The Best Life Lessons From the Pandemic

Mark Manson
19 min readSep 25, 2023

W e will remember this year for the rest of our lives. We will tell people decades from now, “This is what I did in 2020. This is who I was. This is what changed.”

A couple weeks ago, I reached out to my email list and asked, “What have been your biggest lessons from 2020?”

Over a thousand people replied, some with multiple pages of thoughts and experiences. The replies hailed from dozens of different countries, from men and women as young as 15 and as old as 84, from people who had one of the greatest years of their lives and people who had one of the worst.

After spending the greater part of a week combing through the emails, some major themes emerged. I’ve condensed those themes into the 10 practical takeaways below.

1. You Only Really Know Who You Are When Everything Is Taken From You

A year ago, if you told me that my favorite restaurants, half my friends and my crossfit gym would be taken from me, I would have freaked out. But not only do I not miss them, I think I might actually be happier without them.

— Andrew

In my book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, I wrote that it’s only by losing something that you can determine how much you value it. Therefore, the best…



Mark Manson

Author of #1 NYTimes Bestseller ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’. OG Blogger. Psychology Nerd. I enjoy cats and whiskey. But not at the same time.