We were recently testing a prototype quiz in our Bitesize Irish Gaelic course. We emailed each member, asking them to take a Bitesize lesson early on in the course to test out the quiz.
Emily, a Bitesize Irish Gaelic member, went back to that lesson to test the quiz. She sent back this email (emphasis mine):
I’ve been studying Irish for all of a year and a half and I make sure I work at it for at least half an hour every day. The more I learn, the more I feel overwhelmed by the vast amount I still have yet to learn. Even so, I thought it would be easy to revisit an early lesson and take a quiz. Surprise! It’s not at all.
Emily, you’re doing it right
Wow, look at how dedicated Emily is. She’s steadily learning the Irish language for over a year. Most people give up probably in their first week.
She’s regularly learning. It sounds like learning to speak the language is part of her everyday life (I’m sure there are days where Irish Gaelic doesn’t fit in, and that’s fine too).
It’s meant to be difficult
Cal Newport, an out-spoken “productivity” author wrote about “The Subtle Difference Between Finding Your Life’s Work and Loving Your Life“. In that blog post, he writes that you have to continue to get better. And you get better through deliberate practice.
Elsewhere, Cal Newport has written that deliberate practice does not feel like a state of “flow”. Instead, getting better at something seems slow and complicated (and probably frustrating).
Have you taken on some difficult learning?
So over to you! Have you recently felt challenged by something new, including learning something new in Irish Gaelic? If not, this is your challenge to learn something new. It will feel difficult, and that will be an indicator that you’re doing it right.