Dream journey 10: Becoming a student and a teacher (April 2020)

It has been more than 10 months since I decided to leave the “comfortable” life in a company that provided me with a stable paycheck every month. Many great things happened since then. I found my old passion for making films, became an online teacher, and met many amazing people.

My name is Jirka and welcome to follow my dream journey, which I embarked on in July 2019. Whether you are my friend, a stranger, or someone from my family, I decided to share my newest adventure and path towards my dreams.

BiggestDreamers

My 3 BiggestDreams are:

1. I want to grow my BiggestDreamers Community in order to help more people to achieve their dreams 

2. I want to establish my own business/project I am passionate about and become financially independent in the next 10 years, so I do not have to work for money but just for my pleasure and have more time 

3. I want to make movies which would inspire other people

If you have not read about my first month, I would highly encourage you to look at it first, so you know what I write about:)

April 2020

As probably everyone else, I continued to live under the new circumstances, which were caused by the coronavirus. When the whole thing began, I was depressed and scared, because I did not know what was going to happen.

Having lived in these new conditions, I started to really like my new lifestyle. Fortunately, the lockdown in Czechia was not as strict as in other countries, and so I could continue doing outdoor activities. I also did not want to stay entirely alone and so I limited myself to be in touch with 4 people, which are the closest to me. This allowed me to focus on my own projects, which I was able to bring forward.

Thanks to the social distancing, I gained a lot of time, which I devoted to studying. Every day, I tried to study for at least 4 hours. This made me feel like a student again and this feeling was great.

Besides learning a lot, I started to teach others online. I realized that I like my new role as a teacher and I hope that I can further improve my teaching skills.

Furthermore, I became really happy, as I started to value small things. One of these was going for ice cream or watching trees how they blossom on our street. Moreover, everything was very quiet and relaxed.

When our government started to ease the restrictions, I actually started to miss these times. Empty streets in our neighborhood turned again into one big traffic jam and people got back to their old hectic lifestyles.

I know that the economy cannot be in hibernation for a long time. However, this month made me think if we all should not pause our lives every year for at least a month. This way, we would be able to enjoy tiny and beautiful moments, which we usually oversee, because we do not have time for them.

My goals and progress

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Not being able to meet other people is a big disadvantage, especially if you organize face to face events like I do. Nevertheless, I know that with every disadvantage, there is a new advantage coming. In the end, it turned out that thanks to the “corona time” I was able to make big progress with my BiggestDreamers project.

I organized two BiggestDreamers online meetings, where people from all around the world joined. This would have never been possible if we all were not locked down in our homes. Sure, meeting online is not the same as meeting in real life. However, I cannot say that it was worse or better. It was simply different.

Podcast

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Finally, I was able to find new people for my podcast, thus I made every week one new episode. I made an interview with Abhishek Suhas, who is especially successful with his approach toward dreams. Another episode was with Toshi Nishino, who kept chasing his childhood dream until now. Kuba Smolka and Ivca Bartonkova told me about their company in Vietnam and lastly, Ada Ytterdal explained, why it is good to ask yourself the question: Why not?.

This success motivated me to invest more effort into my podcast and I hope to bring you more episodes. I started to talk also to my friend about joining his radio project, where I could stream these episodes one day as well.

Currently, I am thinking about how to reach more people, as I am still having very low traffic on my website. My goal is to be able to reach more people, so I can show them, how different people chase their dreams.

Film

Originally, I was supposed to go to Hungary to attend another film-maker festival. Unfortunately, that was not possible. I was planning also another shooting in Prague. This also did not happen because of the lockdown measures. Therefore, I focused on my own projects.

I finished the editing of my second travel video from Portugal, which you can see here.

Furthermore, I got back to animation, which I was doing already as a kid and could produce these two short clips. It is nothing special, but it motivates me to go this path again.

11 years ago I made a film, which remained unfinished. Now I hope to finish it. Having regained my animation skills, I feel confident that I can do it again.

If you cannot make a film with other people, you have to make the film with yourself. That was exactly what I did and this was the result. My objective was not only to make a film with myself but also test some special effects. Sure, many things could have been better, but I am still proud of this work.

This month was especially educational for me. I “became a student” on Skillshare and took a course about animation, Photoshop, Special Effects, and also one about acting.

Being able to learn and study subjects, which you are passionate about, is one of the most beautiful things. The problem is, that we often do not know what we want to study. It took me many months to figure this out. Being locked at my place definitely helped me with it as well.

