A poor method done often

“A poor method done often is better than a good method done never.”

That bit of advice is from the end of an article by Ben of the “Bald and Bankrupt” YT channel titled “The Number One Tip For Learning A Foreign Language”. In the article he talks about how many times he started and gave up learning Russian because he found the grammar drills, etc., utterly dismotivating.


I only just discovered this blog that he recently started. As I mentioned in the past, even I can notice frequent grammar mistakes when he speaks Russian in his videos, but the ease with which he strikes up conversations and makes friends of all whom he meets is enviable. Wouldn’t we all like to be able to do that?


The first questions when trying to accomplish something that is hard and time-consuming shouldn’t be:

  • Am I motivated - or not?
  • Do I like XY, i.e.: the subject, the strategy, the method, the tool, the coach, etc. - or not?
  • Is it simple - or not?
    Anyone striving to do something “hard” (e.g. starting a business, learning how to program, learning an L2, etc.) should start with the simple question: WHY on earth should I spent my precious life time on XY?
    If you don’t have a good answer to this question, nothing (no motivation tricks, no coaches, no strategy / methods / tools, no shortcuts, no crutches etc.) will save you when things get “really” uncomfortable!
    IMO, this blog post is just the “typical” example of a “weak, i.e. quitter mentality” (beyond learning)!
    “Weakness” in this context refers to the avoidance of discomfort and pain - almost at all costs.
    If, instead, you know “WHY” you want to achieve something that is hard and time-consuming, you’ll accept the pain, suffering, frustration, etc. that is inevitably associated with it (otherwise it would not be hard, but easy!). This doesn’t exclude fun, but you’re no longer addicted to comfort, fun and ease!

he found the grammar drills, etc., utterly dismotivating.
The point here is not that such exercises are “demotivating”, but they are not effective,
But, you have to know WHAT you are doing after you know WHY you are doing it!

In sum:
This mindset of blindly running off (“no why”) and avoidance is one of the main reasons why so many people fail to achieve hard things (L2s, math, programming, startups, sports / fitness, whatever).
And that’s why they strive like crazy for crutches, shortcuts, comfort or other people who support them.
It’s just sad!

An example of what is “not” a good answer for the WHY question:
I want to learn Russian because…
“I would meet beautiful women with sultry accents like Bond girls, …” (from the blog post mentioned above).

Man, if I wanted to date Russian women, I could date them in Germany almost immediately.
And I don’t need to learn any Russian for that either,
because they already speak German :slight_smile:

you really need to know why you are learning something other wise your gonna keep finding excuses to talk yourself out of doing things when you don’t see the tangible results quickly and that applies to language learning…many people throw themselves into a language and quit weeks later and it’s not because of the complex grammar rules the noun cases ,the pronounciation ,verbs it’s because they never had a solid reason that could keep themselves motivated in the first place ,


Spot on!

And as soon as it gets uncomfortable, the excuse no. 1 is:
I just don’t have any talent for XY!
And the twisted logic behind this excuse is
If I had any talent, hard things would never be hard, but easy,
that is: fun, comfortable, simple, not time-consuming, etc.
Consequently, hard things shouldn t exist at all because
they are inhumane! :slight_smile:

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