The good things that come with journaling

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Everything is good, but it’s better when you try it yourself. Journaling has its benefits, as meditation, yoga, working out, painting have their benefits as well. There are so many good things that you can try or learn for your personal development, but only after trying doing it, you will actually see if it works for you or not.

Today I want to talk about journaling and the benefits I could see since journaling consistently for more than 2 years.

Consistency
As I am the type who likes to learn and try so many things/activities, I try to stay consistent in the activities that I like the most. If I wouldn’t do so, I would be very disorganized and I wouldn’t benefit from my work. It has been more than 2 years since I have started keeping a journal and I think that I have been doing great writing on a regular basis in both my Korean and English journals. Consistency can be seen in time, and doing something for a longer period of time can also teach us new things about ourselves.

Becoming more sincere with myself

This is one of the things that I am most grateful for. Before writing my thoughts in a journal, I had a big problem with accepting my mistakes and my feelings. Actually, at first I didn’t know how to write and I tried to write things that might sound cool, ignoring my true feelings. When I tried reading again after a while, I couldn’t recognize that person, because I wasn’t sincere with myself, I wasn’t writing about myself. I thought that even writing a journal is not that easy as it sounds, but with practice and patience I could become more sincere with myself and accept more of my parts that are not that cool and that I tried to hide even from myself.

Clearer mind
At some point, journaling became more of a confession. As I tried writing about my feelings as they were, my heart lightened and my mind became clearer. Journaling about one’s feelings should not be seen as dumping the trash, but rather as becoming aware of what we actually feel, be it sadness, anger, envy or happiness. People often think that talking about how they really feel makes them vulnerable, and it is actually true. However, not talking about them and not knowing the name of what they feel might become a poison.

Improving my languages
I don’t know why, but it is difficult for me to write in my mother tongue. I used to write a lot in Romanian, but at some point, I started writing only in other languages. It might be because I wanted to improve my languages or maybe because I was afraid other people would find my diaries. I don’t remember when it started and why, but I know one thing: my writing in English particularly got a lot better, and even my Korean writing is a lot more advanced than it was before.

Express myself better
I feel like I can write about anything more clearly and more easily. This is related to what I have aforementioned, writing my thoughts on paper got better. On one side it is because I became friends with the language I write in, but on the other side I think I became friends with writing as well. Writing is also something that can get better with practice. Writing is like talking with no voice, and to be honest, after writing my thoughts on paper, I feel I can hear my inner voice a lot better. For me, journaling is like learning to talk to myself and about myself.

Accomplishing more goals
In my journal I often make promises. The hardest promise to keep is the one that you make to yourself. When I write my promises on paper, the chances to keep those promises increase. That is because when I visualize it, my brain stores the words and starts finding ways to make it happen. A written promise it is also more powerful because there are traces of it. When you speak of it, it is easy to forget it, but when you write it, you can see it whenever you go back on your writings.

Journaling is beautiful and it has many benefits. I only mentioned the ones that are the most important to me and according to my own experience. What I find even more beautiful is that according to your own experience, you might find different benefits and different ways to make journaling something of your own. Journaling should be like that.

Thank you for reading.

The stories that will never be told

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When I first started blogging, I had two or three articles that I have already written and that helped me to feel less stressed about posting for about two weeks. When I finished posting all these articles, I felt like “ok, and now what?“. I felt like my resources were over and I wasn’t sure that starting a blog was the right thing to do.

However, I was thinking of ways to always have topics prepared, so I started doing what I do best: lists.
Every time an idea pops in my head, I try to write it down immediately on my list in my phone, and as I keep my phone by my side at all times, this is not that hard to do.

By now the list got longer. Truth to be told, there are many things to write about even if I don’t have that list. However, knowing that I have a back up plan for the “just in case situations” makes me feel less stressed and concentrate on what I really want to write about at a certain moment.

