I encourage everyone to fail OFTEN and SHAMELESSLY.
This philosophy applies to just about any area of life where you want to learn and grow – and especially to LEARNING SPANISH. Countless people, probably since the advent of humankind, have told us that we must be willing to fail BEFORE we can succeed. Here are some examples:
- Failure is the tuition you pay for success.
- You’ll always miss one hundred percent of the shots you do not take.
- I’d rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate.
- While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.
- In order to achieve anything you must be brave enough to fail.
- Mistakes are the portals of discovery.
- A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
- Don’t think about failure. Think about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.
- Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.
- Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.
- A life without mistakes is a mistake within itself.
- You must be willing to do something poorly before you can do it well.
- He who never fell, never climbed.
- Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
- Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
So with regard to learning Spanish, I encourage everyone to fail OFTEN and SHAMELESSLY. Make tons of mistakes speaking Spanish –it is the only way to learn. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You will simply not learn to speak and hear Spanish unless you are willing to make many mistakes along the way. SO GET OUT THERE AND START MAKING MISTAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Look for every opportunity to speak with someone in Spanish … any time you see someone who you think might be Latino, try it out. Speak in Spanish to the bank teller … insurance agent … cashier … teacher … landscaper … software developer, etc. Just go up to someone at every opportunity and say, “Buenos dias … ¿como está? … permitame presentarme, me llamo Keith,” and try to get a conversation going. Is there anything wrong with that – no!
The worst that could happen is that someone gets offended by the fact that YOU THOUGHT they were Latino and that they speak Spanish. That has happened to me only a few times, but in reality that is a rare occurrence. But I don’t worry about that, and I will tell you why. Countless times in my life I have interacted with someone who spoke little English … and I don’t get offended! I am happy to try to help someone try to communicate in English. Likewise, I encounter Latinos frequently in life (especially living here in Utah) and I always find them happy to converse with me in my BROKEN Spanish. Latinos are wonderful and friendly people, and will be more than happy to help you with your Spanish.
So get out there and … FAIL … OFTEN and SHAMELESSLY … to speak and hear Spanish. ¡Olé!
P.S. If you want an opportunity to make mistakes speaking Spanish, join us for the Sólo en Español Camping Trip this coming weekend, where only Spanish will be spoken all the time – total Spanish immersion!