I listened to a podcast this morning from a sports coach. The conversation was about "grit". What they meant by this was the determination to succeed.
What was interesting was that the entire way through the podcast I kept thinking of Aran's advice: embrace the mistakes.
Their point was that most people crave talent - they want to be the Olympic swimmer, the rugby international...the Welsh speaker. They want the end goal. What gets those people there was the acceptance of bouncing back. The NBA player who misses an unmentionable number of game winning points, but is there to play the next game.
One example they gave was a baseball player being asked "do you feel lucky to have your skill?". He got really cross and walked the reporter down to his basement to show him a tally chart. On the chart one hash mark represented 50 practice swings. There were thousands of them. He said "that's how lucky I feel".
How many times have people said to you "you must have been good at languages in school"?
So what's my point?
Well how do we, as learners, reward ourselves? Ben Bergeron (the podcast guy) said that we should reward effort not talent. This has Aran and Iestyn written all over it. The mistakes you make in conversations are evidence of the effort you're putting in. Why? Because you're in the conversation. You're pushing your boundaries. You're trying new things. That's how you improve. That's how you become the talented Welsh speaker.
So, if you've ever struggled through a lesson, ever stumbled over the pronunciation of a Welsh word, ever felt embarrassed because you said the wrong word...DA IAWN CHI!!! You have shown grit!
The podcast is called "chasing excellence" it's episode 28 called exercising your grit muscles.
Worth a listen even if you're not into sport.