Reasons why to study now and not later (or tomorrow)

In a very Game of Thrones manner: “Winter is here.” Besides Christmas and New Year, the coming of winter also signifies exams for a Belgian university student. Yes, we have a 3 weeks break. But no, it is not a holiday unlike the calendar proclaims it to be. It is more of a “study-holiday”. Can we say “stuliday”?  

It is three weeks of studying to pass the exams. Three weeks to be on your guard for all the distractions, which by the way have thousandfold-ed since the “holiday” started. I think a lots of students can relate to this problem. The moment you realize you actually don’t have time, your brain suddenly finds ten thousand things it wants to do.
(Re)Watching movies. Reading. Watching YouTube videos. Day dreaming. You name it.

So, I am in my first week of studying and I already squandered my two precious first days on the above mentioned itinerary. And than realization hit me. In order to have a long, relaxed 3 months long summer holiday, I need to pass all my exams. And to pass, I need to work hard. Luck has been with me in the past, but I can’t solely depend on it.  So only thing left to do: STUDY. WORK HARD. 

 I have been working well the past few days. But today lack of concentration hit me. And I had also forgotten my purpose and lacked vision. I had forgotten why I was studying hard the past few days. Then as a typical person might do, I googled “motivation for studying”. A thing I somehow frequently tend to do. Funny enough.. cause by now I’m sure I am a pro in do’s and don’ts while studying. Yet I hope or anticipate to find a new magic formula that will miraculously help me concentrate better.  And I ran into this tip to write down your: 


And that’s what I did. A few days ago I made my list of “Reasons why to study now and not later“. Maybe that was the reason for my good concentration in the past few days. And here I was today lacking focus and purpose. So, I decided to make a new list. It obviously still contains the same items but writing it down once again helped me revisualize my WHY, my REASONS. This time my list was more structured as well. These are a few examples…  

1) Pass all exams

2) Long summer holiday filled with new opportunities & adventures

3) Exchange program next year!! Pass all exams= destination confirmation in July!
4) You have time now.
5) Tomorrow you will have less time!
6) Tomorrow you will regret not working today! For Sure.
7) Self – fulfilment

So, hopefully tomorrow will be a new productive day. And when I get stuck again I won’t hesitate to make another “Reasons why to study now and not later” list.
Yesterday is gone. Today is real. And tomorrow simply doesn’t exist.
So, Forget Yesterday. Work Today. Don’t think about Tomorrow. 

This is why I choose to study today and not later (or tomorrow). What about you? Wanna give it a try too?


To achieve something, you need to get uncomfortable

There I was cycling up that hill in Ireland. Sweating as hell and wanting to give up. Just as I had given up multiple times yesterday and the day before.
But the words of the famous Youtuber Superwoman were drumming in my ears in a sound beat. “Get uncomfortable.” So were the words of Mary, a friend, “You really need to reach the point of feeling uncomfortable while going to the gym for it to work.”

Basically what they were both trying to say is that in order to reach the next level, you need to battle that dragon without hesitation and kill it in order to reach the next level. Even if you are sweating fear that you might get killed in a seconde. You need to get out of your comfort zone. You need to feel uncomfortable. And foremost you need to keep pushing yourself to unlock the next level. With that thought in the back of my mind I pushed myself to the top of that hill. I felt my face turn red, sweat all over the place, tears of frustration about to explode. I felt like crying and giving up.  Yet I kept yelling at myself inside my head “not to give up”. I was screaming things like “don’t be a pussy” & “keep paddling”. And I kept going. I kept paddling with all the energy I could gather without bursting into tears. And I also reached that hilltop. I reached my next level of determination. I reached my next leven of perseverance. So this is what being uncomfortable is really about. Unlocking levels. Climbing the ladder.

I felt so glad and proud of myself on that hilltop. When the next hilltop was in sight, I smiled because I felt that I could handle this too. This is do-able I thought. And I did. I rode uphill again & again & again. I believed that I was capable of riding up hills without stopping every other minute to rest and catch breath. A new comfort zone, that is were being uncomfortable got me. A brand new physical border.

