Chapter I – Part 11

$ Now you know how permissions work. What permissions do your foreign languages need?

$ I have a right to master English. I have a right to stop learning English and start knowing it. I have a right to speak English. I have a right to take advantage of what I already know. I have a right to believe that I will get by. I have a right to ask people to repeat. I have a right not to understand and to ask for clarification. I have a right to succeed in a spectacular way thanks to English.

$ I have a right to succeed in a spectacular way just like that.

$ I have a right to cope with true challenges.

$ I have a right not to know English.

$ No, no it is still out of question.

$ To have a right doesn’t obviously mean to make use of it. Are you entitled to take a sick leave?

$ Of course I do. I take your point.

$ By the way, what’s wrong with taking a sick leave?

$ When I am ill, I have the impression I have failed. That I’m getting older. That I start to malfunction. I am scared that other people will notice it and that they will disrespect me. I want to prove to myself and to others that I’m strong and tough. Besides, there’s so much work to do. If we all go to sick leaves… I want my employees to be as committed as I am.

$ You have large shoes to fill. And other people in your company too.

$ I’m a perfectionist.

$ From my observation I have deduced that perfectionism is a huge obstacle in learning foreign languages. Of course, not only in learning foreign languages; I just emphasize that because the target of our meetings is to learn a foreign language.

$ Excellency has always motivated me to work better, to achieve more etc.

$ To some extend it is motivating for sure, especially if I can see the results I was dreaming about at the beginning. Nevertheless, I can also become its slave and then I am what I call unconsumed perfectionist: since I am not able to do this perfectly, I won’t do it at all. Or I will hinder my task more.

$ How is that?

$ E.g. I can’t get organized to learn one language, so I start learning another language.

$ It’s not me. I don’t act like this.

$ Another example: I have ambitious plans for this year and I …

$ … put on weight. Ouch! It hurt.

$ I’m sorry. Why don’t you apply our three new exercises to handle your perfectionism?

$ Number 1: change my attitude towards perfectionism; towards my perfectionism; towards my perfectionism in the area of foreign languages; towards perfectionism as a source of motivation.

$ Towards evaluation. Towards attachment to the result. Towards setting goals beyond measure. Towards stating that something is already good enough.

$ Towards hindering tasks.

$ Towards simplifying tasks.

$ I’m scared.

$ Of what?

$ That if I simplify my tasks, I will relax too much, I will omit something and I won’t  reach my goals as perfectly as I assumed.

$ Since I love controlling, I don’t practice the art of letting go. Look at the nature? Does it hinder its own work?

$ No, it follows the line of the least resistance.

$ That’s it. If I am a fish I choose water for my house. If I’m a rabbit, I go hunting in a place where there are no foxes. Everything is perfect in the nature even a lightning blasting a 100-year-old pine.

$ I protest! Why should someone or something destroy the results of my work for no reason?

$ For the above mentioned blasting of a pine by a lightning is not destruction, merely a change of form, which is inevitable sooner or later. The ego tempts with thoughts of immortality, and if not immortality, then  at least living 900 years long like Master Yoda. With a good reason the devil at the end of “The Devil’s Advocate” says: vanity – my favorite sin. Nothing is permanent except change. “This too shall pass”, Hebrew: גם זה יעבור‎, gam zeh yaavor, does it ring a bell?

$ Not that I can recall.

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