At the start of the new year, it is time again to set new expectations, as well as to reflect on the year that just passed. And although the internet is filled with “New Year New Me” content, given the roller-coaster year we have had, I thought I should jump in and share my personal journey too.
Not everyone experienced 2020 in the same way, but almost everyone has been impacted by this pandemic. My professional background is in the hospitality industry, and having worked in luxury hotels since 2013, planning ahead was only natural. I have set my intentions in January that by the end of 2020, I would save enough money to put a deposit down on a flat. Knowing how poorly I have managed my finances in the past, I have committed through detailed calculations that I was going to reach this goal. But when the lockdown in March started, it all fell apart.
For the first time ever, my industry was in shock and life for me was turned upside down. And from a busy working schedule with exciting things ahead, I was instead forced to spend the whole time at home, and for an undetermined period of time. It was strange in the beginning, but I also think this was a turning point for me. Knowing my past experiences with mental health, I have decided to act fast and try not to lose track. I was going to pick three objectives to carry me through the lockdown and keep me afloat:
1. Meditate – signed up to Calm
2. Exercise – this was a big challenge for me since I struggle to keep at it
3. Work on a business – finally I was given the opportunity to explore this lifelong endeavour, which I was too afraid to do before
These were the three objectives that I wanted to commit to doing a little bit of every day. The time between March and June turned out to be my most productive ever. Why? Because rather than panic or wait to see what happens, I decided to take matters in my own hands, enjoy the time off and use it wisely. Fear played a big part in my decisions in the past, especially on the entrepreneurship side. I realised there is no “right time” to take the leap and the pandemic made me realise three things:
1. Everything can change suddenly; you can lose everything and there is nothing you can do
2. I did not actually have that much to lose anyway, I realise that now
3. You do not need to be an expert in everything – help and resources will be there when you need them
This strategy led to the creation of Superpow! and the mission we are now on board to build a platform for affordable and flexible mental health care. For me, this pandemic was a time of reflection on my priorities and what I want in life. I also decided to focus on success and venture out like I have nothing to lose, and it turned out to be beneficial in the end.
This is my personal recommendation of what you should do in 2021 if you would like:
1. Make space for a creative mindset and look out for opportunities
2. Become used to the idea that you are more capable of doing things than you actually think
3. Watch this video of a speech by Arnold Schwarzeneger - this is my go-to motivational video and my favourite quote here is “there is no plan B” – see if you can find it!