Lessons of 2021

December might be just another month on the calendar, but perhaps this is the only time we take a pause from our hurried lives and reflect on the year gone by. This contemplation gives us a chance to relive the happy moments, feel proud about our accomplishments, regret the opportunities not taken and, of course, plan for the future.

For me, 2021 has been a  year of great significance— I have become a father and a district collector, both incredibly responsible roles.

Nothing teaches us like experience and these new responsibilities have taught me many lessons both professionally and personally. I still struggle to imbibe entirely some of the learnings I mention here. But I believe it’s a good idea to note them down and aspire to follow them. 

The following are part lessons, part self-reflections, and part observations. It’s a 2021 collection of my notes-to-self. 

Here goes:

1. Every once in a while, life gives you an opportunity you think you don’t quite deserve. Don’t get overwhelmed or fearful. Embrace it fully and make the most of it. 

2. In any new assignment, watch out when you tell yourself “I am new to this and I am still learning, so it’s okay if I don’t give my 100%.” It’s a slacker’s excuse to not perform. 

3. Even the best in their field haven’t figured it all out at the beginning. We all learn as we go along.

4. Life flows way too fast sometimes. Don’t become an aimless log in a flowing stream. Every once in a while, take a break, come on to the shore and observe the stream. Journaling is a great way to get a third person perspective on your day to day life. 

5. Under promise, over deliver. 

6. Progress is always small and imperceptible. The key is to keep going for a sustained period of time. Then you’d surprise yourself at how far you’ve come. 

7. Gratitude makes life beautiful. Be thankful for everything, especially your health. 

8. There is no ideal job. Every job, be it government or private, comes with unique challenges. Your goal must be to build a pocket of greatness within your sphere of influence. 

9. The voice in your head subconsciously shapes your behaviour and confidence. Control your negative self-talk. Don’t be your worst critic. (I fail at this a lot). 

10. People around you will rise or fall to the standards you expect from them. Tolerate mediocrity, it will become the norm. Set high standards, they will catch up. Benchmark yourself to excellence.

11. I didn’t believe when I read somewhere that infants love being sung to. Now I do. I am a horrible singer yet my son seems to love it when I sing and talk to him. 

12. Multitasking is counterproductive. You might have hundreds of things to do, but the most effective way to deal with them is one at a time. For any task, give it your 100%. The rest can wait. 

13. Criticise in private. Compliment in public .

14. Having a calendar and a task manager is an absolute must for every professional. As productivity guru David Allen says, your brain is for thinking  ideas not for storing a to-do list. 

15. Life is really short and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Live in the present.

16. You can’t motivate people through fear. Personal touch and a win-win scenario will go a long way in helping you and your team achieve your goals. A true leader must empower the people around. 

17. Ability to focus for a sustained period of time is a critical life skill. You will get better or worse at it depending on how you train your mind. I have regressed horribly in this respect. Something to work on in 2022. 

18. Imposter syndrome is a real challenge for me and I fight it every day. I still haven’t figured a way to overcome it. 

19. If you want to dedicate time for personal projects, schedule them in the early mornings before the world wakes up and takes away your time and attention. 

20. Planting a tree is the most affordable and useful thing you can do today to leave a mark on this planet and the future generations. 

21.  Life consists of 3 pillars: self, family, and career— each fulfilling a critical role. Self sustains your physical and mental health. Family provides you love and happiness. Career gives you purpose and meaning. Take care of these three pillars, and the rest will take care of itself.

22. Competence is a great source of joy and fulfilment. If you are good at a skill, you will really enjoy doing it. Conversely, to enjoy doing something, persist till you become good at it.

23. Stop living in the hall of infinite choice. Don’t let too many options paralyse you into indecision. Rather than endlessly browsing on Netflix, just select a damn movie and watch it. 

