Be active

You can hear sometimes: if you want to learn a language you need to listen and read. Right, it helps. But being passive is not the best way to learn.

That is a huge difference to learn something passively sitting and watching or listening and actively doing it.

A long time ago I have heard a story. In the park, at the tables, a group of chess players met regularly to play a game of chess. As usual, there were passersby. who stopped, watched and cheered. One of them was present during almost all games. Every player knew him.

After a few years, it happened that one of the players felt worse during a game.

“Wouldn’t you replace me?” – he asked the regular spectator.


“Yes, you’ve been watching our games for a few years now, I am sure you will play fine”.

“No. I do not know how to play at all”.

During all these years he trained himself to be a good viewer, not a good player.

When you only view something, you do not build skills needed during doing something.

It is rubbish that you can learn anything only by watching, listening or reading. Even when it is a great lecture, presentation or a book, it does not teach you practical skills.

Imagine, you want to be a programmer. You read books, you listen to lectures, you watch how other programmers work. Can you apply for a developer position? Of course not. To learn to program, you need to start writing code on your own. You need to make mistakes, you need to fight with failures, and to struggle with complications. Writing code on your own should not be the only addition to your learning curriculum, but it should be the basis of it.

Commit at least 80% of your learning time on producing, not receiving.

As soon as you master basic, you should try to do something on your own. Of course, you will meet obstacles, setbacks and make innumerable failures. But it’s ok. Fighting with them builds not only skills but also your self-confidence. You believe you can learn something when you overcome obstacles, thanks to your perseverant efforts.

You gain confidence when you can say to yourself and others around you:

“Look what I have done! I am proud of it. ”

Can you say so, even after a very enlightening lecture:

“Look, what I have listened to! I am proud of it.”

Whatever you are learning, be active. Do not only follow or observe. Try to do something out of the limited knowledge and skills you have.

Try to do something even if the effects are highly unsatisfactory.

You can gain practical skills only by practice.