As mentioned in my very first post, languages and self-improvement are very closely related are can simplify each other easily.
Learning a new language allows us to understand better others and learning to understand oneself allows us to simplify and deepen this understanding.
But how can we maximize this fact?
1. The language’s perspective
a. Appreciate the small successes
Any learning will need time to settle and become of use to anybody. However, taking notes of small successes on a daily/weekly basis will allow you to keep going even through hard times. We all have what we call “down periods”, where even the idea of studying is demotivating due to us leaving the rest of our lives impacting us, but if we notice small evolutions, things we didn’t know yesterday or a week ago, we can overcome those periods.
We can then use this satisfying feeling of success to help us realize that we are evolving and ourselves from a week ago isn’t the same anymore.
Learning in itself is makes ourselves more knowledgeable and improve our understanding of others. But by studying a language and the culture that goes with it, then we can learn more about ourselves.
b. Studying through simple life-changing topics
Another simple way of improving ourselves through languages is to learn with topics of self-improvement in the target language. The language used in the self-improvement articles/videos is originally purposely simple to provide access to as many people as possible, thus making it easy to access for language learners.
Furthermore, most of it will concern daily tasks, thoughts that we have heard in our mother tongue and, as a result, will either resonate with us (which will simplify the learning), or on the contrary go against what our culture taught us (and thus, the “culture shock”, will provide the same result).
2. The self-improvement perspective
But it also works the other way around. Looking from the self-improvement perspective, we can also find 2 ways to improve our language learning journey.
a. A better organization and evolution of our studies
When we start learning about ourselves, we will start back from the beginning and notice what we have been doing wrong or not effective enough. Through an analysis of our way of living, we will reorganize and prioritize better our life.
This will impact our studies in 2 ways.
- First, instead of seeing the studied language as a whole, we can start creating batches to focus on and order those. This will consequently make us improve on those specific parts faster before proceeding to the next aspect on our list.
- Secondly, one of the first things to remember in self-improvement is the constant evolution of every aspect of our life and acceptation of making mistakes. This can thus allow us to realize the mistakes in our organization and will then give us the ability to accept it, move forward and tweak our program to improve it further.
b. An understanding of ourselves for a better understanding of others
Finally, as mentioned previously, by learning about ourselves, we will come to understand ourselves better and thus accept different cultures and ways of thinking.
This can easily be observed when looking at people who have lived abroad for many years and absorbed the country’s culture. The expat who didn’t absorb the culture will usually not be very self-aware and not speak the language. Learning a culture comes with learning the language but the base of all this comes from knowing ourselves first.
By looking at both the study of a language and self-improvement from an interconnected point of view can definitely accelerate both studies. So why not giving it a try?
I’ve already been using this combination of thoughts for Korean in my own studies and this has allowed me to learn both new grammatical patterns and vocabulary more easily whilst giving me an insight into the differences in positive thinking between Korean and English.
Originally published at yuhakko.wordpress.com on October 21, 2018.