164. Don’t put your toe in the water, dive in.

You’ve made a decision. You’re going to learn a new language.

Now what?

Well, if you’re like most people, you will probably enroll in a local course with classes once or twice a week or you will purchase a linguistic program like Rosetta Stone or Pimsleur and spend a little time each day attempting to learn the vagaries of a new language.

Over time, you will develop a sense of grammar and punctuation, sentence construction and nuance and your vocabulary will continue to grow a few words at a time

If you happen to meet a native speaker of this language, you may be able to commence a conversation, but it is highly unlikely you will be able to speak with much fluency for a very long time.

You will dutifully complete all assignments and your progress will indeed be measurable in tiny increments.

Or.

You can try a different method.

Let’s say you were attempting to learn Spanish and decided time is of the essence and your need for fluency is urgent.

Perhaps then, instead of the above, you fly to Mexico, seek out a family, offer them a vast amount of money to allow you to move into their home and, for six months, you spend every waking moment with them, going to work, out to eat, visiting with their friends, going to movies, all the while living your entire life in Spanish.

What will your level of fluency be at the end of six months, as compared to a few hours a week in a classroom?

It’s an easy question. Obviously, by the end of six months, you will have achieved a high level of fluency and, although your grammar may be a bit suspect and your vocabulary a bit wanting, your ability to communicate in Spanish will be light years ahead of anything Rosetta Stone can provide for you.

Why? Because you have done the one thing that, more than anything else, is necessary for all of us if we wish to achieve rapid growth and massive change.

You have practiced total and complete immersion.

The Habit of Total Immersion is the one habit we must all embrace if we are truly serious about bringing massive and permanent change into our lives.

The Habit of Total Immersion represents the difference between dabbling at something or becoming so committed to an outcome that you devote every available moment to enveloping yourself in every facet of the result you are trying to achieve.

Athletes don’t become superstars by training for 30 minutes each month. Maestros don’t become superstars by tickling the keys on rare occasions. Surgeons don’t become world class by operating a couple of times a year.

Developing extraordinary proficiency requires extraordinary commitment and The Habit of Total Immersion is the only assured pathway of making quantum leaps in progress. It is the difference between incremental gain and massive leap.

Many of us undertake change with the desire for massive results coupled with the willingness to commit to only minimal contribution and once we realize our expectations are not being met we forgo even that scant effort while justifying that we “gave it our best.”

If ever you are serious – truly serious – about implementing massive and permanent change into any area of your life, please commit to making The Habit of Total Immersion a key part of your strategy because diving head first into the deep end of the pool will always help make you a better swimmer than dipping a toe into the shallow end.

The longer you stay in the pool and practice your strokes the faster you will become the swimmer you want to be.

It’s a pretty straightforward concept, isn’t it?

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

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