Positive Diary #20 – How I started to run

Running. Everyone is running. Running is the new black. 

It seemed to me like one of the signs of successful people, no matter what they were successful in. I always wanted to run but my efforts every time got me before I even started. Therefore, I also admired people who run, it’s simple: if they can overcome this suffering and sustain this pain for so long, they definitely have the stronger will then I do. And then, you know how these thoughts can spin around your head and create a personal picture of yourself, where you seem to be not focused, not strong enough and not dedicated enough. What is more dangerous, when those thoughts start to pour into other dimensions of your life, into your beliefs of your own capabilities and into your self-esteem in general. It takes more than that, of course, but it can be one of those doubting sources for pour thinking about yourself. Yeah, self-doubt is almost like my guilty pleasure.

So, you can easily imagine my surprise, when I got some nice equipment (a watch, actually) and a proper partner, and I gave it a try. And it worked. I was able to run along my personal training program and I didn’t want to die after that. Moreover, after the run and a shower, I felt as energized and powerful as almost never before. How is that even possible?

Like in many other areas of my life, I see part of the answer to this question in my own perfectionism. And stubbornness. I always thought that when I go out and aim to run, I should run for the whole time. Even for the first time. And when I had to slow down to walking so I could catch my breath, I perceived that as a weakness, as something given and unchangeable. My first and almost immediate response was: “Okay, I’m not good enough. I should stop making a joke out of myself and stop with this nonsense.” And of course, I used my stubbornness for making me actually believe that and never try it again. I could have use it to become better in running, actually, but that would be a totally different person.

I basically needed someone kind to explain me, that even running needs time to learn it properly and that my body needs training to adjust in order to reach my goal, which, let’s admit it, wasn’t exactly unreachable. Last year was one of the hardest ones, but also the luckiest one, because I have actually met this kind person and fallen in love with him. Sportsman by his heart and soul, dedicated runner. He introduced me to this idea slowly (he recognized my stubbornness too, haha) and I started to wonder, really slowly: Should I give it another try?

Another observation I made in this matter is, that you need two things: an authority to follow in your training and a way to see how you progress. I found this on a recommendation of my kind one in sport watch from Garmin. Not only they can show you how you improved physically (like how fast you run or how was your heartbeat during different stages of the run) and help you to improve your sleeping cycles or stress management, these can tailor you a nice running plan to help you accomplish your goals. For me, someone who never run properly before but prefers to not to ask anyone for professional advice, this is just revolutionary. And suddenly, I have my authority and progress, peacefully resting literally within reach of my arm.

After two weeks of running, I dare to say – running is awesome! It is good for your body, for your digestion, skin, muscles, posture and everything, but also for your soul, because you can feel super energized afterwards, have this sense of accomplishment and notion that you did something right for yourself. I start to feel my knees though, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to not to have to stop with it. Hopefully, a proper pair of shoes and a right technique will do the trick.

How about you, do you like running? Do you hate it? Any tips for hurting knees? 

Learning tip #3 – Online classes

They say when you put money into your own self-development, it is the best investment you can do. I decided to follow this advice now, when I have more time to focus on improving my skills, and I purchased one-year membership of MasterClass.

 

I have to admit, I miss studying. I still could (and should, although I don’t know whether I will) write my thesis to finish my study program and finally get my master’s degree. But writing a thesis is not my favorite way of studying and writing it just for the sake of getting the degree feels also really dishonest and wrong to me. No. I miss the awesomeness of receiving new information on everyday classes, putting them into context and maybe even the adrenalin rush at the end of a semester and competing with myself to get all the A’s from all classes. Where are those times now?

We live in a blessed time when everyone can study on their own. There is so many books and many of us speak lots of different languages, which means the world lays on our desks as an open book waiting for us to read it. Many can do it by themselves and I admire that. But I personally always struggle with finishing things up, whether it’s reading a book, writing a novel or learning new skill. Maybe I miss some kind of authority over these activities since these are all things that I’m doing just for myself.

