Persistence

stay on target...stay on target...

I tried learning both French and Spanish during my uni days but didn’t get beyond muy bien and deco. All my life I have also sucked at my mother tongue, Mandarin. So anyone else, I pretty much concluded that languages was not my forte.

Fast forward to today. I’ve been learning Python/Django for the last 7 months now. I can put together a databound website quite easily now. Couple of weeks ago, I dived into Vim, an IDE. For the uninitiated, the learning curve for Vim is generally kind of steep. This is coming from hardcore techies themselves. I’ve tried and given up a couple of times over the last few months. I almost gave up again during my latest attempt when I couldn’t figure out how to copy and paste from different documents correctly. But this time however, I was determined to get my tech cred and I stuck with it. Switching to Vim was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my short hacking journey so far (the other was picking Python over Ruby :P)

So now I’m thinking back on my hate-hate relationship with foreign languages and realised that the reason why I didn’t get very far was because:

  1. I didn’t stick with it long enough
Simple as that.
If I had gritted my teeth and overcame the early inertia that one inevitably faces when learning something new for the first time, I would have been a quad linguist by now. Obviously passion and interest plays a big role in determining your motivation for sticking with the learning. But 9 times out of 10, it’s not the lack of talent that gets you down, it’s the lack of patience.
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