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How to Learn a New Language 10 Times Faster

How to Learn a New Language 10 Times Faster

Our brain possesses phenomenal abilities and can do some amazing things. Take the example below. If you can read this, you just might have a strong mind.

    However, when we attempt to learn a new language after the age of three, it seems too difficult and takes way too long. If you have tried to learn a new language, how many hours did you spend each day on this task? Now ask yourself, how many devoted hours did you spend on this same task? Probably not nearly as much. Doing this, you will see that “five years” could net maybe 15 days of actual genuine work towards learning a new language.[1]

    What would you say if you could learn a method where learning a new language is as easy as breathing? If you follow the methods discussed here and have an extreme devotion to learning a new language, then it can be as easy as breathing. So, how can we do this? How to make learning a new language as easy as breathing?

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    Focused Attention and Deliberate Practice

    Famous professional golfer Ben Hogan was known for deliberate practice. Some people credit him for inventing practice. He entered every practice session with a purpose, which resulted in one of the most finely tuned swings in the history of golf.[2] So what exactly is deliberate practice? Let’s take a look.

    Regular practice includes mindless repetitions. Deliberate practice requires focused attention. Deliberate practice can be used in learning any new skill or becoming an expert in the skill. Magnus Carlsen is a chess grandmaster and used deliberate practice to become one of the greatest chess players in history. He created a strategy of learning chess by playing it on a computer, which allowed him to play multiple games at once. This allowed him to accelerate the pace at which he could identify different chunks (arrangements of pieces on the board).

    Some useful tips for you when you’re trying to practice:

    1. Burn the Boats! Using the advice of Tony Robbins, “If you want to take the island, then burn your boats. With absolute commitment come the insights that create real victory.” The best way to learn a new language is to live abroad. For example, if you want to learn Chinese… then move to China. However, I know this might not be realistic, so try these tactics: Schedule time for language study before anything else; listen to podcasts in the language you are learning; write in that language at every opportunity; and even think in that new language![3]
    2. Find Language Partners. Join online communities (such as Facebook) and find physical events allowing you to communicate with others learning this new language. Immerse yourself into the language as much as possible.
    3. Choose Fluency, Not Accuracy. Fluency can be described as the ability to express yourself articulately (using language smoothly in real time). Accuracy is the ability to be correct and precise (communicating without error). Think of it this way… You can be fluent in a language without being 100% accurate. Essentially, we are going to make errors, but that is the fun part of learning (and where learning actually occurs). So stop worrying about being accurate and start learning!
    4. Mistakes are Good! You are going to make lots of mistakes when learning a new language, but who cares. In fact, start congratulating yourself when you make a mistake as you have now provided yourself a learning opportunity.

    Use Mnemonic Devices to Memorize New Words

    Are you looking for an outside-the-box approach to learning a new language? If so, then pay attention to this technique. Using Mnemonics, we can learn a new language using the same technique designed for improving memory. Let’s take a look at this 3-Step approach.[4]

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    1. The Mnemonic should be memorable. The more outrageous or unexpected, the better.
    2. Make it Visual. Abstract concepts are much easier to comprehend through visual images.
    3. The Mnemonic device should easily tie back to the meaning of the word.

    Let’s take a look at a couple examples of this concept in practice (learning Spanish).

    Comer (combed hair). Comer means to eat. We can visualize eating from a plate of combed hair!

      Here is another.

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      Gracias (grassy arse). Gracias means Thank You. We can visualize giving someone a grassy arse as a gift.

        Use Spaced Repetition to Learn at Lightning Speed

        Stop cramming and use spaced repetition software to help you learn a new language. Through spaced repetition, learning a new language becomes faster (ironically) through increasing the intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned information. Furthermore, technology can assist us with this.

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          Some recommended spaced repetition software:

          FluentU. If you are looking for a program that takes real-world videos and turns them into language learning experiences… then you should use this software. Try it for free at Fluentu.com.

            Duolingo. If you are looking for gamification poured into every lesson, where you earn rewards (such as streak counts or hearts) then try learning a language for free with Duolingo. Find more information about it at Duolingo.com.

              By immersing yourself into learning through deliberate practice and focused attention, combined with powerful strategies and technologies, you can easily learn a new language. Use these tactics and make learning a new language as easy as breathing!

              Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

              Reference

              More by this author

              Dr. Jamie Schwandt

              Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

              The Ultimate Exercises to Improve Posture (Simple and Effective) What Is the Point of Life: The Reason Why You Exist 5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory How Cognitive Learning Benefits Your Brain 10 Best Brain Power Supplements That Will Supercharge Your Mind

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              Last Updated on September 18, 2020

              How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

              How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

              Time is a great leveler isn’t it? We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Even if you’re self-assured, the day may never feel quite long enough.

              Why is it that some people can be so much more productive and achieve so much more in a typical day, while others struggle to achieve anything apart from feeling time crunched and overwhelmed?

