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Doing Something for Only You

Tue, Aug 18, 2020

Topics: Tools

learning german with duolingoThis post is a bit different than my usual marketing stuff, but today I wanted to talk about doing something only for yourself. Not related to work, not related to family, only your own brain.

It's important, especially in this day and age, to take time to do something for yourself that is not influenced by, or impacts, anyone else. For me that's been using Duolingo to learn German.

I have no reason to learn German. I don't know anyone who speaks it, and I'm certainly not planning on going there anytime soon. The last time I was in Germany everyone I met spoke English anyway!

Over the past 2 months I've spent 10 to 15 minutes a day using the app to learn another language. In an episode of Jocko Willink's podcast, he mentioned trying everyday to squeeze your brain. That means trying to better yourself just a little bit everyday. Not falling into the trap of mundane. Put in some pressure on your brain just as you would go to the gym to build muscle.

I've found two benefits to learning German everyday. One is that I'm creating a learning habit. It's habitual for me now to open the app when I have some down time, like in between client meetings or right after I finish work for the day. If you're a client of mine is very possible that right before we talk I was teaching myself German. I don't know anybody who would say that learning another language is a bad habit.

The other benefit is that I'm not using little bits of downtime to play games on my phone or scroll Facebook. I'm using it to make myself better, and only for myself. Right now it's just for me. Something creative, something to get my brain moving, and often first thing in the morning.

These two benefits mean I'm expanding my capability to be creative and to recognize patterns, which also happen to be vital to my work!

What habit are you building lately?

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