I did something today that I (almost) never do. I gave up on a goal. More than that, I gave up on a learning goal!
In late-December, I decided that I would start learning to speak Scottish Gaelic. I thought that it would be a good goal to add to my 2020 ambitions. Duolingo was offering the language on their language platform and it just seemed like the perfect time to learn.
For the first few days, I was enjoying the challenge. Each day, I did one or two lessons on the mobile app and I was looking forward to learning more and more as I went along. But by the end of January, I realised that it was becoming a chore; I was not enjoying the language and I was not enjoying the lessons. Instead of feeling like a fun adventure, learning Gaelic felt like a real drudge.
Generally speaking, I am not one to give up on goals. I have a stubborn streak that I’ve long relied upon to keep me going until I reach success. And once I say I’m going to do something, I do it. I do it because my ego demands it. I do it because my integrity demands it. I take pride in my follow-through.
So why quit? Because the goal was set with the view of enjoying myself and learning a fun new skill. Only I realised that I wouldn’t have a chance to really use the skill. And it was causing me great misery each day. And so, I have prioritised my own happiness and joy.
The good thing about this decision is that I can now concentrate on the language that I really want to learn: Scots! And that’s a language that is used quite regularly mixed in with everyday conversations. So, I think it will be easier and more enjoyable to learn.
And so, beannachd leat, Gàidhlig! (Good bye, Gaelic.)