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Learning is 20% difficulty and 80% attitude


Learning is 20% difficulty and 80% attitude.

Fifteen years ago when I decided to learn Chinese, every person I talked to told me I was crazy, that it was difficult, and that it would take me at least ten years.

Crazy, I could accept. I always knew I was a bit different, lol!

Difficult, I decided was just a word. I also saw it as a state of mind. If I was to start learning Chinese 'thinking' it was difficult, probability would be I would find it difficult. If I was to start learning Chinese 'knowing' it might be difficult, but deciding to take things as they came, one at a time, probability would be I would be able to meet each 'difficulty' head on, and for the most part, not even notice them. Ten years? I just turned around and told them I would do it in one year. (At least they were right about the crazy part!) And that is exactly what I did. Adding to the challenge, online learning and learning apps were in their very early days, so it was just me and my big Chinese dictionary. And living in France, I was learning it in a language which wasn't my first!

I wanted to develop and test different learning techniques which make it possible to effectively learn at high intensity, all while working full-time and maintaining a busy and active lifestyle. I wanted to show that even when restricted to learning a language in your home country, it's possible to recreate a learning environment identical to if you were able to study abroad.

Too often we focus on difficulty, letting it become a handicap or learning block. However, by accepting difficulty and taking it as a challenge, we can learn harder, grow stronger, and discover we can achieve things we never thought possible.

Want input on how to optimize your learning programmes? Want to know how to increase learner motivation? Want to experience real learning for yourself?

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