
Not everything is supposed to go according to your plan, so learn to deal with uncertainty. Prepare for uncertain times.
2. You don’t need much stuff to live a good life
For the last 9 months, I have not visited any shopping mall, any supermarket, any restaurant, or any kind of shop.
And I have saved a lot of money just because of this.
This made me realize why I even used to spend money on unnecessary stuff.
It happens with most people. When you visit a mall, you can’t resist the temptation to buy new clothing, new shoes, or a new watch. And it seemed completely normal.
However, in 2020 I have not spent a single penny to buy new clothing, new shoes, or anything like that and it didn’t make me less happy.
In fact, it made me realize how satisfactory it is to become a minimalist.’
So after the pandemic gets over, think about the unnecessary money you spend on not so useful stuff.
Buying more has no effect on our happiness level and this year has taught us exactly that.
3. Your savings can save you
Imagine if Mr. X had almost no savings in 2019.
Although he had a decent job, he never paid enough attention to personal finance and saving money.
Then came the pandemic in 2020 and boom, Mr. X lost his job.
What then Mr. X did?
He blamed his company/organization, his boss, his country, the year 2020, etc.
Whereas, in reality, he is the actual culprit. He should blame himself.
Finance is a big part of our life. You have to deal with money all your life.
So you better get knowledge about personal finance. Here is a detailed article I wrote on personal finance.
Be smart with your money and prepare wisely for uncertain times.
4. If you are not growing, you could go extinct
Of course, you have heard things on personal growth, self-development, self-advancement, etc.
But a lot of people think what’s the point of personal growth, I am happy with what I am?
This year has given a concrete reason why personal growth is so crucial.
And it is not a synonym for getting a job. A lot of people who have jobs become stagnant after a certain time.
They are just doing the same thing day in day out and not learning anything new, they don’t feel the need to upgrade themselves.
Imagine for some reason if such people lose their job, what would they do.
Because they have not upgraded themselves, they perhaps have no skills and expertise required in today’s job market.
And exactly this has happened to a lot of people this year.
Many people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
Some of them got a new job very easily while some of them had an extremely tough time getting a new job.
If you keep on improving yourself, learn new and valuable skills, you don’t have to stress much about how bad the economy is or what if you lose your job.
There would be demand for you always.
I read somewhere a great line-
“Your worth is determined not by how hard you work, but how hard it is to replace you”
Invest in your learning and growth. It will give you tremendous returns in the future.
5. Technology is wonderful if we use it for better
Just a year back people were worried so much about the ill effects of technology.
About how technology is hampering our sleep, our brain, and our life.
And it is not wrong. Of course, people have become addicted to smartphones, video games, social media, etc.
But the year 2020 has made us realize the other side of technology also.
A lot of people are making their living by working from home. In fact, working from home has become common these days due to pandemic.
People are meeting with each other through video conferences, where even 100 or more people can join together.
Online learning has become so popular and common.
Utilizing technology a lot of people have started creating something.
Only this year, I have started my weekly newsletter where I talk about insightful ideas and books. You can subscribe if you haven’t already.
It’s been a great experience and I am learning so much by sharing my thoughts and ideas with people.
Technology has made all these possible.
The year 2020 will also be remembered as the year when technology has made a profound effect on making people’s lives smooth through education, communication, entertainment.
6. Your health is your biggest asset
Of course, everyone knows this but not many people actually realize it.
Imagine the time when you heard that people with weak immunity are more prone to coronavirus.
What were you thinking then?
You realized the importance of good health.
If tomorrow medical authorities of the world announce that only people with well-maintained health can survive in this world as more viruses are coming on their way.
What will you do?
You would do everything possible to improve your health.
Why wait for that emergency time to maintain your health.
Start now. Just look after what are you eating and if you are burning enough calory daily or not.
By becoming healthy, you will not only secure your health but secure your family’s well-being also.
If you haven’t realized the value of health in 2020, then you perhaps never will.
7. You don’t have as many friends as you think
How many friends you had a discussion with during lockdown this year?
I suppose not many.
It is perfectly normal. This year has taught me that I must clarify who my friends are and who are acquaintances.
This actually helps to set expectations from people.
In fact, studies have proved that not all of your friends actually like you.
It turns out that we are not good at judging who our friends are.
One of the ways to test friendship is to look at how friends (whom you think) behave in tough times.
This year has been tough for multiple reasons and has given me a chance to revise friendships.
8. You can contribute more to the world than you think
When people hear about contributing to the world, often they say ‘I don’t have a lot of money or power, how can I contribute’
The pandemic this year has become the reason for suffering for many people.
Many people are going through hardships.
It’s not just the responsibility of people with a lot of money or power to help people, you can also help people in your way.
A lot of people helped needy people during the lockdown by giving them food, shelter, and money.
There is no need for a pandemic to make us realize that we can also contribute to the betterment of the world.
Even if you help your deprived neighbor, you are making a contribution to the betterment of the world.
Next time, before complaining about why wealthy people are not helping poor people, do some introspection and ask yourself ‘have I done anything to contribute?’
These are some life lessons I learned in 2020.
How was your year? What have you learned this year?
Let me know in the comments section.
Wish you a prosperous and happy new year 2021.
May this year bring new achievements and new inspirations in your life.