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Lifestyle Design

10 Lessons I’ve Learned in 2020

Happy New Year! 

I hope 2021 brings you more health, success, and happiness. 

2020 wasn’t an easy year for all of us, but it has taught me many valuable lessons. 

Here are the top ones I wanted to share with you today:

1. Don’t defer happiness to the future

I spent all of 2020 day-dreaming about the future instead of making the best of the present (even during a pandemic). In hindsight, I should have spent more energy on being happy in the moment.

2. Family first. Always

This was a tough lesson. I lost a very close family member a week before I was going to see him. Had I not prioritized work, I would have been able to see him before the pandemic started. Now my family comes first. No matter what.​

3. Optimize for Independence 

In 2020, I started optimizing my life for as much independence as possible by going permanently remote, diversifying my income, and growing my emergency fund.​

4. Nobody is going to save you

You are on your own. Nobody can protect you (including the government). This means that you have to protect your health, your income, and your independence. It’s your responsibility.

5. Build a life you don’t need to escape from

I used to say “I need to escape somewhere for a week and recharge”. Now I’m building a life I don’t need to escape from.

6. Diversify your income and skills 

If you want to have independence, you need diversification.

7. Control your psychology 

So you don’t panic and sell your stocks when the market crashes or get distracted when something out of your control happens (ex: a pandemic).

8. Better not perfect

If I’m 1% better today than yesterday, then I’m happy. I don’t strive for perfection anymore. It’s not achievable and is counter-productive.

9. Everything is hard

Getting fit is hard. 

Being overweight is hard. 

Making money is hard. 

Being broke is hard. 

Learning new skills is hard. 

Not having any skills is hard. 

Choose YOUR hard.

10. Action over consumption 

I wasted a lot of 2020 consuming information and not taking action. I didn’t need more information. I needed to get started.

What has 2020 taught you? Leave me a reply in the comments below!

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By Adam Bader

Adam Bader is a product manager, entrepreneur, and technologist. He is currently a Senior Product Manager at Discovery, inc.

Previously, Adam built products at beIN SPORTS, Real Madrid, generation Adidas, and other companies.