Lesson Transcript


Chigusa: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Chigusa and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi, everyone! Peter here.
Chigusa: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about…
Peter: Can Busy People Actually Learn a Language?
Chigusa: And you’ll learn
Peter: One: Are You too Busy to Learn a Language &The Mindset Needed to Learn a Language
Chigusa: And Two: How to Develop the Mindset for More Time
Peter: ...All so you can master your target language and reach your goals.
Chigusa: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned about the power of speaking out loud…
Chigusa: …recording yourself…
Peter: …and listening to yourself speak the language… as a way to practice input and output…
Chigusa: …and so you can practice speaking on your own time. And Peter, last time, you set a goal of 15 minutes of Hindi conversation, right?
Peter: That’s correct. So… just squeezed by… but the first few late nights I did my lessons… studying the language at 9:30 to 10:30 at night after a long day, professionally and personally, it’s quite a lot. And there are many many days you don’t want to do it. When you can reach a goal and you really sacrifice for it, it’s really quite something. So keep that in mind on the days when it seems like it’s hard to follow through. Super super satisfying, even though I barely squeezed by.
Chigusa: Great, so you were satisfied. Oh, what happened exactly?
Peter: There were just many days… it’s super super hard. They alway talk about this journey and the destination. Sometimes the journey is not looking off the side of the boat and enjoying the nice sunset. Stormy weather, ships tossing and turning or you’re going against the wind. It’s not easy - the journey sometimes. But, just remembering that destination and thinking about other goals you achieved really helps and is one of the positive experiences to make it to that goal. But, a lot of tough days on that journey.
Chigusa: Well, I think most people, especially adults, can relate here too… We’re all always kind of busy, right?
Peter: Right, and it’s probably why many people shy away from trying to learn… even if they’re interested.
Chigusa: Peter, do you think busy adults can learn a language and speak at a good level?
Peter: Let’s get into part 1 of this Inner Circle.
Chigusa: Part 1: Are You too Busy to Learn a Language &The Mindset Needed
Peter: Are you too busy to learn a language? I want to say yes, but… I think… it’s more of a yes or no depending on the person.
Chigusa: Why do you want to say yes?
Peter: Well… in the case of myself and... many of our members are busy and are learning with our system. But it depends on the person because it’s more of a mindset thing.
Chigusa: Like, either you think you have time or you don’t.
Peter: Or either you think you can learn or you can’t. And I think many of our members fall into the group of - CAN learn and can find the time, even if they’re busy because remember, there’s never a good time.
Chigusa: Yeah, if someone thinks they can’t learn… or they don’t have time, they won’t even try.
Peter: But if you’re busy and still want to learn… If you look around, you can always find 5 or 10 minutes a day… like on a commute.
Chigusa: Or, you can find a passive way to learn… like just listening to an audio lesson…
Peter: Exactly. And we talk quite a bit about ways to start learning in the Inner Circle.
Chigusa: There’s… setting small measurable goals, piggybacking, the 2-minute rule…
Peter: And all of which you can use to build a language learning routine even if you’re busy. But Chigusa, for busy people who say they don’t have the time… you can show them the easiest way to start and they still won’t do it. So, it really comes down to mindset… but… it also depends on your mental bandwidth too because think about this too Chigusa. I challenge… including myself… Simply open your phone and look at what apps, look at where you’re spending your tie. Send me a screenshot if it’s all perfect and your day is perfect and I’ll send you a prize If it’s all productivity, Because we're all wasting at least 5-10 minutes a day.
Chigusa: Yeah, if I think back to university… the few days before exams…. It got really busy and I had to stop everything to study….
Peter: …And you were probably thinking “if I can just get through studying this week… and take the test…
Chigusa: Yes …then next week I can finally start relaxing and doing other things”
Peter: So Chigusa, if someone asked you, “want to do something this week…”
Chigusa: I would say no.
Peter: But, did you have time to watch 30 minutes of TV during that time?
Chigusa: Well, I probably did… but just to relax a bit. Is that bad?
Peter: It’s not bad. It’s kind of like now. I should actually open my phone and see what apps I spend my time on and let me just pop it open. There are games, which are important for my relaxation. But if you look at the total time I spent on them last week, there’s easily time in there that I could have studied harder or did other more productive things. So, a lot of times, it comes down to mental bandwidth. Technically, you can find time… I mean I'm looking… staring at how I used my phone yesterday… You can find the time, if you try… but a lot of times, we don’t have the mental bandwidth because we are overwhelmed. The test or whatever occupying your mind is just taking up all that bandwidth.
Chigusa: Yeah it’s hard to think about doing other things. Someone that’s busy and overwhelmed… in their mind, they don’t have time. But Peter, I think you know how to manage your time... You’re always busy and you still learn to speak languages…
Peter: No, no, no, I’m looking at my phone and I do not know how to manage my time. I just sacrifice a lot of sleep. I wish I could manage my time better. Maybe next year I should focus on time management rather than a language. I think it comes down to, I set that hard deadline, I’m going to do it and I procrastinate a bit, but at the end of the day - the language learning app is open and I’m using it too. Just gotta get better whittling down that not so productive stuff.
Chigusa: Wow, but were you always this way?
Peter: Yes, and we don’t have to go down this route - but yes, always this way - procrastinate but follow through. It’s powerful when you say you're going to do something out loud and write it down and tell other people about it. It helps strengthen your mindset because you’re looking at what you said you would do. That’s quite powerful and that gets me through some of the tough days. 9:30 to 10:30 on Monday night is… yea. That’s kind of a bit of a tough time slot to actually study. But, gets done.
