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.

The magic of waiting

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I became impatient again. In some cases I wish that results could appear quicklier than usual. Even if I put a lot of work and effort, sometimes time is the most important ingredient in the recipe of my success. Like dough needs a certain period of time to rest and grow, my work and efforts need time to mature. But nowadays, because we live in the era of speed and technology, and because we can obtain things easier than 50 years ago, we tend to forget more easily and more frequently how important it is to wait.

Actually, I almost forgot this too. I became impatient about many things like professional development, personal growth or building the house of my dreams. I know how important it is to wait and build small habits in order to get big results. However, there are days when I wish things to come my way a little faster.

Today I woke up at 5:58 because I wanted to see the sunrise. On the Internet it was said that the sun would rise at 6:03. I really wanted to see the sunrise, but it’s been a while since I have last seen the sunrise; thus I didn’t know exactly how it works. The thing is that the information on the Internet regarding the time the sun rises is relative because it’s not possible to tell the exact hour the sun rises. I was very sleepy and a bit cold, but I was waiting impatiently like I was trying to quickly check another thing on my to do list. Guess what! I had to wait half an hour to see the sunrise. I thought I missed the big moment, but after 30 minutes, with sparkling eyes and a pounding heart I would watch how a big ball of fire rises from behind the forest. I instantly had an aha moment and I realized that because I had to wait more than I thought, I actually enjoyed seeing the sunrise a hundred times more than I would have done it at 6:03, 5 minutes after waking up.

Here you have it! Sunrise of May 9th. The photo is a bit unclear, but I still wanted to share it with you.

I believe that those 30 minutes of waiting were in fact the reason I smiled the whole day today. Not only because I enjoyed seeing the sunrise so much, but also because that half an hour reminded me the importance of patience and perseverance. I actually thought of giving up and going to sleep a few times, but I guess I was more determined to see the sunrise. I am so glad I stayed until the end, and I shall do so with every project in my life.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Did you have a similar experience that reminded you how important it is to wait?


It’s been a while since I have last shared my story with you, but I am so happy to be back.
Always thank you for reading.

Hard times, our mentors in life

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If you look too deep into life, you will realize that sometimes life can be difficult. I am an overthinker and I analyze even small details. I am not proud of it because most of the times I overthink even everyday situations that makes me more stressed than I should actually be. But you see, looking deeper into life doesn’t always equate to overthinking. Sometimes you get to realize the essence of life and you get to know yourself better.

Everyone’s life got even more difficult because of the current situation and I was also affected. I had to make decisions that should have made my life easier but I don’t know if I succeeded. My social life suffered transformations too and I miss meeting people and traveling a lot. As I looked deeper and deeper I could only hear my sighs, I couldn’t even hear my thoughts as I would usually do. When this happens I panic and the unknown scares me even more. There are a lot of activities and projects I had to reschedule in an unknown and unpredictable future. But then I started having these thoughts: why think so much about the future when you can’t even predict what’s going to happen tomorrow? Why think about the things you have to give up on, the things you can’t do right now when there are a lot of other things you can do Now, even during these hard times.

Hard times are our teachers, our mentors in life. Humans have a powerful and beautiful skill: They can adapt to different and continuously changing situations. In these hard times the most important thing is to not give up. Every day is a new lesson for the future. Hard times make us more resilient and more creative. When things get more difficult for me, I try looking for other ways to do what I want to do, I become more creative, more frugal and I try to get more of the c’est la vie philosophy. When you cannot change the things around you, learn how to appreciate what you already have and don’t lose hope. Better days will come. Actually there is a theory I absolutely love and I apply it in almost every situation of my life. It’s Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Everything is temporary. There is no absolute hard times, no absolute good times. I believe that during hard times, us humans, we prepare the path for the good times. There are our efforts that flourish into the good times. It’s because we didn’t give up and we did our best that good times come again to us. This is also related to perspective, to how you take this kind of situations. It is important to adapt your perspective so you won’t be too affected by every change or problem that comes your way.

Knowing that nothing lasts forever, we can appreciate good times even more. We wait and hope for better to come when we have a difficult period to deal with. This is called balance. Becoming aware of all these unspoken rules can be of great help during difficult times. It will get better because it is hard now.

Lessons I learnt from minimalism

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I talk a lot about minimalism because it really changed my life perspective. Even if I used to be a maximalist before, I was a very simple person. As I liked simple things, it’s almost like I was waiting to find minimalism and it’s nice to see that there is something that suits me so well. Other than that, minimalism taught me to appreciate more what I have now and even in the difficult moments of my life I believe that a better day will come. So minimalism is also related to optimism and faith, at least to me, and it works best in difficult moments. And now that I think about it better, it’s not wrong. Actually, in his book, Goodbye things, Fumio Sasaki says that one of the reasons many Japanese chose a simpler lifestyle is because of a catastrophe, the Great East Japan Earthquake, that affected so many people and made them change their perspective on life and their possessions.

Thus minimalism taught me as well about simplicity, about appreciating the present, about not caring about things, but caring about ourselves and the people we love. Minimalism is about reducing possessions in order to simplify our lives and have more time for the important things, more time for taking care of ourselves. There are too many things to do around the house anyway, so why make our job more difficult.

Another aspect related to minimalism that I really like is caring for the nature. I learnt about ecology in school and I really enjoyed participating in projects for environment protection. Thus, while practicing minimalism, step by step I started giving up on many chemical products (for example cleaning products, shower gels etc.) and I became more concerned about plastic use. I realized that many changes were not only good for the environment, but also for me, for my health and my finances.

Speaking of finances, minimalism can be used as a way of educating ourselves on how to do shopping. Like many other people, I used to buy a lot of unnecessary things that I thought were pretty or necessary to me. I remember that once I bought online a piece of clothing that promised to make me sweat and lose weight easier. I was foolish to believe all that marketing crap, but I gave it a chance and realized that it wasn’t working the way it was meant to. It was a foolish decision but I learnt that losing weight must be done by making more efforts, by adjusting my lifestyle and by doing the sport that I actually hated. Since then I must’ve bought other unnecessary things but at some point I started to question myself more often: you like it but do you really need it? Can’t you use what you have instead? Where are you going to place it? Are you going to use it for a long time? Is it a good quality product? I would also add the things that I want to buy on my shopping list and let them there for a few days or a week. If I still felt I need them after a few days then I would buy them, but I found myself removing a lot of objects from my list as I didn’t feel the urge of buying them. I would say to myself, I don’t need this, why did I put it on my list? It works well for me because we tend to buy based on the urge we feel at that moment, or because the marketing is so good and subtle in making us believe we need those things.

Actually we don’t need many of them and we can live just fine without all the stuff they sell on the internet or in those nicely organized stores. Buying things comes with a lot of responsibility: we spend money that we can use on something that we really need, we need more space for the things we buy, they might be thrown after a few uses, the waste they produce, we have more things to organize and clean. There are many aspects to take in consideration. I believe that minimalism is some sort of self-education. It’s easy to begin with, but it takes time to adjust your lifestyle to it and a lot of effort to maintain it for a long period of time. But once you get used to it you can’t live without it. This is what minimalism means to me.