The True Value of a Day

posted in: Language Learning Habits | 0

Joshua Earle

“What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” ~ Unknown

A day has only 24 hours. It seems so short, and so insignificant. But small things add up.

I like this quote because it puts things into perspective. It frames each day as the larger part of our lives. Each day we spend callously means a day of our lives that is wasted. One less day on earth.

When we get caught up in reacting to daily events, it is easy to forget about the time that flies by.

Time can pass us by so quickly, so unnoticably, that we don’t even realise it has gone. And we don’t realise how often we neglect to do what we ought to have done.

The temptation is so great to just skip it “for today” when you are tired. There is the lazy side that will tempt you to stop.

Except that “one day” easily turns into two, then three… and then the next thing you know, you completely stopped doing it. Stopped reading, stopped writing, stopped bothering.

This short quote gives me that extra push when I need it, when I’m tired, but mostly when I’m lazy and that voice inside me says, “Take a break. It won’t hurt.”

It can and will hurt when we don’t notice the days that slip by. Yes, we need to rest. Everything has its time and place. But rest too long, and all your earlier effort would have been for nought.

The only reason why I noticed when my “one day”s became more than that was because I have a spreadsheet that I use to plan my week out, based off Darren Hardy’s Weekly Rhythm Register.

There are many tasks there now – this week it’s 24 things, but not all are for language learning – which is why it’s easy to forget if I don’t mark things down.

Since I started work, I have less free time than when I was a student. I look back at what I’ve done (or more precisely, not done) and I regret.

The regret also helps to fuel me when the lazy part starts to call.

Yet, on the flipside, I’m glad I came to the realisation that every day matters, instead of 10 or 20 years down the road. Or worse, never do.

For learning a language, and for just about anything else in life that we want to achieve, consistent effort is critical for success. It’s the small little habits, done every day, that will ultimately make the difference.

Yes, every single day matters.

Why? For one, that’s the way our bodies work. The brain needs time to absorb and learn new material. You can’t rush certain things by doing them all at once and expect them to work. You don’t brush your teeth for an hour on one day of the week and expect it to help keep your teeth from getting rotten. You have to do it every day, at least twice.

We must work on what we ought to do every single day. We must do all that we can every day. No day is too small to be ignored.

We are exchanging a day of our lives for every day we spend. That is the value of a day.