I took this blog as a project to develop skills for the business world more-so than for personal development. I think there’s nothing wrong with that, but in doing so I didn’t provide myself with much of an outlet to alleviate any of the stress that I accrued from working, studying and rinse-repeat cycles weeks-in-and-weeks-out. I’m rather hard on myself in terms of studying when I set my mind to it. I’m well aware of that. I spent 9 months studying Chinese daily for 40+ hours of writing in a coffee shop each week and that’s not counting the 10 hours a week that I met with a one-on-one instructor to teach me in a study room setting.
Some people after reading that will skip to the point of asking, “Well what was the result?” Or perhaps will think, “Wow, I wish I could do that! You must be really fluent then!” It’s unfortunate, though, because while movies work in montages like Rocky or Family Guy/Simpson stylized buildups, life doesn’t work that way. It’s a sacrifice and to be honest it’s really unfair to the self. I am not really proud about that decision to study like that. I think there’s much more that I could have done in that time then trying to cheapen the learning experience.
To the non-linguistic enthusiast, my last paragraph might seem paradoxical at best, and perhaps idiotic at worst, or perhaps you can come up with something worse… I’ll leave that to your imagination if you so choose. But what I want to say is that language is about communication. If it’s not being used as such, it defeats the purpose. Life, in very much the same vein, it meant to be lived, not spent thinking about how you will do it after you’ve crammed for nearly a year on end. There’s no reason that you can’t study hard and allow for a little bit of time for the other things that are also as important.
If you are still with me on this, then you might be aware of where I’m getting with this. I have made mistakes about how much I soak my time into my endeavors to the exclusion of everything else. I, at times, have prided myself on that, thinking it was a luxury of enthusiasts to become so focused; while balanced it is an exceptionally useful determinism, but defeats the purpose of personal growth when done to excess.