Motivation: Why "This Language is Hard!" Is No Reason

Ahh, procrastination. It's a beautiful thing to be doing. On my lazy Sunday morning journey through the wilderness of Pinterest, I discovered a powerful thought and wanted to share it with you language learners. The quote is from John Green, author of The Fault In Our Stars and various other novels.

learning-hard is not fun.jpg

To me, the most important part that Mr Green points out in this quote is

Hard is often seen as the opposite of fun.

All the successful language learners I know have done one major thing at a point in their journey, and that's been to change their attitude and let in fun and curiosity. Sometimes you do go about a project thinking it's going to be easy, and language learning is no different from anything else. But when reality hits and you encounter something that is difficult, hard, complicated or a hassle, it's the real test of a great learner.

Remember my great student I told you about a few weeks ago, who said "For some reason I've got it in my head that there is nothing I can't learn"? If you want to become fluent in another language, then that's an attitude you can adopt for yourself, because it really is true. There is definitely nothing in this language that you can't learn. Like a videogame, you'll get better at it the more you do it - whether you want to or not.

You also would never expect yourself to finish every Angry Birds level the first time. In a videogame, you will expect to work harder as you move into the higher levels. The harder it gets, the better you are. Ever considered how this applies to your learning process?

Motivation In A Nutshell

The main messages that I take from this beautiful quote are these:

  • You've already got all you need for language learning. You've got time, you need commitment.
  • Failing and trying again is what we do all the time, and if there's no shame in it with Angry Birds then there's no shame in it with irregular verbs either.
  • Hard can be really fun. The two are not opposites.

For me, it's Threes by the way. It's bloody hard, yet I still play it and keep trying.

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