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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The Positive Diary #18 – All the useful stuff

16th April – For the most of us, the current pandemic means restraints of freedom. We can’t go out whenever and wherever we want, some of us has lost their jobs, others lost a connection to their coworkers in offices as they are forced to work from home office. We cannot go to trips we planned, to concerts we paid for. We don’t even dare to dream about the future because we don’t exactly know, how it will look like. The traps of our mind, fears and regrets, might feel eternal, real and hopeless. I know it is hard, especially for some of us.

But hey, we are living in a time of great freedom and endless possibilities thanks to new gadgets and, especially, the Internet. Just look around… Do you feel lonely? You can connect to Discord or Skype and spend hours on the call with your friends and family. Is it still not enough? You can play together, wander through the Elwynn Forest or under the open skies of Middle-earth, or if you know more games than me, you can wander everywhere. And be safe.

Would you like to see a movie? And Netflix is not enough anymore? Well, there is HBO, Prime and many other different platforms. You just have to choose and enjoy it. Is it not the same without the popcorn and trashy people in a cinema? You can always make an online order and your precious popcorn will arrive. And if you really need someone to talk during a movie you want to see, you can go back to the first paragraph and try to call some of your friends.

Do you feel melancholically? Why won’t you listen to some of your favorite music? It is not the same as when you are on the go and you listen to it while being active every day, but it can definitely bring you those memories back. And the feelings you have when you listen to your favorite music, these won’t go away. Also, while listening to it at home and in no rush, you might notice, discover new aspects of these songs. All of the options of how we can listen to and approach to music have their own benefits.

Or maybe, you feel down and overwhelmed. The world seems to be falling apart, and you have no control over it. Luckily, there is plenty of useful mindfulness apps and even free YouTube meditation lessons online. You can just comfortably sit or lay on the mat and let these short voice recordings to calm you down. Maybe, you are too skeptical about trying it, but trust me, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain. If you can spare just ten minutes to give it a try, you will see for yourself.

Okay, maybe enough of fun. The TV shows are all the same, nothing can surprise you anymore and you feel empty and bored. Maybe it is a sign that you’ve had enough of fun and you are ready to work on your skills. I bet there is something, anything, you were hoping to learn for a long time now, but you never had the energy nor the time to give it a proper try. Well, guess what – this is the time we were all waiting for! If you belong to the lucky ones, who can work from home, keep their salaries, but still have an excessive amount of free time left, you can purchase some of the online lessons. I shared a subscription of MasterClass with my brother, but you can find whichever class or platform you like and get dedicated to fulfilling your dreams. There is many free “how to” and “DIY” videos on YouTube, you can try Patreon, Skillshare, whatever suits you better. Just go and give it a try.

Maybe the lessons are too much for you. Maybe all you wanted was time to practice your craft. Practice your writing, cooking, drawing, sewing, whichever skill you have and want to evolve. Because you have time to do it now.

The whole day sitting can also numb your senses, your will to enjoy the life. Luckily, you can always go to YouTube, Patreon or use any sport dedicated web or app to add a little more movement to your life. Yoga, pilates, dancing classes, shredding classes, whatever you prefer, it is there, just within a reach of you hand.

If you are tired of all those online activities, you can always grab a book you wanted to read for so long but never managed to merge entirely into it. Now you have the time. Jump into the story and let it to take you away. That is one of books’ magic purposes. They can also slow your overthinking patterns and calm you down, easily and naturally rock you to sleep.

 

I know times are hard and becoming even harder the longer they continue. I myself am having anxiety attacks when looking into future or just when I follow the news. It is overwhelming, even for a person who can easily work from home. But, as in other tough times and situations, I need to see the positive sides of this situation too. And when I look around, I see a lot. Despite the situation, internally, I have never been happier.

 

So now, just fix the outside world and we are done, right? Right.

 

Have a lovely day.

 

Yours,

 

Wicked and Clever

 

Šárka

 

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Perfect Spots in Prague: Kasárna Karlín

When you visit Prague for the first time and you usually have only limited time, the schedule is somehow very easy to figure out. There is the Charles’ Bridge and astronomical clock to see, trdlovník or svíčková to taste and beer or Becherovka to get drunk with. No problem with that, it just works like that when it comes to fast traveling.

But! For those moments when you have more free time to spare, when you are slow traveling or when you move to the city in order to live and work here, you will discover there is much more to see. And that these places are way better than classical crowded touristy spots.

 

Perfect Spots in Prague: Kasárna Karlín

Kasárna Karlín is a place which I have been thinking about for a while now, but I got to the visiting of the spot just recently. As I was starting my new life, I went to grab a beer with my new colleagues from my new job. Kasárna Karlín are basically former barracks situated near Florenc metro station in Prague 8. The place has some wibbly wobbly bewitched history with attempted privatization in the recent years. All you need to know though, is that so far, the whole building has been temporarily rented to a group of artists who promised to transform this forgotten yet remarkable place into a venue for cultural events and spot for people to meet in an informal atmosphere. And this promise was fulfilled on a 1000%!

Not only there is a plenty of tiny bars and businesses where you can taste lots of different and unusual kinds of beer and drinks, they also have draught cider (which is still not very common in Czech Republic). But there is also a volleyball field and many interesting cultural events take place here as well, such as open-air cinema, slam poetry events, public debates, yoga fest and much more.

If you are here to taste the mood of Prague or if you are working the whole day and you want to chill within the picturesque scenery of a remarkable classicist building with interesting history and strong genius loci, Kasárna Karlín is one of the places you should definitely not skip.

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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