Jump into it and hang on because everything you do counts
I am two months into my one year journey and I am going strong. I am not discouraged in any way and I cannot go a day without hearing Chinese or writing Hanzi.
I was browsing the internet and I came across an article entitled: ‘How to learn a foreign language?’ I remember reading many similar posts in the past on this matter and my only observation was: the time spent reading such articles could have been invested in learning the language of my choice. There is no magic bullet. Just like it takes at least 28 days for the concrete foundation of a building to cure, it also takes time for you to adapt to your new language. This may be 10 days for some or 90 days for others. Who cares, just start.
I still spend more time on other things than learning Chinese but I have set a few daily goals. The difficulty I encounter is ensuring I accomplish my daily goals and not ensuring I learn Chinese. What do I mean by this? Well sometimes, I don’t want to pick up my Chinese book or listen to Chinese lessons but I train myself to do so. Sometimes I pick up the books and I start reading and learning and I just won’t stop. So I train myself to set the time and stop once I have done my two hours of Chinese. My two hours of daily Chinese can be divided into 30 minute sessions. The essential thing is that I get my two hours of lessons per day because this is approximately the time it takes to accomplish my Chinese tasks. Sometimes I finish earlier than planned, so what do I do? Well I let go and stop.
As you can see, my greatest hurdle is discipline. Seen from this angle, I think I am embarking on a journey that will make me into a more efficient being, a journey that should boost my confidence and the way I perform.
As an individual, I would describe myself as somewhat disorganised, full of energy, a list maker and time traveller (I often day dream and I like to do so). That is my nature and I embrace it. What I am doing is trying to find a way to use these traits to my advantage. I know that when I am at my best, learning is easy as ABC. When I am at my lowest, I am struggling with myself. Just like you would not force a child to do what s/he does not want to do and instead you adapt, I am learning to do exactly that with myself. I am only human…
My real goal is to always make the time to learn my languages, always have the ability to adapt my routine to my life. Therefore the trial and error period I am going through is not a waste of my time. From what I understand, it is the time I need to build the foundation for a lifetime of personal satisfaction.
I am certain that in the future, I’ll be able to apply this acquired discipline and time management skill to learning another language, the violin, to ride a camel and the list goes on.
Yes, this learning experience is turning out to be a lesson in life
So Confucius what is your take?
Confucius: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”