Home Bot CategoriesPeopleWhat You Think WHAT DID 2020 TEACH YOU?


by wowmagazine

Rumee Singh
Founder, Hamro Life Bank & Katha4Nepal 

2020 was a myriad of emotions – from fear, helplessness, anger and grief to resilience, acceptance and hope. 2020 challenged our creativity to take different shapes as we pivoted our business models and birthed more meaningful ways to engage professionally and personally. This passing year has taught me so much more than the lessons learned in my lifetime.

I now have a deeper sense of appreciation for the roof over my head, a hug, a full meal a day, a beautiful blue sky, clean fresh air, the patience of teachers, the innocence of kids, the selflessness of health workers, technology that still keeps us connected with our loved ones and above all the faith and hope of communities rising together for a better tomorrow. From donating blood to sharing meals with folks who need them, 2020 has reaffirmed my belief that no matter what the situation is the only thing that ever remains constant is the joy of giving.

Sanna Gurung

2020 taught me to slow down and to appreciate the little things in life. It taught me the happiness in cooking and spending time with family, playing board games and relaxing. 2020 lockdown also taught me to really appreciate nature since we were indoors mostly I realised how much I missed going out not just for entertainment purposes but also the beauty in everything. And also how important it is to be a part of nature. Further, I learned to not rush through what society perceives as success or accomplishments but to prioritise your inner self because at the end of the day that matters more. Luckily, for me 2020 is also the year of my first born so it will forever be very special to me.

Zenith DhaubHadel
Managing Director, Sierra

2020 was a rough year indeed, especially for our hospitality industry. Who would have thought a two week lockdown would end up being six months. Covid has taught me a lot both on personal and professional grounds. 

Hospitality being my primary field, this has been the most challenging year in my career and fighting for survival with revenues almost next to zero. One of my key learnings from the pandemic is adaptability. We have made plans of action accordingly which I would like to call. The 3R Plan: rethink, re-strategise and reboot. To be able to adapt to the situation, we had to go back to the drawing boards and rethink on all our plans such as taking a different approach on asset management, on generating alternate revenue streams or risk management which weren’t taken into consideration before.

We have re-strategised on how we shall implement our reshaped plans which will help us revive and ultimately thrive in the market. 

Finally, reboot or restart all our operations with new mindset which we have slowly started with our F&B outlets. For instance, we have re-launched Sierra Restaurant in Lazimpat with a new menu, started breakfast and brunch as well. We have had an amazing response from our guests and can see that the market is slowly gaining its confidence and getting back on track.

On the personal front, I value time more than ever and cherish every moment life has to offer as we do not know what the future has in store for us. 

Nishma Gautam
Co-host, Pothi Baaseko Podcast

Among many things 2020 had to offer, the most bitter-sweet learning for me was a reality check. While many of us had the privilege to safely relax during the lockdown, many families across the world suffered from hunger, unemployment, domestic violence, sexual violence, etc. When these news surfaced in the media, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own privileges since I didn’t have to go through these horrors myself. 2020 helped me put myself and my privileges into perspective and has helped me develop more gratitude for the life I have been blessed with. I have become more grateful for the food on my plate, comfort of my home and also the privilege of having the internet. More importantly, 2020 has motivated me to go beyond my position of privilege and contribute in any way I can to bridge socio-economic differences, fight discrimination and stand against physical, emotional and sexual violence. Overall, I believe the learning of 2020 were some of the most important learnings of my life as it has given me a different perspective on myself and the society at large. It has also helped me prioritise and be grateful about important things in life. As we end this rollercoaster of a year, I feel motivated and prepared to gracefully move forward into the years ahead. 

Siddhartha Maharjan

2020 has taught me about unforeseen challenges. Now I have learned to be deeply and humbly appreciative for my health and even more concerned for the health of my family and our mother earth.

Sagun Goenka
Regional Expansion Manager, APAC, FoodPanda

2020 started well. I was feeling good and life felt full of promise. I wasn’t expecting many life lessons to come to me so quick. But 2020 hasn’t been an ordinary year, has it?

