The Pimsleur Approach

February 19, 2013 at 10:57 am (Uncategorized)

I wrote yesterday a little bit about becoming, and being the kind of person you want to be. I think a lot of times people get afraid and take the easy way out, one way or the other. I clear out the junk folder of my email inbox each day, but I go through it to make sure that nothing I actually wanted to see was sent to the wrong place. Amid the Nigerians, sex, and free credit scores, I noticed an ad that said “Learn a language in 10 days.” It seemed to me that was the ultimate attempt at getting people to take the easy way out. Not only can you not learn a language in 10 days, but I have been speaking English for 22 years and I still am learning new things about it. These things are processes, and you can be efficient, but efficiency is markedly different from just wanting to be capable of something.

There is a certain appeal to the idea that we can become great at something in a brief period of time, because I think many of us inherently both want to be great and also have a fear of failure that inevitably accompanies any challenge. That is something I think education should do better–instead of instilling us with this fear of failure we should embrace it. Things will go really wrong, but that is merely an opportunity to pick yourself up again. You see in mythology, in movies, and in literature people who are gifted immediately with all kinds of power, but real power and wisdom is accrued incrementally. For those of us that like immediate results that can be something that is hard to wrap one’s head around. It takes more than a magic device or a movie montage to become the best kind of you. It takes making choices everyday and sticking to your guns.

This job search, for instance, has been difficult. I have the skills, but it takes a lot of putting resumes out there, emailing people, and generally being proactive. I have recently had a bit of breakthrough in terms of networking, and that has led to a ton of leads. It’s exciting, but it’s just the first step towards building meaningful relationships with people and finding a rewarding vocation.

I also am trying to remain mindful of the fact that I likely will not have a few months off again for a long time, so why not enjoy it and work on other aspects of myself? I am losing weight, writing, reading, singing, listening to a ton of new music, heading up to Moscow to volunteer for jazz fest, and generally “doing me.” Do I wish I was working? Of course. But doing the right things will lead to the right results.

I think the last few years have been good for me, both in giving me fantastic opportunities to work on some excellent projects (campaigns, theatrical, musical) and in tempering this idea that I was going to immediately vault into the top of whatever I did. It takes hard work, and the raw material of my potential is slowly being turned into the usefulness of experience.


“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” -Maya Angelou


“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” -Dalai Lama


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