As the year comes to an end, we can’t wait to bid goodbye to 2021. Each year around this time, I enjoy taking a few moments to reflect on some life lessons that I learned over the last 12 months. 

Chances are, as you look back on the last 12 months, you feel a raft of mixed emotions about it.

I believe we all have learned some valuable life lessons this year. 

Here are my top 11 life lessons that I’ve learned in 2021.

Consider them 2021 takeaways to build a new year with new opportunities, new strength and new resilience in 2022.   



1. Work Like A Lion. Rest. Repeat. 

Have you ever shared your dream/aspirations with your family/friends, only for them to not understand or be unable to relate? 

If yes, it is okay. We all have been there. 

This is by far one of the most important life lessons for me. Let us normalize a fact that some people are not wired to work from 9 to 5. Having said that, if your goal is to do creative work, inspire people, then “work like a lion”. 

As the famous Naval Ravikant, philosopher-investor says, “Work like a lion. Not a Cow”. While cows constantly work and graze the whole day to keep themselves nourished and energetic, lions rest until they see an opportunity and pounce!

We need to work in short, creative, powerful bursts – like lion hunting.

Sprint when inspired. Rest. Repeat.

2. Do Not Underestimate The Power Of Small Habits 

When I started my blog, I posted once in 2-3 months on my website. I could not juggle between frequent travels, freelancing assignments, social media deadlines, family and procrastination!  

As cliché as it sounds, I turned to a book for help, Atomic Habits by James Clear. This ground-breaking book, Mr Clear shows how your tiny habits will make you 1% better every day.

I soon comprehended that writing content takes time and effort beyond belief. Taking action on an everyday basis is the only solution. 

Usually, we overestimate what we can accomplish in a day and underestimate what we can accomplish in a year. To overcome this, I focus on small daily habits/actions, which will eventually, compound over long term benefits. 

Tiny habits go a long way. To achieve big goals, start with small daily habits.

3. We Are A Lot More Resilient Than We Think

There are days when we feel hopeless, frustrated and overwhelmed. That’s perfectly natural.

But, somewhere this year, we all have realized that we can get through more than we thought. 

Sometimes, awful times in your life acts as good training. Such experiences teach us about uncertainties in life and a lesson that we don’t know what’s going to happen next.

A survey conducted by Camille Sweeney and Josh Gosfield, co-authors of Art of Doing has surprising results.

They surveyed to examine how people coped with pandemic and economic crises. The survey gathers not only information but also asks the respondents to reflect upon their expectations. 

The result was the spirit of positivity and gratitude expressed by people. There were many realizations people began to experience during the pandemic.

Today, I plan as best as I can, but now I’m far more able to regulate my thinking. I can cope with life’s unexpected slings and arrows, and accept the difficulties. At least I know that I can keep going.   

I was reading an article that said that an individual’s resilience is dictated by the combination of genetics, personal history, environment. So far, the research has shown that “genetics” play relatively a smaller role!

Turns out, each of us has to figure out what our particular challenges are and then determine how to get them through. Be in the moment. 

If someone had told you in 2020 that you’ll be hit by a pandemic coupled with economic depression, what would you have expected of yourself? Would you have thought you’d turn yourself into a baker, explore culinary skills, make customized masks? 

Perhaps, you’re more resilient, and have a more positive attitude than you ever thought! 

4. Not Everything Is Within Your Control. Accept it. 

Acknowledge that not everything is under your control. 

Of course, we can control our actions but, we cannot control every event occurring in our lives. Let go of the things you don’t have control over.

Life is full of uncertainties. Adapt it and start navigating through this uncertainty. 

Today, the more I am okay with not knowing everything, the more at peace I feel. 

On one of my Yoga retreats, I met a yoga teacher who told me, “The only thing constant in our lives is our inner joy”. It has taken five years for me to understand the depth of this statement. 

Joy comes from a wide range of things, and probably we miss seeing that. It can be as simple as reading a book, taking a walk, talking to a friend, eating a good meal or sipping hot tea. 

Nobody can take your inner joy because it comes from within. 

Here’s to dealing with life and all its uncertainties. Keep moving forward.  

5. Embrace Your Evolution, Be Confident And Own Your Story

We are constantly growing into a new version of ourselves. What we wanted or who we were five years ago, might have totally changed now.  

If you had told me five years ago that this would be life and I would be doing what I love, I wouldn’t have believed. 