Having a big list with ideas to write about, doesn’t mean that I will write about all those topics. Why? Because there are ideas that pop up instantly, but when I think about them, I don’t feel the spark to write about them after a period of time. Actually, going through my list with topics from time to time, I got to eliminate many ideas that felt wow at the moment of popping up, but after I while I felt like I couldn’t or wouldn’t want to write about anymore. So I would eliminate them and concentrate on what inspires me at the moment, be it on the list or not.

Thinking about how I eliminated so many ideas on the list until know, made me realize that some stories will always stay untold. It made me sad somehow, but I still believe that this filtering must be done for various reasons, and the most important one remains that if I don’t feel like writing about it anymore, than why forcing things.

Sometimes, the ideas that I choose to eliminate give me new ideas that I usually write about immediately. I actually love this recycling thing because it usually gives me ideas that I feel like writing about even after a long period of time. Writing for me is an endless process of transformation and refining anyway, so this is not a bad thing. However today I thought for the first time that when I take out an idea from my list, I choose to not tell a story that could have been told.

I’ll let you think about this.
Until next time, let’s be happy.

Our dog is just great

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There is so much talk on small happiness and gratitude that I feel I don’t need to add more on the topic. However, when it comes to practicing these two, there is more to it than just reading and talking about it.

This article is inspired by our dog, Sasha, food addict, just like me. What I love the most about Sasha is the happiness he shows me when I bring him his favorite dog food. He is all over the place, wiggling his tail and running from one corner to another. He makes me feel better in an instant with his silly acting and the way he shows he is grateful for bringing him his favorite food. At least, this is how I see it.

Today, after bringing him his food and playing with him for a while, I have realized that he is teaching me daily about small happiness and gratitude. I should be grateful for the good food I eat every single day, but humans are not as great as animals are, and we often forget how blessed we are.

Sasha is my daily reminder that I should be grateful for the food I eat every single day and, by being grateful I am happy.

The time to find my true self

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I was studying Korean with Youtube the other days and I discovered a nice quote in a video from the Knowledge talk channel that I found very inspirational and it resonates with what I’ve been trying to do myself for a while now, and that is to find my true self.

가짜 행복의 뒤를 쫓지 말고 진짜 나를 찾는 시간을 쫓아라.“(Erich Fromm), which means that one should chase the time to find his/her real self instead of chasing false happiness.

I found this quote very interesting because we often talk about happiness, but not that much about fake happiness. It’s like there is one recipe for happiness and we should all follow that recipe in order to get the result of becoming happy. But there are as many recipes for happiness as many people there are in the world.

This is why becoming happy is difficult. Nobody can tell you the way you can become happy. Only listening to yourself, knowing what you want and what you like can help you attain happiness. Also, happiness is not a final product. There is no complete happiness. Happiness is the sum of our efforts, it depends on how we see things, it also depends on the circumstances. Happiness is different for every single person and this is what makes it so special.

Knowing who we are, what we want and what we like can lead us closer to our own recipe for happiness. It’s not easy to find what you really like or want to do, and you might get lost in the process of finding who you really are. When I felt lost, I just tried to do more of the things I like, and soon I found my way again. I know I will get lost many times in the future, but it’s ok as long as I find more about myself and the things that I love.

Do you know what makes happy? Do you often do what makes you happy? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Inspiration from anime

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I have always been interested in visual content in all its forms. Movies, animations, books, photography, they are all fascinating to me. For me visual content is not only a way of entertaining myself, but also the best learning method. I remember even now the Philosophy exam I passed with maximum score after watching a few videos on YouTube explaining the meaning of a few famous paintings that had to be put in a complex essay. Maybe it is also highly related to my learning style, but writing an essay on concepts that were explained using visual content helped me to better understand and apply them in various contexts. Since then, I have mostly used this method to learn or research different topics.

Since I have decided to start learning Japanese, my study plan relied mostly on using visual content to learn in a fun and fast way. Traditional methods are to be avoided in my case. Thus, mnemonics, charts, pictures, illustrated books, YouTube videos and even anime are the resources that I use the most when studying Japanese.

