Chapter IX – Part 13

$ How was it today?

$ Very interesting, thank you. We discussed the subject of motivation with Melanie.

$ There is not much to discuss, is there?

$ Well, she mentioned ten sources of motivation: traveling, sound of the French language, ego, attention, being systematic, tailor-made programs, perspective, freedom, multicultural aspects and falling in love with a foreigner.

$ Have you noticed that all of them fall into two categories?

$ No, I haven’t. What are they?

$ Love and fear.

$ Let me think.

$ If my motivation is love, I travel to broaden my mind or to experience something new. If my motivation is fear I travel to show off: tell my friends where I was, send pictures, be suntanned in the middle of winter.

$ I get it. Falling in love comes only in the category of love.

$ Unless you consider your partner your possession and expect him/her to do this and not to do that.

$ Yes, when I forget that my partner stands for: the person I am currently with. Ego comes only with the fear.

$ As well as attention.

$ Why attention? What’s wrong with it? If I know I love myself I also know I deserve attention.

$ If you really love yourself, you can give yourself all the attention you need. You realize it is not out there. As Byron Katie says: I am my perfect mate; my partner is a bonus.

$ She also says: Your partner will bring up every concept ever known to humanity, in every combination, so that you can come to know yourself.

All the advice you ever gave your partner is for you to hear.

The only meaningful relationship is the one you have with yourself. Are you in love yet?

If you want to see the love of your life, look in the mirror. But there’s one thing. Objection, in fact. If you want my attention and I don’t give it to you, you protest.

$ So what? If you give me what I want from you or if you don’t, it is all right with me.

Chapter IX – Part 12

Can you elaborate on multicultural aspects?

$ Countless examples. A friend of mine had been learning German for many years. Then she went to a German course in Munich. Participants of the course were obviously people from all over the world; the organizers and the teachers were German. One day all participants were invited to watch the film “Weiße Rose” about a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany. The teachers put emphasis on how determined they were to encourage as many people as possible to see this film because the popular version of Nazi Germany is as follows: Hitler plus the obedient, disciplined German nation. And those teachers, although they were grandchildren of people from that generation, kept feeling ashamed for what had happened. And they suspected their children and their grandchildren would still feel ashamed. This picture is very different from what they give you at school, in the history lessons: Hitler = bad guy, Marshal’s plan after the World War II. Full stop. Black or white. The same friend of mine made friends with some Germans later on and they decided to travel together. One day they visited a concentration camp. The Germans were appalled. It evoked so many emotions and memories. One lady talked about her childhood. She was playing on the attic and she found an NSDAP card. She asked her parents what it was and she got spanked and was told not to ask about it anymore. It was a part of her family’s secret history. And you won’t learn things like that if you don’t speak the language of a given nation.

$ The more people speak foreign languages, the less people want to make wars because eventually you realize that on the level of our needs we are all equal. Marshal B. Rosenberg said that. We make wars because our governments tell us to and only a minority like Weiße Rose have guts to be against that.

$ Why do they do it actually?

$ Well, if you think your value is defined by the things you do or achieve, like a slim body, position in a company, money, power, you can become obsessed with it and get what you think you need over dead bodies. What’s your opinion?

$ I don’t know, really. It reminds me also of another friend of mine. She learned Chinese. You know how people boycott China: no human rights, free Tibet, unsocial working conditions, and other clichés. She only met Chinese people in her country and she was impressed by the pride the Chinese took in being Chinese. When she touched the subject of poor illiterate people who emigrate from their hamlets to giant cities to get underpaid jobs, where nobody respects security and hygiene directives, the answer was: we are much happier now than before Deng Xiaoping. Now we can get rich. If we learn and work hard, sky is the limit. And she fell in love with one of her teachers. She got love letters in Chinese saying: you are my special precious pearl I dived for to the bottom of the ocean. You have been waiting for so long, I have been diving for so long and finally we are together. Show me a student’s book with texts like this.

$ Mission impossible.

