We have either heard or read, about how people are learning new languages every day. And seen numerous articles online with reasons to join in on the fun. I have personally met a handful of people on the Bus to work, who are either learning Spanish or German or Italian…and I often wondered why it is such an important thing for so many people.
So, after doing some research, speaking to people and reading a few articles. I decided to bring all those different reasons here on one page, to motivate you as well.
YOU REALLY DO BECOME SMARTER
According to Anne Merritt, who writes for the Telegraph:
“Speaking a foreign language improves the functionality of your brain by challenging it to recognize, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems.”
This skill boosts your ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks as well. The smarter aspect comes in when students who either already know a second language or are studying one, have the inclination towards scoring better on standardized tests than their monolingual peers, particularly in the categories of reading, math, and vocabulary.
In addition, you develop four of the key skills linked to learning: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY, PERCEPTION AND DECISION MAKING SKILLS
Because learning a new language increases your brain capacity, you increase your memory skills at the same time too. This is because you are constantly trying to retain the new language, its rules, and vocabulary, in your memory thus strengthening your memory muscles.
Studies have also shown that people who speak more than one language are better at remembering names, shopping lists or any other lists and even sequence of events, a lot easier. They have also shown that they are more focused on filtering our relevant and irrelevant information, including recognizing ambiguous information.
Further research into this concept has shown that bilinguals tend to make more rational decisions. They showed to be more confident with the choices they make after thinking it over in the second language and seeing whether their initial conclusions still stand up.
INCREASE IN MULTI-TASKING ABILITIES
According to a study done by Penn State University:
“Recent research indicates that bilingual speakers can outperform monolinguals–people who speak only one language–in certain mental abilities, such as editing out irrelevant information and focusing on important information, said Judith Kroll, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Penn State. These skills make bilinguals better at prioritizing tasks and working on multiple projects at one time.”
Kroll also mentions in this research that when bilinguals speak with each other, they can easily slip in and out of both languages, often selecting the word or phrase from the language that most clearly expresses their thoughts. However, fluent bilinguals rarely make the mistake of slipping into another language when they speak with someone who understands only one language.
IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING A JOB
Whether the job market is tough…or not, companies are constantly expanding globally, and opening offices and branching out to all the different parts of the world. If the employer has a choice of choosing between two candidates for example with the same skills or expertise, but one is bilingual, the chance of being chosen for any job are higher for him or her than the candidate who can only speak one language.
A language study done by the Economist found that by 2050 half the world might be able to speak the English language. In addition, studies show that ‘knowledge of a foreign language, brings economic benefits’. The article states: “
“Assuming just a 1% real salary increase per year and a 2% average real return over 40 years, a 2% language bonus turns into an extra $67,000 (at 2014 value) in your retirement account. Not bad for a few years of “où est la plume de ma tante?”
Another study’s numbers, mention how “…salary bonuses vary depending on the exact language in which you’re proficient. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few different secondary languages and their annual bonuses as reported by The Economist:
For sake of time, you can read these studies in the Economist link included above.
Another plus point is, when you get bored with your job or feel like an adventure – having knowledge of a foreign language, might just be the answer to your troubles!
There are lots more advantages of learning another language:
- You become more open-minded
- The chance to discover a new culture
- Meet new people and change the experience of your travels
- If nothing – you will impress the people around you!
It’s not an easy process and it takes time and possibly some money, depending on your choice of resources. But I am convinced that it is a lifelong investment you will not regret!
There are numerous studies done on this topic. If you would like to read more, below are just a few of the links I found:
Know of any additional reasons you can think of to learn a foreign language?
Life and living it is a project and changing your life is the beginning. It’s a never-ending quest to share our best work with the rest of the world. You are responsible for that change. You need to define yourself, plan your change, make it happen. What you don’t want is spending the rest of your precious and short life, doing everything you absolutely hate.
To build the life you want, create the meaningful work you love!
We should all strive to find and do meaningful work that excites us. Work that brings out the best in you. Without it, work is boring, just something we do to pay the bills — which means we’re spending somewhere around half our waking hours (sometimes more) doing something we don’t like, just to pay the bills. Is that a life you want to live?
Your work fills a large part of your life, do everything in your power to make it awesome. If you haven’t found what makes you come alive yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. Everything else is secondary.
You shouldn’t dread Mondays. Meaningful work doesn’t have to be groundbreaking or solve a global problem. It doesn’t have to cure cancer. Amazing work can be any kind of work; if it’s fulfilling your potential, and makes you lose yourself, you’ve found exactly what you need to live the life you want.
