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We can’t deny that 2020 was a challenging year. We were isolated, in quarantine, due to COVID-19, couldn’t see our family and friends, and some people even lost their income, or their jobs. In general, we all had to face a radical change in the lives we had before the coronavirus pandemic. But 2021 already started differently: with several vaccines available, we have a glimpse of a better year.

When we finally leave the pandemic behind us, many people will probably forget a lot of the challenges we faced in this period, but I think it’s important for certain lessons to stay alive inside of us. In the future, when you stop and think about this pandemic, it will be important to remember the good things we’ve learned in this difficult moment, especially the things that changed for the better in our lives.

If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s been to not worry too much about things I can’t control. Seeing life like this has helped me to put into perspective all the things that I should really worry about, and which things I should let go, because they’re out of my control. And it has taught me the subtle art of not dramatizing things too much. In the end, everything will be alright, one way or another.

7 resolutions to live better in 2021 | Orkut Buyukkokten
7 resolutions to live better in 2021 | Orkut Buyukkokten

So, focusing on things I can control, I’ve listed a few more important resolutions to live a better life, not only this year, but also in the future in general:

Be close to people I love

Quarantine has brought me the opportunity to spend more time talking to my friends and family. When the world opens up again, I want to keep deepening these relationships. For me, it was wonderful to renew and strengthen these relationships and realize that the people we love and who love us are the most important thing in our lives.

Focus on what makes me happy

Another thing I’ve learned from what 2020 deprived me of is that it’s best to think about the things I have than be sorry about what I don’t have. When I miss going out to parties with my friends, instead of being sad about it, I choose to be happy for having so many caring people around me, even if we need to be physically apart during these times. Seeing life this way has shown me the good things I’m grateful for and what really makes me happy.

Cherish kindness and beauty in small things

The pandemic has left (almost) everyone in the same boat. When we’re at home, at the end of the day, it’s not how much money we have in our accounts, the fancy car we drive or going to vacations in paradisaical places that matter. What really makes a difference is the kindness we give and offer to others: a smile that lightens up someone’s day, a “thank you” to recognize someone’s work, waking up to a beautiful sunrise…

Free up my wild side

Since everyone is a mess anyway, why not leave fear and shame aside and put the wishes we never had the courage to pursue into practice? Join an (online) improvisation class, singing out loud and dancing like crazy in your living room, wearing a crazy t-shirt with your jeans. I still don’t know what I’ll choose in 2021, but I want to expand my limits and my horizons, and I’d suggest you do the same!

Try out new things in life

Embracing diversity is something I advocate for proudly, not only in the gay front, but also in my life. Instead of doing the same thing over and over again, I can put this into practice in my daily life, talking to someone I never thought I’d talk to, reading a book with a different perspective than mine, hiring someone that doesn’t fit the standards and opening up my mind to other points of view. A tip for all of you single people out there: how about you go out with someone completely different from you? This could lead you to the love of your life, as I talked about here.

Have fun with hobbies I’ve forgotten

Just like some people out there, I had more free time during the pandemic. This allowed me, for example, to relive old hobbies, such as playing the keyboard, drawing, reading, painting and even going back to my roots in computer science and programming. And you? Do you not have a forgotten hobby that you can bring back this year? I challenge you to list some of them: and get to work!

Learn more, learn always

This isolation period has shown me how important it is to make time for fun and personal growth. Last year, I used my idle time to explore new interests and develop different skills. And now “learn always” has turned into a motto that I want to follow for the rest of my life.

In short, these are my resolutions to live 2021 in the best way possible, regardless of what might happen. What are yours? Leave a comment telling me!

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Orkut Buyukkokten is the co-founder and CEO of He is an internet entrepreneur and social media pioneer from San Francisco who has dedicated his life to bringing people together, online and offline. After developing one of the first social networks,, which at its peak had over 300 million users, Orkut has continued to inspire people around the world to come together and make authentic connections. Orkut is an out and proud gay man and a strong advocate of diversity and equality. He is a frequent commentator on the positive and negative impacts of social media, an outspoken critic of online bullying and a vocal advocate for the LGBT community. He is also an avid programmer, bartender, and certified massage therapist. Orkut loves to dance, and he is known for throwing one of the best parties during Pride in San Francisco.