$ Another aspect. Mass media. I have just mentioned the image of China we have from the media. They spare nobody. A girl who learns German told me how embarrassed she was while reading an article about her fiancé’s country in a prestigious, opinion-forming German magazine. They interviewed a slightly drunk hooligan who didn’t exactly know why he was loyal to his gang and answered the journalist’s questions as if he were a dimwit. He had a swastika tattooed on his arm but he didn’t know what Hitler did in Europe in 1939 and later on. And there was no comment: it is not a representative sample or an exception in this outstandingly hospitable country that welcomes visitors from all over the world.

$ You know what they say: the fourth power.

$ Another friend of mine studied in Hungary. He speaks Hungarian very well and he goes there quite frequently. Recently, when Hungarian government had its big problems, our press described that as a major tragedy, that forint was falling headlong etc. And when my friend had a closer look at this, he noticed that the fall was not more considerable than in the case of our currency. He said he wished our country could have a prime minister like Hungary. Certainly, he was in trouble, sometimes he was doing better, sometimes worse but it was a well-read, articulate, cultured and argumentative politician.

$ Right, cultural aspects are highly motivating in many respects. What does your last letter stand for in your scheme?

$ Falling in love.

$ Last but not least.

$ That’s it.

$ Like your friend who fell in love with her Chinese teacher.

$ I’ve got a better one.

$ What can be better than being a Chinese pearl somebody is diving for deep in the ocean?

$ Listen to this. My parents’ friends went to Canary Islands when their daughter was 17 and their son 15. An Austrian tourist (25 years old) stayed in the same hotel. He fell in love with the girl the very first night. The next day he asked her for a date. Don’t ask me how he did it: the family spoke English, he spoke German, being Austrian and they were in Spain.

$ Body language plus mutual love that sharpens your senses and your telepathy.

$ Probably. So they were dating the whole holiday. I wonder how they communicated at the beginning. Kidding. In time, he taught her German in the most natural way possible: when she wanted to say something he read her thoughts and said the German version of her thoughts. She repeated it once or twice and remembered.

$ What happened next?

$ Back home, they kept on dating, not as often as on the island, of course. He visited her at home, she flew to Austria, too. When she passed her A-level exams, he proposed to her. They got married and settled on the island where they had met.

$ You must be joking!

$ No, I’m not. I didn’t make it up.

$ So, eventually they spoke three languages.

$ No, they didn’t. He never learned English.

Chapter IX – Part 11

$ It seems to me the freedom you get from mastering a foreign language is only a drop in the ocean of the freedom you really need.

$ Right. I am like a swan in a golden cage.

$ I’m very moved by your confession. I imagine being aware of this can devastate the motivation to learn a foreign language.

$ That’s it. What sense does it make to focus on a drop if I need an ocean? All the more, this drop requires so much effort.

$ Look at how far you got looking for sources of your motivation. Look at how deep it goes. You come to the coaching classes with an innocent intention to learn French and it turns out that your hairdresser, your coffee machine and two people you love more than anything else in this world: your daughter and your husband can be obstacles in this process.

$ Am I a kind of abnormal? Does everybody have such problems?

$ If ‘normal’ means ‘like 50% of the population + 1′, then yes, you’re normal. Usually, when we declare we want to do something and we don’t do it, we look for an excuse.

$ Do I?

$ You went one step further. You faced the enemy. After 3 months you were not happy with your progress, so you investigated potential reasons. With my little help.

$ Which left me nowhere.

$ Do you feel like whining? To me, you learned a lot today. Firstly, how to tackle and research things that seem to be important in a certain moment of your life: transition and motivation. Secondly, how to enrich your vocabulary, playing with your associations. Again, it’s too soon to tell whether it left you nowhere or not.

$ There are people who have it all: carrier, happy marriage, mentally healthy children.

$ Desiderata says: if you compare yourself with others you can become either vain or bitter because there’ll always be better and lesser persons than you. Do you personally know people you’re talking about?

$ No, I don’t. I meant celebrities I know from colorful magazines.

$ I’m sure people who have it all pay their price. Sooner or later. I know a couple of successful people who tell you fairy tales about their happiness. They describe only a part of their lives. I remember a prominent doctor, a professor of a well-known medical school. In his words, his life was a paradise: he was accomplished at work, married for 50 years to a woman he met at the University. All children became doctors, all of them wrote their doctor thesis. Add 5 grandchildren and a beautiful house with a garden. O my gosh!

