Ever heard this wise advice before? The ultimate self-reflecting test to find out if you will ever make any sense out of this crazy language. If you don’t love something, and aren’t passionate enough, you’ll never get good at it. If you hate the studying, you really don’t like it enough. You don’t truly want it.
Yeah, that’s not right at all…
It sounds right. If you don’t like what you are doing, it is only a matter of time before your motivation wanes, dislike takes over, and you are now studying something else that you truly love.
However, this phrase is focusing on the wrong part. The keyword should be Japanese, not the studying of Japanese. No one studies Japanese because they like studying Japanese. Of course there will be an abundance of amazing moments that actually come directly from the studying part. But there will also be just as many rip out your hair out of frustration moments.
You study Japanese because you love Japanese. The better phrase would be:
If you don’t love Japanese (insert your ‘why’), then it is not for you.– Doesn’t have that same blaming ring to it…
How you should feel about studying Japanese
People try to be positive about studying Japanese. That’s good. Studying should be a an exciting adventure that means something to you. But this overwhelming positivity is dangerous.
Studying Japanese at times will absolutely be:
Accepting that is important. It doesn’t matter how much you love anime. It doesn’t matter how amazing your trip to Japan was. It doesn’t matter how much you love cute things. Studying Japanese is tough. Tough things result in the above 5 emotions. That’s normal.
The winning key
When you find yourself down, wondering whether you really want this enough, and whether you deserve fluency despite disliking the studying, remind yourself that loving Japanese has nothing to do with loving the study of Japanese. No one studies atop comfortable fluffy clouds floating above the rainbow sky. A lot of the time is spent in the mud with freezing rain pouring on your head.
But before you start thinking “I’m ready, bring on the pain!” it is not about extremes. It is not about “no pain, no gain.” Because while you don’t need to love studying Japanese, you can’t absolutely hate it. Otherwise you will never do it. This is why all those mini-victory moments and feelings of progress and happiness are extremely important.
I had read recently that in trying to accomplish something, you need to keep in check whether the pain of doing it is edging over 50%. I don’t agree with this number, but I think it is good to look at the pain vs. fun ratio. More accurately, I think it is never a steady number. 95% pain one moment, and 5% the next.
It’s the fluctuation that is important. When pain gets too high, it needs to be followed up with an influx of good feelings.
Do you love studying Japanese?
Let us know honestly in the comments.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.