Live colorfully 2021 and beyond

Every year the Prognosticators at Pantone – (those trend forecasters who scour the globe for months noting developments in clothing, cars, Kitchens, Coffee ( the stuff that surrounds us )) translate the prevailing trends into a color they claim will be the dominant shade of the coming year 2021. As John Mayer says, “Life is a box of crayons” I was keen to know what was the color they forecasted for 2020?


The description caught my attention of the color , particularly the 3C’s.

On Dec 27th, the Times of India carried very interesting pages on reflections of 2020. It was titled Ctrl+Alt+Del 2020. It was so apt. Presenting a montage of 5 2020 highlights:

  1. 6C’s – Coffee – Chip – Chair – Content Communications – Correcttion

a) How many different coffee mugs ?

My morning cup is a grande mug at 5.30 AM, followed by a coffee again medium cup at 11 AM ( Dad’s cup) and by 3 PM another small mug.

b) How many devices ?

On any day, the number of devices will be two laptops, two phones, and an iPad in-between weeks. My digital pets Ok google and Alexa for podcasts. During my walk, it is an Apple watch.

c) How many chairs ?

I tried around 4 chairs and 1 sofa. Each was important at that point in time. Two chairs were kept in the balcony for taking zoom calls and also to get some breath of fresh air as a lot of times sales calls use to take my breath away.

d) How much content?

Reading books, listening to content on YouTube from my list of go-to personal development role models, reading daily papers, and listening to podcasts used to be my routine for absorbing content. At times, taking some short online courses, workshops and webinars came in handy.

e) How many channels of communication?

My primary communication channel was my phone, MS teams, and Zoom. Limited use of Whatsapp on a personal phone. The email was limited to important ones.

f) How many times I learned and corrected?

Application of all that content into day to day life was the most enriching experience. I had moments where I made mistakes, realized them quickly, and corrected them. As they say, you learn more from implementation and through mistakes.

2. My date with OTT

On a given Monday, I will not forget to read the “City City Bang Bang” column by Santosh Desai. He has a knack for stitching together the current themes of the day with some nice connections drawn from his life through some wonderful use of words and phrases. One such article was on OTT in WFH times and I couldn’t agree with him more. There were conversations which I had with my friends and colleagues and it always veered around Netflix. As Santosh mentioned in the article, for small talk when in doubt, talk Netflix and as he nicely captured, conversations have a set script that unspools itself without any additional effort. In 2020 OTT came into my world and changed my view of viewing. There were times I created moments with the family to sit and enjoy together movies and this is the year I had seen the maximum number of movies with my family.

3. Time for Digital Detox and Hit Refresh

Jason Silva said it best, ” Technology is, of course, a double-edged sword. Fire can cook our food but also burn us”. I got into the practice to go into airplane mode in the late evening as it made me spend time journaling and doing some creative stuff. Another practice was to not check my phone in the morning as soon as I get up. I generally check only after my morning routines of reading, writing, and exercising. There were also moments with the family when the phone rings I decide to go with the flow of the discussions rather than take the phone. That continued when I used to watch some good comedy clips and nice songs. I live by this phrase, ” Put down your phone and pick up your life”.

4. Become comfortable with Direct to Camera

This year I must have taken around 25 videos (30 sec to 1 mins duration) in all parts of my apartment. inside and outside. Apart from adjusting my devices, I wanted to try different clothing and try a lot of different content that I have learned and applied. It was a great experience and this will continue into 2021 as the one skill to go after as the world is embracing your digital presence. My idea is to put out a vlog every week as I do with my blogs. Maybe embed it into the blog as well. I would like to master these video skills, also learn from my younger daughter how to use the editing options in the video apps. Have a mentor and mentors younger than you and learn from them

5. The year that made us think

I am a regular follower of “City City Bang Bang” articles by Santosh Desai which comes every Monday in the Times of India. Recently, he wrote about 2020-the year that made us all think. I read his article multiple times and couldn’t agree more with him. He mentions that ” Wherever we came from, and whatever our station in life we were forced to rethink so many ideas that we have taken for granted”. 2020 made me think and redefine camaraderie with family. This is the year I had the best communication with my daughters. My excuse always to myself was that since I was traveling that was taken for granted. We had maximum breakfast, lunch, and dinner conversations in years. The other part was each member of a family started thinking individually about what they want to do in life. Individually and collectively, there was a lot of brainstorming on places to visit, courses to study, people to meet. As we enter 2021 I recollect what Ratan Tata had written on 27th Dec in 2020, 5 gems of wisdom:

  1. Let us not take the Universe for granted, there is a larger power that governs us
  2. Let’s learn to live with humility and gratitude as life is uncertain
  3. We must do our best to keep ourselves safe by co-creating solutions that address humankind.
  4. Technology is transforming the way we eat, live, learn and play
  5. We need to foster a culture of innovation that converges with the right investment without fear of failure.

Shades of 2021

Pantone Color of the Year 2021

After “living coral” in 2019 and “classic blue” in 2020 get ready for two colors. in 2021. Ultimate gray and Illuminating are the colors of 2021 as chosen by the Pantone Colour Institute. In normal speak, it is signifying “Light at the end of the tunnel”.

It seems no one color could get across the meaning of the moment. As summed up nicely by Laurie Pressman, ” We all realized that we cannot do this alone. We all have a deeper understanding of how we need each other and emotional support and hope. So two independent colors coming together. The kind of gray of wisdom ( graybeards) and intelligence ( gray matter) and construction combining with sunshine or smiley face yellow.

So with this let us use this phrase This (2)0(2)0 shall pass for the blues and bid goodbye for now and fast tag to 2021.

Together I am sure this color combination will press us forward to live colorfully in 2021 and beyond.

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