24. To be a good boss, you need to be a good coach. 

25. Perfectionism is your enemy. For most things in life, don’t aim for perfection. Aim for good enough. 

26. Scheduling your day on a calendar app (I use ‘Fantastical’) is absolutely game changing. The moment you put something on your calendar, you do something critical— dedicate a certain time to the task and you are that much more likely to accomplish it. Unless it’s on your calendar, it’s just a wish. 

27. Focus on inputs (effort, planning, putting in the work), not outputs (results and success, etc) The moment you put your 100% on input, the output takes care of itself. This is my takeaway from the book ‘Working Backwards.’

28. Doing something is the fastest way of learning it. 

29. Catch early morning sunlight. It’s the best way to train your body to wake up at a certain time.

30. A favourite line that I keep repeating to myself: No hurry, no pause.

How was your 2021? What are your takeaways? Do let me know. 

76 thoughts on “Lessons of 2021

  1. Yashwanth

    Absolutely a great learning year, amidst pandemic. I could reflect most of your learnings through my journey. This year’s greatest learning of mine would be, to stay fearless without pondering upon what could be the future and not to complain. Tolerance and acceptance to some extent… It’s a joy feeling to read your blog, thanks for sharing as it would help us, as we couldn’t experience all in our lifetime, shared experiences and learnings are good for a society to evolve.

    Reply
  2. himavarshinii

    Thank you for this useful information sir 😊

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I’m feeling puzzled right now but one thing I know for sure is that I worked more hard this year & emotionally I became more mature… 🌻🌜💫. Thank you for sharing your thoughts sir.

    Reply
  4. Puneet

    Sir apke shabdon mein jadoo hai ♥, esa lagta hai jaise aap khud bol rhe :D,
    itna kuch seekhne ko milta apse 🙂

    sir bht bht BADHAI aapko 🙂 mera b man karta sir apse milne ka !

    SIr, we relly miss U & loves U 🙂
    & wish ur all desirs comes true

    Reply
  5. Apurva Patil

    This year I learned it is okay to ask help and I should trust the intuitions.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing such an incredible piece of knowledge sir

    Reply
  7. Shilpa Krishna

    Congratulations Sir, for all your accomplishments !!!
    And All the best to upcoming.

    This is lessons are much needed for me sir… really very thankful for such a boost in the year end.
    From today my warm up starts to run a marathon 2022.
    As you said No hurry and no pause…

    “There’s is nothing in the world that satisfies our heart but a desire to learn everyday does”.

    Have a Happiest year ahead😃🙏

    Reply
  8. Megha

    First of all congratulations Sir for the baby….He is already blessed being a son of yours…Thanks for sharing this masterpiece…

    Reply
  9. Damini

    Gratitude for life, empathy for all & faith within!❤

    Reply
  10. Jemsi Goyal

    You are the inspiration for all of us sir.. Thanks for sharing this masterpiece with us. Something grateful that can we learn in the year end.
    Have the happiest year ahead sir😇
    #No_hurry_no_pause

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Thankyou sir
    Your words always motivated us

    Reply
  12. Sivai P

    Congratulations sir!!! Your words are always work as combination of motivation & magic. Learnt a lot of things from your blog & still learning. Affirmation, gratitude & faith can make anything possible. Thanks for sharing this amazing thoughts with us. Have a happiest year ahead sir!!

    💫No hurry no pause

    Reply
  13. Anonymous

    2021 taught me a lot…. Know I now what is life before I am not care but know aware off it…
    Thank you sir for sharing good inspiration content and your experience . The last 2words NO HURRY NO PAUSE this words creating something in my mind. THANK YOU SIR

    Reply
  14. Kirti Walvekar

    What a wonderful write up sir. Made my day… Truly an inspiration.. ! Thank you for this amazing piece of thoughts. 😊

    Reply
  15. Anonymous

    Congratulations anudeep garu for becoming father and dist collector!inspired.