However watching anime is not solely used for studying, but also for nurturing my fascination. With all these holidays and more free time, it would have been impossible not to spare more time for watching animes and dramas.

Today I want to introduce to you an anime that I have re-watched recently and that I have found some inspiration in for this article. It is about Ancient magus bride (Mahoutsukai no Yome). It is an anime that uses supernatural elements, beautiful art and nature scenery, and it is also great to watch for people who love content about supernatural beings, fantastic worlds, life lessons and so on.

When I watched this anime for the second time, I could see more details and go beyond the story. This anime enriched me by making me think about what is important to me, about self-love, growth and interconnections. Of course, every person could see something different when watching a movie or reading a book. Our observations and analysis are also highly influenced by our experiences and the knowledge we have in the present. This is why, being able to relate and to understand more made me think about the little changes that might happen but pass unnoticed.

While watching the anime, I took the time to write down some quotes I loved and that I thought you too might find useful or inspirational.

  • One today is worth two tomorrows.
    I really loved this quote as it emphasizes the importance of the present and living in the now. My efforts of becoming more present and living in the now might be the reason behind my fascination for this quote, but I like it anyway.
  • We live and learn.
    As a lifelong learner I couldn’t agree more to this quote. Life gives us teachers and lessons but how we use what we learn it is totally up to us.
  • Better to ask the way than go astray.
    I like this is one because somehow it has to do with how we think about ourselves and the relationships with others. I used to be extremely uncomfortable and lack confidence when I had to ask someone something I didn’t know. I was afraid I would be laughed at or scolded. Well, one of the reasons I hate traditional teaching is exactly this one: the lack of dialogue and the emphasis on taking what you are given without asking the WHYs.
  • You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs
    The message is simple: you learn from mistakes. And more mistakes mean more lessons. The problem is that many people still see mistakes as failures and not as lessons. But changing our mindset requires time too. Next time when you break an egg, think about what you can learn from it.

So what do you think? Are you inspired by these quotes? By now, you might have realized that there are so many ways we can learn new things. Inspiration and motivation comes in different forms and from different sources. Use every thing that you do to learn something new and correlate it to others things. Everything is interconnected and this is how you can learn the best.

2021: One year of challenges and growth

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It comes natural for me to make lists, to observe the process and the progress. Therefore, making analysis of what I achieved, of the steps I took to get where I am now, of the challenges I encountered and the lessons I learnt is always an opportunity to learn more and to understand myself better, and also to think of better ways to fly even higher.

By making lists and observing the activities and the results, I am also trying to win over laziness and procrastination. Living in the countryside was the perfect chance to slow down in many areas, but I was afraid that I would become inactive or lazy. Thus I need to see results and to motivate myself to grow.

Looking back, 2021 was full of challenges and difficult times, but it was also a great year full of gratitude, nice projects, achievements, great people to work and to connect with, lessons, creativity and happy moments. What more could I wish for?

At the beginning of the year, I chose 4 random mantras that would guide me and help me become better in certain areas: Self-care, Change, Lessons and Power. All the things that I did were more or less related to these areas that I wanted to improve. I learnt a lot of things and I allowed myself to fall, to feel embarrassed, to not be right all the time, to make mistakes, and this is how I have learnt so many things about myself and other people. I accepted new challenges and got involved into new projects that made me more confident and more aware of my super-powers.

I stepped outside my comfort zone as much as possible and I did some things that made me fearful and insecure about myself. I learnt that I can do better than I thought and it made me feel proud and stronger. I became more determined to be the one who decides what it is best for me and listen less of the things people say to me. I decided to take better care of myself and see myself for who I am, not for what I should be or for what I could be.

Maybe what happened less this year is change. I was afraid many times and took my time to do so many things. I could not say that I made dramatic changes or that I did some wow-things. However, I tried to improve myself and my life as much as possible in the actual context. It is enough and I did even better than I had expected.

