How can this idea be applied in the context of learning a language?  Well, part of us likes to succeed and part of us just likes to live in the moment and have fun.  Often there is a battle between these two parts and in order for one to win the other must lose.  For example, if we are trying to lose weight we can deprive ourselves of foods we like (goal oriented part wins, fun now part loses) or we can break the diet and scoff that chocolate (fun part wins, goal oriented part loses).

Thinking about win-win is an invitation to be creative.  Can you find a nicer process that gets a better result?  Can you be kinder to yourself AND be more productive when learning a language.  Some relevant questions might be:

  1. How do I reduce my tendency to notice what I get wrong more than I notice what I get right (a very human trait in adults)?
  2. Would 10 mins twice per day be more or less comfortable for me than 20 mins once per day?
  3. Can I arrange for my opportunity cost to be almost zero?
  4. How can I avoid fatigue and boredom as both are unpleasant experiences and counter-productive?
  5. How can I minimise confusion?
  6. How can I improve my results to time and effort ratio because it will feel better in the moment and the result will also be rather delightful?

Set up a win-win for your inner short-term feeling self and your goal oriented more external noticing self.  We often forget to treat ourselves with a courtesy we reserve for others – perhaps we should treat ourselves with at least an equal courtesy.