    Reply
  16. Sohela Mustafi

    2021 is a year of learnings. This year I learned to take care of my mental health and cherish the present moment.
    And thank you sir for sharing your experience.

    Reply
  17. Farhan Syed

    Extremely weighty is each lesson. Words say lauder how much experience they consist within. Truly helpful article is this. Thank you Anudeep sir.

    My learnings this year are listed below :

    1. Give 100%, finish the task, don’t send it forth to the future.
    2. Discipline results in success not motivation.
    3. Spending little extra and buying quality goods saves money. Low quality goods last shorter with low satisfaction wherein the vice versa is the case with quality goods.(may help lower middle/ middle class person like me)
    4. Higher are the efforts, higher is the satisfaction.
    5. Spending on studies is worth spending.

    Reply
  18. Anonymous

    This year I learnt “it is okay to be failed, but it’s not okay to be stopped.” I failed in prelims.

    Hemant

    Reply
  19. Mani

    I learned and still learning that scary moments will come in life every now and then but even our single small brave step in confronting it can change things.
    And we cannot forever dwell on those moments because as we are wasting time thinking about past life goes by.

    Reply
  20. bsribindu

    1. Ignorance is harmful no matter how small or big it is.
    2. Spend time with your loved ones (family and friends), don’t take anyone and anything for granted.
    3. Be Grateful for what you are and what you have.😇
    And Thank you for your blogs💫

    Reply
  21. Anonymous

    No hurry, no pause.❤️❤️

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    My year 2021 was the most happiest as well as most saddest. But still, I like my day on daily basis. I do not think about the day after tomorrow or more and more. The year was happiest because I completed my graduation this year with flying colours 84% remained topped in my college, and saddest because I couldn’t clear upsc prelims in my first attempt .But, it’s okay I learn so many things which I will not repeat it again in my next attempt. Overall, presently I’m feeling really outstanding due to my upsc preparation it is a beautiful journey. 💓

    Reply
  23. Anonymous

    Thank you sir
    Patience is power

    Reply
  24. Varun

    Sir, point# 1 and #18 mirror each other. I could relate very closely to both those points. I am presently in the midst of such an opportunity. I hope to make the best of it & come out better in 2022. Thank you for your post, sending best wishes your way and everyone who reads this! 😊

    Reply
  25. Anonymous

    Thank You Sir And Congratulations for the arrival of a new life to your life ☺. may you be a good father too.

    Reply
  26. Sabbi Raju

    First of all tq sir to give such a good words for all and #13,21 both points especially #21 very close to me sir.finally congratulations sir for dist collecter, father

    Reply
  27. Anonymous

    Myself Mouli Gayen . I am from kolkata , west bengal.. I have been preparing for state civil service since 2019 .. In 2021 , it was my second attempt.. When i was coming back from my exan hall , i understood that this time i am not going to qualify prelims as well .. I was quiet sad .. And when i become sad , i always remember your words you said during interaction with aspirants .. I watched it in youtube .. In 2022 it is going to be my 3rd attempt .. I dont what will happen .. But this time i promised myself that i will enter to the exam hall with such preparation i wish to prepare.. Rest is unknown.. But i dont want to go exam hall with a heavy heart.. Thank you sir .. For being my inspiration ..