              Everyone I know and work with wants to make the best use of their time. They want to learn how to be more self-assured, happier, and work less—all while growing in their career.

              How effectively we use our time—and how we actually work in our business—can make a huge difference to the amount we accomplish in a day or week. It can also make us more focused and more confident.

              Do you want to have more thinking and creative time? Do you want to spend more time working on your business rather than working at or in your business? In this article, we’ll show you how.

              Get More Done by Gaining Confidence

              What if you had a strategy for making the best use of your time that brings you more joy and allows you to focus on the biggest activities and opportunities in your business? You may find the following outline below to be helpful:

              1. Create an Exciting Vision

              If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there?

              You want to be more productive and spend more time getting the right stuff done. Well, you need to create a compelling and exciting vision of your future.

              What does this future look like? How will you feel when you get there?

              Creating a new vision, especially one that is a lot bigger than where you are right now, has a way of igniting your passion. It may be something that feels hard to achieve, but every step you take towards that bigger vision will certainly build your confidence.

              Create a vision board to feel more self-assured.

                Commitment to this vision, and accomplishing continual daily progress depends on your ability to look at any situation you’re faced with or currently in, feel self-assured, and see something bigger ahead.

                Also, when you know where you’re headed, you will instinctively start to see all the new opportunities and connections that will get you there.

                Make a vision map to get you started on the path to better productivity. This doesn’t have to be fully actualized, but you should know at least what direction you are heading.

                2. Build a Strategic Plan

                Once you have your future vision mapped out, the next step is to build a strategic plan to get you there.

                Your future vision may be for 3 years or 5 years, or you may choose a longer time frame. Any timeframe over 3 years may feel like a long way away.

                You may wonder how you are ever going to feel confident and motivated on this bigger future years from now when you feel as though you have so much to accomplish today.

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                The first step is to decide on some specific goals for the next 12 months. Don’t list too many or you may begin to feel overwhelmed.

                The magic number for me and my clients is usually five annual goals.

                These are big goals that will create massive change in your business and life and bridge your current situation to your bigger future; accomplishing these goals one by one will help to increase your confidence on a daily basis.

                3. Get on Goal Planning

                Get yourself a piece of blank paper and a pen and divide the paper into 4 columns: A, B, C, and D.

                Ask yourself the question: What is great in my business and life right now? Write these things down in Column A. This might be a couple of things, five things, ten things, whatever feels right to you.

                Then ask yourself: What things are happening right now that I don’t want in my future? Write these things down in Column B.

                This is your opportunity to take a step back and look at the things that are simply not working. You may list people that are bringing you down or projects that you don’t want to work on any more. Maybe you’ll include a service offering that’s going nowhere. It could be the people you’re working with, or it could be your pricing.

                Now, let’s look at your personal strengths. Write down everything that you’re great at in Column C.

                These could be things that you’re doing right now and having success with. It could also be things you know you’re awesome at but you’re not spending enough time on.

                Column D is for your biggest opportunities. Is there a new service/product you could offer your ideal customers? Is there a new innovation you could bring to market? Just take some time out and really think and list these things in Column D.

                Once you’ve analyzed everything you’ve written down, take some time to really think about what goals you want to set for your business and life in the next 12 months.

                4. Set Outcomes to Build Confidence

                You now have your goals, and you’ll feel self-assured and raring to go. They are written down and you’re committed to achieving them. You feel self-assured and motivated.

                But how do you ensure that you stay on the correct course to achieve these goals?

                Managing and juggling day-to-day projects can get in the way. Dealing with problems can get in the way. Staying on top of orders, managing cash flow, and handling day-to-day stuff can move your ship off course.

                You want to be productive and achieve your goals, but you also need to ensure the day and week runs smoothly.

                One way to ensure this happens is to set 90 Day Outcome Goals; within those Outcome Goals, put some specific process goals that need to be undertaken.

                Let’s say you want to get 10 more speaking jobs in the next 90 days, and you know that you typically convert 50% of opportunities.

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                Therefore, your process goal needs to be to have 20 conversations in the next 90 Days to deliver the 10 new pieces of work. You will then work out who you can have those conversations with.

                It’s smart to overshoot, so you will more easily hit your target. This is a clear plan to work through because with every win, your confidence will grow.

                5. Completely Commit to Your Success

                If you are not truly committed to achieving your goals, then chances are that you won’t reach them.

                Motivation can only take you so far. It is the intentional commitment[1] and emotional investment in your future success that will move you forward.

                Think back to any time that you really committed to achieving something. There must have been a reason you actually achieved what you set out to achieve. What motivated you?

                Were you fully invested? Why did it matter? Did you have to be really courageous to achieve it?

                How did it feel when you achieved it? What difference did it make?

                When have you felt truly self-assured? When you are committed to something, then you are propelled into action. Your mindset is focused, and your body follows; you want to get it done.

