Google AdWords Certified & Passion for learning

To become an AdWords Certified professional has been on my to-do list for way too long, even before I stepped into digital marketing field this year. Finally, being able to tick this off my to-dos feels pretty amazing! 

The requirement is, you need to pass 2 exams – AdWords Fundamentals and one more on Search, Display, Video, Mobile, or Shopping Advertising to be certified by Google. There are videos and study guide materials available to study online. 

I did try to study many times, but it was very difficult to stay motivated on my own cramming everything for the exams. 

Until a friend told me about Google Ignite, a 2-day seminar on Google AdWords with a lecturer and study materials for you to take 2 exams at the end of the seminar, and I happily registered without thinking twice. Everything is free of charge. I even found out later Google provided us free lunches, snacks, drinks, as well as many freebies throughout the seminar. Thanks Google for a cute Gmail bag! AND a Google tote bag they will send us along with our certifications in the mail. 

It helps me focus much better to study and absorb knowledge in a classroom environment. For a moment, I almost missed taking lectures in school. Once a nerd, always a nerd! I guess it will never go away! 

In the end it’s not even about getting certified. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely see its benefits, and think Google is smart to educate people to be able to use their tools effectively, therefore they create this positive image and make people eager to learn and use their marketing tools. Win-win situation. 

But apart from that, this short seminar and seemingly tiny personal achievement made me slowly realize what makes me happy. This year I’ve come to realize how heavily goal-oriented I am. And now I’ve found out I DO need to constantly push and challenge myself to do and learn new things, with concrete goals, in order to stay happy. 

Most importantly, I’ve realized I have a passion for learning, and I never want to stop learning and educating myself, ever, no matter how old I am. 

It is quite amusing, now that I ponder, I am very much like these Google marketing tools I’m using. What makes online ad campaigns so effective? Because everything is trackable and measurable. And that IS exactly me. In order to stay productive and motivated, I need trackable and measurable goals to see my own progress and improve my performance. My exercise routine and reading challenge this year adds as another important proof. Quite spooky, isn’t it? 

When work life has become a routine and everything feels quite stable, in which, by the way, I can’t stress enough how grateful I am, at the same time, though, it can be easy to get bored and lose motivation. Everything is good, but I’m not 100% satisfied, which is most likely normal for all of us. Lately I’ve probably lived inside my head and internalized way too much, as well as kept questioning myself a lot about what truly makes me happy in life. Loving, fulfilling relationship? Yes, important, and admittedly I really want it now. But at the same time it really is not the ultimate answer to my happiness, and it feels like relationships for people my age these days are too easy to get screwed up in one way or another. I’ve had enough, got so jaded that it honestly even made me sad, and kind of lost faith in that now (More on that some other time, if I can summon my energy to write it up). Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, even when I’m in a relationship, I constantly need to fight this self-battle and this void inside of me still. Most likely, to me, it would be a bit terrible to hope someone else can fix your internal issues. After all, it’s yours, so it should be YOUR responsibility to deal with. A good life partner would do their best to support you. But after all, you are the one who has to figure it out yourself. 

Everyone’s definition of happiness should be entitled to themselves. But I’m glad that this weekend I’ve glimpsed a tiny bit more into tips leading to happiness, designed for me. I will keep an eye on more opportunities to learn something new and challenge myself. Self-improvement IS important. Self-discovery is even more satisfying, and, in my opinion, is crucial to create a lifelong, sustainable happiness. 


On accepting who you are & changing to who you’ve wanted to become

I’ve been in a weird mood and slightly down. It’s ok. Ups and downs are a part of life, you know? I’m embracing, accepting, and not running away from the fact that I’m down. And I know better now that it soon shall pass. However, instead of wailing and whining why I feel down (And I fully know the reason behind it as well), I’ve decided to write something entirely different and focus on positive things instead. Here we go. 

On accepting who you are

I’ve always wanted to write about this, ever since I saw a Readery box said “Reading is sexy.” 

I was quite amused by it. Speaking from my own experience as a bookworm who loves reading ever since I was very little, reading has never been considered “sexy” 

Growing up, it’s anything but. 

Because somehow reading feels boring for other people, especially when you are young and adults expect you to be fun, lively and active, just like how kids should behave. More often than not, I’ve heard comments from adults or even friends my age in primary school, talking about me in a tone that implied I just like to read, be shy, and be quiet in my own little world. 

And those traits aren’t necessarily desirable as a kid. “Oh, she just likes to be on her own reading. Read: She’s not fun.”