Confidence is really hard to build. It’s easy to knock it down. From being an underconfident person to believing in myself fully, I have come a long way. I own my journey. 

I have realized that your personal evolution is an ongoing process, and by embracing it:

  • You’ll be happier.
  • It will provide clarity to your vision.
  • You’ll make better decisions.
  • It will motivate you.
  • You’ll learn to say No.
  • You’ll gain perspective. 

Take charge of your evolution and own it, even it’s a little messy and crazy. If you aren’t evolving, you are not growing. Period.

6. Supportive Squad In, Toxic People Out

Do what makes you happy, and forget the haters. 

Go out there and be a successful blogger, baker, writer, dancer or even a magical unicorn! Be anything that you want to be. Don’t let anyone stand in your way.

Pal up with truth-tellers. We all need at least one person who tells the truth, give constructive feedback and help you grow. They are a treasure. Preserve them.

Kick out toxic people who drain out your energy and create self-doubts and laugh at your ambitions.

If you want to free yourself from unnecessary stress, drive out people who are pulling you down or insecure to appreciate your worth. 

Be with your supportive squad. The future is bright. 

7. Prioritize Your Family & Loved Ones

The pandemic made me realize that life is short and fragile. You’ll regret not spending time with your loved ones.

It is a privilege to spend quality time with your loved ones. Now go plan something with your family, if you haven’t already. 

Go ahead and express your love for them. Do it after you read this. Trust me, it’s priceless.

8. Reset Your Mind, Body, And Soul

We all need a little healing. I’m a big believer in taking care of your mind, body, and soul every single day. 

Once your mind, body, and soul get the attention they deserve, you’ll feel rejuvenated. 

If you wish to get unstuck, go for walks or meditate. Forget your phone. No music, no podcast. Just You, your thoughts and fresh air.

When you let your mind wander, you process things better. I guarantee this – it works.

Always remember, self-care is for everyone. It’s not an indulgence but a necessity.

Loving yourself has never been so important. To learn more about self-love, click here.

If you ever feel that you’re in a rut, press the reset button and get yourself back on track. 

9. Adversity Creates Opportunities 

I enjoy reading stories of entrepreneurs – their courage and passion.

I am not travelling much in the past two years due to obvious reasons. There were times when I felt rumblings of frustration as months passed by, and I was still at home. 

I told myself this is what I do – travel and create content. Now what? But for the sake of my survival, I had to persist in my belief. To my surprise, I realized during the pandemic my love for writing a diversity of topics – Travel and non-travel. 

I regularly undertake courses to hone my skills and gain expertise. 

It is something that I did not explore earlier. Now, I ghostwrite for multiple travel companies, create content for small entrepreneurs, manage their social handles! Now, there’s no looking back.

Adversity allows us the opportunity to find out what we are capable of, to develop our likes, dislikes, strength and weaknesses. 

Adversity is opportunity. Grab it.

10. Build New Circles And Nurture The Old

The most important thing you can ever do for your social life is to build circles. Remember, you can make new friends at any point in your life.

If you are not making new friends, you’re actually making less! 

People change, relocate to different parts of the world, develop new interests etc. So if you are not constantly trying to meet new people, then, you’re going to have fewer and fewer people to hang out with / talk to. 

Build new circles and nurture the old. That’s how we all grow. When one person wins, we all win.

11. Gratitude And Nothing Else 

Tough situations present a great opportunity for gratitude. 

In a world where we begin every new year with a list of countries that we want to visit, we have today learned to be grateful to appreciate greenery in our house, be able to meet a small circle of friends and family and spend quality time with them. 

The fact that we wake up alive with fresh air in our lungs, that’s something I am grateful for. I have learned to be filled with gratitude for every little blessing and will never take anything for granted. 

Tons of studies have shown that practicing gratitude increases mood, happiness, confidence, and shifts your focus towards good things in life. 

Gratitude leads to happiness, and it’s not the other way around. 

That a wrap!

There is no doubt that 2022 has much in store for us. Let us use 2021 as a tool and use all its challenges, opportunities, positives and achievements to move forward.

We thought we’d end this year with a quote from one of our favourite authors, Oscar Auliq-Ice “New beginnings are in order, and you are bound to feel some level of excitement as new chances come your way” 

Let’s make 2022 better than the last.

Team A Lawyer’s Voyage wishes you a happy New Year! Stay safe, and stay healthy. 

You may also like to read 7 Reasons Why You Should Love Your Company

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