The process of learning a language
Isn’t this statement alluring? I can learn anything I want.
If you are cynical, you might think: here it is another of those big statements that are in fact pure marketing or one might even say: a lie.
The interesting thing is that I actually believe that one can learn anything. I have seen it done. The catch is, that it is not without actually doing something about it.
I once came across a product that declared you could learn a language in your sleep just by plugging some headphones on your head and going to sleep. I’m sorry to say, that this does not work.
In order to learn you have to do something, you have to do it regularly and you definitely have to be awake for at least some of it.
Learning is a process, it is usually easy in some parts and difficult in others but always rewarding if you stick with it.
I have a dyslexic friend, she has always had problems with the academic side of life and she was of course always aware that her learning was difficult. However, at the ripe age of 50, she decided to make one of her dreams come true; she decided to learn to play the piano.
I can hear you saying: “well, many people start and very few achieve what they set out to do. When did your friend give up?” And in thinking that you will be quite right, many people start and very few actually achieve what they set out to do. At the first hurdle, they let go, they feel they are making mistakes, they are not progressing fast enough, they don’t understand completely everything, etc. If you have any more excuses for giving up, we could add them here…
The fact is: you have to believe in the magic of learning.
Learning is magic because it does not happen in a linear way, it does happen in your sleep and it emerges when you are not always expecting it. You have to believe in it.
Learning is also a process. To achieve the success you must embrace that moment when learning is difficult. Feel the moment, keep going with it, whatever it is you are doing. Be it that difficult shift of the fingers when learning the piano, or mastering the slight angle of your tennis racket for that particular shot, or the ending of new verb conjugation. It is this difficult moment that makes the learning happening. It is the constant practice and the belief that if you stick with it, it will happen. Don’t give up, the hurdle is part of the process, without it, there will be no learning.
I feel that, at this stage, it is appropriate to mention a quote that is very important to me, is from Henry Ford and he said:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re probably right.”
Believe that you can do it, stick with it, and it will happen.
By the way, I didn’t tell you the end of the story about my friend: she has been learning the piano for ten years, sometimes she plays for me; she is amazing! I listen and, of course, I believe in the magic of learning. Love the process, love the difficult part of it, believe that it is happening even if you think you have no evidence of it yet, and the magic will do the rest.