Really learning. When to buckle down, when to quit. Pt 2.

School is mostly just a load of crap. Most of it the kids don’t enjoy, most of it the teachers don’t enjoy, most of it doesn’t even do what it is supposed to. It’s just crap. And I can say that its often the same crap everywhere in the world (I’ve studied abroad quite a bit now). And as you saw in my previous post, lately its been getting me down. But I’ve been crafting, or perhaps recreating, a new approach and thought process that really has potential.

But first, let me tell you a follow up on that case study. I got a C. Not a C+ or a C-, just a regular normal C. Well guess what? Whatever! I’ve gotten a hundred A’s on papers way harder than this one and the instructions were just crap! And on top of that the paper was a waste of time anyway. Decision making in a now mediocre company from 13 years ago? Who gives a shit! Yeah of course I won’t do amazing research for this paper, nobody cares especially not me. Now if you actually gave me something interesting, or something that mattered, or something I could relate to? Well thats a whole other ball game.

Which brings me to my next point. People often say, you should study what you love! And this advice should NEVER EVER be tossed aside! Because the truth is, to paraphrase Tim Ferriss, when you work on your strengths the results you get are multiplied, but when you work with your weaknesses its just addition, slowly building.

I know this first hand because it doesn’t matter how much of a PASSION I develop for working on my weaknesses, I will never ever be as good at them as my strengths. Believe me I’ve tried.

You might be reading this thinking, my god Leo where are you going with this? How does any of this relate to the title of your post? Well I’m about to get into that right now.

Here are some new rules to try to live by.

1.) When you’re doing something that absolutely sucks. Do it as quickly as possible, and only as well as you need to. This might even mean skipping it altogether.

Now before you go around barely glancing over legal documents or slamming your car into others at parking lots let me quantify for you what makes something ‘absolutely suck.’ It has to have at least two of these three sucky traits.

-You’re not interested in it

-It won’t aid you in your goals

-You know a better way to do it

2.) Don’t feel guilty for doing things you like.

I don’t care if you’re addicted to shopping, playing videogames, smelling garbage, eating candy, following people (this might be a problem), or even just watching TV. Whatever you do. It is NOT a waste of time!

Surprise. Everyone who tells you its a stupid hobby, or a stupid way to spend time is… wrong! Because you are becoming an EXPERT in whatever it is you love to do! And you can put that expertise to use… Some more directly than others, but here is a catchall for the ones who are skeptical that their favorite pastime is somehow applicable to their life.

Blog about it! You’ll have to learn about the blogging processes, but go online! Youtube, wordpress, tumbler, twitter, whatever! It does NOT matter. You spend all day googling about your favorite stuff, you could be that search result! And with a little dedication you could make a living from it! And with a lot of dedication, you might just become to go to guy or gal for that specific niche!

So, I’m not going to waste my time any more. Or at least try not to. Its time to speed past the crap and buckle down for real learning!

Positive Leo!

Really learning. When to buckle down, when to quit. Pt 1.

This last week has been pretty tough for me. I’ve been flip flopping between two extremes. A few months ago I made (another) life changing decision. I wasn’t going to treat school like ‘whatever’ anymore. I was going to swallow my pride, I was going to sit down and shut up and learn.

And in the beginning it seemed like it was working, I was spending entire days just reading textbooks, I was doing my homework weeks if not months ahead of time. In class I was encyclopedic, I had already read the chapter and taken extensive notes even though I didn’t need to! I thought that if I kept this up, I should just keep taking courses and keep overloading and try to cram in as much knowledge as I can. Makes sense on paper right?

Well not exactly. It turns out that (well perhaps not surprisingly for many of you) this process ended up damaging me in some ways. I mean I literally was guilt tripping myself for even THINKING about playing videogames. (This in addition to guilt tripping myself for THINKING about candybars, not a good combination). I was in pretty bad distress. But I was still pushing through. But then something really bad happened, and really surprising for me.

I snapped. Sitting there staring at my ‘Principles of Management’ Case Study. I was trying to reconcile the instructions of the professor, with the instructions of the paper, with the instructions of the Case Study. Doing this paper a week ahead of schedule mind you! (I know a month or two months would be better, but I’m usually the day before kind of guy!) So here is a play-by-play of me snapping.

1. I get to my room, excited to get my paper out of the way (I honestly was!)

2. I sit down and begin to compare the notes of instructions I typed in class from the prof with the syllabus and the case study itself.

3. Okay so… I need an introduction and a body and a conclusion blah blah blah… Prof says, “Answer the whole question, and nothing but the question, not a word more or a word less.” Wait. What? Isn’t that kind of a contradiction?

4. Hmmm… what is the first question anyway? “What good decision making has led (Insert corporation) to development or otherwise?” Or otherwise. Or otherwise. Or otherwise. Otherwise implies regression.. regression isn’t a result of good decision making. THEREFORE THIS QUESTION IS ILLOGICAL. Or at the very least not something I can answer precisely with not a word more or a word less! And on top of that in the syllabus it says a ‘A’ grade on the case study is a paper in which the student doesn’t just demonstrate that they did research and understand it, but is able to make logical predictions about the future. The future? THIS CASE STUDY IS 13 YEARS OLD. Bad instructions, bad question, bad case study! Gaaaaaah (Me snapping)

Right so then I punched something and I think I hit myself or something. I was doing some pretty serious raging. Maybe to some readers that in itself is understandable, but honestly I haven’t been mad like that in years! It is amazing what a stressful scenario combined with ABSOLUTELY ILLOGICAL CRAP THAT IS TWENTY PERCENT OF MY GRADE can do to a guy.

It felt good to just truly conform (for once in my life) to the system, with the flashcards and the note taking and reading and reflection and blah blah. It felt good. But it wasn’t good. Maybe for someone else, but not me. Well all of this kind of led me to a new discovery… I was approaching my work incorrectly. I’ll talk about that discovery in my next post.

Learning Foreign Alphabets!

Lets face it, learning a foreign language is not always easy. Especially when it is very different from our own. I know from my experience dabbling in different languages I often find myself struggling to remember letters and pronunciations from the beginning. When it isn’t written in roman letters It is especially hard!

But there is a really cool trick to memorizing the look and the pronunciation of the alphabet…

Songs!

Many people say to learn foreign languages the same way we learned our first one. Well the ABC’s for other languages is a must! And while sometimes they go over this in courses, it usually isn’t enough to truly memorize it. So I look for youtube videos! Putting them on repeat while doing your homework or studying in general can really help you get the pronunciation of a language down pat!

Here are two examples of some good alphabet videos I use! You can easily find your own for almost any language. Just keep clicking until you find a good one 🙂

Arabic (Technically this is a ‘Short vowels’ song, but any student of Arabic will realize how useful this is for a beginner! in fact they use this in real schools in MENA!) *Bonus term* M.E.N.A. Middle East and North Africa

And here is one for Japanese! (It might be annoying for some of you…. but if you really are interested in studying Japanese you better get used to stuff like this hahaha)

I often spend a lot of time learning about how to learn languages… if anyone reading this wants more tips and tricks about learning languages please message me and tell me what you want to know and if I don’t know about it I’ll find out for you and make a post just for you 🙂

Leo

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