$ I’m waiting for a punch line.

$ I happened to meet the doctor’s family. All children used to take drugs because they couldn’t stand the father’s pressure to succeed, two of them were also sex and love addicted and tried to commit a suicide. The mother’s carrier faded away so that the father’s one could flourish.

$ I don’t know what to say.

$ Well… You’ve got two letters left in your scheme.

$ What really fascinates me in mastering a language are the multicultural aspects.

$ You mean when you learn a language you become a member of a new culture.

$ Rather when I already speak a language, understand what I read, what they say. The very process of learning can be rather frustrating than encouraging.

$ If you say so.

Chapter IX – Part 10

$ Somebody objected to working on proactive vs reactive language.

$ Exactly. Let me continue. You’re forced to wake up, to get up in order to fulfill needs, cravings and caprices of little creatures who either scream or cry or crawl into your bed and slap you as strongly as their little hands can, without taking into account where they hit or press with their fingers – well, they’re not aware of physical definition of pressure. Imagine that you have had the same conversation for a year, for two years, for three years. You try to learn how to educate them, but in fact regardless of what you say, eventually everyday often at the same hour you start preaching the same, you pronounce the same sentences which reflect the first symptoms of your helplessness. You have read a pile of psychological books that explained to you that these creatures, in spite of the fact that they look the way you do, are determined by different rules. You may say you are aware of this difference, but … the feeling of helplessness is overwhelming. You act irrationally, because on a rational level you know a lot, especially as far as what you would like to do is concerned. However it’s the constant exhaustion that makes you oversensitive to external stimula which results in overreacting. You realize that and it makes the whole thing worse. You start having bad conscious. Unfortunately, that’s how we have been programmed. I would compare it to people who are about to drown: they tend to put hands up, which only aggravates the situation. But I think everybody would do exactly the same. Impulsively. I’m sure there are people who are conscious and try to act differently and certainly they succeed. Probably no parent would like to do anything against their child’s will, but who can tell me something to help me remember that all the time and implement that every day, always, every moment, regardless of how tired I am or ill, devastated, frustrated every time I think I failed while working on myself? Show me one person who hasn’t promised: I’ll never act like my parents, I’ll never say this or that to my children. I don’t know anyone who kept promise like this. Knowing what I know, having experienced what I have experienced, if I could turn back the time, I wonder whether I would decide to become a mother or not. You can’t come to a conclusion like this without a relevant experience. Most parents would probably say they don’t imagine their life without their kids. It’s probably because they don’t dream much and have suppressed their need to act, create, be free. One day I was taking a bus with my son and my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law and my son got off on a bus station and I was supposed to continue the trip. My child started to scream and shout and cry, he didn’t want to get off. When they finally did, an elder lady said to me: ‘it is so nice to be loved’. Right. There are such moments, but you are so physically and mentally exhausted that it’s difficult for you to spot them. Besides, I’m not so sure you need them to be happy.

$ It’s not your text, isn’t it?

$ It doesn’t matter whose text it is. I have read it to you so that you know you’re not alone.

$ I feel glum when I realize that I don’t appreciate what I have. Recently, a friend of mine sent me an email: I regret to inform you that the baby will not be coming. owing to a heart defect, more specifically a VSD, the fetus has not developed properly. The doctor says it is only a matter of time before the heart stops beating. My wife will go into hospital tomorrow for one more test, I suspect (it’s been like this for the last month, always one more test). It’s been sad but we are pulling through calmly now, seeing things in the wider perspective. I didn’t have to experience any of these: no miscarriage, no serious illness, and I’m not able to enjoy that.

Chapter IX – Part 9

$ I am abroad when my husband takes me with him for one of his business trips or when we go on holiday. I go to company parties.

$ You don’t go to private parties?

