21 Essential Things I Learned in 2021

Global Pandemic Chronicles Continued: Essential lessons of the great 22'

Renée Kapuku
4 min readDec 23, 2021


Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

It’s the classic ‘end of the year’ machination time. The time where everyone is oh-so-naturally reflective about the arbitrary span of time we call a year. I’m unashamed to say that I too, have naturally succumbed to the urge. As much as the über cool folks today scoff at the idea of end of year reflections and new year goals, I think it’s important to have intentional time to reflect and think about how you have spent a stretch of time. You won’t get it back, after all, and as the drumbeat of time continues to beat, it’s important you maximise our most sacred currency.

So, without further ado — here’s the 21 things I learnt in 2021.

  1. Drink your damn water: Hydration is essential. Needless to say, Water keeps you alive and all that jazz. Amidst a global pandemic? Essential. 2–3L a day, not a ml less.
  2. Do not adjust the size of your ambitions: Don’t shrink your ambitions due to what the present reality dictates about what is possible. Instead, focus on growing into the kind of person that is capable of sustaining them at that size.
  3. Be obsessed with optimisation: Don’t just focus on doing things, focus on optimising. Keep chasing a better workout, a better job role, a better version of you.
  4. Prioritise self-education: Make it a priority to learn something new. Whether that be on a daily or weekly basis, through reading, or listening to podcasts, or watching content. Keep educating yourself, always.
  5. Prioritise your current relationships…: Platonic, professional, romantic. The whole show. Focus on intensifying and growing these relationships.
  6. …but don’t be afraid to water new ones: You may not have met everyone who will love you in this lifetime. Don’t be afraid, if circumstance permits, to water the seeds of new relationships.
  7. Go for it. Seriously: Whatever it is you want most. Go for it. There’s nothing stopping you, but you.
  8. Start now: Related to number 7, if there’s something in your life you really want to do? You better start taking steps towards that thing. Now. Yes, I mean as you read this article. Start now.



Renée Kapuku

Investing in impact | Education | Gender Equity. | Building better people and communities. 🌱