The other day, I was running in the park. While listening to my workout playlist, an Eminem song called “Ground Hogs Day” started playing. As Eminem was ripping track, I started thinking deeply about it, and really tuning into what he was saying in the song. To keep it short, he raps about his career and how much work he has put into the game, all the while lyrically dominating the track.
The song’s title is also a reference to a Bill Murray movie called “Ground Hog’s Day” where Bill Murray is a Pittsburgh newsman who is sent to cover the annual groundhogs day event in Puxatauny Pennsylvania. In the movie, Murray’s character majestically has a spell cast on him where he relives ground hogs day over and over. Every night when he goes to sleep, he wakes up and relives the same day, over and Over again. Eventually, he starts trying new things. He makes the same girl fall in love with hundreds of different ways. He goes and takes a piano lesson each day. He gets to the point where he is so good and talented at what he does everyday, because each day he puts in hours doing the same exact activity. He puts in countless hours. He discovers mastery through repetition.
So, upon thinking about it, that is exactly what my life is like. While I don’t have the free time that Mr. Murray does, I still wake up early and get on the language grind before I have to go to my job. Thus, I’ve dubbed this year, the year of Ground Hog’s day.
Getting into a rhythm in anyone’s life is key, and incorporating a disciplined routine is one of the best things you can do to change your life. When learning a language, its takes dedicating a portion of your life to learning it. This means daily study, and daily incorporation of that given culture.
When learning a language, there are tons of mistakes, patterns in speech, word spellings, stroke orders, and conversations that are repeated over and over and over. For the last 3 months my life has been so damn repetitive it would be sickening for some people.
But not for me.
I know and realize that everyday little by little, I’m gaining skills and taking baby steps in almost each and every aspect of my life, especially in language. This is how you learn Chinese. You become the grind it out type of player, the tortoise. You keep your eye on that mountain peak, diligently making sure the boulder your pushing up is moving forward, because the farther you go the less heavy that boulder feels.