CK #25 - The Importance of Feeling Like an Idiot

September 16, 2021

We all must feel like idiots from time to time.

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[00:00:00] Do not, do not, do not be afraid to feel like a fucking idiot.

[00:00:11] What's up, my friends? This is Coffee with Kaizen number 25. We finally made it. It has been a month officially. This is episode 25 out of 25 that I've committed to making for this Coffee with Kaizen experiment. Very happy to be here today. It's been a very interesting process, recording all these episodes, pretty much every day for the past month.

[00:00:33] And, um, today we're talking about, really, today's episode is kind of like a continuation of yesterday's episode. When I talked about how idioms are for idiots. Now, if you haven't heard that episode, I recommend you go check it out. I think it's like six or seven minutes. And it's not meant to be taken seriously when I say idioms are for idiots, all right.

[00:00:53] I'm pretty sure I made that clear in the episode, but anyway, today's episode is a continuation of that, and I'm not talking about idioms per se, but like the title, I'm talking about how you shouldn't be afraid to feel like an idiot. It's actually very important that you feel like an idiot. And I'm going to explain why. All right, so let's just get into it.

[00:01:12] I'll talk many times before about the methods I use to learn Spanish and Portuguese, basically without leaving my home. And once you have an effective study method is really just a question of time and practice before you reach a level of fluency that you feel comfortable with.

[00:01:26] And you don't need to spend a thousand dollars to make that happen. However, one thing I don't think I've talked too much about is the fact that if you don't use all the language that you've managed to learn, you will definitely lose it. I'm not talking about the words and phrases you learned last week. Although if you don't put that vocabulary into practice, you'll lose it as well.

[00:01:47] I'm talking about the language that you or I, in this case, learned over five years ago. After reaching an advanced level in Spanish, back in 2016, I started learning Portuguese. After a few months, I had to stop speaking Spanish completely because I kept getting the two languages confused in my head.

[00:02:06] And this was a good decision at the time, because it's important to focus on one language at a time. Now, over the next few years, I became very comfortable with speaking Portuguese; so much so that I speak to myself in Portuguese, about 40% of the time. However, in that same amount of time, I feel like I've lost almost all of my ability to communicate in Spanish. Now, I still understand it very well, but it's as if all of the things that I had learned a few years ago simply disappeared from my memory. Just gone.

[00:02:38] But why am I telling you this? Well, I recently met this Spanish speaker who's really interested in improving her English skills. And I've been wanting to get back to practicing my Spanish skills for a while, but I had been avoiding it simply because it's so difficult to find a good language exchange partner.

[00:02:55] So when the opportunity to do a language exchange with this girl presented itself, I took full advantage by simply asking her if she wanted to speak with me a few times a week. So she accepted my offer and we've been talking almost every day for a couple of weeks now. And that brings me to the point of this episode.

[00:03:12] For the past few weeks, I've been feeling like a complete fucking idiot every time I try to talk to this girl in Spanish. I have to search in my memory for the basic words and the most basic phrases, and it really feels like I'm seven years old again. And I just can't express myself clearly.

[00:03:30] I'm sure at some point you found yourself trying to have a conversation with a native speaker and you were just struggling to say simple things. You have to keep stopping to think about what you want to say. You know, how you're going to say it and things like that. And meanwhile, the person who's listening to you is just kind of, like, sitting there looking at you. Right?

[00:03:50] The person is probably patient and understanding, mainly because they know you're not a native speaker, but in your mind, it feels like to hate you because you're stupid and you're wasting their time. And you just, you can't fucking say simple things. What the fuck is wrong with you, man? That's how it feels, right?

[00:04:08] Like, one second passes, five seconds that pass when you're trying to find a word in this foreign language, it feels like 50 minutes. You know, that's really what it feels like. Now, although this isn't the best feeling in the world, I think it's really important to feel like a fucking idiot from time to time. I really do. Understand that. I don't mean you should be an idiot. Okay. Just feel like one. Let me explain what I mean by using the same example, a language exchange.

[00:04:37] If you're trying to express yourself to a native speaker and you find that you feel like a seven year old kid that doesn't know how to express oneself, it'll probably make you feel slightly stupid and insecure. How could that be a good thing? Well, first of all, it's a great way to get your ego in check. Let me say that again. It's a great way to get your ego in check.

