Motivation

7 advantages of finding that someone can do what you want to do better than you can

… and how that will help you get better at what you want to get better at doing!!

1 Coming across a person or the result of a person’s work which merits your recognition is a sign that your idea to come up with the same thing was a good one: you’re just not the only one who had that idea! Take it as confirmation that what you will pursue is worthy of your efforts, and rest assured having deduced that others (namely, your audience) will also agree that it was a good idea – pick up your pen, and get to work!


2 Seeing another person carrying out a similar idea to yours can provide you with a free and easy ‘sneak-peek’ at what might have happened if you had gone ahead before you actually do so: their product being the draft, your product will be the final version! What would you change about what they have done? Crucially, how could you make sure your version will be even better than theirs? Take notes – and mentally thank them for the opportunity for this extra insight!!


3 You can choose to feel demotivated or encouraged by seeing someone, possibly someone close to you, achieve what you yourself would also have liked to achieve; you can choose. Know that by sharing in the joy of their success, and fuelling their ambitions as well as your own, you will only bring yourself closer to fulfilling your own endeavours! This is because choosing to ignore or shut out feelings of joy for them will only stop those feelings from coming back round to you, whereas by embracing the feelings of celebration associated with success, albeit for someone else, you are saying ‘Yes!!’ to those emotions, and opening yourself up to them. Don’t block out or deny yourself feelings you want to feel – just as importantly, it is helpful to remember to recognise when someone is fully deserving of their success (as you also will be when you have yours), and to offer the same boost you hope to enjoy when your time comes! « Si vous vous sentez vraiment bien à l’égard du succès, peu importe à qui il appartient, vous attirerez le succès à vous ! » (Byrne 2010 : 174).

4 Very often, it is necessary for the same or similar products to be adapted or even redesigned in order to suit a wide audience; how else could we explain the existence of so many innumerable, thriving brands selling the same or similar products? It’s not because you witness someone else’s success with a product the same or similar to the one you wish to promote that you can’t also have the same or yet greater success with your product (be it more or less exactly the same or just similar); the audience they are catering to is almost certainly different to your ideal audience. There is a reason you stand out, so discover your niche, dare to embrace exactly what makes you unique and find the solution to exactly what you can offer your clients that absolutely no-one else could! “The thing to remember is this: someone else’s success does not hinder your chances of achieving what you want.” (Kempton 2018: 152).


5 Admiring a great person is, in itself, a great reflection on you. It isn’t synonymous with admitting you’re less adept than another person, nor is it accepting that you’ve given in to the competition – on the contrary: you can’t lead the way until you’ve been the way, which is why having admiration for someone else can give you the same gratification as having a great personal mentor or role model. For that matter, think of it as having a whole host of mentors, since there is no limit as to how many great examples you may choose to follow, and whose influence you would like to grace your work!! Consider it a product of your clever judgement, and pride yourself on the fact that theirs is the example you have chosen to follow. With a plethora of possible role models available, your personal choice in whom to lend your attention is what will help contribute to your eventual and inevitable triumph!

6 Did your ambition arise out of the inspiration you felt by witnessing someone achieve or dare something brilliant, by any chance…? A person in the figure of a teacher, an athlete or an artist, perhaps? The greatest leaders are those who never deem themselves as having reached the stage where they are no longer students: if, like them, you are constantly in a state of mind where you consider you always have something else to learn, or more progress to make, you are leaving the way open to limitless improvements over the course of your entire career! Your journey constitutes an endless stream of developments in the name of finding excellence: instead of seeing that as something negative, embrace it and realise it means you only ever keep getting better! (2018)


7 When you realise that your choice of reaction towards someone seemingly more skilled or talented than yourself isn’t restricted to an attitude of defeat, disappointment or inadequacy, you will find yourself opening up to all of the above principles. Whereas your instinct may otherwise have been to respond with feelings of inferiority, or to allow yourself to feel intimidated in the presence of this person (or these people), as soon as you learn to adopt this alternative mentality, and the fact that you are free to embrace this different outlook, you can willingly accept that there is only positivity to be found in their existence, their success and their impact on you. Be honest with yourself: there is no limit to your learning, nor will there ever be; there will always be new things for you to learn, and you will always be in a position where you can acquire and develop new skills! When you want to succeed, this is the greatest thing you can be grateful for!!

