Do you know where the best education is happening these days?

Recently, a friend was showing me an email he received for some clarification, and I saw that his inbox had 897 unread emails.

“Clear it up, you don’t know what you’re missing”, I said.

Because the best knowledge of every day for me is coming from emails.

I read at least 5 emails a day, and these emails are from experts from different fields. Not the inspirational theoretic ones, not from what’s-right-what’s-wrong intellectual propagandists.

They’re coming from people who are making dents in the universe, in their own ways. Some of them are highly accomplished entrepreneurs, successful writers and people who are highly creative. I can simply say, from masters.

For now, I will not say who is sending me these. It’s for two reasons.

  1. You may not be interested in them, or may not be prepared enough to read from them.
  2. It took me a considerable time before I opted-in to receive emails from these people. I had to decide if what drops into my email box was worth my time and temperament.

So, what I’m trying to tell is, I want you to select your own teachers.

Because they’re so valuable, maybe you’re not ready. But if you want to be ready to receive this knowledge, and make a positive impact on your life, there’s one thing you need to do immediately.

“Clean up your email inbox.”

Not tomorrow, not after some time, but immediately after you complete reading this.

Of course, there will be people who don’t even take this simple step, because it feels very simplistic for them. These kinds of people always look for miracles to happen in their life but miss the fact a minute touch is enough for an avalanche to take place.

Remember, even miracles have a clear cut way of blooming. Happening is rapid, but they begin with a negligible trigger.

Now, I’ll tell you how to clean up your email inbox. The way I have customized it for myself.

  • Over a period of time, you might have signed up for many services. They’re regularly sending emails, but you’re not opening them because they’re not important to you. Select all those unessential ones and push them to spam. This unsubscribes your email from all these services, and you’ll no longer receive another mail from them. This clears about 70% of junk from the inbox.
  • For the essential ones, create labels and archive them. This includes the e-commerce and banking emails, which are important because you’re continuing with their services. Be careful not to push them to spam. (Even if you have pushed them to spam, you can always mark them as not-spam and bring them back into your inbox.)
  • From now on, don’t sign up for any services, unless you need them absolutely.

Once you’ve done this, take the next step – the one where you sign up to learn.

Thousands of experts are using blogging as a medium to teach their skills. You can learn subjects from internet marketing to roof gardening, and from painting to bodybuilding. Not some theoretic education, but from people who are doing it first hand and making it big. So, choose the topic of your interest and then:

Google and find the blogs/websites that match your interest.

Sign up as a subscriber and whitelist their emails.

Two important points to remember here:

  1. Compared to other social media, email is considered as the best communication tool. It’s more personal. When someone sends you an email, it’s not some random social media update, but a message from an expert. On social media, you get to see every Dick and Harry spitting their opinion. On email, you choose who you want to read.
  2. Secondly, when you read an expert, you impress your subconscious mind to start thinking like an expert. This is the best part.

So, clean up your email today, and start searching for experts.

In the next article, let’s discuss the next part: the INFO DIET. With that, we’re going from mail to mind.

The way you cleaned your email inbox, you’re going to make your mind more efficient than it’s currently.

Until then,

“Learn to learn through email”

Raghavendra

Learning a new language? Avoid these 7 mistakes

Everyday I hear people talking about their interest in learning a new language. Some people want to learn the language of a region they are currently living in, while some want to learn to make use of their spare time.

So, I have put together seven mistakes people can make when they take up this new interest.  Here are they:

  1. Starting with the grammar

A new language is like a wild territory you are trying to enter into. You don’t know what you might have to face in there.

A lot of people try to approach it with the hardest route – the grammar.

Because they have learned it that way, from schools. 

After learning a few other languages, I have understood that going with the grammar is hard path. It doesn’t make you emotional about a language. It doesn’t create any sound or dream in you.

At a very young age, I started reading Kannada folk tales. And folk tales from all over the world, translated into Kannada.

By the time my teacher started to teach Kannada grammar, I already knew a lot of those concepts. Though I couldn’t name them, I could easily find grammatical mistakes in sentences. 

Even now I cannot tell what kind of a grammatical error it is. I cannot name it from the grammar book, but I can tell where the mistake is and can correct it. 

I didn’t study grammar, but grammar grew internally from reading a lot of literature. So, for whoever wants to learn a new language, I’ll tell this – don’t start with the grammar. 

Because it is dry. Grammar means you are still outside the border. You didn’t enter into a language. Instead, approach it with love and passion.

2. Learning multiple languages at a time

Again this is a mistake from schools. 