[00:05:00] It's easy to get comfortable and feel confident saying whatever we want in our native language, even if we're saying something stupid. We just feel like we're in control. But when you're reduced to the vocabulary of a child, you might remember that you don't know everything, you might feel like you've lost control of the situation. And that's an uncomfortable feeling indeed. Right?

[00:05:24] Now, this is a good thing because you're forced to consider your actions before you take them. You'll also see that everyone knows something you don't. Everyone has an advantage over you. And I don't say that in the sense of competition. I say that in the sense that you can learn something from everyone you meet. So by being the idiot or the fool, you put yourself in a position not only to remain humble, but also to learn more than you ever could have imagined much more than you could have learned if you were too busy thinking you're smarter and more capable than everyone around you.

[00:05:58] You can get an idea of the size of a man's ego by his willingness to be the idiot. The one that doesn't know anything, the one that has to take the risks and make the mistakes. The one that has to be corrected, the one that has to be laughed at. You see?

[00:06:14] If a man or a woman obviously is not willing to do these things, it's most likely because their ego is the one that's in control. It's been a long time since they've been forced out of their comfort zone and they have no interest in leaving that comfort zone anytime soon. Their sense of self-importance is too valuable to them. Their self-image is too fragile.

[00:06:37] And this is obviously just my opinion, but whether you agree with me or not, it's something to be considered. So do not be afraid to feel like a fucking idiot. Okay. It's in those moments that you have the greatest potential to learn something new.

[00:06:55] Peace.

[END OF EPISODE]

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[00:00:00] Do not, do not, do not be afraid to feel like a fucking idiot.

[00:00:11] What's up, my friends? This is Coffee with Kaizen number 25. We finally made it. It has been a month officially. This is episode 25 out of 25 that I've committed to making for this Coffee with Kaizen experiment. Very happy to be here today. It's been a very interesting process, recording all these episodes, pretty much every day for the past month.

[00:00:33] And, um, today we're talking about, really, today's episode is kind of like a continuation of yesterday's episode. When I talked about how idioms are for idiots. Now, if you haven't heard that episode, I recommend you go check it out. I think it's like six or seven minutes. And it's not meant to be taken seriously when I say idioms are for idiots, all right.

[00:00:53] I'm pretty sure I made that clear in the episode, but anyway, today's episode is a continuation of that, and I'm not talking about idioms per se, but like the title, I'm talking about how you shouldn't be afraid to feel like an idiot. It's actually very important that you feel like an idiot. And I'm going to explain why. All right, so let's just get into it.

[00:01:12] I'll talk many times before about the methods I use to learn Spanish and Portuguese, basically without leaving my home. And once you have an effective study method is really just a question of time and practice before you reach a level of fluency that you feel comfortable with.

[00:01:26] And you don't need to spend a thousand dollars to make that happen. However, one thing I don't think I've talked too much about is the fact that if you don't use all the language that you've managed to learn, you will definitely lose it. I'm not talking about the words and phrases you learned last week. Although if you don't put that vocabulary into practice, you'll lose it as well.

[00:01:47] I'm talking about the language that you or I, in this case, learned over five years ago. After reaching an advanced level in Spanish, back in 2016, I started learning Portuguese. After a few months, I had to stop speaking Spanish completely because I kept getting the two languages confused in my head.

[00:02:06] And this was a good decision at the time, because it's important to focus on one language at a time. Now, over the next few years, I became very comfortable with speaking Portuguese; so much so that I speak to myself in Portuguese, about 40% of the time. However, in that same amount of time, I feel like I've lost almost all of my ability to communicate in Spanish. Now, I still understand it very well, but it's as if all of the things that I had learned a few years ago simply disappeared from my memory. Just gone.

[00:02:38] But why am I telling you this? Well, I recently met this Spanish speaker who's really interested in improving her English skills. And I've been wanting to get back to practicing my Spanish skills for a while, but I had been avoiding it simply because it's so difficult to find a good language exchange partner.

[00:02:55] So when the opportunity to do a language exchange with this girl presented itself, I took full advantage by simply asking her if she wanted to speak with me a few times a week. So she accepted my offer and we've been talking almost every day for a couple of weeks now. And that brings me to the point of this episode.

[00:03:12] For the past few weeks, I've been feeling like a complete fucking idiot every time I try to talk to this girl in Spanish. I have to search in my memory for the basic words and the most basic phrases, and it really feels like I'm seven years old again. And I just can't express myself clearly.

