20 Things This Year Taught Me
The year 2020 has been eventful, to say the least. In fact, “eventful” almost seems like an understatement considering the fact that at every moment there seemed to be some new monumental thing occurring this year. From things like the start of a global pandemic to losing legends, a lot of things that were once a part of our reality had been taken away from us in these past months. Although 2020 featured a pattern loss, it also offered up many lessons as well. Here are the main lessons 2020 gifted to me:
- Nothing means anything. This may sound crazy, but it is the main thing that kept me grounded during this crazy year. What this means is that most of the things we assign importance to don’t actually deserve it. Often times we have things that we overthink because we convince ourselves that this decision or situation will be a deciding factor for our future and that making the wrong choice will ruin things. However, this is often not the case. Sometimes the wrong choices put us on track towards the right path for us as an individual, so next time you’re deciding if you should take that leap that seems scary remember that even if it goes bad it is just another necessary step in your journey called life.
- It is okay to be scared. Fear is your body’s way of letting you know that it senses something that could potentially be a threat to you. Because of this fact, when something happens and you feel scared instead of brave, that is perfectly okay. The goal should not be to “not get scared” because fear is a physiological response controlled by your body. Instead, the goal should be to change the way we respond to this feeling (because fear will not go away until it is faced), so when possible (and not dangerous and/ or harmful) try going towards things you are afraid of for once. You may find out that many of your fears aren’t so scary at all.
- You need to have a relationship with yourself. We often tend to put a lot of emphasis on our relationships with others while ignoring ourselves. It is easy to forget our own needs when we have things like family, friends, and work/ responsibilities that constantly need our attention and always seem to be pulling us in every direction. Don’t be hard on yourself if you’re guilty of this, but do make an effort to make time for caring for yourself a little more than usual.
- Taking care of your health BEFORE it catches up to you is essential. Don’t wait for a medical professional to give you bad news for you to make a change. Eat better. Get active. Take care of yourself as a whole, inside and out, because you deserve it.
- Everyone in your life serves a purpose. Some are meant to stay for a short while, and others are meant to stay for a lifetime. When a connection begins to dwindle, do not force it. Try your best to maintain it, but if your best isn’t good enough let it (them) go. Losing people is not a reflection of your worth. It just means it’s time for them to go so you can enter a new chapter, and that is okay.
- Being alone is a gift. Isolation was the hardest part for a lot of people during this pandemic. Not knowing if it is safe to see friends and family and being afraid to give or receive physical affection has taken a toll on a lot of us. However, there is something beautiful about being in isolation by yourself or with those immediately in your home because it gives you the opportunity to prioritize and bond with the people closest to you.
- Don’t take things personally. The way people treat you can have nothing to do with you as an individual. If you haven’t caused harm to someone and they treat you negatively, remember that is a reflection of them and not you. End of story.
- Be your own biggest supporter. Oftentimes people will not understand you. They will think your ideas are crazy, your emotions are irrational, etc. This reality is usually unavoidable, and that is okay. Some journeys only have enough room for you to travel through by yourself. Embrace this, and go towards your goals relentlessly whether you have the support of others or not.
- Look forward. You cannot go back, so setting your focus in that direction is not helpful. It is normal to think of the past, but do not allow yourself to live in it. Instead, set goals to set you up for a future that’s exponentially better than anything you look back on from the past.
- Be open to the idea that you know nothing. Oftentimes we think we know everything we need to know, and this can hinder us from gaining new knowledge that can be helpful and potentially essential to us. Basically, be humble enough to know that there’s always something to learn, and don’t be too prideful to accept the lessons life gifts us with.
- The day you plant the seed isn’t the day you eat the fruit. You should not expect success without consistency. Yes, there are people who blow up on the internet overnight, get that top job position or into that college because they have connections, etc. Do not pay attention to that. Your story is not theirs. If there is something you want that you don’t have, prepare yourself to work hard. Don’t expect miracles because that often leads to disappointment. There is a quote that I love and believe everyone should live by: “Hard work puts you where good luck can find you.”
- Appreciate the little things. This one is self-explanatory (and somewhat cliche) but I feel like it is still important to mention. It is easy to let those small happy moments pass by without too much thought. Life is so much better when you start making it a habit to be intentional about being 100% present and appreciative of things that may seem mundane or not monumental. Remember, if it makes you happy it is important, no matter how small.
- People are meant to disagree. Everyone is not meant to be carbon copies of one another. Differences are what makes humans special. You may not agree with everyone, and everyone may not always agree with you.
- Purpose pushes you forward. Finding your purpose is a great way to reset your outlook on life. Even if you do not know what exactly you want to do in life, identifying your purpose (what you want to leave the world with) can help you find a general direction to start moving towards.
- Attention isn’t everything. In the age of social media it is extremely hard, whether subconsciously or not, to not quantify your worth with trivial things such as likes and followers. Put some effort towards retraining your brain to understand that your worth is determined by you, not those around you (or those on the internet).
- Don’t take yourself so seriously. Learn to embrace your mess-ups and let loose a little. Life is so much happier this way.
- Change happens without you realizing it. Basically, when in doubt try to trust the process.
- Being alive doesn’t mean you’re living. Discover things that make your heart smile.
- Don’t give up when things get tough. Push through, you got this!
- Stay consistent and fight against self-doubt. This is pretty self-explanatory. consistency is the key to success. Doing things over and over often exposes the areas that we need to improve, as well as gives us the experience needed to get to the next level of what we are working towards and confidence in our capabilities.
Hope these words helped someone. And if you’re reading this, keep going! I believe in you!