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Lessons I Learned In 2021

2021 not only brought big changes, but it also reminded me of some important lessons that helped get me through the year, especially during the darkest times.

I was aware of most of these lessons, but 2021 truly helped me enforce them in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful at embodying a more balanced and positive mindset and lifestyle.

In Life...

You don’t have to be good at it, you just have to do it.

I was the type of person who would easily get frustrated when I don’t do something perfectly on my first or second try. I felt like a failure when it would happen to me. Throughout the years, especially in 2021, I learned the art of taking baby steps – as in to take on any new challenge with a slow, careful, but determined approach. No matter how many times they fall, they always get back up again.

I’ve learned that I won’t always get things perfectly the first couple of rounds. And it is through my blog that I’m actually experiencing this lesson. I look back at my old writing and topics, and with every post I do, I find myself understanding what works for me, what doesn’t, what I enjoy doing, how I prefer doing things, and so forth. And I will continue to learn new things in this field and fall deeper in love with my passion the more I actually put in my work, see what comes out of them, make any necessary changes or improvements, and keep going forward.

I don’t have to be good at it, I just have to do it.

“Once you question your own belief, it’s over.” -Uzumaki Naruto, Naruto

I’ve struggled a lot with what I want to do with this career path, especially not seeing the results I expected to have accomplished within certain time frames. I found myself being emotionally drained by having constant fear and doubt in this line of work, and in my own self.

And then I smacked my head for going as far as doubting myself because I began questioning how I would feel if I simply ended everything I put my heart and soul into. I took this path because, first and foremost, I believe I am capable and worthy of achieving the blessings I have set out for myself when taking this path. I firmly believe that this is the road I’m meant to be on, and no matter how long it takes for me to reach a destination, I shall enjoy the little things, and possibly pick up extra blossoms, along the way.

Once I question my own belief, it’s over.

Release control.

I hated the unknown. I needed to know the results before wanting to take on the process. I saw no point in constantly needing to know everything because many of the best things that have happened to me throughout the years happened from not knowing they were coming.

Work towards a goal, but don’t force results to happen this way or that way. Not everything has to be set in stone.

Release control.

“You’re going to fail a lot of times before things work out…You can’t quit because you’re afraid you might fail.” -Prince Zuko, Avatar: The Last Airbender

Another lesson I’ve been working on for some time now. After accepting and understanding failure, I began to see changes in how I react at moments when I do fail at something. Sure I still get upset, but it amazes me at how quickly it’s becoming for me to release that failure and tackle the task again with a different mindset, different perspective, and getting the results I want eventually.

It sucks to fail, but I can’t be successful either if I don’t try at all. At least when I fail, I learn something from them, reassess everything, and have another go at it. Society has ingrained in our heads that failure is something to be ashamed of, and it’s instilled this huge fear in our hearts to not fail. But without fail, we don’t get the experience, we don’t get the extra knowledge, and we don’t get the perseverance to want to keep getting up.

I’m going to fail a lot of times before things work out…I can’t quit because I’m afraid I might fail.

Let go of those who you constantly have to question your worth for.

I have released a couple of people who I felt no longer in alignment with and who I always wondered if I was as important to them as they were to me. If I did find myself harboring doubt and sadness towards the memories and recent experiences with certain people, it’s time to let them go.

This goes hand in hand with the saying that in order for new things to come into our life, we need to release the old. As a recurring theme with the lessons I’ve learned in 2021, I have been hoarding dozens of memories, people, and objects in my heart that it’s difficult for the door to open for anyone and anything else. Some might squeeze through here and there, but they’re still being overshadowed by the rusting past.

It’s time to let go of those who I constantly have to question my worth.

Pay it forward.

I always experienced that when someone does kindness towards me, I wanted to show kindness back to them because that’s human empathy. And it is still often a beautiful trait to have, and a friend of mine taught me something that’s just as, if not more, beautiful as paying it back – paying it forward.

It’s like one of those challenges you see online where people would pay for the food for the customers behind or in front of them in the drive-thru. Once the customer who received the act of kindness reaches the front window and is told of the act, the customer who instigated the kindness first is most likely no longer there, so the customer, if they choose to do so, returns their kindness by paying for the food for the next customer in line, thus paying it forward.

Listening can be the biggest help you can offer someone.

It’s in my system to offer advice or do something to help out someone in need. I guess it’s a way for me to help them step out of the dark clouds because I’ve had my fair share of heavy rainstorms, and it sucks. I never would want anyone, especially those I love, to go through such hurdles and pain that I want to do everything I can to show them that at least they can make it through.

A close friend confided in me with their troubles. I felt helpless at not having the knowledge or experience to help them through it. All I did at that time was sit and give them my undivided attention as they poured out their emotions. I’d constantly apologize for not doing or saying much to help them, and surprisingly, they were surprised at my apology because doing what I did has helped them tremendously. And I began realizing what they mean. I’ve vented to friends face to face and through messages. Every time I was able to let my emotions speak freely, even when they’re just listening or if they hadn’t read my messages, I always managed to feel better because, at the end of the day, I didn’t keep my thoughts and feelings bottled in. I allowed them to be freed from my mind, thus feeling lighter. Most of the time, we don’t need to receive advice or other physical forms of help. We simply need a release – whether they’re hiking to the tallest mountain and yelling at the top of our lungs or going to the gym and punching some punching bags or venting to someone we trust.

