How to get good at something. A language as an example

I’m learning a new language for the new year. I took 3 years of Spanish in high school as a requirement for college. I never reached conversationally fluent. Part of it was the fact that I was taking it for a requirement for something else rather than genuine interest.

Contrast those high school days with my current endeavor, and it feels like my progress has been significantly faster in this new language than my learning ever was for Spanish. It’s amazing the difference that is made when you are enrolled in something.

All those things you did in school, those were all hopes the school system placed on you. Hopes that you would learn that you enjoyed essay writing. Hopes that you would learn you liked art. Hopes that you would learn that you liked fixing cars. Hopes that you would learn you liked mathematics.

Once you figure yourself out. Once you know what it is you would like to learn, you can actually start to get really good in your chosen field. That’s where the magic happens.