Please read further…:

Le Secret ; Le Pouvoir {both by Rhonda Byrne; translated from the English by Jocelyne Roy}

Wabi Sabi {by Beth Kempton}

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Ode to the Universe:

Reasons to be grateful for our life and our world…

My dear Universe,

Thank you for keeping every promise you make me;


Thank you for always knowing better than me, however little I care to realise it at the time, and for revealing the answers to me only when I am willing and ready to accept them;


I love you for keeping me in the minds of my loved ones when I am far, and me in theirs, that we may always be together in spirit;


Thank you for allowing me to see far enough into the future to begin to feel accomplishment for the goals I set myself in the present;

Thank you for not letting me forget too much of the past: enough to hold on to what is even more dear to me now than it was then, and to let go of what I needn’t keep once I’ve learned from it all that I can;


Thank you for remaining patient whilst we collectively work through our current state of progression, and for supporting us through our endeavours to better our overall existence, all the while trying to find ways to coexist;


Above all, thank you for filling life with unique, beautiful, memorable, inspiring, enlightening experiences, lifetime after lifetime, moment after moment, whether we believe, see it, feel it or not, continuously and unfailingly.

For all this and more, I thank you, dear Universe.

Creating your own world of foreign language immersion!

The four disciplines within language are: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Until such a time as you are in a country or living a life in which you only read, write, speak and listen to the language(s) you are learning, how can you make every effort to create that environment for yourself, everyday?


SPEAKING

Do you live with someone? Perhaps a partner, children, housemates or family? No matter whether you’re in constant contact with people, animals or #1, what’s important is making a daily habit of incorporating elements of your target language (the language you are in the process of learning) into your regular speech.

Here are a few suggestions for common words and phrases that you could very well work into your daily routine:

“Good morning/Goodnight!”

“Thank you!”

“I love you!”

“See you later!”

If you want to go further than that, you could also try:

asking for/telling the time;

asking/saying what is for tea;

phrases which, in English, begin with “Let’s …(cook, watch a film, go for a coffee, …)!”.

The key is to adopt what you usually say, ask or talk about within your daily rituals into your target language – which is also the key to the success of this exercise: making a daily commitment to include this as part of your routine, if immersion really is what you’re going for!!


READING

Do you own a phone? Possibly a laptop or tablet, too? One thing you can do to make sure you are frequently exposed to reading material in your target language… or, at least as often as you look at your device… is to tinker with the settings and overdo the whole thing in a bright new shade of: Japanese, French, Italian or whatever you wish to be more exposed to!! If you’re learning more than one language, use each for a different program on your computer!

However, even if you set up your phone in a different language, it may be that you don’t really spend enough time looking at the screen to make that one gesture worthwhile (a little like me!). If this is your case, worry not – it’s not the only thing you could be trying! Commit to reading a passage daily or even weekly in your target language(s)! It doesn’t have to be an enormous amount – but it does need to be done frequently, in order for you to feel that your are being immersed in your language(s) of choice…

By making a daily habit out of reading any resources in your target language, you are simultaneously allowing yourself to become used to the feeling of immersion in this language and giving yourself the opportunity to recognise and therefore begin to learn those words, phrases and constructions!


LISTENING

One reason I so love listening practice as a daily ritual is that it is an activity you can do almost anywhere and anytime, including at the same time as doing something else! Knowing how busy you undoubtedly are, that is a huge benefit!!

Whereas (personally!) I find reading, speaking and writing to be activities which require you to dedicate time to them and them alone, listening is something you can do whilst otherwise dedicating time only to yourself. Unless you can read and knit at the same time, speak and run at the same time or write and meditate at the same time, listening is your go-to activity for daily language immersion which doesn’t stop you from knitting, running, meditating, cooking, doing yoga or even sleeping while you do it.

Choose from the ample selection of free listening material available on the internet… Go for audios on YouTube (set it to, and then type in, your target language!), podcasts on any number of websites (my personal favourite being TuneIn), and, of course – music! Set your iTunes Country/Region accordingly, and discover artists whose music you can later search for online, or buy and listen to anytime!

Even without particularly focusing on, or even 100% following what you are listening to, by exposing your ears to the sounds and structures of the language you aspire to acquire, you are bringing yourself ever closer to being in sync with that language!


WRITING

Depending on the particular activities which make up your own personal daily routine, writing as a practice might be more or less easy to incorporate into your daily rituals – get creative!!

Here’s how your target language could contribute to your daily writing rituals… You could use it to write:

the days of the week and the months on your calendar/diary;

notes which you leave on the fridge as nice surprises (think of what you would say to those you share your home with – ‘SPEAKING‘, above!);

recipes, shopping lists or to-do lists – at a stage where you have gained sufficient confidence in yourself so as to entrust such tasks to your foreign language, perhaps!!

As with all the suggestions I make above, what I’d like to emphasise the most is the importance of integrating these gestures as part of your daily rituals; indeed, they are certain to benefit you only if they are based on your current daily practices! By dedicating the time you spend each day accomplishing your daily tasks to incorporating your target language(s), you are bound to make leaping progress and – above all – love feeling a sense of immersion in your foreign language!

Hannah Johnston
Away With Words⎪Language Tuition