This is going to be a very short post. My point is very simple, but I really want you to take it on board.
Imagine something for me. Imagine I told you that I, and a few of my friends, had a very complicated secret code of about 20,000 different words. It wasn’t like anything you’d ever learnt before – its rules/grammar were totally alien to you.
Imagine I said that I wanted you to figure out how to use the code. However, there would be no translation, no reference point. You just had to figure it out by listening to us using it.
Basically, we were going to use the code in front of you, and that was the only way we would help you figure it out.
Does that sound hard? Do you have any doubts in your ability to do something like that? Do you feel like you wouldn’t be smart enough?
Well, the funny thing is, you’ve already done it! I’m talking about English.
Think about it: when you were born, you didn’t even know what language was. But just by being around it long enough you figured out this amazingly complicated system. And it really is difficult, because it’s not that logical: the spelling, the grammar – all that stuff is fairly inconsistent because English is made up of so many other languages.
What That Means
Hopefully you’re starting to see the point I’m making. We all learnt to do this thing when we were only kids, when our brains weren’t even fully formed. With something like this under our belts, shouldn’t we really be more confident? Shouldn’t we see the potential that everybody has, not just certain individuals?
Picking up a language from nothing is an act of Genius. Our minds are capable of great things, but we forget that sometimes. When we were children, we never entertained the idea that we wouldn’t learn English, nor did our teachers. What could we achieve if we had that same attitude about other monstrously difficult objectives? Do we sometimes forget that difficulty is not the same as possibility – just because something is hard does not mean it is likely you will fail. In fact, just like when you learnt English, if you have the right attitude, success is guaranteed, and failure isn’t even considered.
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