$ Yes, I do. If it’s all right with my husband’s agenda and itinerary, which means: I last went to a final school exam anniversary 5 years ago. Surprisingly, I’m not very sad about it because my whole life is subordinated to my child anyway: wake her up, see to what she puts on, have breakfast, pick her up to school, pick her up from school, coordinate tennis, foreign languages courses, horse riding. In the meantime: colds, flu’s, everyday routine. The moment my daughter met the world was a shock for me. As if I – against my will – killed a part of me, giving birth to her. People stopped asking how I was; they only asked how was my daughter. If you put emphasis on dark sides of maternity, they label you: ‘baby blues’. But baby blues is a kind of depression and depression is an illness and the maternity troubles are not an illness, it’s a norm. In average circumstances a man is in his comfort zone: he works, leaves the house, plays with the child after he gets back home and gets some rest. His task is to give example.

$ Right. He doesn’t walk slowly in parks for hours, adapting his big steps to his child’s possibilities. He doesn’t sit hours and hours in sand cages. He doesn’t read the same fairy tale for the hundredth time. There’s plenty of magazines for mothers, devoted solely to children and they present a silky version of maternity. You read them and get ready for a wonderful adventure with a sweet baby.

$ On the other hand there are platforms and fora that inform you about illnesses, threats, helplessness of the conventional medical science.

$ That’s correct. Fortunately I promised not to read stuff like this when I was pregnant nor since Tom and me decided to become parents. And I kept my promise! I attended a school of birth, nevertheless, such a school only prepares you to the very birth. At least it’s its task, although it’s a misunderstanding because giving a birth is such an experience that nobody and nothing can prepare you for that. One of the most touching pictures is a mum breast-feeding her baby. In my case, it took me 8 long days to be able to do that. I don’t remember my mother ever mentioning any difficulties about it. Didn’t she have any? Or was she of the opinion that she had no right to have them? Otherwise, it would turn out she was an impious mother. Maybe she wanted to prove to herself that it was a right decision to become a mother and her target was to show to the world: I can manage that. Maybe she didn’t want to frighten me of maternity? I only remember my grandmother’s letter. She wrote it to her brother. My mother and her brothers and sisters were little children then and my grandmother was complaining what vexation they were to her. In the pictures my mum as a little girl has a very sad face. Am I offering the same to my daughter now? Anyway, coming back to the question of breast-feeding. It seemed so natural to me: stick my breast to my child’s mouth and that’s it. A pig, a cat, billions of other women could do that, so will I. And what? 8 days passed before my daughter and I learned each other. It’s my first child. I felt so incompetent. And all those mothers, grandmothers, midwives rolling their eyes when I was talking out my problem.

$ The priest forgets that he was a clerk.

$ I was completely unable to see it from a distance. I scolded myself that something was wrong with me. After all, maternity is an instinct, something natural, it has been there for ages. I am proud of the fact that our marriage passed that test. For many friends of ours the statement: being parents cements the relationship turned out to be lie. How can you keep a partnership if I am the one who has adequate hormones and breast with milk? How can we restore the atmosphere of our honey moon if we are both exhausted and hardly ever on our own? When I hear my words, I can’t believe I’m saying that.

$ Listen to this. Imagine that for about one year you’re not able to sleep at night nonstop for at least 5 hours (I discovered that this is the limit of – if I dare to say – getting my sleep; no, it’s rather the minimum I need to be able to function). After a year or a year and a half you finally learn how to sleep quite often nonstop your dream 5 hours. And then you notice that getting your sleep is not everything. In my case a year later the problem came back. And I’m not exaggerating. Maybe within 365 days there are less than 10 days you sleep 5 hours nonstop. You’re forced (and I mean ‘forced’; I don’t know any so conscious or illuminated parent that they would say in this context: ‘I choose’).

Chapter IX – Part 8

$ Does this change your answer to the question: which one of them has achieved anything in your opinion?

$ Yes, it does. Both have achieved something. Everyone has done it their way.

$ Do you know why I described these two people to you?

$ Because I came to the conclusion: show me your achievements and I will tell you who you are and added that I hadn’t achieved anything.

$ Exactly. First of all, it’s too soon to tell. Secondly, something that you regard as nothing: raising a baby and/or being a successful housewife is far beyond many people’s reach. Consequently, to me it pays off to consider yourself as a better person. From now on. Regardless of what there is on your waiting list and how miserable you feel if you think your perspective will always remain a perspective.

