Juggler’s Law: Ignore This Principle And Never Learn Spanish (Or Accomplish ANY Big Goal)

Connor Grooms speaking at TEDxTeen

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In January 2016, I was invited to speak at TEDxTeen in London, one of the biggest TEDx events in the world.

The title of the talk was “How to Learn Anything in 30 Days”. After my successful one month challenges, which included learning Spanish to a conversational level in a month, people wanted to know how I did it. What was the secret?

You can watch the full thing here, or read on for the main points and how they are vital to learning Spanish:

I start by explaining the three step process that I follow when I tackle a new skill.

Step 1: Research

In this step, I do a ton of research. But, I don’t look in the typical places, because conventional wisdom is often wrong (especially when it comes to learning Spanish). Instead, I look at the people who have done what I want to do FAST. Because in order to do something fast, you have to eliminate the extraneous tactics and get down to the core principles of what’s really important.

Step 2: Distill

In this step, I distill all the research, parsing the signal from the noise, into a definite plan.

I determine that based on my goal, and based on what I know are the right methods to get there, what I need to do each day to get there. What’s the day to day process?

Step 3: Execute

And finally, I execute. I don’t change the plan – I follow it to the tee, and I get the results.


And then I proceed to tell the audience, “I want you to forget everything I just told you. Because none of it matters without something else. You want to know what really matters? You want to know the secret to learning anything in 30 days?”

Juggler’s Law

Giving a shit.

None of the tactical approach stuff matters if you don’t genuinely want to do what you set out to do.

Unless it’s “non-negotiable”.

A perfect plan is irrelevant if you don’t follow through with it.

But, it’s easy to trick yourself into thinking that something is “non-negotiable”. The real test is what happens when you’re tired, have other important things to do, don’t want to do it, and are faced with a decision: do the studying, or not. Take the class, or not. Get in the practice, or not.

If it’s non-negotiable, it will happen every time. You literally don’t even give yourself the option to not do it.

A good example of this is work. Every day, you get up and go to work. You don’t have the option to not do it. It’s not in the cards.

But the reality is, you can’t have many non-negotiables. Because if you have five “non-negotiables” that all take an hour to do, and you only have one hour, the true “non-negotiable” is the thing that actually gets done out of those five.

So that brings us to the cardinal rule of achieving ANYTHING great, of accomplishing any big goal: focus.

Juggler’s Law states that if you try to juggle multiple things, none of them will get done.

It’s like multitasking on a life scale. Multi-tasking has been scientifically proven to not work over and over (even when you think you can do it, you can’t). It’s the same thing with life. If you try to learn Spanish, lose 20 pounds, and start a business at the same time, none of them will happen. You must focus.

So if you are learning Spanish, you need to have your core life (work, family, eating, sleeping, exercise, etc), and then learning Spanish. Nothing else.

This may sound hardcore, but it’s what gets results. If you really care about learning Spanish, you make it your number one focus.

The big benefit from this is not only will you stick to learning it and not quit like the vast majority of language learners, but your progress will be MUCH faster.

Laser-like focus is the secret. No tactics, no program, no guru, no product, nothing can help you learn Spanish if you can’t stop juggling a hundred different balls and don’t actually make Spanish non-negotiable.

Making Spanish your focus starts with eliminating all the things stealing your time that are neither fun nor important.

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