Over the past several days I’ve been mulling over a single reoccurring thought about the importance of dedication. Dedication in our society follows a number of different rules based upon the context in which it is used. For example, if one person says that they are dedicated to finishing a project vs. if one person says they have dedicated their life to project X. The former implies a sense of temporariness while the later implies a greater overarching commitment to a cause.
Lately I’ve been thinking that we sometimes mix up what should be dropped into the Temporary Dedication Bin and what should be dropped into the Life-time Dedication bin. Language is very important and often our first language (or native language) is defaulted into the Life-time bin– However, a second language doesn’t make it into the life-time bin very often, when I think it should.
With regards to Japanese– I feel like I’ve often felt that one day I’ll make the transition from one bin to the other, but only after I pass some mile stone (be it JLPT, A fluent conversation, X-amt of Kanji/Vocab, etc.). I now realize that I have had it wrong all along. Japanese is a unique thing in that if it isn’t placed in one’s life-time bin it’ll get forgotten, passed over, or remain unfinished. With something so vast as Japanese– Going for broke is the only way to go!
This all came up for me, because I can think back on a few people who were gun-ho to learn Japanese for good reasons… except the dedication part where they dedicate their life to it didn’t quite happen. Now when I meet them I ask where their Japanese is from then to now the answer is often is something even they’re disappointed with. Typically, “I’ve let it slip” or “I’ve forgot most of it”, or “it’s on a slow decline.”
On top of it all– it’s scary to go the extra step to full devotion.. The idea of studying all 2,000+ Japanese Kanji, Compounds, Grammar, etc. would chill even the coolest cat– but now having done it.. having taken the plunge with ‘fail-up’ as my creed & code: I’m realizing that my goal doesn’t have to be a decade off– (or never) but perhaps really attainable (given a little motivation and devotion) in a short period of two to three years (if not less).
It’s the power of dedication that can overpower our deepest fears which incites the devil of hesitation. Anyone can have the ability to converse fluently in Japanese, work (perhaps) in Japan, raise a family there, or whatever you desire as long as they’re willing to pick up that aspiration from the temp-bin (likely the trash-bin ne?) and putting it into the life-time bin!
Write this down… My Greatest GOAL has been to ____Learn Japanese____
What in this GOAL is the BIGGEST OBSTACLE? ____Kanji, Reading Literacy, and Comprehension___
What can I get started on today to TACKLE that obstacle? ____Learn all the Jouyou+ Kanji ______
Dad always used to tell me:
- Set A goal
- Make a plan to get to that goal
- work your plan.
“Fight On” – gokusen.