$ Horrifying.

$ What’s next?

$ Freedom.

$ Elaborate on that.

$ If I am abroad and I can speak the language of a given country I am independent. I don’t need to look for a chemist’s where they speak English in order to get what I want, I can go to any pharmacy like every citizen in this country. If I want to make any arrangements, I don’t need an interpreter. And locals are more friendly if they see I have made the effort to learn their language. They can’t safely backbite me nor reveal their secrets in my company. I can listen to and understand any news, read any newspaper and be in the swim.

$ What else limits your freedom?

$ The need to eat and drink.

$ And to sleep.

$ To sleep in my own bed.

$ And to take baths in my own bath-tub.

$ Indeed. My tailor, my coffee. Do you know that I hardly ever drink coffee when I am not at home? I am able not to drink any coffee for weeks to avoid spitting out of disgust and cheating on my beloved, the best in the world coffee machine. When it breaks down (which happened 4 times over last 10 years) I feel depressed.

$ And when you’re not at home you are able not to drink coffee for weeks.

$ Because this is something different: when I am not at home I know that my coffee machine is not accessible and it’s just too bad. And at home… there she is – I can see it, I can touch it and so what? There won’t be any coffee until a specialist repairs the machine.

$ Now it’s clear. Go on.

$ My beautician, my masseur and my hairdresser. And a proven quality of a hair color. But it is all nothing compared to my husband’s job and our child.

$ Can you be more specific?

Chapter IX – Part 7

$ Sur mesure. Tell me something more about how ‘tailor made’ motivates you.

$ The way tailor made clothes do. If I buy something in a shop, in time it turns out that here I bulge, there it is too lose etc. And if I go to a tailor, especially to the one who has known me for years, the length is ideal, nothing pinches, nothing wrinkles. The same with learning languages. A tailor made program takes into account my needs, my interests, my background, my target, my pace, the methods I like.

$ That sounds good with ‘attention’ and ‘amour propre.’ Seven?

$ Perspective.

$ Which is a promise of future results.

$ Right. And there’s plenty of it. In our city I can meet many French people and start conversations with them. When buying wine, I can read the label, understand it and order with a genuine French accent. The same thing in a restaurant. The perspective of a trip. The comfort of being abroad and understanding the locals. I feel a bliss when I imagine that.

$ In all these visualizations you’re the only person in your family who speaks French.

$ Yes, I am. My husband needs me, he is proud of me, my daughter wants to copy me.

$ In these visualizations you are a better person because you have achieved something.

$ Of course! Show me your achievements and I will tell you who you are.

$ You have just touched on a very important subject. How do you tell apart people who have achieved something from those who haven’t?

$ E.g. my husband. He became a CEO when he was 31. This is an achievement. I am a housewife. I haven’t achieved anything.

$ Have a look at the following two persons. One of them is a training guru in our country. A totally media person, very popular, very busy. Every year he writes and publishes a book. I mean, a ghost writer does it for him. The other person is an only child, a girl who is not exactly spoiled but exempted from life by her parents: they help her always and everywhere, even if she doesn’t need it, castrating her that way. The girl, scared of living, graduates from a University that doesn’t require much from her, keeps on living in her parents’ house, doesn’t start her own family, takes up jobs that are not very challenging for her. In your opinion: which person has achieved anything?

$ Obviously the guru. I think I know who’s on your mind. I hate him!

$ Why is that?

$ He is so arrogant. He always knows best. Everything. He knows everybody and behind this there’s nothing, only cash. I remember him on TV 10 years ago: jeans, a shirt, a jacket. Now – suits from the catwalk.

$ It’s interesting that you’re saying this in spite of the fact that you chose him, not the girl, as a successful person.

$ I have to admit: he has achieved much. And this intimidated girl…

$ Right. Imagine that it’s 40 years later. In the branch of trainings everything has changed. Nobody remembers our guru. The parents of the girl passed away and she is no longer exposed either to criticism or to comments like: ‘whatever for?’ ‘be careful!’ ‘it won’t bring you much money’ etc. She publishes a book with her poems that she has been writing since she was very young. She sells the house inherited from her parents and start working as a journalist.