Listening can be the biggest help I can offer someone.

Good things take time.

I wanted results as soon as possible. It took me years to realize that dozens of the beautiful, jaw-dropping results we see take place have been results of weeks, months, and even years of process and development. Obviously, though, I was/am aware that there are some that do take a much longer time to complete, such as construction projects. But for other projects – losing weight, gaining an audience, expanding a business or brand – I had to learn to be more patient in achieving. And even when I’d achieve the set goal I originally had for these, I understand that I’ll continue to set higher goals as more I accomplish, and I could be waiting during these moments again.

There’s no need to rush. I am where I need to be and as long as I stay true and passionate with what I’m doing, working like a lion, and having fun with each step of my journey, I’m going to see the results that I’ve always dreamt of experiencing.

Good things take time.

“Let your anger out, and then let it go.” -Avatar Aang, Avatar: The Last Airbender

This advice has helped me a lot this last year. I’ve always bottled up my emotions until they’re filled to the brim. Then, with one extra drop of something that usually doesn’t get me upset, the bottle explodes, and I end up in tears after.

One way that’s really helped me release my anger is journaling out my emotions. I’ve mentioned that I sometimes vent through messages, and usually, a couple of minutes later, I end up feeling better even without the other person reading or replying to my message. And I’d delete the message(s) for both parties if they haven’t been read yet. I always feel much lighter afterward and sometimes forget how angry I became because by writing (typing) out my feelings, I’ve let my anger go.

Let my anger out, and then let it go.

Tell your loved ones that you love and appreciate them as often as you can.

With the increased rate of innocent lives lost that we’ve seen or experienced throughout the years, and more so during pandemics, I began expressing my love and appreciation towards my loved ones as often as I can because we really don’t know when our last day in the physical world will be.

I’ve also learned to deeply cherish every moment I have with them, even if we’re just talking on video chat or doing errands or are silently on our phones but still in the same physical location – every second I get to see, hear, and feel their voice, laughter, and physical presence, I will forever embrace.

I’m telling my loved ones that I love and appreciate them as often as I can.

You can only fly once you are willing to give up the safety of your cocoon.

A caterpillar can’t become a butterfly if it doesn’t break out of its cocoon. I learned that I can’t allow myself to grow, learn, and experience if I limit myself to what I deem is safe and I’m already comfortable with. I’ve done this a couple of times in the past without ever really thinking about it, and now that I’m more aware of occasionally having to break out from the situations and experiences that I’ve already overcome and got accustomed to, I’m learning to embrace change and taking a leap of faith.

I can only fly once I am willing to give up the safety of my cocoon.

Work like a lion.

I honestly never knew there was a certain phrase to describe the lesson of sprinting as hard as you can while the inspiration is there, resting, and repeating.

And of course, this doesn’t mean to literally sprint. I’ve had moments where the ideas are all just pouring inside my head and I’m typing about 100 words per minute because I didn’t want to lose that train of thought. And the whole time it’s as if I was somewhere else because my mind and fingers were sprinting to bring out the inspiration before it dies down again. And once it dries down, it takes me a while to find it again – sometimes even a day or two before I regain that rhythm.

It’s okay to rest even if it’s only taken you 5-10 minutes of sprinting. You don’t want to over-exert yourself to the point of physical and mental exhaustion. Just like a lion, feel free to use your resting period as a time to reevaluate your strategy (or reassess what you already have and work from there).

Work like a lion.

“My motto is to be stronger than yesterday, if I have to I’ll be stronger than half a day ago, even a minute ago!” -Rock Lee, Naruto

Any change is a good change. Any movement is a forward movement. I can’t expect to be at 100% if I don’t make it through 0-99%. The only person I need to and should compare myself to is the person I was yesterday. I’m always finding ways to live my life each day more fulfilling and grateful than the day before, even if it’s to smile myself in the mirror.

Writing one paragraph in one day is better than writing nothing at all. If I keep moving, doing even the tiniest thing that helps me in my professional and/or personal life, I’ve already gone up a percentage. Waking up and taking a breather makes me stronger than I was a second ago.

My motto is to be stronger than yesterday, if I have to I’ll be stronger than half a day ago, even a minute ago.

Carrying that glass of water only hurts yourself more the longer you hold on to it.

This is the biggest lesson I value the strongest. I’ve been carrying so much water for many years, holding on to the thought that it’s the least I could do to punish myself for all the pain I caused others. And a friend had to remind me who am I to punish myself. If there’s anyone doing the punishing it would be Karma.

I’m probably the only one holding on to the glass of water whereas others have already spilled theirs. All I had to do is simply turn my hand upside down, release the water, and give my arms and hands the relief that they deserve. There’s not enough space in my heart to continue holding on to things that happened years ago and expecting to add happier moments of my life in there as well.

Carrying that glass of water only hurts me the longer I hold on to it.

Keep being inspired and take care always,


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