    Reply
  28. Yashwanthi

    2021 Has helped me in becoming better as a person:)
    I Can Say that I’ve learnt lot about many things and the World!
    My Main Takeaways Include:
    1) Be Grateful for What You have!
    There are people who do not have any of the things which you’re thinking is less.
    2) Don’t take anything For Granted.
    3) You are the reason for your results.
    There may be many others involved directly or indirectly. But, At the end, You hold a greater share than anyone else! So, Do not blame others for your Mistakes. Learn to Accept Yourself!
    4) You get What you Work for! Not What you Wish For!
    5) Spend time with your Family!
    No one else will love You as your Parents. Your Close-knit Family are the only ones who support you and they are the one’s who’ll be there for You!
    6) Having One Good, True Friend is better, than to have a group of friends who never really care about You!
    7) Do not Chase Perfection! But, try to give your Best in anything.
    8) Doing/Completing a Single thing in the best way you could, is Better; than to do a set of multiple things Incompletely.
    9) Sweat and Work Hard When needed, Than to Bleed Later.
    10) Give Yourself Some time! It’s gonna be worth it! You feel a whole lot better after giving some time to yourself. You get to discover the new YOU when, You’re alone. (I meant Alone and not lonely)
    11) Never let the fear of Failure or Negativity to Over rule You!
    12) Be Balanced!
    Too less of it( could be anything like for example Confidence,…) or Too high is gonna be Disastrous!

    Writing these here, has helped me to recollect the Memories of the Entire Year; It Felt like a short Journey through the Year 2021, Thanks to You Sir!

    Thank You! So much for Sharing yours sir:) Really means a lot, that you are taking time for motivating us, and sharing your thoughts despite your Daily Schedule.
    Thank You for Mentioning about Fantastical, Gonna Use it from Now!
    I truly was searching for something as such but, couldn’t find the best one. Gotcha Now!!!

    And,…
    CONGRATULATIONS for the new Addition to your Family and being a Collector Sir.
    Have a Great Year Ahead Sir, and everyone whoever is reading This!
    Hope the coming year spreads Positivity and Joy to everyone around you, and gets you, all that you Desire! Wish this year brings you all lots of Joy, Good health, and Good luck!
    Here’s wishing you all a year fully loaded with happiness….Happy New Year 😀

    Sending You all Lots of Love and Positive Vibes…
    Stay Safe& Healthy,
    Regards,
    Yashwanthi:)

    Reply
  29. Umesh Tiwari

    Thank You Sir And Congratulations for the arrival of a new life to your life ☺. may you be a good father too.

    Reply
  30. sai chand pasula

    Thank you anna, you are always an example of how much a person is capable of. Inspite busy all day you always take time to inspire and improve others lives .Thank you once again.

    Reply
  31. MANOJ KUMAR

    Good wishes sir for your upcoming challenes and opportunities and congratulation

    Reply
  32. Choleswar Sa

    I have a suggestion for you-
    . Organise the lines by a same topic. So it more useful for us read topic wise.

    Reply
  33. ANJALI PRAJAPATI

    Very nice lines…. Each and every line taught us a lesson… the best one is to paying gratitude… thankyou so much sir… you are amazing…

    Reply
  34. Raaj Kumar

    Thankyou very much sir ! N Congratulations 🎉

    Reply
  35. Karunya

    Tq sir for sharing such a incredible words . And making us to feel their are many more phases to reach in everyone’s life.
    1stly congratulations sir for both the promotions.
    This yr of 2021 is like a rollercoaster for many of us .but still this yr makes me more stronger then before . It makes me realise my worth ,importance of family ,parents ,frds and the most imp one is self .
    It makes me to realise the imp of my goal that I always think and admire. It makes me realise only thinking ,admiring doesn’t make us to move forward.
    Only hardwork, consistency,faith ,sometimes smartwork which we have on us can makes
    To reach heights..
    Heading for newyr-2022 to see much more things .

    Reply
  36. Akshay

    Huge fan

    Reply
  37. Anonymous

    Sir, you are a great inspiration for us, with your refreshing thoughts and actions. Every mail of yours is a new chapter to learn and helps in our life one or the other way. Therefore, you must definitely continue this series ❤ many of your lessons in 2021 is relatable for me as well. All the best for your future ventures and let you remain as a big inspiration for us and the coming generation.

    Reply
  38. Anonymous

    Thank u

    Reply
  39. Priya

    My 2021 – I experienced no matter what happens ‘life goes on ‘

    Reply
  40. Mohit Onkar Singh

    “This is how it is” Anudeep thanks for opportunity to see 2021 in hindsight. Lost my parents and grandparents in 2nd 🌊, now it feels sooo lonely…

    Reply
  41. Raj Kumar

    Your words always motivate me…
    Thank you sir …..