$ She set herself free.

Chapter IX – Part 6

$ I’m asking you these questions because probably it is not  y o u r  motivation. That’s a fact, if I master the language spoken in a given country, it’s an advantage, when I travel there. But is it necessary?

$ On Tenerife we only spoke English and it was fine.

$ Right. If travels are supposed to motivate me to learn foreign languages and there are over 100 countries, and over 3,000 languages, maybe it’s easier to transform into a cyborg or adapt the methods Neo applied in “Matrix” or Milla Jovovich in “The Fifth Element”. Probably when you are a cyborg you experience something similar to what people from the surroundings of the Tower of Babel did. Or the apostles when the Holy Spirit descended on them the day of the Pentecost so that they started to speak languages. Let’s move on.

$ As I said, the beauty of the sound of the French language motivates me.

$ Do you insist on emitting such beautiful sounds yourself or it’s enough for you to understand when Jacques Brel sings or Alain Delon recites.

$ I don’t even need to understand! The very listening to the French radio excites me. Not always, of course. It depends on the broadcaster. Thirdly, it boosts my ego to tell my friends: sorry, I can’t meet you then because I have language coaching class. They ask me: what do you learn? And I say: French. O! I feel so proud, so exquisite, so uncommon, outstanding, extraordinary.

$ Is it a similar feeling to marry the man who is ‘that obscure object of desire’ of every single girl?

$ Marriage is an overrated institution. And when a baby comes to this world, everything turns upside down. You can’t compare that to learning foreign languages.

$ Certainly. Number 4.

$ Your attention motivates me. I feel special in your eyes and I look forward to coming here to get this feeling. Five: systematic. I’m not systematic yet but I hope I’ll be and if I imagine myself really motivated to learn French, I see a systematic Melanie.

$ In your love story there is a beautiful part about how you fell in love with Tom fighting with a halberd: for a couple of years there was a drought. A little seed remained a little seed because it wasn’t the right time, the right place for your relationship to develop. Did your motivation decrease? No, it didn’t. In spite of that, did you succeed? Yes, you did. Being systematic can be a myth if you choose to think so and if this opinion enriches your life.

$ But if X hadn’t trained systematically, he wouldn’t have become the world champion.

$ Fair enough. For many years I had been motivating students to study languages and I had been telling them for example about Y whose trainings are planned day by day hour by hour two years before a championship. And for many years I had observed that little motivated students started to study hard 1-3 months before the final school exam or so and passed it with 75%. It taught me humbleness and I understood one thing: they didn’t want to run marathons in less than 2 hours and a half. They want to run to catch the bus without shortness of breath. Check what serves you: to torment yourself for not being systematic or debunk it. Number six?

$ Tailor made.

Chapter IX – Part 5

So I went to the breakfast and he was there. Of course, I took a seat next to him, I was amazed at the way he listened to what I was saying about my cosmetics. Closely he seemed even more attractive to me. These eyes! And he smelled of a healthy man. There, at breakfast, in this crowd of 150 people, he would have been able to do anything he wanted  if he had put me on the table and touched my body with his beautiful hands. I fell head over heels in him. He called me because he wanted to get some cosmetics. Then we went for a cup of coffee. Only he doesn’t drink coffee. Then we had a romantic dinner together, then we met in my place, then in his place. Everything went on so naturally, but deep inside I was about to explode.

$ Hormones?

