Take a happy approach

japanese calendar 人生は今が勝負であるJust scanning some images from an old box of papers and pictures.

This quote was one of many from a calendar that I had when I was in Japan–each month would greet you with a no-holds-barred Buddhist edict that you could try and pull into your life.

This particular quote reads “人生は今が勝負である、今を喜ばなければならない”, which you might (liberally) translate as “In life, the fight is for the here and now; you have to create happiness out of this moment“.

Take what you wish from the quote, but what comes to mind today is how easy it is to think of the long walk to competency in another language as some sort of unbearable burden that you have to carry until……when?

When I think of the most successful language learners I know, most of them have simply embraced the challenge as part of their life.   Joggers keep jogging, even in inclement weather; golfers keep at it, even when they’re totally frustrated.  Perhaps you have a similar example from your own life.

Just like hard-core sudoku die-hards delight in a particularly challenging puzzle, try to find a happy approach to your language learning—those challenging days are really a mark that you’re improving and ready to take on new things.  If you can keep that thought in mind in the middle of those moments when you ‘just don’t understand’, or you’re feeling misunderstood, it gets that much easier to dust yourself off and keep moving forward.

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