2021 Life Lessons

Before we start to tackle 2022 it’s time to look back at the Life Lessons 2021 brought to us.

There are probably a lot of people breathing a sigh of relief that 2021 is over. After all, it was a year where most of us lived in constant fear of an invisible enemy. Where daily headlines seemed to only get worse and worse. And many of us experienced heartbreaking losses in one form or another. 

Most of us were ready for 2021 to just be over with, so we could begin 2022 with a renewed sense of hope that things will be better for everyone this year.

However, it hasn’t been all bad!  Because of everything that happened this past year, I’ve certainly picked up a few life lessons that I’ll be taking with me to 2022. 

And they’re not necessarily new Life Lessons.  In most cases I’ve always known these lessons. But the past year has made it clear that these are things that I (and probably you, too) should be paying closer attention to this coming year and beyond.


5 Essential Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 2021

Your health and wellbeing, as well as those of your loved ones, comes above everything else.

Obviously, taking care of our physical health is super important. Especially with the different variants of COVID still hanging around like an uninvited guest we can’t wait to get rid of. 

However, after a year like 2021, our mental health also badly needs some TLC.

The lockdowns, the isolation from people you love, the constant state of fear.   All these can take a toll on your mental health. 

Make sure you are taking good care of yourself and your loved ones.  And remember, it’s okay not to be okay all of the time.  

In the meantime, continue taking extra health and safety precautions by consistently wearing your face masks, and washing and sanitizing your hands and the things around you that you touch frequently.  Above all remember to keep your distance from other people.  Now is not the time to let your guard down.  


Take nothing for granted.

2021 has taught me to have more appreciation for everything in my life; my family, my friends, my work, my health. 

It was a harsh lesson learned. That anything can be taken away in just a split second. And life will never be the same again. 

So, while they are still here, I will be grateful. And I will treasure every single moment that I get to see the people I love, get to do the things I love to do, and live to wake up another day.

2021 was a huge reminder to slow down and re-evaluate what’s essential and important. 

It has reminded me to consciously make more of an effort to keep in touch with family and loved ones.  Certainly one of 2021’s harshest Life Lessons was that you can never know when it’s the last time you will see or talk to them. 

It has made me realize that I have been rushing through life, pushed by my To-Do list. And driven by my desire to get as much done as humanly possible. Instead I could have spent more time pausing and being in the moment. 

Only when people, and things you love get taken away from you do you realize how differently you should have done things. How you should have spent more time. How you should have been more present. 

In a time of global pandemic such as this one, we just never really know what tomorrow will bring. 

Be grateful and take nothing for granted. 


There is no “normal”.

Normal does not exist. It’s just a term we use to define the standards that we are used to. 

The thing is, everything is changing constantly.  For the past two years, the change has been faster than ever.  And we have had to learn to adapt to this so-called “new normal.” 

For the coming year, it’s best to practice “rolling with the punches”.  As the past two years have shown us that life will never run out of plot twists and surprises. 

Now more than ever, we need to be resilient and rise up again every time life knocks us down. There is no use fighting the reality that the world is no longer the way it was before. 

The only thing we can do is adjust, adapt and pray that the world heals soon so that we can once again go back to the way things were.


Compassion and understanding go a long way.

This pandemic has caused many people to be pushed beyond their comfort zones.  And forced them to explore other ways to make ends meet.  Many are trying their luck as entrepreneurs by starting their own small businesses.  Check my article Philippine Hotelier-owned Businesses about some of my hospitality colleagues who have done just that.

As customers, we are entitled to express our opinions when it comes to our purchases. But during these trying times, take a moment to pause and reflect before you post that nasty feedback for a product or business. 

It’s been hard enough for a lot of people already.  Place yourself in their shoes and have a little empathy.  Give them a chance to recover by dealing with businesses personally and privately, instead of posting online to gather sympathy and inciting negative comments for the business. 

Everyone deserves a chance to learn from their mistakes and be better.

Always keep in mind as well that people have different ways of coping with the pandemic.  What you see on social media does not tell the whole story. 

Remember that every single one of us is fighting our own individual battles. Always, always choose to be kind.


You are not alone.

We may have been forced to isolate ourselves and keep our distance from our loved ones because of the pandemic, but the past year has shown that there are other ways to show our love to people, and vice versa. 

We have embraced contactless options, online communication and delivery services in order for us to still be able to reach our loved ones. Even if not in person. 

In times that you feel unwell, friends and family have been able to send food and medicines.  On special occasions such as birthdays, you can still feel the love despite the distance through video calls, cake and gift deliveries. 

When you are feeling down, you’d be surprised at how many people are willing to listen and share their thoughts. 

Where physical connection has dwindled due to health and safety precautions, technology has taken over (temporarily) to help us all feel less alone.


2021 was a year that came with many challenges and heartaches, but left us with many life lessons and realizations. 

From your resident Hugot Hotelier, here’s wishing you would have a better, happier, healthier and easier year ahead this 2022!

What do you think?

Written by Angel Lam Ko

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