Probably the most important project and turning point for me was my second experimental English language workshop. Through it, and the others which followed, we have explored a different way of looking at language learning and education in general – areas which I have come to realize are the ones I want to dedicate my life to.

This realization came about after a number of things happened, the most influential of which was the first workshop I’ve done last December.

I’ve done the workshop because when I told my friend Filip that that would be a great way of learning languages, he asked me “Well, why don’t you make it happen?”

For a moment I was confused. The thought didn’t even cross my mind. I didn’t think that I couldn’t do it, I just never even thought about the possibility of me doing it. But I distinctly remember that moment in my head, when the “someone should make this happen” was pushed away by “You can make this happen”. It was a powerful, liberating and almost euphoric feeling.

Why are those moments so strange and rare? Why is doing the things you know you should do – you know you want to do – so difficult? Why is becoming a better, happier person oftentimes such an arduous task?

I think we’ve all asked ourselves these questions at some point- whether we’re studying, working or without a job, quite often our brains seem to be in an “unemployed” state.  We are irrational. We are much easier to annoy than to please. As Tolstoy so lucidly observed, we change only when we cannot bear the current situation any longer.

But we also have moments when we shine – when we run that marathon, get that black belt or save that life. Those moments are seldom there, but they are there. Some people have them a lot more often; a few even manage to live that way.

The first step towards those moments is oftentimes so small, so simple, that all it takes is a gentle nudge; sometimes in the form of a simple question: “Why don’t you do it?”

This is a blog about my thoughts on proactivity, education and various other stuff, but I think it is, at its heart, about those moments; the moments when we do what we believe we should do, when we overcome our fears, when we grow because we want to, not because we have to – the moments when we beat Tolstoy.

If you wish to find out more about me, take a look at my CV, my Facebook account,
or feel free to drop me a line, beatingtolstoy AT gee-male dot com.

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