Why I've Never Learned to Speak Spanish

Hola! Como estas?

Sadly, that's pretty much the extent of my Spanish (except for cinema-inspired phrases like "Y tu mamá tam bien" and "voulez-vous coucher avec moi" - oh, wait, never mind.)

I've wanted to learn Spanish for about three decades, since I got out of college and discovered that Latin was great for boosting my English SATs, but lousy for ordering a beer or finding a men's room in Costa Rica.

Look at my bookshelf today and you'll see:

  • 2 Spanish/English dictionaries
  • A set of Berlitz Introductory Spanish CDs
  • A couple of books of Spanish grammar that I picked up at a Bryn Mawr book sale in the early 1990s
  • Paso el Paso (I have no idea)
  • 2 Rosetta Stone DVDs
  • Spanish in 10 Minutes a Day
  • 501 Spanish Verbs
  • Pocket Italian Grammar (Don't even ask)

Every one of those purchases was fueled by a heightened motivation to become a Spanish speaker. I saw myself reading Cervantes in the original. Sauntering into a bar like The Most Interesting Man in the World and ordering una cerveza, por favor. Having confident conversations with locals on the bus in El Barrio in upper Manhattan.

And I'd play the tapes and CDs in the car, over and over. I'd practice. I'd write out verb tenses. I'd try to remember if nouns were masculine or feminine.

And then the excitement would fade. I'd get busy. I'd find another bright shiny object to chase after. 

And my Dream of Espańol would fade out, until the next time.

Does weight loss and health feel like that to you? 

You join a gym, or start a diet, fueled by excitement and hope and a real visceral connection to your goals, to that fit and healthy body at the end of the rainbow?

And then one day you wake up, and you just can't give a rat's patooty about all that. You smack the snooze button like it's a Whack-a-Mole and miss your morning workout. 

You skip your sad little lunch salad and order the giant turkey sub with honey-mustard dressing and a side of fries.

And you shrug and say, "Well, that was fun while it lasted."

And the next time you're hyper-motivated to diet and work out, you find yourself hoping, "This time please let me stay motivated. Please let me not fizzle out like all the other times."

Here's the thing: relying on motivation is a formula for failure. 

How come? And if not motivation, then what?

That's the topic of the 3rd High Hurdle to Weight Loss and Health. You can watch that segment of the webinar from minutes 25 to 31, below.

Let me know your thoughts, or if you have any questions.

Hasta mañana...

Howard JacobsonComment