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One of the more fun lessons I’ve gotten from ajatt and other sources is that you become what you surround yourself with.   If you want to learn Japanese, surround yourself with Japanese people, music, and experiences.   Maybe it works for other things as well.  If you want to be rich, surround yourself with rich people, or at least with books and audio that explore ethical and fun ways to create wealth.  Life itself is an SRS.

Signs signs every there’s signs. Walking around is just one big kanji and vocabulary review.

An SRS is short for spaced repetition system.  A spaced repetition system usually involves creating flashcards.   Using various online and offline computer programs these cards come up in an algorithm based on how successful you’ve been at remembering the various facts.   The harder to remember facts come up sooner, while the easier facts come up at increasingly longer intervals.  An SRS is an excellent way to consciously push your learning further.

I guess I could sit at my computer and look at flashcards all day, but maybe walking around the park and realizing that the sign I thought was some kind of haiku years ago actually says, “Let’s clean up.  Dog poop is the responsibility of the owner.”

When I first came to Japan, I thought these signs were haiku. This sign means it is your responsiblity to clean up your dog’s poop.

There are a thousand opportunities to learn.  The conscious pushing of study opens up more possibilities but the random discovery of real-life experience “cooks in the flavah.”

Use this symbiosis between conscious effort and environment.   Yes, you can push but also think what’s around you.  Khatzumoto often says something like, “You learn the language that’s on your walls.”  You don’t want to be hermetically sealed off but you want to think about your environment.  It’s the reason that the Dali Lama didn’t attend Chico State, the party college of California.

Some random, unsolicited hints for a better Samurai Repetition System:

  • Stop watching television or be more selective about the content and amount of time you watch
  • Hang out with the kind of people you would like to become – come on you funky line dancing hipsters – come to Samurai Juan
  • Read the books you want to become
  • Create little opportunities for adventure—eat somewhere different, talk to someone new—you might not know where you want to go unless you occasionally stray off the beaten path .
  • Pray and meditate.  I’m going out on a limb here.  Your thoughts are part of your environment.  If you are not a prayer person at least imagine good things for people.

Let me know how it goes and thank you for making samuraimindonline.com part of your learning environment.