How to change your mindset to learn Korean more effectively

(Estimated reading time: 4.5 minutes)

Have you ever wondered why some people learn faster than others?

Most of us would think (at least initially) that people who learn faster seem to have some sort of talent that enables them to pick up faster than others.

This might be true for some people – that’s where the term “fast learner” came about, right?

Surely some people must be more gifted than others that’s why there are successful people and there are the “ordinary” people who might never ever make it in their lives.

Well, throw that mindset away. Because talent alone cannot make you successful. Talent can’t keep you high up there above those who put in hard work.

“Talent is what gets you up there. But hard work can get you up there, keep you there, and get you even higher.” – Vance Wong, 2016.


I’ve written yesterday that the first step you need to take is to change your mindset. This is especially so for people who are unmotivated to start or continue where they left off.

In this blog post, I’m going to share some of the lessons I’ve learned after reading Carol Dweck’s Mindset. Her book made me reflect on some of the reasons why I decided to start learning Korean and the methods I had used to keep myself going.

Focus on the process and not the results

This is a tough one to start with. But this is essentially the key to learning. If your mind is too occupied with getting the result you want, chances are you’re not going to enjoy the process.

But the process is the most important thing when learning anything.

The result is not what defines your learning journey, it’s the process that does. Focus on the becoming. Embrace your mistakes and hardships – they help you understand the mistakes to avoid to grow.

Of course, I’m not asking you to study and learn aimlessly. Set a goal for yourself and stick to it. But don’t keep thinking that is your end goal. There is no end goal – there’s no end to growth.

Once you’re able to shift your mind to understand that you should focus on your growth process, you will naturally attain impressive results.

Abilities are not fixed, you can develop and learn

Now, when everyone starts off learning anything, they always like to get a gauge of how good they are, right at the start.

That’s fine because we need to be self-aware of our abilities to know where we stand and the areas that we can improve in.

However, the problem with most learners is their perception that abilities are fixed.

People often think that abilities are defined by talents and we are all defined by the talents we have. Some people even think they do not have any talent in anything at all and decides to give up on everything that they don’t know about.

Throw all of that out of your mind and understand this:

“We are defined by how much we are willing to learn and how much hard work and effort we are willing to put in.” – Vance Wong, 2016

Abilities can be developed and learned, only if you are willing to put in the hard work, your blood, sweat and tears into what you believe in.

Talent can only get a person past a certain stage in anything. But hard work is what gets you into the mastery of a skill, and you’ve got to be ready to put in the effort if you want to master anything.

The power of “yet”

I know, the learning process is painful. Especially when you know about something for the first time.

It can be as simple as a vocabulary that you can easily find the definition on Naver dictionary. It can also be as difficult as a new grammar that you just can’t seem to grasp because it is hard to find an actual English translation of it.

Then you think to yourself, I don’t think I will be able to take that TOPIK I test or understand what my idol is saying more than 75 percent of the time. Yet.

Whatever you are unable to do right now, you will be able to do it in the future, if you just put in the effort and time.

The next time you face with a difficulty when learning Korean, or anything for that matter, it is normal and only human to feel slightly defeated or demoralised.

The next time you meet a friend or see someone else who is ahead of you in terms of Korean proficiency, it is normal and only human to feel inferior.

But tell yourself, you are not able to do all those that you want to do, yet.

Carol Dweck mentioned that “yet” is a very powerful word because it allows us to look at something that we are unable to do as attainable, if we push more.

Basically, if you’ve seen it, that means it’s possible. If it’s possible, what’s stopping you from achieving or attaining it? Only yourself. You just need to put in the effort and time.

Look at your inabilities as “yets“, focus on the process of developing and learning.

It’s never too late to start. But now is the time.

Share this with your friends if you liked this and give your comments. I want to learn and improve too!

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