Courage

I was reading Jason’s blog called “Beyond Bounds” which I found reflecting back at this post of mine and I came up with this post about motivation to learn where he talks about courage (P.S. Jason has some other interesting stuff on his blog, check it out). He writes:

A new language means a new way of thinking; this is pretty much the definition. New ways of thinking scare people, because their comfortable lifestyles, morality, and conventional wisdoms get challenged on the most fundamental level. You don’t have to accept other ways of thinking, but facing the challenges has benefits; this is where courage comes in. Every time you read new material in a new language or socialize with people from another country or culture, you will find yourself face to face with things that will probably make you feel uncomfortable in some way. It takes someone with the courage to be able to face this day in and day out openly to be successful in learning a new language. Courage allows you to step out of your comfort zone.

This really strook a chord with me.

In fact, in life’s  it’s almost all about courage. Courage, to go out of your comfort zone and do things. Here’s a simple picture I found on Flickr I really like:

I didn’t really think about language learning as and act of courage until I got thrown here in Portugal where I really need to work to improve my language instead of resorting to speaking to English or some other language all the time (although I do speak English sometimes, that’s another story). As for learning Portuguese, I still sometimes think it won’t work out. Sometimes I sense progress. In fact, that’s also another story.

What I wanted to say is that just like most things worth doing, language learning is, too, about going out of your comfort zone.  Embrace it and go with it.

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1 comment

  1. I like this model of learning with 3 zones –

    1. Comfort Zone
    2. Stretch Zone
    3. Panic Zone

    In Comfort you don't learn new things and it can be boring. By getting into Stretch you have novel experiences, challenge yourself and learn new things. However you want to avoid getting into Panic where it's to far away from your Comfort Zone and it's difficult to learn anything as it's too scary.

    It's probably easiest to mentally consider this model with a physical activity e.g. climbing, although for many it will apply to mental activities as well.

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