The headline is taken from a sample sentence from Talk To Me In Korean grammar lessons. It roughly translates as “I don’t know yet how to do it, but I know I can do it.”
It’s taken me quite a while to learn to live by those words, although I’ve always found them to be true. I’m convinced that the human mind has practically infinite learning potential, and that the brain works more as a muscle which grows when you train it and not so much as a harddrive with limited storing space. Nonetheless, the latter perception seems to be the most widespread. When talking to people about my academic achievements, I’m often asked “How can you remember all of this?”.
I’ve never felt that my brain needed to “delete” information in order to make room for new inputs. On the contrary, I find that the more I know, the easier it is to acquire new knowledge as I have more “stored” knowledge to link to the new. This particularly holds true for learning Korean. The more words and grammar structures I know, the easier the acquisition of new words and grammar, as I can easily relate to stuff I already know. 배우면 배울수록 쉬워져요 ^^
A while ago, learning and retaining 20-30 new Korean words per day seemed impossible, but now: Piece of cake.
This brings me back to the title of this post. Knowing deep in myself that what I do not yet know I can learn, always brings me great motivation and self-confidence. When I took a Statistics course at London School of Economics several years ago, I started out knowing next to nothing, but through hard work (which in my opinion trumps talent any day) I passed two written exams with flying colors after 10 and 20 days respectively. Even with experiences like that, it still took me a few years to really gain enough trust in the title of this post. I let my worst enemy, self-doubt, rule for quite some time, and it was only when I let go of that, and started believing that I could learn (or teach myself) anything that the statement really came true.
As a little Monday motivation, I’ll end this post on a more philosophical note by quoting Shakespeare: “Nothing is, but thinking makes it so.” In other words, if you believe you can’t – you’ll fail when trying, and if you believe you can – you’ll succeed. ^^
As for learning Korean: I BELIEVE I CAN! ^^