[00:03:30] I'm sure at some point you found yourself trying to have a conversation with a native speaker and you were just struggling to say simple things. You have to keep stopping to think about what you want to say. You know, how you're going to say it and things like that. And meanwhile, the person who's listening to you is just kind of, like, sitting there looking at you. Right?

[00:03:50] The person is probably patient and understanding, mainly because they know you're not a native speaker, but in your mind, it feels like to hate you because you're stupid and you're wasting their time. And you just, you can't fucking say simple things. What the fuck is wrong with you, man? That's how it feels, right?

[00:04:08] Like, one second passes, five seconds that pass when you're trying to find a word in this foreign language, it feels like 50 minutes. You know, that's really what it feels like. Now, although this isn't the best feeling in the world, I think it's really important to feel like a fucking idiot from time to time. I really do. Understand that. I don't mean you should be an idiot. Okay. Just feel like one. Let me explain what I mean by using the same example, a language exchange.

[00:04:37] If you're trying to express yourself to a native speaker and you find that you feel like a seven year old kid that doesn't know how to express oneself, it'll probably make you feel slightly stupid and insecure. How could that be a good thing? Well, first of all, it's a great way to get your ego in check. Let me say that again. It's a great way to get your ego in check.

[00:05:00] It's easy to get comfortable and feel confident saying whatever we want in our native language, even if we're saying something stupid. We just feel like we're in control. But when you're reduced to the vocabulary of a child, you might remember that you don't know everything, you might feel like you've lost control of the situation. And that's an uncomfortable feeling indeed. Right?

[00:05:24] Now, this is a good thing because you're forced to consider your actions before you take them. You'll also see that everyone knows something you don't. Everyone has an advantage over you. And I don't say that in the sense of competition. I say that in the sense that you can learn something from everyone you meet. So by being the idiot or the fool, you put yourself in a position not only to remain humble, but also to learn more than you ever could have imagined much more than you could have learned if you were too busy thinking you're smarter and more capable than everyone around you.

[00:05:58] You can get an idea of the size of a man's ego by his willingness to be the idiot. The one that doesn't know anything, the one that has to take the risks and make the mistakes. The one that has to be corrected, the one that has to be laughed at. You see?

[00:06:14] If a man or a woman obviously is not willing to do these things, it's most likely because their ego is the one that's in control. It's been a long time since they've been forced out of their comfort zone and they have no interest in leaving that comfort zone anytime soon. Their sense of self-importance is too valuable to them. Their self-image is too fragile.

[00:06:37] And this is obviously just my opinion, but whether you agree with me or not, it's something to be considered. So do not be afraid to feel like a fucking idiot. Okay. It's in those moments that you have the greatest potential to learn something new.

[00:06:55] Peace.

[END OF EPISODE]

Writing prompts

  • Write about a time you felt like an idiot.
  • Write about the importance of humility.
  • How do you feel when you speak a foreign language?
  • Write about the last time you learned something new.
Key Vocabulary & Grammar Guide
Download the VIP
Key Vocabulary Guide

Transcript

[00:00:00] Do not, do not, do not be afraid to feel like a fucking idiot.

[00:00:11] What's up, my friends? This is Coffee with Kaizen number 25. We finally made it. It has been a month officially. This is episode 25 out of 25 that I've committed to making for this Coffee with Kaizen experiment. Very happy to be here today. It's been a very interesting process, recording all these episodes, pretty much every day for the past month.

[00:00:33] And, um, today we're talking about, really, today's episode is kind of like a continuation of yesterday's episode. When I talked about how idioms are for idiots. Now, if you haven't heard that episode, I recommend you go check it out. I think it's like six or seven minutes. And it's not meant to be taken seriously when I say idioms are for idiots, all right.

[00:00:53] I'm pretty sure I made that clear in the episode, but anyway, today's episode is a continuation of that, and I'm not talking about idioms per se, but like the title, I'm talking about how you shouldn't be afraid to feel like an idiot. It's actually very important that you feel like an idiot. And I'm going to explain why. All right, so let's just get into it.

[00:01:12] I'll talk many times before about the methods I use to learn Spanish and Portuguese, basically without leaving my home. And once you have an effective study method is really just a question of time and practice before you reach a level of fluency that you feel comfortable with.

