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Every December, I sit down to reflect and condense my learnings from the year gone by. Needless to say, the past 366 days were packed with lessons of a deeper and different kind. Here’s a list of what 2020 taught me:

  • Jumping sideways is progress too, not just moving forward. Give yourself credit for not being stuck. 
  • Those who never miss a chance to remind you that you have changed must also not forget that they were incapable of making your last version feel convinced and loved to stay the same. 
  • The one who is offering must give with the awareness that when the winds of fortune are unfavorable, the taking back must not outshine what was once given. 
  • Don’t let other people’s tall Everest stop you from building your own tiny stupa. Their accomplishments must encourage you; not eliminate you from the game. 
  • Happiness is a fountain we try to contain in our bucket-sized life. Only to be left disappointed, complaining and worked up. How often do we need to be reminded that rivers don’t have a home? They need to be left wild and free; every encounter must be celebrated with gratitude.
  • Flowers arrive as naive lovers seeking experience, a moment of ecstasy in existence and then perish promising another sunset. Their fragrance hangs in the air, the softness of their petals is hard to recreate, their colors stored safely in the eyes of a distant sunset gleam. They leave behind a garden which could have a thousand new flowers bloom in its embrace but it will never be the same again without that one flower it once loved with all its heart. People are like those flowers. 
  • The more you fall in love with the light, the harder it gets to hate the darkness. 
  • We forgive only those parts of others that we have made peace within ourselves. Don’t let your crop of forgiveness be destroyed by your ego storm. Harvest is a beautiful thing.
  • We all go through that phase where we doubt if anyone really gives a shit? We doubt if our writing deserves to be read, if our art is worthy of attention, if we will ever qualify for the national team, if we are loved by all those we love, if it really matters whether we live or not? The answer to all those questions is — Yes!
  • Creativity is a dance between investigation and distraction. Investigate when you feel too much and distract when you feel too little. 
  • The worst kind of friends are those who use you as a substitute for the ones who are no longer in their lives. The ones whose laughter they fill with your chuckles. Never acknowledging you for your individuality but rather tracing a recognisable quality of the old. The trouble with that is grave yet simple: you are a tenant in their lives with a smokescreen privilege but never an eternal family in their heart. You’ll be replaced with the next person they find; resembling the benchmark of their true friend before you. You are an idea, a comparison chart, a list to tick off the match list. Your requisite is that you must smell of familiarity and certainty that they have control over.
  • Awareness is the first step to empathy. Indifference is like never leaving home and hoping for the journey to end.
  • There is more. To your career. Your dreams. To people. To places. To challenges. To glories. To stories. To dream. To the world. Never be parched with what meets the eye. That’s not it. Some flowers only bloom for you. Find them. 

May kindness be your strength, gratitude your gift and love your anthem. Brace yourself, we are moving to the creamy-chocolaty part of life. Happy 2021, wise souls~



About The Author

Deepak Ramola is the Founder and Artistic director of Project FUEL and serves as the Kindness Ambassador to UNESCO MGIEP. With his initiative Project FUEL, Deepak travels across the world collecting and passing on life lessons of common people. He is also a gold medallist in Journalism, an award winning poet, a lyricist and a writer.

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