Quick question: why are you on on this site? Typical answers: I want to learn Japanese. I want to speak Japanese. I want to get better at Japanese. I want to become fluent in Japanese. Average answers. But I’m hoping that a lot of you have a stronger answer (or decide after this post that you will make your answer stronger): I want to master Japanese.
The people that answer in this way have the greatest chance of success. Since many of you on this site have often stated this as a goal, you are in a good position. My new imaginary goal with Japanese Level Up?
Produce an ultra elite group of Japanese language conquerors that defy all traditional and outdated concepts of learning Japanese
I envision something like this:
I’ve come across a new popular book that takes on this theme, and I’m going to egotistically assume the author is a fan of my site.
According to the book, the key to kicking ass (Sherlock Holmes style) consists of Mindfulness and Motivation.
“Motivated subjects always outperform. Students who are motivated perform better on something as seemingly immutable as the IQ test-on average, as much as .064 standard deviations better, in fact. Not only that, but motivation predicts higher academic performance, fewer criminal convictions, and better employment outcomes. Children who have a so-called “rage to master”-a term coined by Ellen Winner to describe the intrinsic motivation to master a specific domain-are more likely to be successful in any number of endeavors, from art to science. If we are motivated to learn a language, we are more likely to succeed in our quest. Indeed, when we learn anything new we learn better if we are motivated learners. Even our memory knows if we’re motivated or not: we remember better if we were motivated at the time the memory was formed. It’s called motivated encoding.”
Motivation? Have I possibly touched on that subject at all? Have you checked out World 8 & 12 of the Walkthrough? And if that wasn’t enough, how about the focus on immersion learning on this site? In addition to its actual study benefits, being in constant contact with the culture you love keeps you fully attached to the source of what drives you to strive for better Japanese.
And what goes side by side with motivation? Practice.
“And then, of course, there is that final piece of the puzzle: practice, practice, practice. You have to supplement your mindful motivation with brutal training, thousands of hours of it. There is no way around it. Think of the phenomenon of expert knowledge: experts in all fields, from master chess players to master detectives, have superior memory in their field of choice. Holmes’s knowledge of crime is ever at his fingertips. A chess player often holds hundreds of games, with all of their moves, in his head, ready for swift access. Psychologist K. Anders Ericsson argues that experts even see the world differently within their area of expertise: they see things that are invisible to a novice; they are able to discern patterns at a glance that are anything but obvious to an untrained eye; they see details as part of a whole and know at once what is crucial and what is incidental.”
Thousands of hours of work?
RTK, J-E, J-J, Anki. Active immersion. Passive immersion. All designed to make your training as efficient and feel as least brutal as possible. You will put in the hours and the hard work. But the motivation will always push you forward to a positive experience.
So let’s hear it. Who has the rage to master Japanese? Who wants to be a part of my elite Japanese force?