Nevertheless, I kept on reading, even though it was viewed “uncool” At the same time, I smiled a little reluctantly and shyly when I got asked what I liked to do in my free time as a primary school kid. When adults heard that the answer is reading, no one seemed to think it’s a cool or interesting thing to do. So I quickly added other activities, “playing Piano” or something along those lines to distract them and trick them to think I’m not that boring.

The thing is, I’ve never felt reading is cool, and I even tried to leave out details on the kind of books I read or mentioned anything related to books and reading. 

Until VERY recently, only these past few years, some things have changed. I’ve slowly come to embrace who I am and what I like to do. Since reading is what I like, I’m going to talk about it and not afraid to share it! Perhaps it’s because we are adults now, and to like reading as an adult seems more “socially acceptable” somehow. I signed up on Goodreads. I’m no longer afraid to let people have a peek on my bookshelves (Would have never imagined I would do that). I’m even telling people, hey, be friend with me on Goodreads if you have the account, I wanna see YOUR bookshelves too. 

And I talk about reading way more often now. I’m sharing more and more what I read to other people, if they show interests (You know what, the other day I read this article about…). I’m even more interested if they also share what they are reading, too! One of my favorite questions, usually asked by people who are close to me, is “So what are you reading at the moment?” 

You know, it feels great. Accepting who you are, be it cool or uncool, feels great. Reading is a huge part of my life, and I’m letting it be without feeling like I want to hide it away anymore. 

On changing to who you’ve wanted to become

I know I’ve written a lot about exercise recently. At the moment, I’m pretty into it and quite passionate about it, mostly because this is such a HUGE transformational change for someone like me. It really is a big deal. Let me tell you why.

Ever since I was little, I was very inactive, I hated P.E. class with burning passion and would skip it whenever I could, I disliked all kinds of sports because I seriously sucked at everything, I hated having to move myself, what I liked to do was sit around and (guess what!) read or use the internet. Or just STAY STILL (literally). My father kept telling me to exercise for the millionth time, in which I never listened. 

And once in a while I had this dream that it would be nice to love exercise and be active and energetic. It’s such an opposite of who I am, but it’s a nice thing to be, especially it’s good for your health and your body. Five years ago, I remembered I said this exact sentence out loud to my Japanese friend in Nagoya, she laughed and said “Well, just be one!” 

But I never could. I hated it so much that the thoughts of it could kill me. Exercise, ew. Sweating, ew. 

But there had been a gradual change. Initially, it was a broken heart and the desire to be a better, prettier, healthier me a couple years ago that first dragged me to the gym. I started for a couple months, found it boring and still wasn’t into exercise that much, then stopped it altogether for a whole year in England. 

Back from England, this time I started again in 2015. Still not into yoga very much, I was just trying to force it to a routine and sticking it out for a year. 

This year, though, 2016 is the very first time in life that I can say I enjoy exercise. I love it! I feel guilty if I skip it for too long. In fact, I don’t like how heavy my body feels without exercise. And I love to sweat it out. The feeling after exercise is…everything. I love that energy, I love to feel refreshed and recharged by a dance class or a functional training after a long day at work. 

A part of it is because I’ve learned what I like for exercise now. I still don’t like sports, but I’ve found out there are so many other ways to exercise without having to play sports! And it works for me! I wish I could have found out about all these alternative choices out there earlier. 

(After hip-hop class. Happy sweating!)

It’s a huge change that I want to tell everyone “I CAN DO IT. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH IT MEANS TO ME,” but nobody would understand. It’s just exercise!? It’s not a big deal, is it!? Anyone can do it, right!? This transformational change, though, has boosted my confidence and made me so, SO proud of myself. This, to me, is a real success, and I’m even more proud than other achievements (like getting first class honors.) 

After almost 30 years, I could change myself to something completely opposite of me, to who I’ve always wanted to become. If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is.

What I learned from building this exercise routine is also my strength: Discipline. It makes me realize anything is possible when I set my heart to it. Because I’ve got this discipline to stick to it! This certainly can apply to other parts of life as well. I’ve gotta believe in myself more. 

What inspired me to write this was an Instagram account of VJ Loukkade. I personally never thought she’s particularly beautiful or attractive, but I got to see some of her exercise routine video clips, and suddenly she became much, much more beautiful. She loves what she’s doing and it’s shown on her face. She smiles and laughs this bright, cheerful smile; so very natural and real with no detect of fakeness. I don’t know much about her, but I love her energy and this happiness clearly radiated from her face. 

I love that. A lot. 

I’ve always loved seeing people being passionate about what they do and they lit up like a Christmas tree when they talk about it or do that thing, be it anything. To me, it’s one of the most amazing things to see or hear. I do admire that kind of people. 

Phew, long post. At least it’s good to channel my angst and write about something positive instead!