August 23, 2015

The Right Reasons

Many times I've been thinking about what the key to successful learning is and I'm convinced that it is strong will. Will stands at the origin of every action, including learning. Will makes you take the first actual step. And the second one. And the third one. Strong and lasting will makes you take enough steps to eventually learn what you need. 

If you have the right reason, you will want to learn. More importantly, you will want to learn long enough. If you want to learn Chinese because you like Chinese food, you do not have the right reason. If you want to learn French because you have chills going down your spine when you hear the French language, you do. 

Strong will is an emotion, not a skill. You cannot practice wanting something very much, but you can have the right reason to which your mind will respond.

Try to work on the reason first. Everything else will make much more sense later.

15 comments:

  1. The act of will is the ultimate factor in doing anything valuable in life, not just learning. I agree completely. Too many people rely on motivation, but that is only a spark. Self discipline and will is what makes you take consistent action over time to reach the goal.

    " If you want to learn French because you have chills going down your spine when you hear the French language, you do. " - That's exactly what happened to me. I've been rather rubbish at learning other languages because I didn't have the same desire. The experience of learning French for me was work, but I was driven forward by the pleasure of the language itself. It's harder to learn a language for logical reasons.

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  2. @Peter Morris

    I agree completely.

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  3. Have you ever forced yourself to learn a language you were not interested in?

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  4. Hi Peter. Yes. There were many times when I was learning Chinese, when I didn't want to study anymore, but went on just for the sake of not giving up on my studies.

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  5. Im totally agree.. Im from Paraguay and 8 month ago i decided to learn French very intensively. I dont know how is in other countries in Latin America but here in Paraguay the student "dream" is to study abroad in united states, spain o the uk (places where they speak english or spanish) because is a lenguaje you already dominate and in latin american every school teach english as a second lenguaje.. So, that means those places are more likely to be more hard to get because everybody wants to go. Is more competitive.. So i decided to study abroad France in the future. Less competitive. Actually, im going for 3 month now this winter.. In my opinion is more frustrating learning a lenguaje as a grown up so learning french it was a challengue for me so yeah, is important to find the rigth reason! Mais.. Maintenant je pense que je parle très bien! J'ai cours de français presque tout les jours! J'adore ton blog!! Saludos desde Paraguay y te admiro mucho!!

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  6. Hello Maria. Thank you for the comment. Good luck with your plans. Saludos desde Eslovaquia:)

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  7. U're absolutely right , you see when i first decided to learn 3 languagesi i had no strong reason , i wanted to just because the guy named Tim could do that , i wanted to be like him .. Well , that didn't work , one year after , i woke up and i decided to learn 6 languages at once , with a total different reasons , different motivation , because i wanted to be cultivated , i wanted to be able to communicate with people from other countries with different cultures and the most important thing was to see the world in a different way , using a different eye .. That's when it started to work and i'm making good progresses , because it's all about asking ourselves " why can't i do this? " in the end we're all humans and we all can do efforts to achieve goals ..
    Anyways , thank you so much Vladimir , you became my third inspiration lol
    ( excuse my english i'm still trying to improve it :3 )
    Good luck , wish you all the best ! :)

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  8. Thank you for the nice comment Marie. Wish you good luck with your studies.

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  9. Motivation is so determinant when you learn a language. You can go faster or it can make learning a nuisance, despite having the best teachers or materials :P

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  10. Short post, but to the point and so true! I've been learning German for a year and a half (Ive posted here before :) ), and then decided to start a language alongside it. I went on a binge of doing a different language each week: French, Spanish, Russian, Hindi, Chinese... never getting anywhere. Then I stopped and asked what do I really want to learn, and now I've been learning Romanian for nearly 2 months, and I absolute love it! I don't even have a particular reason, such as job, or knowing people, the language is interesting enough to me!
    Hope your having fun at the Polyglot conference in New York!

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  11. 'I don't even have a particular reason, such as job, or knowing people, the language is interesting enough to me!'

    That's the right reason:)

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  12. I just saw your page i like it and i am impressed of your accent in other languages... for me I am trying now to get to the fluent level in 3 languages that I speak (i can say well) and about the reason I completly agree with you the plearure of learning another languages is the most important even if we want to stop everything sometimes but we have to remember that we dont have to stop till we achieve our goal...thank you so much ,you inspired me and motivate me to keep going good luck for you too :)

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  13. Hello Nour,

    I'm glad you liked the article. Wish you good luck in your studies:)

    Vladimir

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  14. Great little post Vladimir. I agree one hundred percent. The most important question is 'Why?' and if you have that clear from the start it makes the journey a whole lot easier and a whole lot more fun!

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