[00:01:26] And you don't need to spend a thousand dollars to make that happen. However, one thing I don't think I've talked too much about is the fact that if you don't use all the language that you've managed to learn, you will definitely lose it. I'm not talking about the words and phrases you learned last week. Although if you don't put that vocabulary into practice, you'll lose it as well.

[00:01:47] I'm talking about the language that you or I, in this case, learned over five years ago. After reaching an advanced level in Spanish, back in 2016, I started learning Portuguese. After a few months, I had to stop speaking Spanish completely because I kept getting the two languages confused in my head.

[00:02:06] And this was a good decision at the time, because it's important to focus on one language at a time. Now, over the next few years, I became very comfortable with speaking Portuguese; so much so that I speak to myself in Portuguese, about 40% of the time. However, in that same amount of time, I feel like I've lost almost all of my ability to communicate in Spanish. Now, I still understand it very well, but it's as if all of the things that I had learned a few years ago simply disappeared from my memory. Just gone.

[00:02:38] But why am I telling you this? Well, I recently met this Spanish speaker who's really interested in improving her English skills. And I've been wanting to get back to practicing my Spanish skills for a while, but I had been avoiding it simply because it's so difficult to find a good language exchange partner.

[00:02:55] So when the opportunity to do a language exchange with this girl presented itself, I took full advantage by simply asking her if she wanted to speak with me a few times a week. So she accepted my offer and we've been talking almost every day for a couple of weeks now. And that brings me to the point of this episode.

[00:03:12] For the past few weeks, I've been feeling like a complete fucking idiot every time I try to talk to this girl in Spanish. I have to search in my memory for the basic words and the most basic phrases, and it really feels like I'm seven years old again. And I just can't express myself clearly.

[00:03:30] I'm sure at some point you found yourself trying to have a conversation with a native speaker and you were just struggling to say simple things. You have to keep stopping to think about what you want to say. You know, how you're going to say it and things like that. And meanwhile, the person who's listening to you is just kind of, like, sitting there looking at you. Right?

[00:03:50] The person is probably patient and understanding, mainly because they know you're not a native speaker, but in your mind, it feels like to hate you because you're stupid and you're wasting their time. And you just, you can't fucking say simple things. What the fuck is wrong with you, man? That's how it feels, right?

[00:04:08] Like, one second passes, five seconds that pass when you're trying to find a word in this foreign language, it feels like 50 minutes. You know, that's really what it feels like. Now, although this isn't the best feeling in the world, I think it's really important to feel like a fucking idiot from time to time. I really do. Understand that. I don't mean you should be an idiot. Okay. Just feel like one. Let me explain what I mean by using the same example, a language exchange.

[00:04:37] If you're trying to express yourself to a native speaker and you find that you feel like a seven year old kid that doesn't know how to express oneself, it'll probably make you feel slightly stupid and insecure. How could that be a good thing? Well, first of all, it's a great way to get your ego in check. Let me say that again. It's a great way to get your ego in check.

[00:05:00] It's easy to get comfortable and feel confident saying whatever we want in our native language, even if we're saying something stupid. We just feel like we're in control. But when you're reduced to the vocabulary of a child, you might remember that you don't know everything, you might feel like you've lost control of the situation. And that's an uncomfortable feeling indeed. Right?

[00:05:24] Now, this is a good thing because you're forced to consider your actions before you take them. You'll also see that everyone knows something you don't. Everyone has an advantage over you. And I don't say that in the sense of competition. I say that in the sense that you can learn something from everyone you meet. So by being the idiot or the fool, you put yourself in a position not only to remain humble, but also to learn more than you ever could have imagined much more than you could have learned if you were too busy thinking you're smarter and more capable than everyone around you.

[00:05:58] You can get an idea of the size of a man's ego by his willingness to be the idiot. The one that doesn't know anything, the one that has to take the risks and make the mistakes. The one that has to be corrected, the one that has to be laughed at. You see?

[00:06:14] If a man or a woman obviously is not willing to do these things, it's most likely because their ego is the one that's in control. It's been a long time since they've been forced out of their comfort zone and they have no interest in leaving that comfort zone anytime soon. Their sense of self-importance is too valuable to them. Their self-image is too fragile.

[00:06:37] And this is obviously just my opinion, but whether you agree with me or not, it's something to be considered. So do not be afraid to feel like a fucking idiot. Okay. It's in those moments that you have the greatest potential to learn something new.

[00:06:55] Peace.

[END OF EPISODE]

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