They say there is no light without dark, no good without evil, no male without female, no right without wrong. Though 2020 was a roller coaster ride, it taught us an important lesson that the little things in life need to be appreciated, the things that we usually take for granted whether catching up with a friend over a cup of coffee or simply strolling for an evening walk with loved ones. Without difficult times, we can never appreciate the good times that we have the privilege of living.

Tough times don’t last, tough people, do. 2020 started with narrow optimism but it taught us that we should trust the process rather than look for end results immediately. Being process-oriented is better than being goal-oriented. Trust the magic of efforts and over time the goal will be closer to you. There is always a hidden road to your destination. It’s just that our comfort zone does not allow us to explore those untaken routes. But times like 2020 push us to look at things from a different perspective and try solving the same problems with a different attitude and you know what, it works every single time. You yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. This is something that most of us tend to neglect. We are our biggest asset, and deserve the best. Be it working out, reading books, singing, yoga, or just dancing, we need to shift our energy on ourselves through these positives.

Also, the learning process should never cease to exist no matter our age be it a new dish, language, hobby, or sports. Warren Buffett has always said, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Do not save what is left after spending but spend what is left after saving. This worked wonders for those who followed it including me. At the end of the day what we save today will save us tomorrow. So, being financially smart is better than being financially sound. To sum it up, 2020 has been a well-balanced trip of life. From restructuring the entire supply chain of my startup- Tudoholic which was dismantled at the time of lockdown to keeping the sentiments positive for our team members, we embraced what time threw at us and took the leap of faith. And when the year ends, we are back with even higher energy levels, enthusiasm and commitment that we had compared to the previous years.

Sayuj Sherestha
Co-founder, Kharayobakes

This year has been one of the scariest yet rewarding roller coasters of emotions for me. 2020 taught me a lot but mainly five things: your health should be your number one priority, action matters more than words, nothing stays forever, change is inevitable, failure can harm you but only if you allow it, life is precious, be grateful for what we have.

I came to Nepal for my brother’s wedding from Sydney and got stuck here due to Covid. All my business in Sydney and Nepal got stopped. No major income and a pile up of expenses had hit me real rough. No one knew how long it would last and it was looking awful. My savings were shattered, the worst year ever. At this point there was nothing I could do to stop what was happening. In your hard and miserable times, you ask yourself ‘WHY? Why me?’ but the right question isn’t ‘why?’ it is ‘HOW?’ Yes, how do I get back from this? How do I make things right again? After lots of HOWs, “Kharayo Bakes” a bakery serving gourmet brownies and more was formed. With the help of my sister-in-law, Priyanka Pradhan, we started baking and somehow 2020 was not the worst year for me anymore. People loved our brownies, our determination and hard work had paid off. At the worst point of your life, you can either feel sorry for yourself or you can challenge yourself to be better. Everything is possible if you have the right mindset, determination and discipline. We all go through hard times and we all have dreams, but to make the dreams into reality we must be willing to sacrifice and work hard. Talent is overrated, hard work is everything.

Anju Malla Pradhan
President, Society of Nepalese Architects

2020, a year of trepidation, took us all by surprise as the pandemic showed no signs of abating and normal life was brought to a standstill. As we venture into the next day and year, we are more cautious in all aspects from health to wealth to humanitarian ventures. Families and friends matter as we spent more time amongst them, virtually as well as physically at home, within small boundaries almost cooped up, patience tried and tested and we have managed to sustain with basic minimum. Empathy for all is a lesson well learned as we faced crunches with the absence of the labour force. We saw the earth healing as leaves turned to sparkling green, flowers bloomed, bees and butterflies abounded, birds started to sing and nature flourished around us and we all loved that time phase which lasted quite a while as few people ventured out, industries closed down and pollution level shot down to zero. The earth belongs to all, biodiversity and its bounties have been our booty all along to sustain so we need to take good care of mother earth, learn to give back aplenty.

With technology at our fingertips the virtual knowledge sharing platforms opened doors globally, positive side to the pandemic, it broke all knowledge barriers. We are learning more about everything possible, from the comfort and confines of our homes.

The pandemic revived the need to boost immune systems as the best way to deal with the virus. Health and wellness have topped priority lists, home cooked food, gardening, and hobbies besides regular work have become therapeutic essentials. We have learned to adapt to life changing situations as humanity lives on.

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