It’s the small victories that matter…

…well, not really, but they do help

This post is based on a NaBloPoMo prompt: What is the hardest part about learning a new skill? Do you enjoy a challenge or do you like things to come easily?

The hardest part

I think the hardest part is being realistic when setting goals for oneself. It can be difficult to assess:

  • how much time we are going to need before we consider this skill learned, and
  • what we will be capable of once we have put in the time and effort we are ready to invest.

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals can be useful, but setting a realistic deadline for and by ourselves can be tricky. On the other hand, focusing on a new skill for a given duration sounds like a good idea, but we run the risk of being disappointed and discouraged when we realise that our resulting ability doesn’t match our expectations.

A good challenge

Challenges make life interesting, but they can also be frustrating and exhausting. In many situations, I enjoy a challenge and draw satisfaction from learning or achieving something through hard work and dedication. But I think we also need – and also deserve – “easy wins” from time to time.

Learning a new language, for instance, brings its lot of challenges and frustrations, but even with a language like Russian or Japanese, there can be things that we understand right away, such as words that were borrowed from or adopted by English, or grammar rules actually simpler than the corresponding English ones. Sure, Russian has six cases and Japanese uses three writing systems, but there are no indefinite nor definite articles in either.

It’s a small victory, I know, but one less thing to worry about.

Featured image: HMS Victory |a| by Simon Roberts on Flickr, resized and cropped by me.

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2 thoughts on “It’s the small victories that matter…

  1. Pingback: Where have all the bloggers gone – Third-week NaBloPoMo roundup | Keeping Track

  2. Pingback: Get me to speak with cats and computers… | Keeping Track

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