At the beginning of this year I made a list with the things I wanted to try doing or improving, but what I loved most about it is that I took the freedom to adapt and to do what I felt at that moment. I improvised and I did even more because I learnt that life doesn’t happen according to our plans. However, we can leave our mark and our will in every thing that we do. While not everything depends on us and our will, there are some things that we can control, especially how we look at things and how we think about all the changes. Even when I think of how I thought this article would be, I can see that I couldn’t predict even this small thing. I write exactly what comes to my mind and what I feel, without respecting the list I made or the ideas I prepared in advance.

I don’t know how next year will be and I am not even trying to find out. If you think too much about the future, you lose the beauty of now and the now becomes the past that you can’t live or change anymore. Thus staying present and living the best way you can everyday and every moment is the secret to have a great year. This is what I have learnt after so many fails and mistakes. This is how it works for me and this is where my focus goes: live everyday the way you promised or wished to live.

For me, staying healthy, in peace with myself and the others, eating good food, looking at nice things and writing about them, learning and being creative is the best way of having great days and great years, After all, life is also formed of these trivial little moments of peace and happiness, not only of massive changes and great opportunities.

Thank you for being with me and for reading my stories this year as well. I wish you peace, health and enjoy the little moments.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

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I think I should tell myself more often that achievements, self-development and positive changes might need more time than I can appreciate in order to see that dream finalized. Dreams are not easy to follow and that’s why not many people get to achieve their dreams.

I think that the most important thing I learnt these two last years is patience. My heart was distressed so many times, and my mind rushed for more than a thousand times, making plans and trying to adapt to the repeatedly changing situation. Rationally speaking, I knew there were so many things out of my control, but my heart longed for peace, certainty and freedom. But do we ever have certainty? Are we a hundred percent at peace or truly free? Even before I couldn’t feel like I really have all of them. However, after two chaotic years I am more aware of who I am, of my fears and my power. I accept changes more easily, not because I gave up, but because I know I can’t control everything, and I shouldn’t even try to. I have more patience and I trust that there is a time for everything.

The thing is that lost my way so many times, not knowing if what I was doing was the right thing, but I still chose something because there is no other way to keep going, grow and learn. I lost my way so many times and I still feel lost sometimes. But maybe not having all the answers is the right answer. In times of uncertainty and fear, maybe the best way to find our way again is to simply let go and keep walking forward anyway.

Do you remember the scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone where Hermione, Ron and Harry are caught by the Devil’s Snare and they start struggling to get out of the deadly embrace? Then Hermione says they should relax and only then they would live. So put your mind at ease, be patient and soon you will be freed from fear, uncertainty and any change that might ruin your plans. With patience and perseverence, you will build your own Rome.

Stay safe everyone and happy days.

My 5 tips to find inspiration and start writing

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I am this kind of person. I need to feel inspired in order to be able to create something good. This is especially valid when writing for the blog. However, even before my decision to start this blog, what I wanted to build the most trough this blog was consistency. I really want to do this for a long time, but only for as long as I feel joy.

The truth is that I mostly write when I am inspired to write. But in order to be consistent, I know I have to find a solution to keep myself inspired more often. Fortunately, I have discovered that this is possible in my case. Yes, I can find inspiration from simple things and I can make myself stay in front of the screen and write passionately even if I didn’t woke up feeling inspired. Inspiration doesn’t fall from the sky. You have to continually search for it. At least, this is how it is in my case. Thus, you could call it progress. Every time I search for inspiration, I learn something new.

I believe that the things that inspire us the most are the things we like and the things we naturally have an interest in. For example, I love music and I find comfort in music. Thus, listening to music is often a powerful weapon that helps me find my inspiration. Once you know what you really like, you will have found the perfect way to keep yourself inspired and grow. It doesn’t have to be something big. You might find inspiration in the simplest things, but that is the beauty of it.

