Getting Back to the Path
Have you ever started a large project only to not finish it until the end? This happens more often than not and in some cases happens with the same project if it is large enough. This has been a part of my own Spanish learning journey more than one time, but I didn’t quit. I am still on that horse and will be riding it to the end, even if the end is further away than originally expected. There have been some things that I learned along the way about myself, about commitment and about confidence. Sometimes you find yourself drifting off the path, you may have been traveling for some time and not had not realized that you were off track, that the original path is not in sight anymore. Sometimes you have to back track just so you can find your way, but all of these things are normal and happens to more people than you think. Everyone will experience Spanish learning struggles, but the most important thing is finding your way back and doing your best to stay on the path.
I have been learning Spanish for many years and as many people who have read some of my blog posts know, it has not always been an easy adventure and the adventure has not always been the same. Motivation, drive and excitement seem to come and go. Confidence rises and falls, commitment gets stronger and weaker, there is a certain amount of ebb and flow, but the desire to learn Spanish always seems to flow back. Humans are busy people, there is always something to do and there is always something we should be doing. A very important concept is to always make time to better yourself for at least part of the days. I was talking to a friend about a book he read and the author explained about having “no zero days.” A zero day is doing nothing to better your future self. This does not mean you have to spend all day every day working toward self-improvement, it doesn’t even mean you need to spend an hour a day, but this would be a good idea. It is about just having no zero days, there will be days with more free time and there will be days will little free time, but work those goals in there somewhere every day.
This goes along with commitment, it is one thing that I have struggle with time after time, especially with Spanish. I like to have dreams, start projects and not follow them all the way through. I guess it is just part of finding myself and getting to know the person that I want to be. I have really committed to having no zero days in my life and it has been working well of the last couple of months and my future self seems to be happy. I don’t always work on Spanish every day, but I work on other things such as completing my degree at the university I started years ago, keeping in touch with my family and working towards completing a Tough Mudder, a 13-mile obstacle course. Staying committed is the only way to reach the goal. You need to work a little every day, some days more, some days less, but every day to get there. Learning Spanish is difficult, you can love it some days, but hate it [The subjunctive] other days. If you work every day, it starts to feel better and you start to gain confidence.
Confidence is very important, but does not come easily. It takes hard work, commitment and tenaciousness. You have to be willing to back track through the steps you have already taken to find your way back to the original path and when you get back to that original path, dig your feet in and start moving. Personally my confidence is low with my ability to speak Spanish. I have to work hard, practice and not be afraid to mess up, or say something silly because that is the only way to gain confidence. Staying committed and practicing every day will build confidence, but you need to practice with other live humans to get there. The mirror and online tools only go so far and there are countless places like, Meet Up, where you can find people with similar interest to practice with. Use the many resources at your fingertips for help, reach out to forums and blogs for guidance, but keep striving forward and one day you will arrive.