    Reply
  42. Anonymous

    Very well put.. Keep up Andy !!

    Reply
  43. Tushar

    Thank you sir, happy new year 2022 .

    Reply
  44. Anonymous

    Congratulations Sir!!!! Thank you for sharing your valuable experiences.

    Reply
  45. Anonymous

    My takeaways from 2021:

    1) I understood that nobody can take a decision for me in any matter except me, because no one actually get to see what I see in an opportunity even when I explain and also no one understands/knows the complete picture.

    2) When I achieved my goals successfully, I liked the fact that my planning to reach those goals actually worked, than the mere achievement itself.

    3) Always go by gut feeling : whether it’s a “something is going wrong” feeling or “I can do this” feeling.

    4) No more liking people based on whatsapp chatting. Let the person speak in real whatever he has to say. Also, another life lesson : If my mom likes somebody, that should not force me to like them.

    on a side note: naakkuudaa ee imposter syndrome undabbaa. Maybe continuous achievements are necessary to overcome this temporarility atleast.

    On an another side note: Keep writing annaya. Meek theleedu mee ninchii blog notification vasthe entha attention isthaamo and at the same time entha happy feel avthaamo.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Yes bro. Totally agree with your last line.

      Reply
  46. Anonymous

    Hi Sir, can you please share with all of us the best books that you have read so far in 2021?

    Thanks

    Reply
  47. Nived Dohale

    It will be more challenging than 2021.but as you said no hurry! no pause! It will be the great year..

    Reply
  48. Anonymous

    Rather than say no accomplishment/ success, in optimistic view ,I would say learned lot of things personally and professionally.And with those learnings and abundance of hope ready to welcome 2021……

    Reply
  49. Priya Sharma

    Many of your learnings are going to be my resolution for 2022. Thankyou

    Reply
  50. Akki

    Thank you sir🙏

    Reply
  51. Anonymous

    Thanks Sir.

    Reply
  52. Renuka

    Day by day I am learning new things through your blog’s sir . It’s really means a lot sir . Thank you soo much sir . I am really grateful that I am able to learn from such a great person with a beautiful soul .
    This year is really Tough for me . I can’t express it in a word but it’s really tough for me ,I am going through some emotional breakdown but whenever I read your blog’s its gives me a hope that it’s okay it’s a just bad time, now wake up and be stronger life is too unpredictable to worry about the things the little things . Just be grateful what you have .
    There is a lot to say but I can’t express it sir it’s just I really inspired by your blogs and struggle of your life that have bring you this far and many more to come .
    I am really really grateful Sir 🙂

    Reply
  53. Anonymous

    Inspiring ..

    Reply
  54. Shiva

    Sir you are a great soul….every line written by you is so inspiring and life-changing.. your
    experiences are so much helpful to live a meaningful life..i personally experiencing whatever you shared in this blog…This year I learnt many lessons.. 1. Working with 100% potential on our tasks or life goals consistently without having attached to the results.. 2. Life gives you everything exactly when you need it..we must keep patience. 3. Focusing on multiple goals will lead to waste of time..keep accomplishing one by one….4. Without fulfilling the prerequisites you won’t get anything, you need to fulfill the requirements before realizing your desired Goals…..5. Our thoughts are our reality so we need to choose positive thoughts….. 6. Being grateful to God for everything we possess. dedicating our actions to God will keep us doing good deeds…. 7. God won’t help you until you take actions…..
    Thank you so much sir… humble request to keep sharing your life experiences …

    Reply
  55. Anonymous

    Congratulations collector sir or papa
    Aapke vicharon ko koi jabab hi nhi…..
    Q ki inme sab kuch hai.

