The other day I had a memory of a time when someone needed to transfer gas from a friend’s car to make it to the gas station. He took a hose, held it at a certain angle, sucked some gasoline through the hose, and started the flow of gasoline to his container. (Don’t try this at home, folks!) He was able to get his car started, make it to the gas station, and go on with gasoline mouth self.
Sometimes you just have to suck to get the flow going. I experienced that lately with my samurai mind notebook. I haven’t really been filling up pages and have been really slow about doing my reviews. There are so many pressing matters, blah, blah, blah. But I decided that I could at least set my timer to five minutes and just write a little and review a little. I felt a little resistance at first but after a while my notebook became fun again. Ah, the benefits of suckage.
I was introduced to the concept of “suckage” when I came across alljapaneseallthetime.com when I decided to learn Japanese. Khatzumoto, the webmeister, explains that learning a language is best done when you can break it up into a series of “short winnable games.” I learned to embrace “suckage” and use timers to turn study sessions into a game. In his article, “Intermediate Angst: Dealing with Feelings of Suckage” Khatzumoto explains:
If you want to win the long game, stop playing it.
Stop running the marathon and start sprinting instead.
Start running and playing and winning short games instead.
Start the suckage and run. (Mixed metaphor alert.) Turn resistance into a short, winnable game and turn resistance into flow. Dame la gasolina!