You have only three choices:
- Do it all
- Do something
- Do something physically easy (fun), but emotionally difficult (brave and unusual, unpredictable outcome)
- Do nothing
- Do something physically difficult (tiring), but emotionally easy (straightforward, known outcome, done before), like a machine — this is worse than doing nothing.
Number 1 is righteous, but impossible. This is the one most sincere, hardworking people (try to) choose.
Number 3 is the one that nearly all of us choose out of fear, (emotional) fatigue and self-loathing, when we realize that number 1 is impossible. Actually, there’s also a 3.1 that many smart, hardworking people choose, and this is worse than doing nothing. At least when you’re doing nothing, you rest your body and mind, enabling it to take another shot.
The magic choice is number 2. It’s right in the middle. It’s the mediocre choice that leads to excellence.
Learning languages may be a martial art, but it’s not one that will wear you out per se 1. It simply requires some courage to stand out in terms of your choices of both means and ends.
- Talking when you still suck can be tiring, but other than that… ↩