I always try to stay organized when I try to build a new habit, in this case, the habit of writing regularly. But it could be anything, even meditating daily or exercising regularly. You need to build a plan, a routine. When it comes to writing, I follow a few steps that help me be consistent. If you like lists, here you have it, a list of 5 important steps that work for me when it comes to writing and staying inspired.

1. Keep a list with ideas. I have to admit that I don’t have the time to write every time when inspiration hits. Fortunately, I keep my phone with me most of the time. Thus, when inspiration hits, I always write down that idea in a list on my phone. The advantage of keeping such a list is that if you keep doing it every time a new idea pops up in your head, you will have in no time a bunch of ideas that will be your plan B for when you have absolutely zero inspiration. At the moment, I have 17 new ideas in my list, so I won’t have to worry for a long period if I don’t feel inspired.

2. Declutter your working space. In my case, every single object on my desk is another thing to worry about. Thus, before starting to work, I like to clean my desk in order to feel I am creating a new atmosphere for me to concentrate in. However, there are people out there who feel totally relaxed when they work in complete mess. If this helps instead, just let your messy desk be your cozy nest and start doing what you have to do.

3. Listen to your favorite music. As mentioned above, music is what helps me in most of the difficult periods. Sometimes, I could concentrate on writing even while listening to music with lyrics. Other times, I only write with ASMR or instrumental music in the background. As I was writing this article, I could concentrate perfectly while listening to my favorite Korean songs with beautiful lyrics. I felt I was writing at my favorite café where I could also choose what music to listen to.

4. Watch a YouTube video you like. I love watching YouTube videos, and, as I wrote in my previous post, I use YouTube as a source of learning and inspiration. Whenever I have a bad mood, or when I feel like rewatching the videos I like or watching new ones from my favorite youtubers, I go to YouTube. This winter I regained my good mood with videos filmed during spring or summer for example. I missed so much the green grass and trees that I started feeling better even after watching videos on YouTube. Even if I don’t necessarily have a bad mood, if I feel I want to recharge my inspiration storage, I go to YouTube and take energy and inspiration from beautiful people around the world. People can become other’s people strength and inspiration.

5. Just start writing. You don’t know what a beautiful and creative article you might write until you start writing the first word, the first line, the first paragraph. I only had the idea for this article and a few words written on a piece of paper when I started writing. I didn’t really know what shape I should give to this article but after the first line and with the help of these steps, my article came to have this form and structure, and I feel quite satisfied with the result. Starting writing means you’re already closer to the end.

This is it for today. I really hope this article can be your source of inspiration for the next time you might feel uninspired. Also, if you have built your own writing routine, please feel free to share it with me in the comments. I am always willing to learn from others.

Stay inspired and I will see you around.

Korean YouTube vloggers who inspire(d) me

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It has been quite a long time since I started to use YouTube as one of the main sources for study and self-improvement. I can easily find quality content and I choose what I want to see further. I have used YouTube as a secondary study source even for exams (I got a 10 in my Philosophy exam thanks to the videos I watched to understand difficult philosophical principles that I didn’t understand well in class). Last year I started to search for Korean channels that could help me improve my Korean, and this is how I actually found out about minimalism. I could easily find very nice channels made by Korean housewives or single women, who shared their advice and experience on minimalism. The videos helped me learn a lot of things related to how to live a better life, and at the same time my Korean improved because I chose to watch original content which is very enjoyable, and it relates to the subjects I am interested in.

Since the beginning of 2020 I have kept on watching this kind of content, and lately I have also discovered Korean videos about gardening which I have a great interest in. At the same time, I have learnt Korean vocabulary related to gardening, housekeeping and so on. I am extremely grateful for the content created by these great people, and this is why I have decided to dedicate today’s post to the people who inspired me to become better in many areas. These are my personal perspectives and the scope of this post is only to express gratitude and to recommend nice content related to simple life and minimalism to people who are interested in these subjects.

