What does it take to be a successful language learner?
Perseverance is the skill of continuing to do something even though it may be difficult or take a long time to complete, and is one of the most important qualities needed to be successful. It is the ability to go on when things seem hopeless. As students, it is more difficult to achieve personal success if you don’t have any goals or perseverance. Perseverance is a characteristic that helps you find the strength to achieve your goals and dreams. Everyone faces several challenges and problems in life, but in order to succeed, they have to persevere and never give up. If you look at the most successful people in the world, the one thing that they have in common, is that they didn’t give up.
Learning is like running a marathon. Just as a runner needs perseverance to be able to finish a marathon, a learner needs perseverance to succeed in learning. Before a marathon, runners start off fresh, rested and excited to participate. Once they start running, their bodies get tired and their motivation starts to fade. There are many painful moments along the way. There are times when they think they will not be able to finish and when they want to give up. In order to finish a marathon, a runner needs to push through all the pain and suffering, and needs to focus on the end goal of finishing the race. At the end of the race, runners suffer from blisters, cramps, sore muscles and fatigue, but there is also the enormous joy and great sense of achievement for completing the marathon. Learning follows a very similar pattern. Students often start off with great enthusiasm and excitement, but they get tired and lose motivation along way, as they encounter several challenges when learning becomes more difficult. The key is to keep learning, keep working and to keep moving in the direction of your goals, no matter how hard it gets.
So how do you develop perseverance to achieve your goals in life? Firstly, you need to be consistent. This requires you to attend all your classes and to complete all your assignments and homework at all times. Set clear goals on a daily and weekly basis that will help you to work towards them every day. Avoid delaying any of your activities by leaving things to be done for tomorrow, next week, or next month. Secondly, build daily habits that allow you to stick to a schedule and overcome challenges and distractions. Thirdly, teach yourself to learn from your mistakes, as failure is not a permanent condition. Develop positive thinking to get you through the failures. Read up on famous successful people that have failed throughout their lives but succeeded in the end, for example, J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series. Wisdom is gained by making lots of mistakes and trying something different the next time around. Finally, surround yourself with people that will support you as you work towards meeting your goals.
What ultimately makes you successful in learning is your choice to persevere. Talent is important, but it only goes so far without sacrifice and effort! Success often has more to do with perseverance than it does with a person’s innate qualities. Julie Andrews once said that “perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding on the 20th”.