Serendipity

At the end of 2019, just before the pandemic hit in early 2020, I had plans. But as soon as the pandemic hit and there was fear and anxiety all over the world, all the plans went out of the window. 2020 tested my kindness, courage, patience and tolerance.

The kids could not get back to school. Lockdown came and everyone had to be at home—wife, kids and myself. Everything was a test – a total departure from what we have known or experienced pre-COVID-19.

 

Forming new routines was a challenge. What to do once one wakes up? No more getting ready and driving to work. No more hanging out with colleagues and friends after work. Everything changed. The first three months of the year were total chaos in my pre-arranged life.

By March 2020, I started to get some rhythm. The following activities made the lockdown and the months that followed easier to bear:

  • Exercising (especially running. I ran over 600km in 2020)
  • Learning about personal finance and investing
  • Spending time quality time with the kids (with all the disruptions to work) and an insane amount of time with my wife.

 

I wrote a letter to my future self titled: You Survived The Pandemic. It is to be delivered to me on the 26th of September 2021, eighteen months in the future from the day I wrote it. Here’s the full letter:

“Hi my futurrer self,
2020 was indeed a life and death struggle and panic was in the air. It was the first time we had a global pandemic in my lifetime. At this time (April 2020), we had over 50 cases in Nigeria and over 40,000 cases in the US.
The pandemic started in China and then spread all over the world. People started to die and WHO began a study of the virus and the way it spreads.
At some point, some states and countries of the word were on total lockdown. Businesses had issues figuring out how to stay alive and also help stop the spread of the virus.
Congrats to you. You did not die. The fear most people had was because they were afraid that they’ll catch it and then die. America planned that in 18 months, the virus would be clear and the whole world will be rid of it. So, I am sending this letter to be delivered to me 18 months from now, when we will be free from this scourge.”
This is the first time I am sharing this letter publicly.

2020 surprised me when it came to an end. Firstly, I did not die. Secondly, I was able to achieve in one year what I’ve not been able to achieve in the previous 9 years in my finances. Thirdly, I realized that true kindness is a good way to live. We shared our food, money, time, energy with a lot of friends and neighbors, but we never lacked. The more we gave, the more we grew.

I met a group of 9 friends in 2020 that contributed a lot to how I’m building my financial future. This showed me more importantly that the people we spend a lot of time with have a huge impact on our lives.

I read a total of 15 books, mostly about finance in 2020, more books than I’d ever read in the last 9 years. I read some of these books 4 times and some I read 2 or 3 times. My top two books amongst the 15 are Atomic Habits by James Clear and The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to kickstart a financially stronger 2021.

I am a strong believer in the serendipity that some call luck. When I do things, I expect to make progress and win. Along the way, I fail many times and then by serendipity, I just win. I ended 2020 strong and hopeful that 2021 is going to be filled with more serendipitous moments.

Hoping COVID-19 spares my life, I hope to look back to 2021 and share some of the serendipitous events I am about to experience. I would not be moved by fear. I will love every moment of my waking life to create impact, show kindness, learn and keep growing.

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Welcome to the blog Jesse! Seeing you break 9 year old barriers in a particularly different year is food for thought. Thank you for sharing your year with us 🤝

Jesse

Loves to run when no one is chasing him.

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