As a (supposed) INTP I think I am prone to be interested
a certain goal but after a time I will lose the motivation.
I will lose interest as I become able to see how everything
will pan out and become accustome to the learning curve.
However, there are goals I’ve had that I have had for maybe a
day or two and gotten tired of. Then there are goals I have had
off and on for my entire life. Learning Chinese is a goal I have
had for my entire life. Well since grade two when I first met
Chinese students my age and begged them to teach me how to
write cool Hanzi.
This past summer I spent a month learning the hanzi at a pace
of 50per day using a psuedo RTH method that was harder than the
real thing. I burned out and have’nt had as much motivation
as that since. At it’s peak I was studying for 4-5 hours a day
in the summer in my bed room and it was hot even with the fan
on and the window open and the AC that does’nt properly
circulate to my room cause my room is perpendicular.
Recently I decided I would attemp to learn the Hanzi at a pace of
5 sentences per day. Reading the sentences and hoping to learn
how to recognize the hanzi from that. I have had success and
am able to read verbally in mandarin and understand about
150 sentences so far. 5/day for 30 days.
During this period thought I had changes of priorety in my life
which led me to be undable to stick to the routine of doing the
hanzi first thing in the morning simply because I had something
of glaring importance to look up on the net.
This planted a small seed of distaste of my everyday reviews
because most days I would have to delay that rush of surfing
the net to answer my life questions, in favour of the hanzi.
The total time on the hanzi shoul dhave only been 15min/day but
because of my slow as computer and indeciciveness in sentence
mining that time grew to around 30min+/day.
This extended time + the urge I’ve had to fight against was I
think a main factor in me losing yet even more steam. This is
because when in order to do one thing, you are forced to deny
yourself somthing else, it creates a bit of maybe resentment.
That might not be the exact word but close enough, it’s an
emotion of distaste that lingers and compounds for everyday
you are put through it.
I will note that somthing as small as denying surfing the net
would not have caused that resentment if I had chose to prioretize
it lower in my prioreties. However it was one of the top things
recently and that was where the problem came. The higher the
priorety you give up for something else, the greater the chance of
In fact, the lady Marissa mayer, of google, says it’s only the
thing that is highest on you prioreties that becomes the thing
you must not give up. It is possible that this past month, surfing
the interenet for information became the highest for me. Infact
I think it had.
Next, the reason I want to write my reason for learning Chinese
is that I do find I lose focus of that reason as I lose interest.
I notice that sometimes when I think of studying Chinese
my mental thought process is, “it’s so predictable now, I simply
keep learning 10/day and in under a year I’ll learn 3000 hanzi.”
This predictablity leads me to think, “wow, if it’s so easy is it
really a goal worth acheiving?” cause the feeling I’ll get is like
the language has lost it’s mystique. It’s like I’ve already learned
However, when I hear Chinese people talking, or see Chinese writing,
all I can think is, I should be able to do that. I’v been learning
of and on for almost 2 years. I could be able to do that already.
I wish I could be talking with them or reading that writing and
just being apart of that environment. I wish I could interact with
the Chinese environment.
In other words, I start to feel like I’ve already conquored the
languge way before I actually have simply because I’ve figured
out a really efficient path to getting there. This is a bit
demotivating because I feel like I’ve achieved the goal. However
I have’nt achieved the goal and this becomes apparent when I
am faced with the irl language I am faced with the truth of
So what is happening is along the way, my reason for studying
changes from being able to use it, to knowing how to learn it.
A pseudo goal that I adopted in order to find the most efficient
path to goal achievement. Then I figure out how to learn it, test
my theory for a few months and when I see progress I have reached
the psuedo goal and get bored and want to quit. Then I quit and
some time down the road the real goal smacks me in the face again
when I bump into Chinese people speaking Chinese.
So here are the three major causes of motivational issues
that I have observed in myself and described here:
1) Underestimation of time I will spend (not as huge a deal)
2) Changes of priorety that result in a newly first priorety
being delayed for a previous first priorety that is routine.
3) Change of goal
Know that I have these understandings, here is my solution:
Chinese does’nt have to be the highest priorety but it has to
be the highest pleasure priorety. Meaning it has to be the
highest priorety out of the things I do for the pleasure of them.
I can still apply for jobs or study because I have no urge to
do those things and so delaying them wont be painful or cause
resentment. This means actively changing my prioreties by
swearing off anything of higher priorety, not for ever but until
maybe I finish RTH. Swearing off something in my opinion is the
easiest way to reduce the urge for it, as long as it is’nt health
related which includes social interaction. Marissa Mayer’s
examples of the one thing people just had to do were usually
health related like yoga, sleeping 8 hrs, or time with family.
This is a good way to prioretize because these are things that you
need for health but that you usually would’nt have a compulsion
or urge towards. Surfing the net, videogames, things like these
that can become compulsions are the worst thing to put at first
priorety because with a compulsion you will need it almost
constantly, basically an addiction, and denying yourself
an addiction for something else, will bread resentment for that
something else soooo fast. Cause it’s painful.
You gotta let go of the compulsion first though, it has to be a
willing and complete letting go, like, I’m letting this
go for 4 months. It can’t be, “I’ll only work on the compulsion
when I’m not studying”. The compulsion by it’s very nature is an
something you want to do right now, so you have to give it up
completely before you can even think about giving something
else priorety even if the other thing is only a 10min a day thing.
Second is to autonomously go about the goal of learning Chinese
with the knowledge that it is’nt truely enough to just know
how to get it. I need to actually get it to feel the true joy
I was origionally motivated by. I remember in the summer the
reason why I stopped was’nt really because I could’nt do it
anymore. I had it ingrained as a habit and I cut out anything
else that could become a distraction or a compulsion and
derail my motivation. However my motivation stil derailed because
of the feeling of achieving that pseudo goal. Then I was just
sloggin away with no emotion and actually it was stressful because
I was so afraid of this impending lose of motivation. That
plus the fact I had’nt been working out as regularily caused
a bit of insomnia. So in fear of that grey area I was in where I
had no desire to learn the language anymore made me decide to
quit in hopes that atleast that desire would return so I could
start again later at a slower pace.
Now I know that the lose of desire may come but that it
does’nt really mean I wont enjoy the language once I learn it.
It means I’ve forgotten the origional goal. See I know the
origional goal right now but even now I still don’t really
feel as much desire. I have a bit of desire cause of the rude
awakening of the difference between someone who knows Chinese and
someone who only knows how to know Chinese. I am going to slog
through RTH anyways because I am confident that once I learn
enough of the language that I can use it, it will be amazing
to enter that new world. Also I guess I just don’t want to spend
any more time thinking ” I could know Chinese by now I just have’nt
done it”. I want to have something to show for all my hard work.
That seems like a more negative motivation but it’s basically
learning from a mistake and the goal and the method are all
positive things so it should be fine.