Dreaming big, setting a high goal, is only this attitude truly enough for achieving a goal, like fluency in target languages?

I read Steve’s post to the site “Stepcase Lifehack”

“Set Ambitious Goals (But Learn to Accept What You Achieve)”

The following is my thought on this post.

Dream big, set a high goal, write it down, and just do it! Go for it! You can do it! Everything is possible. It depends on you!

Yes, many modern motivational gurus say so to lazy procrastinators like me.

I agree… Now we can get a lot of motivational advice as above from many famous life coaches thanks to the internet.

“I will definitely be fluent in English!” I wrote it down, and have been putting time and efforts into learning English so far.

This kind of “You can do it!” attitude is very important. I don’t disagree on it. Yet only this is not enough. This is only half the battle, in my opinion.

With only this attitude, sooner or later we, ordinary people, at least I, end up getting discouraged and frustrated at our very slow and gradual progress. I often encounter plateau. I sometimes feel that I will never be able to achieve the goal I set. Achieving something, such fluency in foreign languages takes uncountable and unimaginable time and effort.

In addition to the “can do” attitude above, another important thing we need is the attitude of enjoying the process itself whether the progress seems slow, tiny, or sometimes even none at all. Learners need the attitude of patting yourself on the back even when there is a tiny improvement.

I need both attitudes as above. I need more “can do” attitude at the first stage of learning. Later I need more “pat on the back and enjoy the process itself” attitude. This way, I can challenge what seems difficult to start at first and continue learning all the way with less frustration even if there is. It is amazing that you get to the summit of the mountain when you realize after enjoying every beautiful scenery on the way there.

also, don’t tell anyone your goal…


Interesting video. I belong to the group that needs to zip up about important goals; it doesn’t matter about ordinary goals, they can be discussed freely. I found the comments very interesting, too. Someone writes how he has to talk about his goals to make them seem real to himself.

I think the biggest thing with languages is perseverance rather than striving for a goal.
I once decided to move to France. I told my friends, discussed it, then did it. I believed I could do it. Goal complete.

I want to speak and understand Japanese to a native level. My goal has got further away the better I’ve got. Originally it was just to have a simple conversation.
I will never be able to say ‘right, that’s that’. It doesn’t matter how great or capable I manage to convince myself I am, I have to do it for the love of the journey.

Long term goals alone aren’t much use for me and probably most people. They need to be combined with short term and mid-term goals too.

In the case of my Russian, I only have a long term goal, to speak and understand Russian well, specifically to read Tolstoy, to understand movies, and to be able to communicate with people.

I would also like to speak correctly but accept that I will continue to fall short for quite a while. But at every step I enjoy the process. When I see that there are fewer and fewer unknown words in texts that I read, I feel satisfaction, although I often stumble, when speaking .

There are lots of ways to foster motivation, and I think a cultural affinity with the language you are learning is the most powerful one, and the longest lived. Anyway, I recently discovered a new way to increase short/mid-term motivation (at least in language learning): invest money in what we do. I’ve spent close to 140€ in my German learning so far: I’m reluctant to leave it now, it would be a waste of money!