Chigusa: So, how did you develop that mindset… or how did you learn to make time while being busy? Because I bet we have learners that want to learn a language, maybe put in more time… and want to have that mindset…
Peter: That’s a great question. Let’s look at part 2.
Chigusa: Part 2: How to Develop the Mindset for More Time
Peter: So, when you’re too busy… it almost feels like you’re overwhelmed, right?
Chigusa: Right, like you don’t have control of your time.
Peter: So there are a few things you can do to gain some control of your time… have some breathing room… and maybe even learn a bit of language. And these are my go-to rules.
Chigusa: Alright.
Peter: First, I always set small measurable monthly goals… that we talk a lot about here. And this spills over into small, daily routines… like learning with HindiPod101 for 10, 15, or 20 minutes a day.
Chigusa: And the mindset behind that is…?
Peter: …just being realistic with your goals and what you can do. Because if you’re busy, you may not have 1 or 2 hours…
Chigusa: Right, or the energy for it.
Peter: And this is a strict rule, especially when starting out with new goals and languages.
Chigusa: How did you develop this mindset?
Peter: Failure.
Chigusa: Failure!?
Peter: Lots of failed goals… Lots of failed New Year's Resolutions…
Chigusa: Did you start thinking, “maybe I’m doing something wrong here.”
Peter: Yeah, of course. This is a natural thing. Why can’t I do it and other people can? What’s going wrong here? That’s exactly what happened. The big goals weren’t working out for me… and once I started aiming for smaller, more realistic goals, I started hitting goals and progressing.
Chigusa: Listeners, by the way, you can check out our earlier Inner Circle lessons on setting small, measurable, monthly goals to learn how to do this too.
Peter: If you think about it, by setting massive goals, your goals can even become discouraging rather than encouraging.Say you want to save $10,000 this year and January doesn’t start out the way you think and you made no progress towards it. Now that 10,000 becomes a very discouraging goal. But if you made the goal, “I want to save $500,” it’s more attainable, more realistic, so you might be willing to sacrifice something to get closer to that smaller goal, and that’s encouraging you. So again, this is that daily mindset. The second very powerful thing is lowering your goals and expectations is okay when things get super busy. Again, something we talk a lot about here, and is probably the most powerful tip we can give you.
Chigusa: And that’s because you eventually hit the goal and learn the language.
Peter: Exactly. If I didn't hit it by November, I would reach it in December, and that’s fine. So, it’s not a big issue for me… although it used to be.
Chigusa: What helped you develop that mindset?
Peter: So, writing out my goals, for example, each day, I would write down everything I wanted to achieve. And if you sit down on your first day and you open your notebook and you write down everything you want to achieve, it's probably going to be 2 pages. And then you flip the page to the next day. So each day, I try to write down different goals that I want to achieve. And not being able to cross off many things on that long list the second day was - again very very frustrating. So by understanding your limitations saying, “i can't achieve all of these things" and reducing the number of things you want to get done, actually gives you clarity and helps you achieve what you write down. So writing it out, then seeing the line go through your goals, and seeing you reach them… yea it’s very powerful and very reinforcing. So this really helped a lot. Because if you write down everything you want to achieve, it’s going to fill a book. And then you’re not going to get anywhere. So this pertains to what we’re talking about because it's ok for you to extend some of your goals a little further, if other things come up. Prioritizing things is a secret to successful life. By arranging the order, you may not get to the goal you wanted to achieve today, but you can get to it next week.
Chigusa: I see.
Peter: Third, it’s OK to shift priorities and put language on pause if life gets in the way. What we were just talking about it.
Chigusa: Yeah, just like with that last point, you can always come back and reach your goal a little later.
Peter: But, the key is to come back. By writing it out you’ll know that you have to come back. Fourth…. Chigusa, do you have a slow-down or relaxing routine that you do on the weekends… or whenever you have free time? And if you didn’t do it, you’d feel overwhelmed.
Chigusa: Yeah, I need my time with my dog. I need some relaxing time. Play with my dog, taking him out on a walk, I need to do that every day.
Peter: See, that’s a great example. And it’s like making coffee in the morning. It takes an excessive amount of time but actually it’s more about the ritual than actually getting caffeinated. Another one is… going to a cafe and doing nothing for a bit. You’re there on your own, you don’t have much to do in front of you… even if just 10 or 15 minutes. Also, taking some time to just read or write… both kind of make you feel like time slows down… and that lets you settle your mind.
Chigusa: And if you’re settled, you start feeling in control…
Peter: And that’s the point, you have some mental bandwidth. You can start doing some time management and plan your week out. You can put in a few minutes of language learning. But, if you don’t slow down and if you feel overwhelmed, you could have the easiest possible way to learn a language…
Chigusa: …and you still wouldn’t do it.
Peter: Fifth, I like to have an on-and-off mindset too, which helps a lot.
Chigusa: And by on-and-off you mean just focusing on one thing at a time?
Peter: Kind of like a light switch. Think about those light switches where they have one, two, three, four, five, six light switches all lined up. But, this was the hardest skill for me to develop. The ability to just shut off work when leaving work. The ability to compartmentalize a problem. Because if you can lock in on one thing, productivity shoots through the roof. But we’re always thinking about something else. So think about six light switches - the ability to shut off the other 5 and have 1 on and be able to switch like this. This is such a powerful technique.
Chigusa: Alright, Peter. Let’s talk goals then. What’s your small, monthly, measurable goal for next month?
Peter: Let’s go for 18 minutes.
Chigusa: Great. Deadline?
Peter: December 31st.
Chigusa: Alright, one more month to go. And listeners, let us know what your goals are for the month.
Peter: Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com.
Chigusa: And stay tuned for the next Inner Circle.


Chigusa: Well, that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Chigusa: Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you next time.