Ryan Robinson of Buffer says:
If your work is something you love, it will give clarity, drive, and happiness to all aspects of your life. If your work is meaningful, you’ll be more likely to stick with it in the long run, which means you’re more likely to be successful as a result.
Research has shown that finding meaning in one’s work increases motivation, engagement, empowerment, career development, job satisfaction, individual performance and personal fulfillment.
It can be anything from creating something new, improving an existing product or service, building something awesome, helping others, inspiring others, teaching others, setting in motion something that will make the world a better place, making something beautiful, creating something useful, moving the hearts of others.
Michael Steger, Ph.D., a faculty member in the Counseling Psychology and Applied Social Psychology programs at Colorado State University sees meaningful work as consisting of three, central components:
First, the work we do must make sense; we must know what’s being asked of us and be able to identify the personal or organizational resources we need to do our job.
Second, the work we do must have a point; we must be able to see how the little tasks we engage in build, brick-by-brick if you will, into an important part of the purpose of our company.
Finally, the work that we do must benefit some greater good; we must be able to see how our toil helps others, whether that’s saving the planet, saving a life, or making our co-workers’ jobs easier so that they can go home and really be available for their families and friends.
Give yourself something to pursue
“Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.” — Tim O’Reilly
Right now is the best time EVER in human history to pursue your life’s work. Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists. People who never give up on their life’s work. You have something to share with the rest of the world. Be an optimist. And make an impact in your own small way possible.
Kevin Kelly (co-founder of Wired magazine) explains:
“There has never been a better time in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit/risk ratios, better returns, greater upside, than now. Right now, this minute. This is the time that folks in the future will look back at and say, “Oh to have been alive and well back then!”
People who choose well and focus on building something that matters to them first always go that extra mile. They never give up on their first try. There is always a second or even a third try. Embrace the fact that invention is a creative process. Come to terms with its presence, learn to accept the sting of it and keep moving.
Don’t fail to exercise your right to try something. Get into the habit of questioning the rules, of becoming curious about where you could try something different and where you could throw the windows open. You will be surprised at you are capable of.
Start with something you can do today or this week, even if you can commit a few minutes to it. And tomorrow, do it again. Maybe for a few more minutes. And so on.
Take no less than 100% responsibility for your life
Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing. Income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviors. Your life is a sum of the choices you made yesterday. If you want a different outcome, change your behavior and habits.
Making a change is uncomfortable and can be overwhelming for you. It might mean you have to put in more time, money, and effort. But it’s the only way to get what you want.
Many people have so many things they want to do but they end up wishing all year round without taking action. Write what you want to do down and be guided by it.
Take even the smallest step every day to make that wish a reality. Make a decision to start somewhere. And when it’s time to get on with it, don’t postpone it. Do what you have to do.
Once you commit time to it and begin to put things on paper, every other idea about the people and resources you need to make it happen will begin to be clear to you.
Invest in your life’s work
Start a blog, write at least a little each day. Write a book. Or an ebook. Share your tips with others online or through a free ebook. Write poetry and publish it on the web. Create interesting, lovely or funny videos, put them on YouTube.
Create an app that will solve a problem in people’s lives. Become a watchdog to replace the faltering newspapers. Explore the world, and blog about it.
Try something you’ve always been afraid to try, and put it on video. Be yourself, loudly. Start a new company, doing only one thing, but doing it very well.
Start a business that does a service you’ve always wanted, or that you are frustrated with in other companies because the service sucks. Put your heart into something.
Say something that no one else dares to say. Do something others are afraid to do. Help someone no one else cares to help. Make the lives of others better.
Make music that makes others want to weep, to laugh, to create. Inspire others by being inspiring. Teach young people to do amazing things. Write a play, get others to act in it, record it. Empower others to do things they’ve never been able to do before.
Read, and read, and then write. Love, and love, and then help others to love.Do something good and ask others to pass it on. Be profound. Find focus in a world without it.
Become minimalist in a world of dizzying complexity. Reach out to those who are frustrated, depressed, angry, confused, sad, hurt. Be the voice for those without one. Learn, do, then teach.
Meet new people, become fast friends. Dare to be wrong. Take lots and lots of pictures. Explore new cultures. Be different. Paint a huge mural. Create a web-comic. Be a dork, but do it boldly.
Interview people. Observe people. Create new clothes. Take old stuff and make new stuff from it. Read weird stuff. Study the greats, and emulate them.