$ Plus the fact that he turned out to be extremely popular with girls. One day I told one of my yoga friends that Tom D said this and that. And she asked me: you know Tom D?! Do you know him very well? Where did you meet? What is he like? Because you know, I talked to him once and he is such an erudite and at the same time so modest and so attentive. Another day I was talking to another girl and said that I liked “The Quartet” in the New Theatre very much. And she said: wouldn’t I know it. You went to the premiere with Tom D. In fact, it inspired me to think: the man, who is desired by half of the city will choose me. I couldn’t sleep because of my potential rivals. I gave myself hard time imagining him making love to them. And we weren’t a couple yet!  In my mind’s eye I dumped him from time to time and then I was shedding tears at the very thought that if I let him go I’d never ever love anybody so much as him. I developed a strategy to survive these flocks of girls around him: I dated many men, 5-6 admirers, no commitment, of course. And I was lucky again. I remember it as if it had been yesterday. I was wearing a white roll-neck sweater with short sleeves, a short grey skirt, a red belt, a red bag and red pumps with very high heels. And red corals. I was going past Mollini, glanced at people sitting inside and saw Tom with some people. I entered just to say good afternoon – that was the official version. The people turned out to be his parents. Tom introduced us, I congratulated them on the son. They invited me to have lunch with them, obviously I said I had a meeting but I wouldn’t mind a cup of coffee. We quickly found a common language with Tom’s father because I like cooking and it jumped out that he was a gourmet: he looks like Gérard Depardieu. Sometime later I got an invitation to celebrate their wedding anniversary and at Christmas we got engaged.

$ And 10 years later you hate Christmas.

$ And 10 years later I hate Christmas.

$ I love the story of your motivation. We’ll draw from it a lot. Show me your scheme. Do you remember the sequence of your associations?

$ Maybe. When I think of what motivates me to learn French, travelling comes to my mind.

$ Be more specific, please. Is France a special country for you? Do you want to live there?

$ No, no. Nothing doing. We were thinking of Provence next year, so I thought to myself: it would be great to be able to communicate there.

$ When you were going to Tuscany, did you learn Italian?

$ No, I didn’t.

$ When you were going to Lisboa, did you learn Portugese?

$ Neither.

Chapter IX – Part 4

$ How much time did it take you to understand yoga so well that you were able to practice on your own?

$ About two years. But with yoga it was different. I didn’t have motivation to do it. I went to ‘Harmony’ partly because I was bored, partly because I was curious. After two years even idiots can practice on their own. And I have a huge motivation to learn French!

$ I see. Do you feel impatient because your motivation is not reflected in any particular results?

$ And glum because months pass by.

$ So far it’s the third month.

$ And nothing denotes that in Cannes I’ll be able to talk with the waiter about the bouillabaise I’ll be ordering.

$ I told you once about association exercise – one of the ways to enrich your vocabulary.

$ It rings a bell.

$ Let’s talk about the word ‘transition.’ The same in French. Pronounce [trãzisjõ]. You’re in a transition now, finding a new identity, so that you can make expected progress in French. What are your associations with a transition?

$ A transition comes about as a result of somebody’s involvement in something.

$ Write down: ‘come about’ and ‘involvement’.

$ E.g. as a result of studies you undertake.

$ Ok. Here we are: ‘undertake’.

$ If your company needs a transition, you’d better identify the requirements of the market first.

$ Fair enough. ‘Identify’, ‘requirement.’ Talking about companies, if they decide to change their manpower planning, what can they do?

$ They can redeploy permanent employees, contract out some activities, undergo programs of change.

$ Yep. ‘Redeploy’, ‘contract out’, ‘undergo.’ What can be a negative outcome?

$ Industrial unrest and early retirement.

$ So you know how it works. Take your time now and put down your associations related to your motivation to learn French. This time in French.


Before we start discussing your scheme tell me about a situation from your real life when you were highly motivated and you achieved your goal.

$ I was determined to become my present husband’s girlfriend and eventually marry him. You realize of course that it’s top secret. My husband mustn’t know. When I saw him for the first time, he was just giving a show of martial arts. I admired and found pretty scary this tall, handsome man menacing with a halberd. He was there, on the stage, far away from me, fighting with an invisible enemy. So I adored him, fantasized about him and at the same time I was afraid of him. A couple of years later I saw a play in the Dance Theatre and he was there, too, as a spectator. During the break, I enjoyed watching him talk to his friends, smile, laugh and I found him charming. To get to know him better and to make him crazy about me became the most important points in my life. I was lucky because at that time I was in charge of selling cosmetics and I got an invitation to breakfast at BNI.

$ Business Network International? Is this the group of people whose aim is to recommend one another?

$ Exactly.