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September 2022

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In How to Speak Any Language Fluently: Fun, stimulating and effective methods to help anyone learn languages faster, freelance journalist and language polyglot, Alex Rawlings shares the strategies, tools and techniques that have enhanced his language learning adventure. Alex has studied more than 15 languages, and he writes about languages, intercultural dialogue and multilingualism on his blog.

The 30th edition of the Montreal Marathon was held on the weekend of September 24 (10KM) and September 25 (21.1 KM & 42.2KM). The Beneva Montreal Marathon was my fourth full (42.2KM) Marathon in 2022 (Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton), and I ran a personal best of 3 hours 44 Minutes. I set a goal to break the fours time for a marathon in Montreal, and I achieved it. It was a tough process getting to the finish line as the picture below shows.

Over 10,000 runners participated in the 2022 Montreal Marathon with the start line at Espace 67 on Île Sainte-Hélène and the finish line at Olympic Stadium.

Indra Nooyi is one of my favourite people in the world, I admire her aura and tenacity. I connected deeply with her story as narrated in her 2021 autobiography: My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future. Her autobiography is one of my favourite reads of 2022 as I enjoyed reading it.

In her Masterclass, former CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi and Fortune’s List of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, shares her approach to making purpose-driven corporate change. Learn to make a meaningful impact within your company and find professional fulfillment.

Indra Nooyi is the first woman of color and the first immigrant to lead a Fortune 50 company.

If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all.—Michelangelo

In Becoming Fluent: How Cognitive Science Can Help Adults Learn a Foreign Language, American Foreign Service Officer Richard Roberts and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychology at the University of Memphis Roger Kreuz argue that adults can master a foreign language if they bring to bear the skills and knowledge they have honed over a lifetime.  The authors draw on insights from psychology and cognitive science to show that Adults shouldn’t try to learn as children do; they should learn like adults.

“Adulthood is the perfect time to expand one’s horizons through the study of other languages. All too often, however, the pleasure that should be inherent in learning to speak another language is marred by negative thoughts and experiences—past and present, real and perceived.”

The authors draw research from cognitive science, as well as their experiences teaching, conducting research, learning languages, and working and travelling abroad.

As an adult language learner, you have the gift of insight—something younger learners lack. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of it.

The Oasis Toronto Zoo Run was held on Saturday, September 17, 2022, with 10K, 5K, CubRun (1K) & Tiger Trek Challenge (15K) Runs. I participated in the 10 KM run, and I finished with a personal best time of 46:28:00.

Over the years, the Toronto ZooRun has raised over $573,000 to support the crucial wildlife conservation work being done by the Toronto Zoo in preserving endangered species, breeding and reintroducing endangered animals into the wild, and creating opportunities to reconnect people with nature.

In Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It, Language learning enthusiast Gabriel Wyner deconstructs the language learning process, revealing how to build a foreign language in your mind from the ground up. Wyner emphasized starting with pronunciation, rewiring your ears for the sounds of the new language while sharing strategies and resources such as spaced-repetition techniques, flashcards, online resources and other insights learned through his learned experience.

There is no such thing as a “hard” language; any idiot can speak whatever language his parents spoke when he was a child. The real challenge lies in finding a path that conforms to the demands of a busy life.”

“Language learning is one of the most intensely personal journeys you can undertake. You are going into your own mind and altering the way you think. If you’re going to spend months or years working at that goal, you’ll need to believe in these methods and make them your own. If you know how to approach the language game, you can beat it.”

Rich Roll’s Podcast is one of my favourite podcasts to listen to as part of my 365 Podcast Listening Challenge. Rich interviews ultra-athletes, wellness evangelists and personal development professionals to demystify what makes them thick. In Finding Ultra, Revised and Updated Edition: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself, Rich Roll writes about the mid-life transformation and self-discovery that he underwent at the age of 40, his approach to endurance adventure (Ultraman World Championships,  EPIC5 CHALLENGE) and a plant-based diet.

Finding Ultra is a very inspiring book, and I would highly recommend it to anyone on a journey of self-discovery and self-actualization. Rich shared lessons learned, the roller coaster of endurance training and sustaining the lifestyle of an endurance athlete.

Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.

In Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World, hyperpolyglot Benny Lewis shares the strategies has helped him learn over ten languages—all self-taught. He argues that you don’t need a great memory or “the language gene” to learn a language quickly, and debunks various myths and excuses for language learning.

Fluent in three Months’ Book core Theme

  • Speaking the language out loud with a real human being, whether in person or online, every single day is the best way by far to zoom forward toward a conversational language level and onward to fluency.
  • Don’t treat your language like a collection of facts you have to learn, as if it were a history or mathematics lesson or a set of rules to follow. You can’t learn a language efficiently this way. Language is a means to communicate and should be learned and used as such from the start.
  • The best way to ensure progress and success in your language learning project is to be active from the start. Don’t make your language learning all about studying; make it about using your target language

Grammar is like a really powerful pharmaceutical: it’s helpful in small doses but fatal when overprescribed.

They say that the mental aspect of sports is just as important as the physical part. There can be no doubt about that: Being mentally tough is critical. At an Olympic final, you know everybody has physical talent. So, who’s going to win? The mentally toughest.

In No Limits: The Will to Succeed, Swimmer and Olympian with the most medals (28), Micheal Phelps shares the secrets, insights, and lessons learned on becoming one of the most remarkable athletes of our generation. True to one of his mottos: “Performance is Reality,” Phelps is relentless in his training regimen, mental preparation and passionate about execution through visualization and other techniques.

Phelps also writes about the influence of his family (mum and sisters) and his coach, Bob Bowman on his performance and worldview.

No Limit

If you put a limit on anything, you put a limit on how far you can go. I don’t think anything is too high. The more you use your imagination, the faster you go. If you think about doing the unthinkable, you can. The sky is the limit. That’s one thing I definitely have learned from Bob: Anything is possible.

It’s like that at the Olympic Games. Years of training, of hard work, of desire and discipline—all of it compressed into minutes, sometimes just seconds, and time seems to stand still as history plays itself out.

In The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly, and Others Don’t, author Julia Galef describes two approaches to thinking: the soldier and scout mindsets. Julia argues that what makes scouts better at getting things right isn’t that they’re smarter or more knowledgeable than everyone else. It’s a handful of emotional skills, habits, and ways of looking at the world—that anyone can learn.

For more than three decades, Belgian-born psychotherapist, author, speaker, and podcast host Esther Perel has worked with couples and families and made substantial contributions to the field of modern sexuality.

Both of her parents were survivors of Nazi concentration camps. After World War II, they settled in Belgium, where Esther was born in 1958. Growing up, she watched her parents embrace life even in the wake of unthinkable trauma.

In Play Nice But Win: A CEO’s Journey from Founder to Leader, founder, chairman, and CEO of Dell Technologies, Micheal Dell reflects on the three major battles waged for the soul of Dell Technologies: launching it, keeping it and transforming it. Dell describes the highs and lows of running the business in the midst of changing technology industry.