164 - Finding Motivation - Part II

In the previous lesson, we covered the first half of a Japanese article about motivation. The article is located here.

It is full of tons of great tips and tricks to help you stay motivated, which, for me, is the number one difficulty in learning Japanese. In these lessons, I hope to teach you some Japanese words and phrases related to motivation, while exploring the article for what Japanese people do to motivate themselves.

The first half was about everyday things you can do to help you stay motivated. This last half lists tips for the mental side of motivation. I won’t be able to go over all of them, but here are 6 tips that I think are the most helpful. So without further ado, let’s get started!

The title of the article is:
やるき を だす ほうほう
Methods for motivation
Literally: “motivation + を + come out + method”

This part is called:
めんたる へん
Mental compilation

1.) とにかく始めてみる
とにかく はじめて みる
Somehow, try to start
Literally: “somehow + start + try”
Note: Adding みる to the て form of a verb means “to try and do verb.” So やってみる is “try to do,” and 食べてみる (たべてみる)is “try to eat.”

The article goes on to say that when you have no motivation you tend to think, “because I have no motivation, I can’t do it.” However, if you change your thought process to “because I am not doing it, I have no motivation,” it will help you get started. Even if there is a huge project and you are worried about it, just starting something, no matter how small, will give you the motivation to continue.

2.) 目的の再確認をする
もくてき の さいかくにん を する
Reaffirm your goals
Literally: “goal + の + reaffirm + do”

When you are stuck doing something for no reason, it can be one of the biggest killers of motivation. This tip suggests that you think of why you started doing this project in the first place. When it comes to learning Japanese, think about why you started: Did you want to speak to a Japanese friend in their native language? Do you want to travel to Japan and be able to understand how to get around? Do you love Japanese books, video games, or other media and you want to experience them in their native language? It doesn’t matter what your goals are, but if you keep in mind the big picture, the daily grind becomes much less tedious and your motivation will skyrocket.

3.) 思い切って手を抜く
おもいきって て を ぬく
Boldly slack off
Literally: “boldly + cut corners”

This one was confusing to me at first until I read the explanation: It is impossible to be at 100% all the time. Of course you should try and do your best, but figuring out when you need a break can be a key tip for motivation. Don’t get down on yourself if you have to slack off and do something fun once in a while. You can continue putting in your best effort tomorrow.

4.) 一番身近な目標を達成するように心がける
いちばん みぢかな もくひょう を たっせい する ように こころがける
Aim to achieve the goal that is closest to you
Literally: “most + close to you + な + goal + を + achieve + do + like + aim to do”

Keep in mind how you separated your goals into smaller pieces and wrote them down for the “everyday compilation” part of this article. Take that list and start with the goal that is closest to you. If you do something small at first that you know you can accomplish, it builds motivation and gets you closer to achieving your main goal. So don’t start with something huge; just take it slowly and start clearing off your list one thing at a time.

5.) 幸せなふりをしてみる
しあわせ な ふり を して みる
Try to feign happiness
Literally: “happiness + な + pretend + を + do + try”

Everyone knows the saying “fake it until you make it.” The Japanese have a similar saying: “sickness and health start with the mind.” When you want to increase your motivation, positive thoughts go a long way. It doesn’t matter if you think about that beer you want to have after work, or even eating some delicious candy on your lunch break; when you have something positive to think about your motivation will increase. Being optimistic and pretending to be happy will increase your motivation, and you will be able to get through anything.

6.) 失敗からまなぶ 
しっぱい から まなぶ
Learn from your mistakes
Literally: “mistakes/failures + から + learn”

Most of us are familiar with this saying, but do we really practice it? I remember having to write essays in my Japanese class every Friday and I even loved doing it. But when I got my essays back (absolutely covered in red ink) I would throw them into my bag, never to be looked at again. It was only when one of my teachers forced us to correct our essays in class that I learned how much I was missing out on by not going over my mistakes. So don’t be afraid to mess up; just make sure you are figuring out why, so you don’t mess up the same way again.

I hope you were able to learn some motivational tips and Japanese at the same time! If you are up for it, check out the article for a lot more tips and tricks to gain motivation that I wasn’t able to cover in these lessons. Keep your heads up and keep on trucking, you will be surprised at how much Japanese you can learn when you are motivated to do even a bit of studying every day.

This lesson was written by Cassy L., a guest contributor:

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