24 Invaluable Lessons From 2020

“Learning how to focus and prioritize your thoughts effectively based on finely honed personal values is perhaps the greatest and most important struggle in life.”

– Mark Manson. 

“In a crisis, the inevitable suffering that life entails can rapidly make a mockery of the idea that happiness is the proper pursuit of the individual.”

– Jordan B. Peterson

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”

– Sigmund Freud

I’ve always felt that a period of reflection does more for the soul than sitting down to outline any goals for the year. When we take the time to reflect on our values. When we look deeply at how we have failed to live up-to them. I believe it’s through a deeper reflection that we can derive the most insight. It’s from those lessons that the goals we really want to chase after become clear. Those goals becoming, in turn, an expression of those values. An expression of the things that make you feel whole. That make you feel integral.

Something a fellow blogging buddy of mine said in response to my earlier post, The Things That I Will Miss got me thinking. He said – to paraphrase slightly – “It’s not so much the things that I will miss but the things that I have learnt.” And so I thought, as part of my personal end of year review, I’d ask the question to you dear readers:

What are the things that you’ve learnt from this most tumultuous 2020?

To get the ball rolling (and for a bit of fun) I’ve put together the following list. A kind of rough draft taken from a quick look back at what I’ve written this year. It’s far from polished but then again – it’s the holidays! Anyway here you are – 24 Invaluable Lessons From 2020. I hope you enjoy.

  1. Hope without action is dangerous.
  2. If you can’t act you must accept.
  3. Acceptance is something you must practise.
  4. Honesty is the ultimate form of kindness.
  5. Honesty has to be the gold standard by which we measure our leaders.
  6. Protecting our freedoms means protecting the truth.
  7. The truth is hard. Avoiding it is harder.
  8. The truth is more important than your emotions.
  9. Freedom and responsibility are synonymous
  10. Think as one. Always assume a position of collective responsibility.
  11. You are either being racist or anti-racist. There is no such thing as “not racist.”
  12. No black. No white. Only grey.
  13. We must embrace our demons.
  14. It’s ok to cry (especially as a man).
  15. Looking after yourself = looking after others.
  16. Happiness does not exist without gratitude.
  17. A question for clarifying motivation: Am I doing this because of love or fear?
  18. The other side of shame is a better person.
  19. Better is better than perfect.
  20. Routine has everything to do with developing a growth mindset.
  21. Enthusiasm increases intelligence.
  22. Success is what you alone define.
  23. Spirituality = Awareness
  24. Prepare for the worst. Believe in yourself. Expect nothing.

Thanks for Reading Ladies and Gentlemen. I am of course curious, what have you have learnt this year? What would be on your list? As always I welcome ALL thoughts and opinions. Let me finish by saying it’s been an absolute pleasure connecting with all of you this year. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. To each and every one of you – for lifting me up. For making me think. For challenging me. For making me laugh. For everything. You have been a life line for me. I wish you all an infinitely brighter 2021. AP2 X

19 thoughts on “24 Invaluable Lessons From 2020

  • Many great lessons here and many appear on my list too. If I had to pick one from your list that resonates with me most it’s happiness cannot exist without gratitude. Happy new year and all the best in 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ab. Yes I practise gratitude every morning and every night. And in between I’m trying to implement as much of it as I can. Happy new year Ab! And all the best to you and yours in 2021 too! 🙏


  • well said! In 2021 I plan to write some articles on Daoism, and the resolution no black\no white only grey resonates with the idea of yin\yang – how reality is shaped by opposing idea, light\dark, positive\negative, chaos\order etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hey pilot! My list is much shorter than yours. In fact everybody’s list will be shorter — I mean 24? Seriously? Maybe shorter lists should be on your resolution list good buddy? Lol! Just kidding Ace! After all, a little fun, including good nature ribbing was sorely missing this year. More the year of doom and gloom and I say good riddance to her!

    So what did I learn from 2020? That Crisis, brings out the best and the worst in humanity. That one’s true colors shine through and all pretense falls away in a time of crisis. I saw both caring human beings helping each other survive and those who turned inwardly selfish, both in actions and ideals and sadly regardless the harm to others.

    I learned, much to my horror, that there are indeed many of this ilk. In fact, there are many more than I could of possibly imagined! For me 2020 was an eye-opener and humanity now forever — uncloaked! All the best in the New Year my friend! For you and yours from The Word of Wayne!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha Wayne 🤣. Don’t you dare change in the new year you hear me. Blogging wouldn’t be the same without your banter bringing me back to earth.

      Best and worst of humanity is the way to put it. Its when the best doesn’t stand up that the worst win. Let’s hope this is the wake up call for the best to stand. Actually let’s not hope. Let’s act.

      Happy new year buddy. All the best to you and yours too! 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  • We all learned so much this year .Being grateful has always helped me see clearly, more than ever in 2020.It makes you aware of the “NOW” .It helps you focus on what you have in present and teaches you to value that,Yes! Happiness can’t exist without gratitude .
    “Wear gratitude like a cloak and it
    will feed every corner of your life.” RUMI
    Happy New Year to you and yours !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Barb. Very well said. I’ve done the island thing. It’s a miserable way to live. Together is the way forward. It’s has to be. Wishing you well in the year ahead 🙏


  • The first quote resonates with me. I need to find a balance in my life, managing my time to achieve priorities. My other goal is to continue simplifying my life, getting rid of unused possessions, and streamlining routines.

    I found this post interesting, especially your personal list. Happy New Year, AP. The birth of a child is a joyous event. All the best to you and your family in 2021! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cheryl. Often we think we need add something when so often we need to simplify. Less really is more. Perhaps a second child wasn’t such a smart move 😂. Happy 2021 Cheryl. I sincerely look forward to more conversations then. It’s been such a pleasure connecting with you this past year. All the best 🙏😊


  • I raised my older daughter as an only child. I think having a sibling would have been nice. 🙂 I am not quite 20 years older than she is. She is 21 years older than her next sibling! 🙂

    I know you are joking about the wisdom of having a second child. It will be OK! ❤ Happy New Year! I enjoy conversations with you as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Great list!
    I think #3, 9, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, and 24 are absolutely spot-on!
    #11 and #12 appear to contradict each other. What’s the context for #12?
    #15 – I think there is a truth in here, but I’m not sure it’s best represented by “=” sign. Taking care of yourself can be a form of taking care of others (as it puts you in a better place to help others) and taking care of others can be a form of taking care of yourself (as it can give you meaning and satisfaction), however, I don’t think they are synonymous generally.
    But overall, I like this list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. #11 is to do with thinking about racism a little differently. #12 is about thinking in terms of right or wrong. That it is better to think not in terms of black or white but grey. To consider not being right but in terms of trying to be a little less wrong. Which brings me nicely to #15. You’re right it’s not exactly right to use an = sign. But you understood the point I was trying to make with it well. It was very much a rough draft. I probably should have spent a bit more time on it but thought I’d just throw it out there.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m glad you liked the list 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

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