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Monday, March 5, 2012

How to Teach Yourself a Language [part 2]


Simple enough concept, right? Do something, learn how it's done by both where you excelled and where you didn't. It's the way people have done it for generations, even before history was ever recorded. For some, it's the peak of their enjoyment with it and may be the way they stick with all their lives; for others, it may be the bane of their existence, based on how often they failed at it before finally getting it the way they wanted. Both sides can agree, though, that it instills the knowledge at a level no book, classroom or application could hope to match(I mean really, would you rather sit there watching someone talk about the way a guitar works or get up there and see the sounds you can make with that knowledge?)

            Before writing it down was widespread, this is how info was passed on, and the immediacy and intimacy it creates is why it's lasted as long at it has and why people look to it when they're in a pinch and only have themselves to pass either on the knowledge or story they want to tell. True, it benefits many more when it's recorded for others to observe and add their own input, but to make that solid, it needs to start at the personal level.

            When you tell a joke, for instance, how you interpret the punchline and delivery play a huge role in how the listener feels after you're done and they have to digest what you've said, so if you don't really get it, neither will they; the more you do get it, the more you can alter or add to the story leading up the joke and perhaps hit even further out of left field than the the person you heard it from, in turn drawing out a bigger appeal to their sense of humor. In other words, when the teller connects to it at a deeper level, then they can help those they tell it to make the same connection, which is where the Game stage starts to influence how the info is processed. 

The Game Stage
When you hear the word 'game,' what pops up in your mind? Maybe you think about that game of Monopoly where you managed to make everyone broke as a joke through your strategic railroad and hotel purchases? Perhaps you think of the game of Halo where you got your team together to plan and execute your improbable comeback on the Hang 'em High map? Or maybe, just maybe, you think back to that game of flag football where you worked the Flea Flicker play to perfection and watched as the other side was juked out of their shoes while your ball carrier ran it in for the game winning touchdown? However you get your kicks, you know that success at any kind of game demands that you're able to manage doing different things at once as well as managing different people at once, and this is referred to as the Game stage of development. Whether you know it or not, though, it's games like the ones mentioned that sharpen your ability to do the same when you're in the daily grind and work alongside the folks around you to get things done and make sure everything flows fairly smooth until it's quitting time, and you get to head home and kick up your feet. In learning to use a language, this is a skill sure to help you see the deeper connections at work when you communicate and ensure that everyone is on the same page, which is when a relationship truly blossoms and amazing moments have the proper conditions to take root.

            Nowhere is this a more pivotal aspect of your personal life than in how you regard their significant other. The better you can manage all the different facets of what you know about them and what they do everyday, the more in tune you become with how they think and feel, which gives you ample opportunity to show what you feel about them and help them get through their trials and tribulations, such as what the best present would be for their birthday or whether or not they should take that promotion for more pay and hours, but with much less time to spend together. In the game of life, this is where you fly high or face-plant, and an unseen but ever present factor guiding these decisions is the concept of Generalized Others. (coming soon!)

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