                And, when you do get it done, your confidence goes through the roof. You feel a level of certainty in achieving the goal you set out to accomplish.

                6. Focus on Your Strengths

                To feel self-assured and build up the confidence needed to achieve our biggest goals, we need to focus on our strengths.

                What are you best at? What are your unique skills? You want to spend as much time as you can working in the areas that you’re great at.

                Multiply your strengths. These areas are where you add the biggest value. They often bring you the biggest amount of joy, and you feel more and more confident when you are using your unique skills.

                If you think there is a specific capability you need to learn or be better at, spend more focused time in that area.

                Many of us want to do it all. We want to be good at everything. We want to offer a lot of services. But, in reality, there are some very specific things we are great at; nobody is good at everything!

                Spending more time adding value in the areas where you excel can create breakthrough results and boost confidence.

                7. Embrace the Present

                Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about the future or worrying about the past that we forget the present moment[2].

                Are you spending most of your day reacting to things, or have you taken the time to think about what your perfect day looks like?

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                We all have the opportunity to create rather than react, to decide what we do with our day. All of our future success can be created in the present moment if we just take a step back and take action.

                Sometimes, doing it now is more important than doing it perfectly. There are hidden opportunities in every moment. We need to make sure we don’t miss them if we want to feel self-assured.

                8. Calm the Whirlwind

                The day-to-day life in business and life can be hard, which leads us to feel less self-assured.

                Your mind may be full to bursting with all of the things you feel you have to do. The phrase “I don’t have time” has almost become an instant reaction by so many people when new opportunities are presented.

                There is a whirlwind happening inside our minds.

                Appointments, notifications, tasks, phone calls, errands, cash flow, staffing issues, networking, marketing all can clutter up our timeline. The sheer volume of things we feel we should do creates procrastination, stopping us from pursuing the projects and people that matter.

                Many of us feel we have to do everything within our business.

                Rather than simplifying things and doing less, we do more. We work longer, which creates a lack of energy and focus. Because of this, we lose clarity on our biggest opportunities. If you feel this way, take some well-deserved time off.

                Look at where you’re spending your time. How much of your time is being spent moving your ideas forward?

                In the next 90 days, if you could delegate or outsource more daily tasks and spend more time focusing on where you add the biggest value, what difference would it make?

                Calm the whirlwind by slowing down and doing less.

                Focus on areas that you add the biggest amount of value. By doing this, your energy levels will increase, your confidence will grow and you will have more success.

                9. Take More Time off

                This may seem counterintuitive, but taking more time off to recharge and refocus can pay huge dividends.

                If you are constantly fighting fires and caught up in the myriad of different activities that you have to do each day, then how can you move your business forward?

                You may be being pulled in difference directions without any focused time on your biggest projects. If that’s the case, then it’s almost impossible to gain any real momentum in moving your business forward and hitting your goals.

                The best way to get off that treadmill is to take more creative time out of the business.

                Could you realistically take one day off per month to work on your business? If you could, what would you do with this time?

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                Just imagine no distractions, only focused time on the strategic development and growth of your business.

                Every day off per month could have a different focus: New product innovation; Thinking about your biggest clients; Improving operations.

                Add to this a quarterly review to check in with your goals progress, and this could have a dramatic effect on where you spend your valuable time.

                10. Celebrate Wins

                Sometimes you just want to get through the day, right?

                You have so much to do. There are so many things on your task list that you just complete what you can and then start another day. But what would happen if, at the end of each day, you took some time out to look at what you’ve accomplished?

                Celebrating success keeps you motivated and helps you become more self-assured. It is not just another day. It’s a day that included things that should be celebrated.

                If you’re struggling to feel motivated, try celebrating a couple of wins each day.

                Celebrating success combined with the gratitude you have for achieving those wins will boost your confidence and inspire you for the next day.

                11. Give Yourself More Space

                When was the last time you gave yourself time to think?

                Within the hustle and bustle, it can be difficult to give yourself a little bit of space and time to just think[3].

                Imagine giving yourself just an hour a day to just let your mind wander or think about a specific thing.

                If you think about it, we can all free up an hour a day for something without really losing any efficiency or really impacting our business.

                In fact, that hour could be transformational for your business and life.

                A new idea for a product could form, or an idea for adding value to your existing clients could materialize. Perhaps you could do a check in to your ideal future and your goals. You could decide that you want to take your business in a new direction.

                Try this: Just sit alone for an hour with a notebook and let it be your creative thinking time. See what happens.

                Final Thoughts

                Ultimately, being self-assured happens when you have a clear direction.

                This, coupled with having clear goals and working in your unique skill-set, gives you the biggest opportunity to be more productive and get more of the right things done.

                The old mantra that “less is more” is right on the money. By giving yourself more time to work on your goals, you will inevitably increase your confidence; at this point, your ideal future can be anything you want it to be.

                More on How to Be Self-Assured

                Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

                Reference

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