The world will breathe a collective sigh of relief as the hands of the clock inch towards each other for one last time this year. It has been a terrible year. Enough has been said and written and experienced about the terribleness of 2020. But like every terrible, devastating, and mind-numbing experience it has left us some hard lessons to ponder over and learn from. Here are a few of these lessons.

  1. The value of family and friends
    As a friend told me, only half-jokingly – “This lockdown actually helped me realize how good the people in my house really are”. In 2020 we got to spend time with the people that we actually should be spending time with. Conversations happened and calls were not always made with any specific intent.

  2. The true worth of resilience
    The Strategy School was launched on the 14th of April. An auspicious day for all Malayalis. The next five months were the hardest that we had ever faced in our careers. We plowed on. October was a mini turnaround. December has been good. The pandemic taught us to stay in the fight and never give in.

  3. The importance of living in the moment
    Plans were drawn up which never came about. So, we learned to live in the moment. If you get the moments right, then the long term takes care of itself.

  4. The fact that we are ruled by nature
    2020 taught us to be humble. We realized that we are not always wise. And more importantly, we are governed by nature and not the other way around.

  5. The difference between ‘nice to have’ and ‘need to have’ 
    The long queues in front of supermarkets and medical stores underlined the fact that essentials are always more important than the aspirational. A mask, however ugly and uncomfortable it may be, is more important than high fashion accessories.

  6. The bitterness of turmeric
    Staying fit and healthy became the most important thing. We tried out some old, half-forgotten home remedies and in the process realized how bitter turmeric can be as we tried our best to gulp down that glass of turmeric milk.

  7. The realization that 24 hours is really a lot of time
    We never had time for anything. Now, all we had was time. There was only so much of Netflix and so many zoom calls one could take while retaining sanity. So, we turned to the other stuff that we had kept aside. Books came in handy. We also rediscovered a few hobbies that had ceased to be of much interest to us.

2020 is going.
And as we say goodbye to 2020, it might help if we hold on to the lessons of 2020.

About the author

Suresh Mohankumar

A seasoned strategist with 28 years of experience conceiving, launching and growing some of India’s biggest brands, Suresh, has worked as the head of Strategic Planning in large advertising agencies.

He is known for breaking down complex situations to bring meaningful insights to the surface in order to arrive at a water-tight strategy.

He has handled a variety of categories like Automobiles, Jewelry, FMCG, AlcoBev, Leisure, Food, Fashion, Retail, Technology, New Media, etc.

By Suresh Mohankumar

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