Issue 5 of 15 Strategies to Learn a Foreign Language
As human beings, our actions are often dictated by our emotions. We don’t feel like learning when we get back home from work, so we don’t. We feel bored when we’re struggling with vocabulary drills, so we stop. Too often when we’re learning, we focus on what we think we should master rather than on directing our attention to what makes us feel energized and joyous.
Tune in to your emotional intelligence by paying attention to what energizes you when you’re learning or focusing. Once you've figured out what energizes your learning, do more of that.
Is it free writing? Is it doing audio lessons? Is it practicing new expressions out loud?When you’re energized, you get things done without really feeling like you’re trying. Trying would also imply some sort of resistance, an effort to stay busy or feel productive. Feeling energized, similar to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of flow, is based on the assumption that you do your best work when you’re feeling at your best. You are going with your will, not against it.
Use energizing activities to get you started. If you know that something feels good, gets you in the flow and helps you get work done, start with that something. Start with it even if it doesn’t connect immediately with what you should be doing. Starting a project is, very often, half the battle, because it builds momentum. Momentum is a learner’s best friend.
Action step: Create an "energizing log" and write in it whatever activity you’re doing when you feel at your best without feeling like the effort exceeds the reward.
To read: An in-depth look at energy intelligence in language learning on Panglossity.
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Have an awesome day of learning,