I hope I will become my own authority in the future, I will be the boss. But before this happens, I wanted to try a different guidance. And all those very well aimed YT ads were suggesting that I could get really epic teachers – Neil Gaiman, the legend, the writing genius, who teaches storytelling. Or Annie Leibovitz, who teaches, well, guess what, the art of photography. And many others. It even made me miss my time on journalism bachelor’s program I finished years ago. I realized how thirsty I am for learning from the best of the best.

Of course, MasterClass is super expensive but when you purchase it in a time of their one+one membership for free campaign, you can split the price in half with whomever is interested in those classes as well. And that is a great deal.

I am planning to do a proper review once I finish one or two of these classes. But for now, I have to say I am pretty satisfied. I started the Neil Gaiman’s class and I love it. The way he teaches, the truths he uncovers, which you always kinda knew but never were sure about them or never exactly understood how to make use of them. And if you read something from Neil Gaiman in the past, you know that everything he is sharing with you is genuine, honest. I’m definitely already in love with this class.

So, why am I writing all of this? I think it is never bad idea to give someone a push. And, as I already mentioned in one of this week’s positive diaries, we had never had as much time to use for self-development before as we have now, when all restaurants, theaters or even borders are closed. When life throws lemons at you, do yourself a lemonade. If you want to learn something, do it now. Are you wondering about purchasing a MasterClass, Skillshare or Udacity membership? Well, I say, let’s give it a try!

 

Some of them offer even free quarantine time for studying!

 

So, what are you still waiting for?

 

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5 Reasons Why You Shoud Start Practice Meditation

Meditation – for some people sacred grail, for others just a lunetics’ practice and waste of time. Here are my 5 reasons for which I love practicing meditations and tips where to start, if you are interested.

Enjoy it and let me know, what was you experience with meditation like!

LIKE. SHARE. SUBSCRIBE! It will be very appreciated

 

5 Tips on How to Become Fluent in Foreign Languages

While learning a foreign language, there always comes the moment when we are ready to speak with a native speaker. At least, our exams and tests say so. But the truth is, that speaking a foreign language is also a lot about self-confidence. For those of you, who have been struggling with this issue, I have listed down five tips to overcome the insecurities of actually using the language you have worked so hard to learn.

 

  1. Solid basics

Of course, this is crucial. You need to have solid knowledge of the language you are trying to speak with confidence. I am learning English since I was twelve and I have to admit that I was very lucky with people who I got as English teachers. Special thanks go to my teacher from high school and another one from my journalism bachelor program on my university.

There are however few things you can do even though you weren’t as lucky as I was. You can always try to find a suitable course of a desirable language near your place or you can give a try to an online course as well.

It is also important to have a good textbook, grammar website or a CD-ROM at hand, so you can always check a phrase or a grammar when you are not entirely sure.

 

  1. Watch a movie, TV show or play a PC game

This is my most favorite part since I am a big lover of American and British TV shows. In Czech Republic, the dubbed movies and TV shows are a very normal and popular thing. And while watching them in English, it feels little bit less as a waste of time to me. This is a great tip for those who want to improve their conversational skills.

 

  1. Read a book, listen to an audiobook or a podcast

For those who want to strengthen their abilities as storytellers in that particular language or for those who seeks to expand their vocabulary, there goes my number three tip. What worked great for me was the combination of reading the book and listening to the audiobook at the same time.

Podcasts are quite a new phenomenon to me, as my closest American friend recommended it to me few months back, but they are great! I appreciate them especially on my way home after a very long day, when I don’t really feel into listening to some music. And when you find a podcast that really attracts your attention, these can be great also for your cardio exercising.

 

  1. Join a buddy program!

As you will hear in my video, buddy programs are the best! Not only it will strengthen your language skills, boost your confidence and give you the approval of native speakers themselves, through buddy program you can meet the best people in your life and start a new friendships for a lifetime. I was in a buddy program for about four semesters and this experience also helped me to get better with socializing and pushing my introvert limits beyond.

