2020 – A Year full of challenges, losses, learnings, and opportunities

2020 – A Year full of challenges, losses, learnings, and opportunities

You can listen to this article on my podcast too – The Qamar Nomani Show

It’s okay to be ready for 2020 to be over. It’s been a crazy year—one filled with experiences and challenges that none of us could have been prepared for. Though each year brings its own set of blessings, challenges, and lessons to learn and 2020 was certainly no exception and was also full of surprises. As we head into 2021, I can’t help but reflect on what I’ve accomplished, what I’ve overcome, some regrets, some personal loss and the lessons I want to carry with me into the New Year.

There are many things i planned at the beginning of this year, some of them happened , some of them could not. Many unpredicted things happened too which left me into tears for many days. I tried putting them into words. Read along

Things I was able to do this year –

The life I had designed for myself would have been great. I don’t doubt that. But look at what life gave me instead. This year i was all planned to be settled to Germany with my wife, which could not happen due to COVID. My client changed their decision to sponsor my work visa and I felt really bad at that time. Majority of the companies specially automobile industry for which i was working were largely impacted so i respect their decision.

Became Cyber Security Architect Not moving abroad gave me the opportunity to explore other things in my life, and I was able to switch my employer and joined as a cybersecurity architect. This was one of the very things that I aimed for and achieved. The other good thing that happened this year was that I was made one of the key members of the cloud security interview panel. So far I have interviewed more than 30 individuals some of them were having more than 18 years of experience. Being on the other side of the interview is a great learning zone to be in.

Started new podcast – In July, I started this podcast – ‘The Qamar Nomani Show’ – so far I have been able to record and published only 4 episodes and it has touched the audience of 24 countries and has been played more than 1000 times so far.

Started youtube channel – I started a YouTube channel to put some demo videos related to the blogs I write, however, there is nothing much I was able to do in that zone.

I was able to write a few blogs on my website – infortified.com and QamarNomani.in.

I could have recorded more episodes, written more blogs, published more videos however I will take all the blame for my failed attempt of multi-tasking, my master’s degree in procrastination, and being into the newly married comfort zone.

Became MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) – I also became MCT – Microsoft Certified Trainer, this year for the first time, this is also one of the things I aspired to become one day but this was not on the list. Being an MCT opened the door to the greatest communities in the world for learning and contributing back to society, I was also featured in one of the videos of Microsoft MVP along with some of the greatest MCTs around the world, this was definitely not into my to-do list.

Started Boutique for my sisters – A few weeks ago I started Boutique for my sisters, the boutique is called – Kosmos Boutique, and they have been getting a good response so far, check their page FB, Insta, and google. I have been thinking of starting something for them, finally, it’s there.

Guest speaker at Jamia Millia Islamia – I was invited to speak and interact with students to the same university I passed from – on Cybersecurity future prospects; it was incredible

Learned to cook awesome biryani  –  I learned to cook awesome biryani from a channel called – ‘The Lubna Show’. For those who don’t know, The Lubna Show is a youtube channel started by my partner, before the pandemic. You will find videos on food, travel, plants, and lifestyle. if this is something that you can relate to – give it try!

Moved to a new place – We moved to this new apartment in the same city, I like this apartment even more because it has this fresh environment like villages, full of greeneries and fresh airs. and the best part of all is that I got a separate room for my things, home-office cum studio.

Started Cycling – I started cycling this year too, 20 KMs a day, and then again became irregular on that part. Hope to be regular this year.

Books read this year – Few books that I read or listened in the forms of audiobooks this year were – Rich Dad Poor Dad, Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella, The Subtle art of not giving Fuck, Deep Work, Ikigai Atomic Habits, Psycho-Cybernetics, Sapiens, Becoming and Think like a Monk. However there are many unfinished books lying on my shelf and waiting for me, so hopefully new year more books coming year.

Travel – We could not travel this year much however few places I traveled to this year were: Mumbai, Shimla. I love adventure and try new things when traveling and this time when I cliff jumped into the river realized how much weight I have gained. because this time I went much deeper and deeper into the water, like really deep because of my weight, and realized that keeping a check on the fitness should also have gotten better priority.

