Hard work is more important than talent

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There is no stronger ally than hard work and continuous practice when you want to achieve your goals. I believe that hard work never betrays us and great achievements are always the result of hard work. Albert Einstein said that Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work, Thomas Edison said that Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration and Liviu Rebreanu, a Romanian writer puts it this way: One quarter of talent and three quarters of hard work will barely make a masterpiece. They have proved they were right.

I already wrote about my passion about Korean language and Korean dramas. Actually, I was inspired to write this article while watching a Korean drama, Prison playbook. The series tells the story of a successful baseball player who was sentenced to 1 year in prison after he killed the guy who tried to rape his sister. The main character had already had a surgery after a car accident in his youth and he had received chemotherapy for stomach cancer. However he successfully passed all these trials and he practiced a lot and became an even better baseball player. While he is in prison he is stabbed in his shoulder by a cell inmate and he finds out that he won’t be able to play baseball. However, he practices a lot in prison and trains everyday and he discovers that he can use his other hand to throw the balls. He is the portrayal of a passionate man who works hard and fights for his dream. He never gives up, he tries to find another way even when it seems impossible.

Thus while watching the series with eyes wide open, I started to analyze my Korean learning journey. I remembered the beginning, I saw myself again in the study room trying to read the words without using romanization, I saw myself writing words on hundreds of pages, reading texts again and again in order to read faster and faster. I remembered how I cried every time I failed, every time I was disappointed in my results, every time I succeeded. I used to think that my efforts were not enough, that I was not good enough after all these years. I only thought about me who was still unprepared, me who was still far from being confident in this language, me who was still disappointed that I am not getting better. I forgot about me who studied even after work when I was already tired. I forgot about me who studied alone and tried to become better. I forgot about me who didn’t give up even if it was already so difficult. No wonder I could not see the results. When you don’t appreciate the efforts you made for your dream, you won’t be able to see the progress, no matter how small it might be.

The bigger one’s passion is, the bigger the efforts are. The more we sacrifice, the bigger the disappointment is when the results are not what we expected. Shouldn’t we pat our own shoulder more for not giving up, for continuing to work hard even when results are not what we expected? Shouldn’t we appreciate ourselves for being better than we were yesterday even if the step we took forward is hardly visible? Shouldn’t we be more grateful to us who worked so hard for what we love? It takes as much courage to give up as it takes to go on. It is always our choice to do one or the other.

As for me, I may not be the best learner, but I never wanted to be that. All I ever wanted was to never give up on learning Korean, on learning new languages, a hobby of mine, as you already know. I am doing that and that alone is great. I am still learning and studying hard. I have a passion that motivates me to work even more. Every step I take, every new word I learn, every page I fill with my thoughts in poor Korean is still an effort I make toward my goal. Who cares is not perfect? If it was perfect than I would stop learning and that would be more painful than advancing slowly.

It is hard to see that your progress is not matching the efforts you put into something you really like doing. But the satisfaction you feel when you see you finally got it cannot be described into words. I remember how proud I was when I realized I understand more Korean than I thought while watching dramas without English subtitles or even without Korean subtitles at all. I was so proud that I started crying like a baby. I was that happy and satisfied. When something is making you that happy, you know you must never give up on that thing. Continue doing it no matter how slowly you advance. One day you will be surprised by how much your efforts have flourished.

So keep learning, keep doing what makes you happy no matter what others say, no matter how hard it gets. You will get there someday.
Until then, stay positive and healthy and I’ll see you around.

Today’s quote 3

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If a man chooses a certain Way and seems to have no particular talent for this Way, he can still become a master if he so chooses. By keeping at a particular form of study a man can attain perfection either in this life or the next (if a next life is believed in).
― 
Miyamoto Musashi

As a child I loved learning a lot of different things, but over the years my learning style got all over the place. I became disorganized and I didn’t focus on the things I liked the most, but instead I learned whatever caught my attention. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I am still fascinated with learning new things. But lately I have realized I am not a master in any of it.

My biggest passion are languages. I love learning languages because I feel that every time I learn a new language, a new door to another world opens for me. Languages are another way of travelling to other worlds, to other times, to other cultures.

I have been studying Korean for 6 years now and I feel that Korean is the language my heart resonates the best with. However, after all these years my Korean is still flat. I thought many times that maybe my efforts weren’t enough. It saddened me a lot. Now I like to believe that every language you learn is a new journey you begin. I guess my Korean learning journey will take longer than I thought. But it doesn’t matter. It is a journey I chose and the one that I might enjoy the most.

I know that hard work pays off. I really believe that with great efforts comes the sweetest satisfaction. Great success never comes easily and I never chose the easy way when I wanted to achieve great things. I know that only continuous efforts will take me closer to my scope, even if the process will take longer than any other. Rather than focusing on the final destination, I decided to focus on enjoying the process and of course never give up on something that I really love. This is valid for anything you want to do. Keep doing it, do your best and enjoy the process. I promise you that one day you will see the results.

Today’s quote 2

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Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” – unknown

When studying Literature in school, a person that was in the autumn of life was an old person and a person in the winter of life was closer to death. Even people who don’t know a thing about literature know what autumn of life means: losing hope, the energy to live, the beauty… Thus autumn seems to bring a negative vibe, a pessimistic atmosphere, depression, regrets and death…

I loved autumn since I was a child. I loved its colors, its relaxed atmosphere, its smell, the falling leaves, its warm days. Everything! I have to admit that I became melancholic and I knew I would miss going outside, the trees, the colors, the fresh air. Autumn is not a season that takes the summer away from us. Autumn is change and change is usually good. Or we can make it that way. Autumn shows us that this is not the end, it shows us how to age beautifully. Autumn is all about accepting the you as you are now, letting go of your regrets and living at the fullest what is left. Because what is left might be your happiest time.

Today’s quote 1

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As it gets colder and colder everyday, the last warm days of autumn are even more precious and lovelier.

These days I’m so much into ASMR videos. The sound is soft and it helps me create a cozy atmosphere. I often listen to ASMR ambience while cooking, reading and even while writing. It helps me concentrate and I feel more relaxed and inspired at the same time.

Today, while listening to some ASMR ambience, I found a nice quote that suits my feelings about autumn and about these day’s weather: “Autumn… the year’s last, loveliest smile.” – John H. Bryant (Indian Summer)