One thought: It’s time for the world to pay it forward to America.
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2020 was like a scene from the movie Contagion.
I was one of the first ones to feel the force of the pandemic. My girlfriend left for China days before the madness started. There were no pandemic rules for when she returned home. We had to use commonsense which I don’t have.
So I rang the government hotline and asked them for advice. They said the virus was nothing. “If you want to take extreme caution then isolate from each other for 14 days.”
The advice seemed drastic, but I can be paranoid about medical nightmares at the best of times. Like Macgyver, I split our student apartment into two halves. It was forbidden to see each other. Occasionally we’d glance at each other from a hallway long-distance and smile.
After the 14 days were up I wrongly pronounced the pandemic to be over. I had lived through previous pandemics and they’d all turned out to be nothing for residents of my hometown. Why would this pandemic be any different?
Weeks later everything turned to chaos. Lockdown hadn’t started but I decided to stop going to work. The pandemic was real. It was a scary time.
I found solace in watching kind strangers bring each other company by holding balcony parties and doing balcony exercise. I was so inspired by what humanity could do in the worst possible situation.
At the end of 2020 there are mixed feelings about 2021. I believe 2021 will be our best year yet. It won’t be easy though. But nothing worth living through is ever easy. Anne Frank showed us that.
Spare a thought for America.
Smart-asses are on the rise.
They’re laughing at America and calling them stupid. They’re sitting in their leather recliners and smiling at how much pain America is feeling. No doubt it is going to be a shitty year for the US. You can’t ignore a pandemic and not wear a mask, and be let off by an invisible virus. The virus will do what it was always going to do: kill, and leave people with random health side effects.
2021 is not the time to poke your tongue out at America. Or come from a place like Australia (where I live) and be a smart ass about your zero covid cases. Everybody is a genius in hindsight.
America needs the world’s help.
This is going to sound crazy: the countries who have done well and fought the pandemic should give their vaccine doses to America.
It’s the least the world can do. America has done plenty of good. It’s time for the world to pay it forward to America, even if you think they don’t deserve it. Nobody deserves to die or be left out in the cold. We’re human after all.
If America has a bad year then it’s terrible for humanity. Be the change.
Understand money better or you’ll be working hard for the rest of your life.
There was a record amount of money created out of thin air in 2020.
The best way to explain it is if the government forced you to give them $2000 to help pay for the damage caused by 2020 then you’d say “no way amigo” and go out in the street and protest.
But if the money you have in your bank account isn’t taken away from you then it’s natural to think you’re fine. The easiest way to make society pay for a natural disaster is to print money, and devalue the money of the people who don’t understand it.
Stocks went to record highs in 2020 because the excess money people and companies didn’t need was put into the market. If I gave you $1M then you wouldn’t buy $1M of groceries; you’d by real estate or stocks. Hence, both of these assets mostly went up. That doesn’t mean the economy is healthy or stocks will continue to boom. It means the economy and reality will remain disconnected for a while longer (perhaps all of 2021).
Stock prices can’t ignore economic data forever.
It’s temporary — which means you want to understand money and how it works. You want to understand the different types of assets and what their individual attributes are (good and bad). If not, you’ll be taxed quietly while the billionaires pay zero tax, sell their stocks and laugh.
Have a conversation that could save your life.
2020 tore apart our psychology.
Even if you’re a happy-go-lucky kinda person, you’ve been hit psychologically. Being locked in your home does stuff to your brain. It’s normal and nothing to be ashamed off. Not being able to see humans or hug them has an affect on you. Being isolated from family overseas is devastating.
Lean into the hit on your psychology.
It’s okay not to be okay because of 2020.
The most important thing you must do is ask for help if you need it. It’s okay to talk to a psychologist or admit you’re not so positive due to everything that has happened. The first step is always a conversation. Tell a friend you trust about how you’re feeling.
There’s no point hiding overwhelm. It only burns a hole in your bright future.
Tell your boss you’re getting a second income.
2021 may involve more home time. Home time is the best time to start a tiny hobby you could earn some money from. A second income isn’t about making you rich. It’s about showing yourself how powerful your skills and experience really are.
The biggest problem is people don’t believe in themselves. You have to believe in yourself and your ability to knock 2021 out of the park. The trouble is you need evidence.
You lie to yourself in your head every day.
Offering your skills and charging money for them is how you gain the evidence of what you can do, and prove yourself to be a liar so you can gain momentum.
Second incomes in 2021:
- Content creation: News Break, Vocal+, Youtube, Facebook Videos.
- Freelancing: writing blog posts, resume writing, video creation for businesses, coding, building websites.
- Launch an online course: show 30 people how to do something. Charge $99 per student. Upload the videos to Teachable.
- 1–1 coaching: teach someone via Zoom how to do something. These clients can be found on platforms like LinkedIn. Look for people who have a problem or ask you questions.
- Create an online community via Slack, Facebook Groups, Quora, etc. A community is where you meet people you can do business with. Take a percentage of the community and offer a premium membership. See the Youtube channel, Nugget’s News, for an example of this.
- Create a paid Newsletter via ConvertKit. Hire researchers to help level-up the quality of the content. The best newsletters are niche and well-researched. Polina Marinova quit her job at Fortune Magazine to do this. Check out her newsletter, The Profile, to inspire you to create your own.
A second income will show you your hidden potential.
Secretly help those who are knocked out by the economy.
This is not a tip designed to make you look good.
You don’t need to hold hands and sing kumbaya. This advice goes beyond religion and doing the right thing. People are going to need help, just like you once needed help.
The problem with helping is this: people freaking Instagram it. Or they want to show off how helpful they are.
The best kind of help is secret help.
Help people secretly who need it. Pay it forward. Oh, and it doesn’t need to involve money. The best help you can give is the gift of your labor, or a calming voice to a person who has seen everything in 2020.
The global economy is in rough shape. It’s to be expected. And it’s not going to bounce back in 30 days. It will take time for humanity to rebuild the economy, but we always manage to. That’s the best bit. Gold won’t become the global currency. Financial markets won’t close down forever. Banks won’t all take your money and run to the Cayman Islands for a 2021 sleepover.
The problem for the global economy in 2021 is that the world’s reserve currency, the US dollar, is going to struggle due to the health crisis. There may even be further lockdowns or restrictions required to reign in the virus and give it a spanking.
Further jobs may be lost. Businesses will close. Homelessness will probably increase. This creates lots of opportunities for you to help those who will need it. Your ability to be helpful will shape the meaning of your life. Do it.
You may not think 2021 sounds like the best year yet. It may sound worse than 2020. It won’t be.
Humanity always comes back bigger and better from any crisis.
The trick is not to be complacent. Things are never going to be the same again. The work you used to do, the economy, money as you know it, and countries you want to travel to are going to forever be disrupted. That’s the start of something beautiful, if you ask me. Society was getting too complacent. Money was threading the world with hidden evils.
Now we have to ask ourselves this difficult question: What have we really got? Answer: Each other.
Make 2021 the year you help to create a page in the history books that will be remembered long after you exit this world. You’re going to tell your grandkids and future generations about this moment in history. Savor alive time.