Language Learning : Reframe the goal

The goal of learning a new language, for most people, is for enjoyment. The reason people quit therefore is because they can’t enjoy it until they know it and knowing it takes along time. So the real problem is people wanting something so they can enjoy it but not being able to put the work in to attain that something first. Therefore there are two problems and so there needs to be two goals.

Basic Goal : Learn new language

Prerequisite Goal : Gain ability to work hard to attain something you only want for fun.

Let’s not make any mistake about it, these are two separate goals and the prerequisite goal needs to be reached first. OTHERWISE IT’S LIKE TRYING TO SHOOT A BASKET BEFORE YOU HAVE THE BALL. The ability to have fun with the language is just that far away that thinking about it as a goal doesn’t even make sense yet. You need to make learning the language a path towards a separate goal that isn’t “having fun with the language”. I guess it’s like compartmentalizing your mind.

So how to do that. I suggest the gradual increase of time spent on the task that you are only working on to attain something you can have fun with. Start with 5 min ever other hour for 5 work/rest intervals daily and increase time spent by 1 minute each day. Couple this with having no other major goals being done for the sake of fun and couple with health, and you have a good method. With a method like this, the goal is increase the amount of time you can study up to 5 hour long sessions. That is the goal. Nothing to do with learning the language.

The mindset has to be there. You can’t be doing the work sessions and thinking about reaching the goal of being able to have fun. That is a separate goal now. You can’t have fun with the language yet and thinking about it will only be upsetting and discouraging. You have to let go of that want and focus on being able to work long enough to get the language first. Once you have the language, or at least the not fun part of it, then you can think about, using what you do have, to have fun. So let me give an example of what you should not do. Don’t try to understand bits and pieces of the language you are learning when you see it out in the wild. It’s will only remind you of how far you are away from being able to have fun. It puts you in a frame of mind where you are depending on something you don’t have yet, for happiness. So when you do your reps, don’t think, oh I gotta do 20 or 30 or however many in this work session. Only think, I have to work for this long at this work session. You really have to let go of learning the language for the fun of it. It wont be fun as a language not for a few months. You can make the learning can be fun which is cool, but it wont be fun for the reason you really want it for. Not yet. You know it will be fun to be fluent. Well fluent is months if not years away so you need to forget all about being fluent or even good, and just learn for the sake of putting in the time.

Well this is just my opinion. If you are like me this information will make sense to you. I’m sure for some people it doesn’t matter how far away a goal is they can still enjoy working towards it as if it was minutes to complete. That just is’nt my experience so I am finding a way around that.


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