2020: A Year Like No Other
2020, a year that was life-changing for some, thought-provoking for some and a complete gift for others. The unusual turn of events this year showed us that in spite of all the technological advances we have made, no one was able to predict this pandemic which changed life as we knew it. Covid-19 made 2020 a year we will never forget.
Walking into 2020
I distinctly remember thinking at the end of 2019, which at that time, I felt was a less than average year, that 2020 would be my year. A year to explore and experience things differently. I don’t know why I felt that but, something about it being 2020 felt special.
The expo was going to take place in Dubai and there was a buzz about the activity it would generate and that things would start looking up and moving forward again. The feeling of doom and gloom had been around all of 2019 and it felt like it was all going to come to an end in 2020. As I said, it felt special.
Oh Boy..... was I and many others like me way off the mark. 2020 was nothing like any of us could ever have imagined.
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BTT (Before 20/20), many of us, due to our busy schedules, had taken many things for granted, especially relationships and the role that every person plays in our life. We did not have time to appreciate people until we lost the ability to connect to even our nearest and dearest ones, so unexpectedly. We probably did not appreciate the meals, our jobs, our health, mother nature, or, for that matter, life in general, until we came so close to losing everything. And some, have lost a lot already, if not all.
As the year draws to a close, we all cannot wait for it to end. The year will end but my hope is that the lessons learned from it should never be forgotten, for it taught us a lot about ourselves.
Simple tasks such as going to the grocery store, the salon, the coffee shop or even walking in the park has become a treat. Our freedom to move, to go places has been restricted to such a degree that for some, every small trip out of the house seems like a 'get out of jail free' card. Whether you stayed indoors or continued to go out, this pandemic created a new normal for all of us.
For those who always complained about not having enough time for their partners, children and friends, I hope you appreciated the time you got when, everything that kept you busy, was taken away and all you had is, time. Did you enjoy this time with those who were important? If yes, then you are blessed. If no, then time was never the problem in the first place.
For those who always complained about how much they hated their jobs, I hope this time gave you what you wanted. Whether it was an opportunity to quit that job and focus on what you want to do instead or, realize you don’t really hate your job at all.
For those who always complained about not having time to look after their mental and physical health by cooking healthy meals, exercising, meditating or doing what it takes, I hope you utilized this time to focus on yourself and realized that without a healthy mind and body, there is no way to truly be happy. When all else is taken away, all we have is ourselves.
That this pandemic was a wake-up call for all, cannot be denied by anyone. But, how we will remember the pandemic will depend on how we faced the challenges that came our way, because this is an indicator of how we face challenges in general.
So, did you roll up your sleeves and find a way to handle what came your way, whether it was the lock-down or loss of your job, or being separated from family and friends or looking after your health even whilst being stuck indoors? OR did you find excuses to procrastinate even though you had all the time in the world but no will power to do anything productive.
You can have very good intentions, but if you do not take action to turn things in your favor, nothing will ever change. Because any number multiplied by zero is still zero. What that means is, Intention without action is just a bunch of thoughts that cannot materialize.
Move, Do, Be.... Go forth and conquer your fears and let your dreams become reality.
Yes I know motivational speeches sound great and they even make you feel like you can do it when you hear them and then.... all that burst of enthusiasm can fizzle out as quickly as it bubbled up. So, here is what to do and how to do it. Make it a habit to do what makes you happy without allowing fear to constantly stop you in your tracks.
Habits, are something we have instilled early on in life, and some we acquire later in life through our efforts. The classic example of developing disciplined habits would be of an army or navy personnel, or a doctor or pilot; the rigorous training they undergo makes many things that we struggle with ‘their second nature’. Studies indicate that it can take anywhere between three weeks to more than eight months to make something a habit. Honestly, I’ve heard this but there is no definitive proof that this works. So let's just get used to the emotion a good habit creates. If you are not feeling good about a habit you have formed, the chances of you keeping it, are very very low. So, for example, if you have been eating healthy for months but, it makes you miserable instead of happy and energetic, eventually, you will get tired of being miserable and quit.
Procrastination is topmost reason we fail to achieve our goals. We tell ourself, not today, not now, maybe tomorrow or next week, and so on and so forth and the right time never arrives. I always say, if I cannot do it today, what new magical energy will make me do it tomorrow?
So let's take baby steps instead of procrastinating because we want to take giant leaps. For example, instead of taking time out to exercise, we can start with taking the stairs instead of the elevator; instead of going on a strict diet, we can start with avoiding sugar in our morning coffee or tea or replacing one junk food item and adding one fruit every week; going for a 10 min walk twice a week; or setting an intention to do a 5 min meditation before going to bed. Let's remember that the journey of 10,000 steps starts with the first step and there is no hurry to get to 10,000 steps today, as long as you take the first one and build it up.
The one thing that 2020 has taught us is that our Comfort-Zone can be taken away at any time, so instead of being stuck there, lets look for our Happy-Zone and work hard to stay there. Nothing exciting ever happens in the Comfort-Zone.
With love and warm wishes – May you all have a Happy & Healthy New Year & create memories in 2021 that will make it stand out for all the right reasons.
Until Next Time,
Kanchan 'Looking for my Happy-Zone' Kulkarni
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