My year in review; 10 lessons from 2021 that changed my life

My year in review; 10 lessons from 2021 that changed my life

Joy Nwaiwu's photo
Joy Nwaiwu
·Dec 31, 2021·

4 min read

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When any year comes to a close, we’re filled with a level of excitement that only seems to crop up at this time of year. Reflecting on your year is to look back, note down the highs and lows, the things you liked, moments you experienced, and the lessons you learned. I’ve never been particular about a year review but this article stems from a conversation I had with a friend earlier this month while we casually talked about our achievements and losses.

For real, reflecting back on these past 12 months and beyond is somewhat a weird feeling. It comes with a rush of mixed emotions and definitely excitement for a brand new chapter and a clean slate. I have come to realize that every experience, every moment we face is a lesson, and a lesson will keep presenting itself until you commit and finally take a stab at it. I’m summing it up to 10 lessons, all emanating from personal experiences during the year.

Lesson 1

  • Your online reputation can make or mar you.

    For a second, stop to think about your actions online. It is very easy to fall into the loop of rants and bants in various social media spaces but have you ever considered how that might affect you in the long run? Just like public learning and putting yourself out there for potential recruiters to spot you, it is also important to apply caution in certain engagements or controversies that might hinder your chances at the next big thing.

Lesson 2

  • Do not underestimate the value of people.

    One thing I’m taking with me from my people experience in 2021 is; Be picky about the people you keep around you. You are a product of those you surround yourself with, so make sure they’re the best.

Lesson 3

  • Naivety is not synonymous with humility.

    It’s dangerous to be naive but even harder not to be.

Lesson 4

  • There isn’t one “right” answer to most decisions.

    2021 taught me that life isn’t a multiple-choice or true/false question. There are several uncertainties and factors that come to play as time goes on. A decision you made a year ago may no longer be the best thing for you today and that’s okay. As long as you keep what’s truly important to you at the center of your life, you’ll eventually end up where you’re meant to be.

Lesson 5

  • You won’t solve anything by dwelling on the problem or unknown. Quit worrying about what you cant control.

    Like the popular saying; Do your best and let God handle the rest!

When next you feel overwhelmed by issues listen to Ale Yi by Zlatan or No Wahala by 1da Banton. Thank me later! 😉

Lesson 6

  • Take a leap of faith!

    Until you spread your wings, you’ll have no idea how far you can fly, and while at it, stop being afraid of what could go wrong, be excited about everything that can go right.

Lesson 7

  • If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.

    Being scared is part of being alive. Accept it and walk through it.

Lesson 8

  • Comparison is the thief of joy.

    When next you think you can help but compare yourself to others, remember that no one else is you. You are unique and that’s your superpower!

Lesson 9

  • You are not finished when you’re defeated; you’re finished when you quit.

    When next you feel like quitting, think about why you started. It takes a dream to get started, a desire to keep going, and determination to finish!

Lesson 10

  • If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

    Invest in the right things and people because you will need it!

One of my biggest scare this year was testing positive to COVID-19 and a huge win was earning in different foreign currencies 🤑. With each of these experiences and lessons, I came to understand that we all have unique races to run and what matters most is how well you finish yours.

Sometimes we think too much about what could lie ahead, forgetting to absorb those good and bad moments that make us into who we are today. With these 12 new months ahead, these lessons will remind and keep me in check to make 2022 better than ever with new goals and targets to crush.

2021 was a journey of ups and downs. Was it easy? No! Was it worth it? Absolutely!

Can you relate to some of these lessons? Feel free to share your thoughts or how your year has been.

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