Letters— Lessons From Last Year

Last year was good and this year can be better

Photo design by author

Dear friend,

I received your messages wishing me a Merry Christmas and a blissful 2020. I’m sorry I couldn’t reply, but I want you to know that I appreciate the effort.

I have seen your trending “detty December” pictures on social media. I’m glad you’re having fun. I only hope you did not forget that after “detty December” comes “unending January”? Many folks easily forget that the 31 days in January are a mirage – it is actually longer (but that is a story for another day).

This is my first letter to you this year, hence I thought it best to recount some of the lessons I learned from last year. They might seem random, but you’d get a hang of it:

Have a plan and start early. Get God involved in all you do, there is only so much you can do by your own strength. Work hard and work smart; and when it seem like you’ve done all you can, do some more.

Network and make new connections. But more importantly, make friends – you’ve got to be more interested in people beyond their perceived economic value. Pray. Pray. Pray.

Read and gather new knowledge, but do not make amassing knowledge your goal. Our glory shouldn’t be in what we know, rather it should be in what we can and have achieved in what we know. Knowledge – as much as it is a blessing, can easily become a curse. Give. Give. Give.

Always keep in touch with family, and never forget old friends. I lost a friend last year, and it was one of the most painful moments of my life. Oftentimes we assume that our friends are “styling”, whereas they are facing untold battles – a call can do miracles.

Learn new skills and don’t forget to keep improving. In the last decade, we've seen the rise of Instagram, Snapchat, Google Assistant, and the self-driving car, just to mention a few. One can only imagine what we will see by the end of this one – if you do not improve, you will get left behind.

Do business with honesty. Prioritize consistency over intensity. Never be afraid of trying out new things, the best strategies are the ones you find out yourself. Be different. Work with people that are ready to get things done. Develop a strong saving culture – there are numerous “money sinks” around, do not get entangled.

Keep shooting your shots – even if you get turned down, you’ll still be noticed. Make mistakes but learn from them. And if you manage to find someone you like, do not be afraid to go for it.

Whether 2020 will be a happy year or not largely depends on you. It is not the “newness” of the year that matters, but how much value you can create with the newness.

I hope that in the midst of this “New Year” euphoria (which will very likely die down in the next few days), you will take quiet time to go through this letter.

Write back whenever you can, I’m always glad to hear from you.

With love,




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