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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

7 Ways Learning a Language Will Make You a Better Person

7 Ways Learning a Language Will Make You a Better Person

Learning a language is known to have many benefits, but did you know that it will make you a better person?

For any bilingual or ‘trilingual’ individuals reading this, we can often take these benefits for granted since it becomes a norm after a while. But if you’re learning a new language or aspiring to learn a new language, keep these benefits in mind to keep you motivated during the journey.

Let’s start with…

1. Learning a Language Will Improve Your Relationships

The first reason for this is because most people today have friends, co-workers, customers, or even family members that speak another language as their native tongue. This is a massive transition from twenty to thirty years ago, where we didn’t live in as much of a multilingual world.

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There’s no better way to improve a relationship with someone than to speak their language.

Another reason is that studies show bilingual people have two different personalities[1] — one when they’re speaking their native language (i.e. English), and another when they’re speaking the other language (i.e. Spanish). This may seem opposing at first, but this allows bilingual individuals to become more empathetic to a more diverse group of people.

2. Learning a Language Will Improve Your Memory

Studies show that bilingual children have a better working memory than a child that can only speak one language. While most of the memory is developed when we’re young, adults can still reap the benefits that come with being bilingual.

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    The University of Edinburgh has also found when studying the benefits of language learning in the brain, that most of the subjects were adults!

    3. Learning a Language Will Make You More Money

    Learning a language has shown to add between 10–15% to your wage, according to language specialist recruitment agency, Euro London.[2]

    According to The Economist, these are the breakdowns by the most useful languages to learn for annual bonuses:

    • Spanish — 1.5 percent bonus
    • French — 2.3 percent bonus
    • German — 3.8 percent bonus

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      This means that you can make an additional $50,000 to $125,000, just for knowing how to speak a foreign language!

      4. Learning a Language Will Make You Sexier

      A 2013 survey found that 79% of adults find being able to speak a second language a more attractive trait than speaking a single language.[3]

      This also depends on what language you speak and who you’re speaking with of course. For example, French was considered the sexiest language, followed by Italian, then Spanish, then English.

      5. Learning a Language Will Advance Your Professional Career

      Over 60%+ of companies around the world have difficulty expanding internationally due to language barriers. Surveys show that employers value employees who can speak more than one language, and the more valuable you are in the marketplace, the more likely you will have additional opportunities to choose from.

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      6. Learning a Language Will Delay Diseases

      When it comes to the brain, learning a new language can prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by 4.5 years.[4] This is a far more powerful than the best drugs which only delays the symptoms by 6–12 months.[5]

      The American Academy of Neurology has performed studies finding that speaking more than one language increases the amount of neural pathways in the brain, which is why it’s effective in preventing the most common brain diseases.

      7. Learning a Language Will Improve Your Native Language

      According to the Impact of the Second Language Education, learning how to speak a second language alone will significantly improve the grammar, reading, vocabulary, and speaking skills of your first language.

      You can think of it as learning how to play baseball when you’ve been playing tennis your whole life. It’s a different sport, but the muscle coordination and athletic abilities directly translate to accelerate your learning curve.

      Reference

      More by this author

      Sean Kim

      Sean is the founder and CEO of Pulsing. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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      • (1) Research
      • (2) Deciding the topic
      • (3) Creating the outline
      • (4) Drafting the content
      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
      • (6) Revision
      • (7) etc.

      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

      2. Change Your Environment

      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

      6. Get a Buddy

      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

      Reality check:

      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

      More About Procrastination

      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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