This tip is much easier to do for those who are still in college or in high school, but I believe there are some options even for those who already work fulltime. Go and check my video where I came up with some ideas!

 

  1. Talk – no matter what

You need to get used to you speaking the foreign language. In order to do so, there is nothing easier than starting to talk to yourself with that language, so you wouldn’t feel awkward every time you are forced to use it in public.

We all know these moments, when we are getting bored at home or when we have to do some silly manual work just to have it done – doing laundry or cleaning the house for instance. And these are exactly those moments which you can use to practice the language. This will give you the sense of how you actually sound while trying to pronounce the words correctly and also a save space to correct yourself if you make a mistake.

 

Bonus tip – ENJOY IT!

I would say that this tip, despite the fact it is just a bonus tip, is crucial for your success with languages. You should enjoy the process of learning the language and have fun with it. Study the language for yourself and this attitude will make it joyful to you.

 

Here comes my YT video about the topic where I discuss some of the tips further. Enjoy it and let me know which super hacks do you use to become better and better every day!

 

Learning Tip #2: Gratitude as the Essential Key to Success

As you already know, I am putting a big emphasis on building gratitude through my Positive Diary series here on my precious blog. I feel like once you will master the ability of gratitude it can expand into every branch of your life and bring you the most unexpected joy and happiness. Therefore, I decided that this surprisingly free of charge, but invaluable ability should be covered as one of my learning tips for being more successful in what you want to learn.

 

My new YouTube video aims exactly in this direction. I shot it during the last week and since then, many things in my life has changed. But I still believe in what I say in the video and I sincerely hope I will believe it until the rest of my life.

 

Why, you might wonder. Well, I have to admit that while practicing gratitude on everyday basis through my positive diary, working hard on my projects and attending my favorite classes at school, I was the happiest I have ever been. Of course, some days are harder that others and it is so easy to forget about one’s goals and gratitude in a face of a life’s strugglebut what is important is that you always need to find a way back and a will to fight back. And again, remembering your practiced gratitude can help a lot with this comeback as well.

 

I hope you will enjoy my tiny video which captures one beautiful day in Prague and one important message. And let me know how do you power your dreams; how do you manage to complete your goals.

Happy Sunday, my friends!

 

Learning Tip #1: Start now!

As I was thinking through what I actually can do pretty well to share it with you and to make your life more comfortable through my advices, I realized there is a one thing in which I excel: Studying!

You might say that I am a nerd, but it wasn’t always like this. I needed to find this role and now – I basically cannot imagine my life without learning new things, without deadlines for essays and without the stress before and relief and joy after I take a difficult exam. I believe I got used to this role by conquering certain ways of studying, focusing and putting my studies always first.

If you wonder how I did it, today is your lucky day! I have decided to create a new series about getting better at school or at studying itself because, let’s face it, you don’t need to be at university or high school to will to learn something new, right?

 

My first advice might seem trivial, but I remember how many times I’ve failed to follow it myself. If you want to get better at something, anything, you should start immediately. There will not be better time to start and if you manage to begin to work on your projects now, you will avoid the emotional breakdown at the end of the semester as the deadlines start to attack your sanity.

The same rule applies to difficult exams. In case you are a jittery student in the same way as I am, you can trust me on this – by preparing responsibly and in time you will be able to reduce your stage fright to only a necessary level. That is because you will know, while going to the exam, that you put the maximum effort into preparing yourself for the exam.

By starting now, I don’t necessarily mean you should lock yourself up in a school library and shouldn’t go out until the exam period is over. I only mean that continuous preparing is much better than only spending some time with the study material right before the exam. As I know from my experience, everything is easier to remember when you heard of it several times in the past. And the same works for studying.

 

You can now weigh how much effort will it cost you to start with just a few baby steps now comparing to how stressed and nervous you will be if you let it be until the deadlines threaten with open fire on you (trust me, I’ve been there).

 

Choose wisely. 🙂

 

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