Okay, excuses. We all make them. If not to others, to ourselves. It is part of staying a sane human being. But, imagine if for every excuse we made we followed it with a simple prompt: "But..." "I will...".
I was late today because of the traffic, but I could have left earlier to avoid it, I will try to do better.
I messed up my diet because I couldn't resist my favourite baked goods, but I could have made sure to plan out my diet better, I will make a better plan for tomorrow's meals, something I will find easy to follow.
You get the idea.
Why bother mentioning this prompt? Our language dictates how we view the world.
Simple changes like:
I have to do this --> I am able to do this/I get to do this
You never understand me --> Perhaps I am not expressing myself in a way that you can understand
I didn't____ because_____ --> I can do better
Essentially changing the way you talk to yourself about situations!
Now don't get me wrong. This article, if you can call this horribly formatted sales copy style educational piece an article, is not about "getting on with" what other people are asking you to do. It is about you living the life you have always wanted to do and getting stuck into what you have always wanted to do, to become the person YOU know YOU CAN BE!
So let's hear some of these excuses, especially pertaining to my field of LANGUAGE ACQUISTION.
Would you be suprised if I told you that learning a language isn't really THAT hard? It is just TEDIOUS if you let it become that way.
Here are some common excuses people make:
"My brain just doesn't remember the vocabulary, I find it so hard"
"After several years of taking the language at school I still couldn't understand it"
"I just don't have the time to learn the language, I am too busy"
"I don't feel motivated to learn it, I have always been able to find somebody who speaks my native language to help me"
"I don't have any chances to speak to native speakers of my target language"
"I am afraid of making mistakes"
"The grammar is so complex for me, it is going to be such a huge task for me to get to a communicative level"
Okay, first of all, take the ones that apply to you and add "But____ I will_____"
If learning the language is something you really WANT then this should be easy. Let's try!
"After several years of taking the language at school I still couldn't understand it, but, neither could my friends. I will try and find a way of learning that has the highest percentage of successful students"
There you go, that wasn't so hard was it?
The biggest excuse I have seen that people often elude to, but rarely address directly is:
"I will do it one day, I know I can do it, I just need to stay motivated, I need to discipline myself!"
My goodness, have you heard this? Have you felt this? I bet you have! Maybe not related to language learning, but something precious right?
A dream project
A life changing journey
Which has it been for you?
Well I want to dedicate this next part to quelling this nasty and all powerful sucker once and for all. Are you with me? Of course you are or you would have left me a few paragraphs ago!
Jokes aside I want you to take a moment and contemplate the following:
If I started 5 years ago, would I be much further into my journey today? How would I feel about that?
The time has passed, the time will pass. Time is not a barrier, it is ever present, always moving. I will make time my friend! I will sow many seeds in the strains of time that are passing through me! I will believe in the process! The process I experience may be unique. It will be my teacher! It will become part of me!
If I had a horrible learning curve, if it caused me much embarrassment, but I overcame it and learned more about myself, and that I was capable of tackling the task, no matter how eloquently, no matter how quickly. How would I feel about that today?
I hope the answers are a little uplifting for you. You see:
You didn't motivate yourself to go to school. The commitment was expected from you from society, in the belief that the process would work and in the knowledge that if you showed up, you would probably participate, at least a little.
You didn't motivate yourself to go to work. The commitment was expected from your empty wallet,, staring back at you, and the lack of freedom and independence you experienced with that audacious empty wallet.
You did these things because they were immediate "no brainers". Now, if you can put yourself in a position that was once your future, is now your present and will soon become your past. Then remind yourself that the time will pass anyway. That this commitment will be for YOU because indeed YOU will experience the joy of the achievement, perhaps then you can put yourself in a mindset where you take a bulldog approach.
What I call the bulldog approach it biting down on what you want, and hanging on for the ride. Or as the idiom goes "grab the bull by the horns" and hang on!
Enjoy the process!
Commit to the ride!
Activate your tenacity!
If you master this ability you will be amazed and astounded by the level of personal fulfillment and improvement you can attain.
Will it be "easy"? Well that depends on how you talk to your self about it, will it be "tedious"? Let's do our best to make sure it's not.
The destination and time matters not, what matters is that you get there and grow along the way.