Even before a child learns reading and writing in her mother tongue, the school has already put two more languages into her syllabus – the second and the third language. Soon, she ends up hating all three.

Remember, every language has its own long history. Each one has its own civilization hidden within it – every word is uttered millions times, polished through ages. 

So, learning a new language is literally entering into a different civilization. You need to approach the language with that reverence.

For that, you must approach one language at a time.

Every language has its own tone – the way people twist their tongue while speaking it. To grasp it, you’ll have to listen to it a lot.

For the next six months or one year, decide that you’ll not read or listen to other languages, other than the one you are planning to learn.

If you are learning French, only watch French TV shows and movies. Try to move to a place where French people are residing. Listen to them interacting. Just listen to their tone, their use of words. Don’t try to understand it, but listen to their tone.

Let this language go into your heart. But, if you become greedy and try to learn multiple languages, or if you cannot abandon TV shows from other languages, forget it. You’re not gonna go far, kid.

3. Going the book or the traditional way

People try to learn a new language from reading books. It helps. But, some people directly take up classics, which is a huge mistake. You’re not prepared to read Camus or Kierkegaard. Instead, start with Charles Perrault, his children’s stories.

Now you have more avenues – multimedia and internet. Use video streaming apps to watch movies and shows from that language. (I don’t recommend using language learning apps at this stage.)

If you are travelling a lot, podcasts can be your company. 

4. No commitment

Most of our dreams are airy. There’s no strength of commitment and desire to turn them into a reality.

It’s because for most people, singling out their most important goal and achieve it is difficult. Singling out means you’ll have to drop many things – your habits, everyday inclinations, and fears. You need a great will power to do that.

Your WILL POWER is so powerful, it can seal all your energy leakings and set you in one direction. The more inclinations you have, the stronger the WILL POWER you need. The stronger you WILL, the stronger your commitment gets.

Using will power is easy for short term goals.

For example, if you say I’ll not watch movies anymore, it’s a difficult decision. Just say, for the next three months, I’ll not watch movies. Or until I learn this language, I will not watch any movie. See the change happening in you.

Commitment is planning and executing something with complete sincerity. If you can do that, you’ll know how much you’ve learnt in a few months.

Commit and plan a short-term goal; it becomes easy.

5. No Planning

I used to dream a lot. But, didn’t know the planning part.

Planning means – to create something, you’ll have to chalk out each step, and assign it with a timeframe.

Once I started planning my goals, they became a lot more easy and concrete.

So, to learn a new language, you’ll have to commit to a plan. 

Try this: For the next 3 months, you commit yourself to learn a new language. And for those 90 days, spend at least one hour on learning. Make it the same time everyday, like from 7-8 in the morning or evening.

6. No passion

Some people say passion HAPPENS. But, if you wait for it to happen, it may not happen at all. Passion needs to be developed, and it can be developed.

Passion is a state of mind. Try this example to make it clear: One day you watched the sunrise and you liked it. The next day may not be so joyful. But, if you start imagining, experiencing the first day’s phenomenon in your mind, soon you’ll become emotional about it. Begin to feel the sunrise often, and soon it becomes your passion.

Similarly, in learning a language, you’ll have to emotionally connect with it. Think about its history, dream about its civilization. 

And, every word from that language, when you hear or read – it should mesmerize you. Then you begin to adore the language. If you can create that adoration in your heart, learning is magically easy.

7. Doing it alone

Some days back, I was talking to a colleague. Her school-going son is studying Kannada, as a second language. Though his marks are comparatively low, he’s committed. He’s not ready to change the language. At the same time, she’s also interested in learning Kannada. Living in Bangalore, she knows it helps her.

Why don’t you make your son your learning partner, I asked her. Sit together for an hour a day, and learn it. Read together, try to talk to each other in Kannada and correct each other. Challenge each other to learn 10 new words each day.

That’s how you learn faster.

Some people like doing it alone. But with a partner, there’s accountability. And motivation to keep going.

Alright, we’ve read seven mistakes to avoid when learning a new language. 

These are not just seven mistakes, these are seven steps you can use in learning a new language. Here, are they:

  1. Forget grammar, begin with easy step
  2. One thing at a time, one language at a time
  3. Get into real-life situations, you’ll learn faster
  4. Commit to something, it’ll strengthen your mind
  5. Begin with short term plan to see concrete results
  6. Be passionate, put your heart to grow faster
  7. Go in groups, to sail easy and fast

These seven steps help you in achieving any of your goals, not just in learning a new language.

Is anything else bothering you? Comment below.