    मैने सीखा जिंदगी में हमेशा एक बार में एक काम ही करना चाहिए। अपनी हेल्थ के साथ कभी समझौता नहीं करना चाहिए।

    Reply
  56. sai chand pasula

    Hi Anna, Please do write about your daily routine . Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  57. Dr Shan Raman

    hi sir, share u r favourite books of 2021. thank you.

    Reply
  58. Hasmukh Gohil

    Sir please tell us which type of personality should we develop during our journey to become an effective civil servant?
    Waiting for your reply sir

    Reply
  59. PRADEEP VERMA

    congratulation sir for your accomplishments and all the best for your future endeavors and responsibilities.

    Reply
  60. Dhenuka chelumalla

    Thank you so much sir for sharing fabulous experience with us
    It really helped me to build up my self resistive power
    Congratulations for new member in your family 😊😊

    Reply
  61. Anonymous

    Thanks a lot for everything sir…Fundamentals of essay and answer writing book” of you made me understand the importance of writing anything which is going on our life and your blog make me feel the joy of the same.. I was always shy away from writing something in English but you gave me the ray of hope to come out of that fear and express myself.. This is my biggest learning overall in this year and I am grateful for the same forever…😍😍

    Reply
  62. Anonymous

    “No hurry, No pause” what an incredible motto sir !! 😇

    Reply
  63. Anonymous

    Very beautiful lessons sir.This aspires aspirants like us to move ahead in our endeavours.In 2021 I have learnt the values of life and how to manage our lives in a good manner.I have even a lot from you and you are inspiration sir.

    Reply
  64. G praveen kumar

    Sir write an essay on this year paper on any topic .this will be very helpful .atleast for 500 words sir. Thank you

    Reply
  65. Anonymous

    Hello, sharing some tips found online for all those like me suffering from imposter syndrome.

    Impostor syndrome is going to quickly hit you and we have all been there when we started our first job. Truth be told, plenty of us still feel it.
    Here’s what you can do to help you with it:

    Separate the feeling from the facts: Understand that just because you are feeling like this, that does not make it true. It is very likely that you know much more than what you think you do and you have to remind yourself that you are capable of doing the job!

    Celebrate the little things: Write down everything you accomplish, doesn’t matter if it’s “small”. You’ll use that list to remind yourself that you are capable of being amazing !

    Don’t compare yourself to others: Inevitably, you’ll look at other’s accomplishments and think that you won’t be as good – just remember, they probably have YEARS in that role. You’ll get there.

    Talk to others: YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE. Talk to someone you trust in the company, a fellow , someone you know on LinkedIn or others who are going through the same experience. Don’t bottle up those feelings.

    Reply
  66. Vedhik IAS Academy

    Informative blog. IAS is really a hard nut to crack. But with proper help and effective study plan you can be successful. All the very best for every IAS aspirant. your hardship will pay off.

    Reply
  67. akriti shah

    sir you are our real life hero.by reading your thoughts we get a lot of positive wibes . thankyou so much sir. you are my roll model.i am short of words,thankyou so much sir for being there!!

    Reply
  68. Rakesh

    Help full post

    Reply
  69. Madhu

    Sir, can you please share your favourite books from 2021

    Reply
  70. Lalatendu Nayak

    A Great Year… Lots of things that I got to know where n how to work. It also changed my study pattern n type, but yet something I’m missing that may I get to know during my preparation… I hope One Day I would Succeed…

    Reply
  71. Anonymous

    These words of urs helped me ….to stop keeping big big targets over less tym …which are tough enough to acheive and ultimatly lead to dissatisfaction….i started putting my efforts over the targets that could be acheived…and the improverment ….is consistent now…thanks a lot sir……u are …the best💫…dreaming to
    be the best like u…..

    Reply
  72. Anonymous

    On a side note, this guy really looks like you.

    Reply
  73. youthdestination99

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful content…

    Reply

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