WIth less than 2 months to go to finish this year, some people like me reflect new year resolution which included gaining skills. Be it language, programing, cooking, etc, based on my experience and what I read and heard, there are 4 conditions to reach: (1) Need (2) Motivation (3) Resource and (4) Action. Let me take some examples of languages skills to explain.
First, you need to decide what kind of skill you want to gain. Let’s say Spanish in my case. You have a long way to go, depending on how much you want to gain.
Whether or not you have a need to gain the skill is very important. Without this, it is very hard to keep pushing yourself due to the busy workload, family issue, SNS distraction, you name it. (unless you have incredible desire and will power to achieve, which I will explain in the end).
For example, when I worked in Chile, I felt the need to improve my Spanish. Likewise, being Mongolia gives me constant pressure to learn Mongolian to be able to communicate with local people.
Next one is motivation. Without it, it is pretty easy to lose a reason to gain the skill. If you do something you want to do, the learning will be effective, sustainable, and most importantly, fun. Going back to my Spanish example, I was attached with Spanish speaking people and their culture, and I really liked the sounds of the language.
By resource, I mean materials, opportunities, teachers, etc. Luckily, when it comes to language skills, there are lots of useful resources (free online material, learning opportunities and free lessons). If it was 100-200 years ago, learning other language would have been much more difficult due to a lack of available resources.
Even when you have need, motivation and resource, if you do not take actions, nothing comes out. By action I mean planning, doing, making mistakes and continuing to try. You have to make efforts to gain the skill.
Exception: Without need
Even when there is not much need, I believe you can still gain the skill as long as you are well motivated, have resources and take actions. On the other hand, even if you have need, if you lack strong motivation, you will not gain much. In my case, French and Mongolian are good example respectively.
For French, I became interested in learning it when I was in Chile, and I am still working on it here in Mongolia through reading books, writing this blog, having a language exchange partner, practicing whenever possible, etc. Although I have a lot to improve, I think it is gradually getting better.
For Mongolian, on the other hand, the level of motivation is not as high as the one for French, although I sometimes need to communicate with local Mongolian people in many different situations.
By nature I like learning. But I believe without strong motivation, it is very hard to learn other language which requires so much time and efforts. Therefore, need can be complementary condition, but motivation is the key to sustainable learning, which result in gaining the skill.
This blog entry’s learning:
Learning new skill such as language is a long journey, which can be reachable through need, motivation, resource and action, among which motivation can be the key.
So when you want to gain some new skills, it is good to ask yourself if you have those 4 conditions.