This experience made me a believer of the “Get uncomfortable”-quote. In order to achieve something you need to get uncomfortable. Of course this might not be applicable to all situations, but you decide that for yourself.
Sometimes we are so happy in our bubble called “Comfort Zone” that we stop growing as a person, even when we are unhappy the way we are right now. So, I give this advice too: “Get uncomfortable”. Maybe it would even be better to say:

Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

You are the average of 5 people you spend the most time with.

I had heard this saying before. Now I have started to believe it. The past few days I have been wwoofing in Ireland with this wonderful family and I do feel inspired. 

Wwoofing is a concept of going on a farm or somewhere else where you go help out certain hours per day in exchange of free accommodation. For students like me this is a great way to travel on a low (er) budget. But not only that, wwoofing is a wonderful way to really get to know the locals, their history, daily lives, culture & tradition. And now I have come to realization that this is what travel is going to be about for me. Not only visiting nice places but really trying to get the essence of the place through interactions with the locals.

 I had wanted to wwoof for a few years now. But it had stayed “a dream”, somehow unreachable. So, one day I just took a leap of faith and booked a return ticket (Brussels – Dublin) with twee weeks inbetween. This without having found a host. Right now I am so glad I booked the flight. Having already spent around 90 euros did force me to contact as many host as I could. And wonder above wonder I found a host.  Perhaps if I hadn’t booked that flight, I might have brushed the lack of interested host off as me being late to send all those emails. And I might have said maybe next year… But when we put off things for later, how big are the chances of them getting fulfilled right? So in a way I bet my 90 euros on those plane tickets. And aren’t I glad I did. 

County Waterford, Ireland. That’s where I am. My first wwoofing experience but also my first solo travel ever. And I am learning new things everyday. About plants, bees, Irish history, gender salary gap… 

In the past few days I was in company of people who read history books, who preferred reading history of China. People who were really aware of the things that had happened or things that are happening right now in the world. Of the art around the world. The lifestyle of some other cultures. I got asked tons of questions too. About Brussels, its inhabitants and its government. And although I do know certain things, some questions I just couldn’t answer. I felt stupid in a way while at loss of words. I wondered how come  I didn’t know this or that. I felt like looking up all those unanswered questions later in the evening, so next time I would know. Not only that but all those conversation also made me curious about the Chinese history or the beehives or the Irish famine and immigration. I wanted to read. I wanted to know. While meeting people who love to read informative books and not only fiction, made me realize the importance of daily reading! With this gained knowledge in mind I do hope to open more books, more often.

So in a way: yes! You could definitely be the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. I wonder who my 5 people are. Do you know your 5 people? 

Harry Potter 20+ years & I open at the close

©2011-2017 li-t

J.K. Rowling. The name hold so much significance to so many around the world. I am one of those many: for me too she has a special place in my heart. Though it wasn’t until 2007 that I got to enter Hogwarts and share these amazing experiences. I count Harry Potter among one of the first book series/ sagas that made me realize my hunger to devour books. I remember reading it till late at night . I remember crying for weeks out of sadness when I finished the last chapter of the last book. And then rereading it all over again. Multiple start over’s of the story, because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye just yet. I am sure you’ll find extremer Potterheads out there, I don’t quite belong in that domain fully. But Harry Potter was a big part of my childhood! 

And I am extremely thankful to J.K. Rowling for that . Thank you for your perseverance & for your stamina. For never giving up on the wonderful world of witchcraft and wizardry, without which many wouldn’t be the person they are today.

♦Thank you for always finding the light in the darkest of times to continue writing these amazing stories.♦

Who would have imagined the bestsellers, she certainly didn’t.  You might all know how she was rejected big time while trying to publish The Philosopher’s Stone. Imagine she had given up on the one thing that she enjoyed the most: writing. The world would have definitely lost a wonderful brilliant timeless epic. For young and old as it is ageless. 
If she hadn’t kept on going, she wouldn’t have been the bestseller author she is today. 
So in a way this makes me realize how things have a way of demystifying themselves at the end.  How all the events throughout your life seems to justify themselves at a point in some sort of way. Fit the puzzle. Just as the snitch bears I open at the closeI believe you need to hold on until the end. Definitely hold on to dear life if it is something you really want to achieve. And keep on working on it. Because you won’t know what “would have been” if you had given up at the very beginning. And foremost, isn’t it nicer to know at the close than wonder “what would have been if…” ?