Birthday, Deadlines and Icons

Posted by Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin Wednesday, 20 January 2010
I recently got a comment on my Heisig post from a while back asking how I was doing (as today was supposed to be my finish date if I had kept up with my proposed schedule).

I have got to admit I have been lazy, or if you like excuses; I have been so busy that I have ended up ignoring what I wanted to achieve. I have got about 600 characters into Heisigs method and despite a lot of effort have found my motivation waning. I read Greg's recent post about motivation in language learning add that to the sense of guilt I feelby not meeting my own deadline and I feel a much renewed sense of wanting to complete Heisig and start really pushing my learning forwards again.


jīntiān shì wǒ de shēngrì !
Today is my Birthday!!

I am going to an event which is setting off over 100 Chinese Flying Lanterns in our local park tonight (The Rye, High Wycombe @ 18:30) as a celebration of my birthday. :) Hopefully there will be a video of the lanterns, so I will share when possible, it should be an awesome sight.

Also I have seen other people do this and it seems interesting. So please feel free to ask me anything.


Also whilst I am catching up a little... I thought I would share a way for all you blogger bloggers to change the little icon at the top there. I did it this week, and although my new 'favicon' isn't the most recognisable. It does set it apart from the rest of the blogger blogs.

So.. first off, you have to make your favicon. It is a 16px by 16px square, you can make it on your computer and save it as a .ico (windows icon) or you can use this favicon maker online.

You download your file, then all you have to do is insert the bit of code (you can find it here) in the head section of the html.

I used to host my icon, but it does support some very NSFW ads and annoying pop ups, if you can find a better place to host your icons for free let me know.
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  1. Greg Says:
  2. Charlie, thanks for referring to my article. I wish I had $1,000,000 to offer you to learn Chinese, but I can't help out this time :-)

    If you don't mind me getting a little philosophical, there are really two levels of 'motivation'.

    There is motivation to do something now, and there is motivation to carrying on doing things in the long-run, regardless of whether we do something now or now.

    The problem with guilt is that we use it to generate immediate activity, but it leaves us feeling a bit bad, which makes us less likely to keep doing things in the future.

    If you're not feeling motivated enough to to learn Heisig (with or without guilt :-) then skip Heisig - maybe come back to it later. Listen to some Popup Chinese podcasts, or ChinesePod - which are actually quite fun. Listen to some Mandarin music and see how many words you can identify.

    Do something that makes you feel good about learning, and let it happen naturally from there.

    PS. I'm not trying to pretend I have all the answers, I'm just sharing with you what works for me!

  3. Ahhh was fishing for an offer. ;)

    Haha, no. I have been reading a Derren Brown book recently (Have been needing to get back into reading for dissertation research: so breaking myself in gently) and motivation pops up in there.

    It is interesting how he says that motivation (or lack of) can be tricked even for the most mundane tasks by picturing happy things with the boring task before hand.

    I am certainly not saying I find learning Mandarin mundane, but I find the testing of knowledge less interesting than the initial learning which gives me less of a buzz.

    Obviously testing and solidifying knowledge is a large part of learning and remembering a language.

    For me it is remembering to dedicate time to testing and make the testing more fun. Rather than the learning aspect which I love. telling myself it is a stepping stone hasn't seemed to work.
    Learning new things comes easily to me, its remembering them a few weeks down the line and good recall which has lacked (because of the lack of revision.)


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