One of my favorite things about this site is I get to teach you the mistakes I made, in the hopes you won’t make the same. I teach you the good methods I’ve worked with, and the bad methods I’ve abandoned and wish I never approached. I usually end off saying “with all the efficient methods and advice that is provided here and elsewhere, you will learn Japanese way faster and better than I ever did.”
It’s a positive message but I realize creates unnecessary pressure when you run into your own set of obstacles. Sure, you probably won’t make the same mistakes I did. You’ll just make other, different mistakes.
The more I’ve been at this Japanese learner game, the more I get to see. And the ultimate truth is this:
You’ve got to mistake your way to success
Things that work well for everyone aren’t going to work for you. Things that work well for you aren’t going to work for everyone. Or sometimes anyone.
I used to complain and say I wished there was more information and resources about learning Japanese in 2005. These days there’s an overload of information, study methods, study sites, and conflicting opinions. This is not a bad thing at all. More information means more options, more choices, more personal strategy guide creation. But it also means that no matter how good and perfect you think your strategy guide is, you will make mistakes in putting it together. You have a much larger cut and paste journey ahead of you.
Don’t worry if you feel you wasted time doing something that didn’t work
Whether it was a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years, as long as you were moving forward, wasted time is not really wasted. It has value to you. No one is studying perfectly. You don’t need to be either.
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