Regrets, personal loss, and unfinished task – 

Personal Loss – I was reading something in the drawing-room, when my partner Lubna said – Qamar! Actor Irfan Khan is no more in a very normal tone, from another room. I was in a numb state for a while and then started crying with tears. It felt like my personal loss and I cried for days, my partner could not relate to why I am so much impact. We hear news of famous people dying every year, we generally feel a little sad, and then we move on. People like Irfan Khan, Jagjeet Singh, Manoj Bajpai, Mother Teresa, Michelle, and Barak Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, Opera Winfrey. I feel so emotionally connected with these people. that’s the incredible things about great people. When you read about their ordinary life and extraordinary achievements, somewhere you feel, if they can survive and do well, you can do it too!

The other personal loss happened when my best friend lost his father during the pandemic. I cried again for days, he was such a gentleman. He used to visit Delhi from Bihar to meet his son and my friend when we were studying, I used to meet and talk to him for hours. He was a man of few words, I used to get great moral support from him in my toughest days. I regret that I could not see him in his last days. The saddest part is, my friend was so shattered to go from Delhi to Bihar to see his beloved father for the last time, that he forgot to inform me and I got to know this news many days later.

Many things I could not finish this year some of them are –

+ Many books that I had promised to read, learn and also share my experience with you all.

+ Become a Published author, which could not happen in 2020. Let’s see how thing goes in 2021

+ Start my full-time course and training – though as an  MCT and I have multiple pieces of training lined up to be delivered in 2021 however this could not happen in 2020.

Lessons learnt for 2021

There few things that i am going to focus more this year, based on my learnings and failures some of them are –

Practice more empathy and compassion – I will try to practice empathy, compassion more. I will not rush in making decisions or forming opinions about things or people till I have sufficient knowledge about them.

Be more accountable – I will try to be more accountable. I usually don’t blame people for my shortcomings. Doing so might have immediate benefits, but it is detrimental in the long run. Neglecting accountability prevents personal growth. So I will try to be more accountable, own my mistakes, learn from them, and move on.

Spend Less time in planning – I also have realized that I spend too much time in planning and building a system that can be scaled up for bigger things however doing so limits me to put more time on the actual working of things. I keep on spending too much time on how to make an awesome podcast, or writing brilliant articles, or making awesome videos that I do not get time to do those things in actuality.

STOP BEING MULTITASKER – I fail big times whenever I try to multi-task. and I try doing this very frequently. Humans are not designed to multitask. I have lost 100s of hours in trying to do multiple things at a time, I have tried finishing too many things at a time. I have discovered and rediscovered a simple truth by failing multiple times and reading multiple books and that is.

The ability to concentrate single-mindedly on your most important task, to do it well, and to finish it completely, is the key to great success and happiness in life.

Be more persistent, Constantly adapting to new ideas, and embrace ambiguity- I will try to be more persistent, Constantly adapting to new ideas, and embrace ambiguity. Speaking to ambiguity – I read this article somewhere a couple of months ago, it goes like this – 

Ambiguity is difficult. When the path is not spelled out, it means that you have to make more challenging decisions. The top 1 percent of people love ambiguity. It gives them an opportunity to be creative and stand out from those around them. They do not mind making hard decisions because they know that doing so will lead to higher impact, and it is more rewarding.

I am open to learning new skills every day and most importantly, I have my list ready and I will share it with you once I have learned those things already. The only motive of learning is to be a better version of myself and contribute back to society and people who need it most.

Let’s not get emotionally attached to our respective tribe, religion or political leaning to the point that truth and justice becomes secondary considerations. Let’s cherish our diverse culture and embrace inclusive relationships. 

I wish you very productive year, A year full of compassion and empathy! HAPPY NEW YEAR! Until next blog, signing off – Qamar Nomani 🙂

Qamar Nomani

I'm a cloud security architect working for an MNC in India. I spend my evenings writing articles about tech, productivity, and entrepreneurship, recording my podcast "The Qamar Nomani Show", and making YouTube videos.

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