Friday, June 19, 2009

Step 1 : Get addicted

En français
Here is finally the first step in the About learning series.
The basic idea to succesfully learn anything is to get addicted to it.
I can already hear people laugh: "Addicted, addicted, you're just kidding right".
Most of people I know tend to be scared by addictions.
Not that they don't have some just that they refuse to admit they have one because saying that you're addicted to something make you just looks weird.
I'm not going to say that all addictions are good, cause they are of course not.
If you're a drug addict, quit it already that's not what I'm talking about here.

So what's so good about addictions ? Or a better question, why do you need to get addicted ?

Lets take the example of language learning.
First you will need to spend a really huge amound of time on it. That already sound scary right ?
Lots of listening (watching movies, drama, listening music, radio...)
Lots of reading...

Being addicted is what is going to make you overcome the scary part.
If you decide to look a bit of a drama everyday during breakfast. It better be a good one. If you don't look forward to see what follows, if it's so deadly boring that you're ready to fall asleep as soon as the main character starts to speak.
Then you'll definitely stay in bed instead of getting up early enough to see more of it.
That's the main difference between someone addicted to what he is learning and someone who is not.

The addicted person is having fun, is motivated because his learning process has become as good as breathing.
The addiction allows you to look forward to do the 200 SRS repetitions programmed on your computer all day while you're at work.
The addiction makes you be sure that you won't lack batterie for your mp3 player because that would make you spend hours without the language you're learning.
The addiction is making you look for new things as soon as you're done with wat you are doing at the moment.

So to really learn something, create an addiction about it. Something that is going to make you go through all possible difficulties and keep the pleasure high. Learning something that you don't like is to difficult to really worth to try.

Why do you think geeks all speak Japanese ? Because they are addicted to manga of course :P

PS: One thing I almost forgot. You don't need to stay addicted to the same thing through the all process, changing your addiction want hurt as long as the new one still carries you toward your initial goal.

Forward to step 2
Back to introduction


  1. I am sorry but this post doesn't say anything useful. Of course, it makes sense to like to do a lot of something (i.e. language learning) to achieve that goal (to learn the language).

    The real question is how to do that.

  2. well the purpose of this post was to explain how important it is to be in the right state of mind. You first need to be aware of what you will have to face.

    They is no real answer to the how question. Basically because the method that I want to promote here is "Do it your way".
    Who am I to tell you how to do something ? When people tell you how to do things does it makes you do them better or faster ? I seriously don't think so.

    If you read the introduction to the "about learning" group of posts you will see that I used different methods to learn different languages. You have to addapt to what is available.

    If there is to be one magic recipe it is basically explain in this post. Liking to do lot of things does make sense but it's not sufficient. You need to have commitment to achieve a goal more than to have a method. First thing first. Find things you like about the language and find things you like to do IN the language.

    The title was get addicted, I think I clearly explained why.