꽃피는 산골 (read as Kkot pineun sangol, meaning The mountain valley where flowers bloom) is a channel about flowers, gardening, sustainable life and people living in harmony with nature). I have found this channel quite recently but I came to love it, not only because I learned a lot of things about gardening and cooking, but also because I feel so much at peace whenever I watch its content. The videos show the life of a Korean couple who live in a remote mountain area, working together in the garden and enjoying the fruits of nature and of their hard work. This is a channel about life that can be easily enjoyed when you slow down, when you understand the meaning of life and when you work with nature, not against it.

오느른onulun (meaning today but written phonetically in Korean) is a channel run by a Korean TV producer who bought a house in the countryside, and who learns to enjoy a simple and slow life while renovating her newly bought house. This is a channel I have only discovered this year but I came to love its content so much. I love how this 32 years old woman is brave enough to buy a house on her own and how she shows her experiences with living in the countryside, how she learns from scratch skills like gardening, how she shows her clumsiness as a natural human characteristic and how she gets to know the people in that region while asking for help, while trying to learn how to live simply and beautifully. A truly inspiring and healing journey.

냥숲nyangsoop (which could be translated as Cat forest) is one of my favorite channels. It shows the daily life of a Korean woman who lives in the countryside with her cat. I like how she makes everything look so simple and enjoyable. She cooks a lot, and I find myself inspired when it comes to cooking every time I watch her videos. I also like the way she made her small house extremely practical and cozy. Our house can become that Little Forest where we feel the most comfortable, a place that we can call home sweet home.

해그린달 haegreendal. This is one of the first Korean channels I started watching, and I fell in love with the content and with the storytelling of the videos. The videos are made by a Korean housewife and mom, and she often shows her daily life as a mom, recipes she enjoys cooking and so on. What I like the most about her videos is the way she arranges her videos, the way she films, how she tells the story of the video. I found myself interested in video editing thanks to her beautifully arranged content. I hope I can watch her work for a long time.

슛뚜sueddu. I really like this channel because the videos are neatly edited (I learned a lot from this YouTuber as well in this area), and the content is simple and very enjoyable. I also learned a lot about minimalism from these videos, and I love to see the evolution of this channel’s owner as a freelancer. Also I find inspiration and motivation whenever I watch the videos on this channel, so this one is a keeper.

Kimi Life and 키미 Kimi are two channels created by the same person, but they have similar content. The videos are mostly about cultivating vegetables and cooking with what we produce by ourselves. I learned a lot about Korean cooking from these vlogs, thus is always a pleasure to watch and learn. I love the opening of the videos on this channel, and I find the editing quite professional. The videos usually start with the view of the mountain village filmed with a drone. Absolutely beautiful and healing.

보통엄마jin (read as Bottong eomma Jin, meaning Ordinary mom, Jin) is a channel run by a mother of two boys and a woman who is very active and tries to live her life while being a mom and a wife. I find her videos very inspiring. I love how she makes efforts to be a good mom while taking care of herself. I remember watching her video where she decided to exercise in order to become healthier and she inspired me to do the same. I was ashamed that I made less efforts, even if I had not a husband or kids who could have made things a little more difficult. Inspired by her I also started to exercise, and I lost 6 kg that year. I also learned a lot about cleaning in a sustainable way and I gave up along the way on many chemical and beauty products that are harmful for us and for the environment.

Who would have thought that one day I would find my biggest passion, Korean, and that that passion would bring the best in me? One journey leads to another. Every decision that we make leads us to live our life in a way or another. Every decision leads to another. Every little thing that we do connects to something that we will do in the future. In my case, through my passion for Korean I got to know about minimalism and to be inspired to practice it, and later on, through minimalism I got to practice journaling, and through journaling I got to practice meditation. These small dots connected and created a better me who is interested in personal growth and who will learn something new everyday.

Today I am grateful I got to write this post. I hope you find your inspiration like I found mine.

Stay inspired, 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.