Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor.
Learning a language is a project. It’s not something you can just do well “in your spare time” or while you are significantly committed to other things.
I was reading a blog the other day that talked about how language is not a fact, and therefore cannot be learned as a fact. Rather, language, as a skill, must be acquired.
This acquisition is a project.
As with any large project, the probability of success is dependent upon a number of factors. But with an project like language acquisition, it stands squarely upon the shoulders of the individual who decides to undertake it.
One of the key components to success in such an undertaking is motivation.
Are you motivated to learn a language?
I mean, really motivated? You’ve got to have the juice in you to take you through the slow spots, the dull spots, and the difficult spots. You’ve got to have the engine to drive your car uphill, into the wind, and against the grain. In short, you’ve got to have motivation. If you don’t have this, you will go nowhere.
But here is the paradox about motivation: it can actually grow with action.
Every experience is a paradox
in that it means to be absolute, and yet is relative;
in that it somehow always goes beyond itself
and yet never escapes itself.
Action fuels motivation.
Recently I have experienced a bit of a jump in my Spanish abilities (solely due to hard work), so that I have held Skype conversations that were completely in Spanish. I have found myself reading paragraphs of Spanish with no problem, and larger paragraphs only looking up 1 or 2 words… Do you know what this does to me?
It makes me motivated.
You see, when action leads to progress, a kind of release happens. It’s like a 2nd wind comes your way… And this leads to more motivation.
Why? Because on the other side of action, there is a great release of your own meaning and own destiny. You as a human being were meant to make decisions and take actions. Through action over time, you become aware of your growing potentiality… and growing potentiality is electricity for the soul.
So I am finding Spanish much more delightful. I can talk to people more easily, I can ask questions when I need to, I am slowly finding the art and rhythm of the language… It feels more like I’m going downhill than uphill. It is great! This makes me even more motivated to learn.
When I started to learn Spanish a few months ago, I was motivated because it was new. Now, I’m motivated because I have begun to experience progress.
Motivation preceeds action, but it also follows action. Motivation is the basis of action, yet it can also be the result of action.
This is the paradox of motivation.