We live in times where lots of teachers, writers and fitness models post on Facebook all kinds of positive motivational “you can do it!” messages. However, after you click ‘like’, do you then take action..?
How do you feel when you go to bed and you’ve only clicked a ‘like’ without following the advice..?
If you don’t have the time for improving your English (doing anything better is a question of time), then it doesn’t help to feel bad or guilty about where you are.
Be ok with making “ok” progress.
In fact, most people out there make ‘average’ progress. If you have one or two lessons a week, then you’ll make the progress that you can expect from 2-4 hours a week.
It takes roughly one hundred learning hours to move up from one level to the next. Of course, for some it could be much less, for others a lot more.
But it doesn’t make sense to be annoyed with yourself if you simply don’t have the time for it.
Maybe later on you’ll have the time.
But if you do have the time, then put in the time! Successful people are successful because they spend a lot of time doing what they need to do in order to be good. I’ve spoken recently to a few ballet dancers, and they dance for hours every day. I once taught a kickboxer who did about 5 hours of fitness a day. I’ve taught many successful businessmen and women who spent a lot of time understanding a specific industry, and 15 years later they are wealthy or certainly well-off.
Just have a look at cricketer Shane Warne’s first ball in England, which is one of the most famous balls in cricket. He makes it look so easy, doesn’t he? But what we don’t know is that before he bowled this ball and became famous all over England, he put in thousands of hours practising in the nets.
“We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. But the fact is, most of us are pretty average at most things we do. Even if you’re truly exceptional at one thing — say math, or jump rope, or making money off the black gun market — chances are you’re pretty average or below average at most other things. That’s just the nature of life. To become truly great at something, you have to dedicate time and energy to it. And because we all have limited time and energy, few of us ever become truly exceptional at more than one thing, if anything at all.”
So Let’s Make Learning Healthy
Most people will take about 10 ‘learning years’ to get to about Upper Intermediate (B2) level and then complete the Cambridge English: First exam.
Are you ok with that?
If not, and if you have the time, then you can dramatically get better results by having more direct contact in the language. It doesn’t have to be a paid lesson, but it does involve actively speaking the language!
I believe one hour a day is totally doable.
But not many people will do this. If you’re one of them, be ok with that.
“The people who become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they’re exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they are obsessed with improvement. And that obsession with improvement stems from an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at all. That they are mediocre. That they are average. And that they can be so much better.
This is the great irony about ambition.” – Mark Manson