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Own Your Life

One of the great sacrifices of subjecting kids to school is that it trains them to ask for permission for everything, from turning in work late, to changing to a different class, to more mundane things like going to the bathroom. It's a tradeoff, of course: condition kids to seek permission for everything, and by doing so enable a system to exist where they receive an education.

Maybe that's a worthwhile tradeoff, and maybe it's not. But the real harm in it, in my opinion anyway, is that when we leave school, we're still in the habit of asking permission for everything. That's dangerous.

A manifestation of this that I come across with frequently is the questions that people send me by email. Here's a paraphrased template, which covers a good 60%+ of the emails I get from strangers:

Speak From Day 1 Review: The Must Have Confidence Builder

On Radical Reader Chinese

This is a book and video series all about getting your speaking abilities up and off the ground as fast as possible. In my eyes it is absolutely a must read for beginners, and personally it supercharged my personal practice through its tips on boosting confidence. A great confidence builder

When I was getting started learning Mandarin, this Speak From Day 1 and Language Hacking guide pack by Benny Lewis was the first thing that really kick-started my learning. 

That's because what it deals with more than anything else is confidence. In my immersion programs in Qingdao, I wasted gobs of time being afraid to talk to people and being afraid to speak up in classes. Reading through this guide before taking my study back up definitely gave me a leg up I wish I'd had on the beginning. 

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