Earning some income

Having struggled for 10 long months without any income, I finally made it and earned a bit. I applied to become a German online teacher on an italki and Amazing talker platforms. Surprisingly, soon I had a decent amount of students and I even had to hide my profile, as too many people applied for my courses.

Teaching is not easy. Especially if you have never done it before and if you do not have any material. Nevertheless, it takes just a few lessons and you can figure out your own way. I am happy that I can do this job because I can decide myself whom I take in and when I want to work. I am using my own knowledge and there is not any boss, who would tell me what to do.

Moreover, it is a nice balance to my editing passion, where I work alone with my computer. In general, I am a communicative person and need someone to talk to. Teaching is a completely different direction than what I was studying. However, it is not about what I am doing but rather about how I am doing it.

I realized that I have to be my own boss and that I need to be flexible. Therefore, in case you are changing different departments in a company where you are working and you do not like any of them, ask yourself a question: How do I want to work? Not where.

Finances

This month, not only my income changed by a lot, but also my expenses. Clearly, the lockdown had some very positive effects on my balance sheet. I am aware, that I can count to the luckiest people. On the other hand, it is not hard to increase your income from 0.

While I was able to earn some money from my teaching job, I was also able to save up a lot. When everything is closed, it is way harder to spend your money. I guess that this is also what many people realized. In the end, we do not need a lot to live a healthy and happy life.

For the first time in my personal history, I did not spend anything on transportation. This is a big surprise, as this budget used to be in the last months one of the biggest. Here I do not talk only about traveling to distanced places. I talk also about public transportation, which I avoided completely.

This decision made me figure out, how easy it is to run around the whole city and how fast it can get. In Prague, I live in the outskirts and it takes me only 40 minutes to jog to the center. Compare this to 20 minutes by subway and 30 minutes by tram. The 10 minutes difference is actually not so big.

Recently, I borrowed a bike and this comparison becomes even more equal. Sure, this is nothing new, but it is another example of how to turn a disadvantage into an advantage.

To sum it up, having been able to decrease my expenses drastically and increase my income, I ended up in a slight plus. This has not happened for the past 10 months and I am incredibly happy about that.

I have to add, that I am still relying on the support of my parents, which I am so thankful for.

This was my income in April 2020

Teaching                       312 €
Parents                         250 €

These were my spendings in April 2020
Food                              175 €
Rent                               183 €
Transportation              0 €
Others                           127 €

My biggest success

This time I can say that I am really proud of myself and everything, which I did not manage during the last month(s), I was able to change. Being able to kickstart my podcast was definitely one of my huge achievements. It sounds easy but it is not. Getting people to meet with you is not easy, especially, if you do not have your brand build-up.

However, this was rather a smaller problem. The bigger one was that I did not feel myself to be in the role of a podcast host. It was hard for me to accept it. Therefore, I had to start to make my mindset shift.

Mindset is very important. It is crucial to have the right one and to be the person who you are, not who others want to see. The longer I am thinking about it, the more I start to understand, that I have to portray myself as a filmmaker, blogger and podcast host. I can do it because that is who I am now. I have to believe it myself and then others can believe it as well.

Besides the above-mentioned film and animations, which I made, I can say that my biggest success was my adaptation to the new lockdown lifestyle. I was motivated every day, more importantly, I lived a very happy, calm, and balanced life.

My biggest failure

I think that for the first time, I cannot think of any particular failure. One can say that I could have earned more money, my movie could have been better, but this was not my intention. I was happy with myself and there was not any big failure, which would be worth mentioning at this stage.

Happiness

As already mentioned above, I cannot remember when I was as happy as I was this April. I would probably attribute this to my firm discipline, which I had most of the time. Then I guess it was also the nice weather and all the trees blossoming. Lastly, me being able to learn new stuff and to apply it immediately in my own projects. Most importantly, all my friends and family (with 1 exception) stayed healthy and did not get the virus or any other disease.

Wrap up

Slowing down our lives has definitely a positive impact. Most of my friends reported the same and therefore, I think that it is worth thinking about it in the long run. If our life without all the unnecessary shops, events, meetings was better, do we need to get all of it back? Do we want to go back to our stressful life?

I am not saying that we all should stop shopping, working or attending interesting events, I am saying that we should consider doing less and having more time to enjoy the beautiful moments, we can have in our daily lives.

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