My Top 5 Lessons From 2021

#1: No one ever bypasses emotion to reach a successful outcome

The biggest blocker I had in achieving my personal goals at the start of this year was my mental and emotional state. I was constantly jumping from project to project, even having the opportunity to consult for the United Nations. In the spare time I had, I optimized for conversations with others, learning from mentors and building relationships, even finding some of the closest friendships I currently have. While many of these projects and conversations were extremely fulfilling, I was burnt out. I spent minimal time in my own company and on reflecting, as it seemed unnecessary and temporary.

#2: Success isn’t a destination

I spent the past several years and the beginning of this one treating personal success as a checklist to reach a given destination. By crossing everything off of this theoretical checklist, I believed I would attain success in the short or long term.

#3: We are in control of our experiences

As I made the transition back to in-person school in August and the beginning of September, I struggled to realize that my priorities were not aligned with what I was spending my time on.

  1. School and activities that I spend a majority of my day on don’t have to be passive learning time, but only if I actively find value in them

#4: Inertia and creating opportunity for progress

Newton’s first law says that an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion unless acted on by an unbalanced force.

#5: Plans are meant to be living documents

One of the most important realizations I had towards the end of the year after a conversation was that plans are meant to be living documents. They are meant to be updated and refreshed, not to be feared, and not to be scrapped completely when something falls off-plan.



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Manasi Gajjalapurna

Manasi Gajjalapurna

AI, women’s health, and education | a collection of my thoughts |