The Help Along The Journey・冒険の手伝い



There is a saying, “Before you help others, you must first help yourself.”
How do I interpret this?


Level Playing Field

First of all, you both have the same problem that you are trying to solve, but if you can’t first solve it yourself, how else are you going to help the other person solve it?


For the first scenario, you are both in the same position, not being able to solve your problem. Going back to the quote stated above, it says that you must first help yourself. But this addresses a similar problem. So doesn’t that mean that you should share the problem together to solve it faster? Unfortunately, not all problems could be solved that way, even if they are similar.


However, what you can do is share the knowledge that you have with each other in order to come up with a solution that would solve your respective problems. This is the power of the sharing of ideas. Sharing ideas allows the both of you to come up with your own efficient solution, or even the path to a solution that would be refined over time. I say this because solutions are just theories until proven wrong. And for some problems, solutions to a problem are shadowed by another that claims to be more efficient.


A common example would be related to language learning. Especially where there are people learning the same language, but get stuck in the same area. Or if they are learning each other’s respective language, and struggle with one another.


Starting out

“You cannot go far alone. You enjoy your journey better if you have people by your side.” – Karan Patel


Everyone is going to come with their own set of experiences. One is going to know more about one thing, while the other know more about another. That does not necessarily mean that they are much further ahead. It just means that they are focusing on different things. Which brings me back to my previous post on motivation, going through the reasons as to why I’m learning something new. We are not going to have the same reasons to learn, but in the end, we are learning the same thing. Just may be with a different focus.


However, what I have noticed is that it is hard to continue a conversation with one another. Especially, with textbook phrases like:


“How are you?”
“I’m fine, and you?”
“{Insert Response}”

… and then it stops there. There are many reasons for this, but one is being unequipped to deal with the almost endless amount of possible responses that one can use. Depending on that response, the conversation just goes flat, or it may unravel into a conversation that is way beyond the scope of this post.


Just remember to enjoy yourself while you are improving. Since you are not improving alone, but with everyone you interact with on a daily basis. It may not be in your target language, but if it is, it would help you improve significantly. Understand, that it is not about how much you can get done in one day, but how many consecutive days you can get something in. Baby steps. Taking even the tiniest of steps is still regarded as progress, even if you or anyone else around you cannot notice a difference, it is still there.


Sparking Conversation

Now, in order for you to be equipped with taking the conversation beyond the textbook conversations, I’ll give you a couple of responses that are common to almost unthinkable.


“How are you?”
“I’m doing (okay/good/sad/great/awesome/amazing/so-so), and you?”
“{Insert Response}”

Those are just common one word changes, yet, it can change the direction of the conversation depending on how one answers. These can be considered easy due to the words that are used, but not being exposed to different kinds of responses ramps up the difficulty exponentially. Especially if one adds an explanation to why they are feeling a certain way…


“How are you doing today?”
“I’m doing great! I just got done thinking about how I should approach my next task. How about you?”
“{Insert Response}”

Small details are important when it comes to conversations. That doesn’t mean to add a bunch of little things that has little to do with anything, it means that you should also be aware of who you are speaking to also. Since the reason a conversation stops does not lie only on you, but on the person you are interacting with.


I feel as though we sometimes forget that communication is a two-way street, where both parties have to interact with one another. And it is not possible to have a conversation with just anyone either, you both have to feel that you would be able to enjoy yourselves talking with one another in order to progress.


Varying Levels

“Remember to dream big, think long term, underachieve on a daily basis, and take baby steps. That is the key to long-term success.” – Robert Kiyosaki

Another way to look at this is that you both are two completely different spots on your journey, yet somehow managed to connect with one another. You may be much more advanced than the other, but that does not mean that there is nothing you can learn from them either. Who knows, they may be able to catch up to you with their own perseverance and methods. Regardless of that, there is something to be learned from people of all levels because they may have taken a different approach than you have.


Their methods may be entirely different. Especially if they are learning your native language and you are learning their native language. The questions that they come up with, you may have never thought about before in your native language, so you would have to think about how to explain to them which way is more natural to say. This may not appease them to know what is more natural to say, but why?


We may have done something all our lives, but never questioned why it was done that way. This leads to a bunch of different perspectives on the topic, yet none of them are completely right, just a piece is.



What I would like you all to take from this is that, the best way to help yourself, is to help others along the way. It does not have to be necessarily towards language learning, but towards anything that you are pursuing. The varying perspectives that a person can bring to the table is something that you can add to your own knowledge reservoir and eventually apply that to future roadblocks. Understand that the best way to get started tackling a problem, is by sparking a conversation with another person.





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