Be interested in others. Surprise people. Cook great food, and share it. Be open-minded. Help someone else start a small business. Focus on less but do it better.
Give people a ride in your car. Use Uber to your advantage. Start an online shop on Shopify. Create and sell stuff on Etsy.
Help others achieve their dreams. Put a smile on someone’s face, every day.Start an open-source project. Make a podcast. Start a movement. Be brave. Be honest. Be hilarious. Get really, really good at something. Practice a lot. A lot. Start now. Try.
If you’re willing to take the risk of sharing yourself and your ideas with the world, you can create value you will be proud of.
What you choose to do now matters
Everything around you, the place you live, your means of transport to work, the tools you use at work, technology for both learning and leisure were all made by people who are no smarter than you. You can add to human development and progress in your own small way. Choose to create.
If you’re already doing amazing Work, keep doing it. But if you feel like there’s nothing amazing on your to-do list, then it’s obvious the work you’re doing doesn’t excite you, and you don’t feel it matters. There are now insanely great and even free resources out there that can make it easy to show your work. Take advantage of them.
You don’t need permission to show the world what you are capable of. Right now, this minute, you can decide to start working on your most important work. And guess what, the world is ready to try it out.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be ready. The real world rewards those who get stuff done. You don’t even have to get it right.As long as you are ready for feedback, you can always iterate and make it better.
Build what brings out the best in you! Then, things cannot go wrong. Even if they do, you would have at least tried doing what excites you.
A side project has the potential to grow into something meaningful a lot of people could benefit from. Getting there may take some work but it takes a decision to get started. Something you do for fun on nights and weekends could turn into your new full-time dream business or invention.
Today and tomorrow are open with possibilities. All you have to do is decide to make use of them to start working on stuff that matters to you, and live the life, that you really want. It’s time for a healthy dose of practical optimism. Be bold and take a decision right now to start something you deeply care about.
The first key: start looking
If you don’t ever look for it, it’s not likely to just fall into your lap. Be curious now. Once you start looking for your amazing work, you’re much much more likely to find it.
That sounds kinda obvious, but it’s surprising how many of us will go through our work days (and years) without trying to find our Amazing Work, for many reasons. Maybe we don’t believe in ourselves, maybe we don’t think we have the time, maybe we’re putting it off until someday.
Well, start believing in yourself. Make the time. Make someday today.
Start by looking at the work you’re already doing: how can you find something in your work that excites you? Why did you get into it in the first place? When have you ever been excited about your work? What part of your work do you look forward to the most? How can you take it to the next level? What you do after work?
If you’ve really looked long and hard at your work and can’t find anything at all, nothing, nada that excites you, that might become exciting, then start looking elsewhere. What other work have you done that you love? What have you done that has made a difference?
Have you had any previous jobs that had exciting work? Do you have hobbies that excite you — perhaps those can be turned into amazing Work? What do you read about — online and off? Do those things excite you, and if so, can you find something in that line of work?
Talking to others can spark ideas — ask the people who know you best what they think you should do. Ask co-workers about things that excite them. Talk to people online.
Once you come up with some ideas, it’s time to start doing them, trying them, testing them out. Sometimes something can sound fun but not be as fun once you try it. Sometimes something can sound uninteresting, but once you do it, there’s much more fun to it than you thought.
It’s a process of experimenting — try things, give them a chance, and then pursue them if they’re exciting. If not, try something new. One thing to keep in mind, though — things can be more fun if you’re good at something, and it can take awhile to get good at something. The key is to enjoy the learning process as well.
Now here is the most important part
Start working on the thing you need to be doing right now, this minute. No matter how slow you work on your most important work, you will still be ahead of everyone else who isn’t trying to fulfill a dream. Stop letting yourself procrastinate.
Action begets outcome. Outcome begets more action. You can only create or build when you make a move. Momentum builds through action. You can’t see the results you expect until you overcome your fear of starting and begin to take the first step at actually creating a new business, starting a new project or building the life you want. The only thing worse than failure is not starting.
Don’t discount the power of action no matter how small.
Start going through the motions of making progress. At first it might feel forced, but eventually you’ll get in the groove. In the words of playwright Samuel Beckett:“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Your journey towards meaningful work begins today, if it hasn’t already!How to Build a Meaningful Life And Make It Incredibly Amazing
“Grade A Spanophile” Caitlin is a New Yorker who fell in love with Spanish food. At Back to Spain, she interviews chefs, shares recipes, and posts gorgeous photos of her dishes.
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