Looking Back on 2021 — A Reflection
2021 was full of understanding and adaptation, among many other things. Throughout the course of this past year, everybody, including myself, has had to explore and adapt to new ways of living. Throughout the past few months, I’ve been trying to determine and understand what I care about the most. Throughout the first bit of this article, I’ve written about 5 lessons that have really hit me throughout the year, then, I’ll look back on my best memories and my goals for 2022.
Lesson #1: Don’t Rely on Motivation
Motivation can only take you so far and can only change a short period, whereas habits and discipline could change your life. Motivation — It’s unreliable, whereas discipline is reliable. Motivation could be compared to a friend that comes around as they please and tends to let you down. You never know when they’ll actually show up because they’ll plan to be somewhere at a certain time, but not show up because they found something better to do. On the other hand, discipline could be compared to a friend that tells you the brutal truth, but you could always rely on them. They’ll be the friend that sits you down, tell you what’s what and be there for you in the long run. They’re the friend who will see you through the bad times and actually want you to achieve your goals. Discipline is what causes you to push through the things that come up in life that get in the way of your goals.
Lesson #2: Slowing Down ≠ Lazy
Slowing down doesn’t mean laziness, it emphasizes the overall process and choices being made. By choosing to slow down, it helps to ensure that things are being done effectively. Many people think that slowing down means that you’re lazy, which leads them to sacrifice their non-negotiables, so that they could try to double-down on what they’re working on. Most of the time, this leads to less productivity than before they doubled down. It’s okay to slow down, because not only does it emphasize the choices being made and the work being done, but it also helps you to maintain your health.
Lesson #3: Be Patiently Impatient
Very few things happen overnight, but time goes by much faster than we realize; There’s an advantage in starting now and being patient enough to have the discipline to continue daily. It’s as if you were putting a long-term plan into play. For example, growing a garden filled with flowers. You won’t be able to see the results immediately, and without a doubt, there will be some trial and error. But, that’s a part of the process — You could be patient and wait at the same time. Having goals encourages you to get up in the morning, feel determined and make it all come through.
Lesson #4: What You Put Out Comes Back To You
You’ve probably heard about the law of attraction. If not, simply put, the law of attraction is a philosophy suggesting that positive thoughts bring positive results into a person’s life, while negative thoughts bring negative outcomes. It’s based on the belief that thoughts are a form of energy and that positive energy attracts success in all areas of life. We have the power to create our own reality — I can attract certain people in my life and I can attract the opportunity to do what I’m passionate about, among many other things. If I want something, I have the ability to create a future with that specific something for myself. There’s that well-known saying, “What goes around, comes around”. It’s commonly used when one puts out negative energy. If you put out negative energy, that’s what will come back to you. Realizing this, and becoming aware of this, allows you to start putting out positive energy, which in turn, will come back to you.
Lesson #5: Become Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
In order to grow, you need to get out of your comfort zone. Every time that I’ve grown or learned something important, it was because I did something that required me to get out of my comfort zone. It’s a natural instinct for one to not want to do something that makes them uncomfortable. But, doing what makes you uncomfortable helps you grow. When I notice I don’t want to do something, it actually signals me that I should do it. Simply put, discomfort → growth.
21 Best Moments of 2021:
- Getting to celebrate my sweet 16 with my family & friends. 🎈
- Starting a personal growth newsletter!
- Going back to in-person school.
- Fostering a deeper interest in different forms of art — Photography & fashion are my 2 favourites.
- Family vacations to Ottawa + Montreal.
- Spending time with friends + laughing until I lose my breath.
- Getting a pair of rollerblades + re-learning how to skate (which included a lot of falling).
- Starting my journey at The Knowledge Society!
- Taking on more in-person volunteer opportunities.
- Celebrating Christmas with my friends — Secret Santa, karaoke, Just Dance, and endless laughter. 🎄
- Playing a rip-off version of Cards Against Humanity with my friends. 🃏
- Participating in my first in-person hackathon!
- Watching cheesy romance movies with friends and hitting pause every 45 seconds to laugh at something.
- Learning to appreciate different genres of books — My new favourite genre is dystopian, in case you were wondering. 📚
- Making amazing food + drinks with friends → Christmas tree-shaped pizza cookies and iced chai lattes were my favourites.
- Going go-karting for the first time (a painful, yet fun experience). 🏎
- Discovering the best dipping sauce for pizza. 🍕
- Organizing and hosting the first iteration of Hydra Hacks, the West Coast’s largest hackathon for marginalized genders!
- Trying different types of bubble + milk tea’s — My favourites are a Jasmine Green Milk Tea or an Earl Grey Milk Tea. 🧋
- Trying different sushi restaurants with family + friends. 🍣
- Going on multiple book-buying sprees.
My 2022 Vision
I have a lot I want to accomplish in 2022. I’m working towards living a live-in-the-moment life, while staying on track to surpass my own expectations and goals at the same time. With that, my 4 overarching goals for 2022 are:
Gain unique experiences → I plan to reach out to potential mentors, attend conferences, and find speaking opportunities to showcase what I’m working on + what I’m passionate about. 👩🏽💻
Learn more about genomics + gene editing & how they could influence the environment → I’ve been a huge climate advocate for years and I’ve recently fostered an avid interest in the study of genomics + gene editing. With these 2 interests, I’m beginning to work on how the study of genomics + gene editing could help understand and help solve climate-driven issues. 🌎
Becoming more consistent → Building consistency in my daily routine can help me to stabilize and maintain my motivation, which would influence the quality of my work. This includes identifying my non-negotiables and becoming more consistent with 1) implementing them into my daily life, and 2) saying no to things that interfere with these non-negotiables. 🧘🏽♀️
Superpower myself → I’m working on developing my research, networking, project management, and public speaking skills, among many others, in order to train myself to become a changemaker. 🚀
Throughout 2021, I learned to value the little things — As shown in my 21 best moments of 2021 (who would have thought finding the best pizza dipping sauce would have made the list). This pandemic has truly shown that things can change in the blink of an eye. The rough reality is that things won’t go the way you expected, or wanted, them to go. So, focus your attention on creating a better version of yourself, creating the best memories in whatever circumstances you face, and working on things that bring you a sense of fulfillment.
I can’t wait to see where 2022 takes us. Thank you for following along on my journey so far, because I’m just getting started 🤍.
👋 Hey, I’m Aneeva! I’m a 16-year-old genomics + gene editing enthusiast, working to understand and research how we could use these 2 technologies together to combat climate-driven issues. If you want to follow along on my journey, subscribe to my personal newsletter! You can also find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.