Are You An Overdoser?

Are you an Overdoser?

Of course, I’m not really asking if you take too many drugs at once. But let me take you on a little journey about a man named Overbey.

Once upon a time there was a real bad-ass guy named Overbey. He was named the following: Overkill Overdose Overbey. The reason that he got this name was because no matter what he did, He put it all on the line. Whether it be riding (he rode a motorcycle), drinking, partying, archery, guns, guitars, drums, hobby, or whatever, he usually went over and out. He’d know everything about it, practice it religiously every day with zeal and wonder, know tricks for not letting it affect you long-term (drinking), or how ever it may apply.

He was much the envy to the untrained eye because he appeared to be godly really quickly in whatever he did. But to those who knew him, and named him, he was an obsessive freak who’d let whatever it was come before anything else, including showers (ew).

So, does this somewhat describe you or are you one of the ones envious of someone like this? Well, we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of being an overdoser, how to be like one, and/or how to get rid of the bad sides of being one.

Action not Reaction

ODers generally don’t wait for those episodes of obscure Japanese to pop up for them, or wait for someone to tell them what to do. They DO. That I noticed is one of the most standout qualities of my man, OD Overbey. He doesn’t sit around for nothing. His butt jumps up (or down in a chair, which every apply) and he gets to it. He does things like: researching, videos, articles, talks to people, shops, browses, and does whatever it is he wants to do. So lets say OD Overbey wanted to learn Japanese. Here is roughly his plan of action in the beginning.

Go and get a wealth of Japanese videos around him, get tools he needs. He’d research on plans of action to get it done (method), how others succeeded to get an outline of what he’s going to do. Experiment! (This is a biggie. He Experiments constantly, always, even when he has something that works.) Then, even if what he is going to throw himself into is not the best way for him, he’ll get started, because that’s what he does. He DOES it.

Consumes

This trait is both good and bad. While its great because every waking moment of every day is spent thinking in/or about Japanese, He’ll often reach a point of burnout anywhere from days to years later. While some don’t reach a burnout for years, some can reach it within days. If you’re a person who burns out easily, this might be a little difficult for you. (An example is, He burned out within days of trying to do a fitness craze, but he has spent years sharpening his skills in HVAC with no apparent burnout.)

Positive Consumption: So say you want to let something consume you, and you lose yourself in it. Well with a language this is actually really easy. It is very simple. Immersion. Immersion is Consuming your English environment and replacing it with Japanese. Let your thoughts be consumed to. This is important. If you think about Japanese, think IN Japanese, then you’re letting yourself be consumed. Changing your thoughts can be a powerful driving force in a language. The great thing about letting Immersion consume you is you don’t have to actively participate to get the effect, which means your brain and muscles do not get fatigued as fast/much at once and makes you stay in the long haul easier.

Negative Consumption: If you let said thing Kill you, well that’s pretty negative. I know, a lot of you are thinking, wth? Dieing, how’d we skip to that? Well, the term OD is usually hand in hand with, “oh that guy died because he ODed”. It may not seem like it, but a lot of people have gotten themselves killed because they just let themselves go all out a little to much. While you’re not likely to Kill yourself learning Japanese, I have met people who’ve lost important things because of it. You don’t have to destroy your personal relationships to keep Japanese around you. You don’t have to divorce your wife/husband, or throw your kids on the streets. You should never neglect your intake of food for the sake of a kanji, or another episode of crack infused Naruto.

For those who don’t know, the gaming world is heavily impacted with negative consumption. Even Blizzard puts in their little thing you sign before playing WOW that you can’t sue em if you lose your job, spouse, and life over the game. Why? Because it has happened. I’ve heard that little kids have gotten their heads bashed in, people starving themselves, marriages destroyed, jobs loss, over just a simple little game. ODers often tip into this behavior, and putting something over your metal and physical well-being is just plain stupid.

So, just make sure to take a shower and feed yourselves, :D.

Another negative aspect of consuming is trying to study to hard to fast. Sure immersion doesn’t require you to actively participate, but sitting down in front of text books droning for hours sure does. Sure if you do 100 kanji a day you could be done a lot faster than 10. Sure if you spent hours upon hours entering things into an SRS then studying them gets it done faster than if you only spent one hour. Sure, that is until you’re so darn fed up with yourself that you can’t handle anything at all and totally stop and where you at now? You killed your Japanese self.

Every play Sims? If you have you’ll notice there is a fun meter on the sim, and when they work/study the bar begins to drop. In the end, they’ll start screaming their gibbers at you, stomping their feet, and crying because they can’t take it anymore. The only way to solve it is to do something they consider fun. To bad we don’t have that bar, letting us know we’re about to burn out, so that we don’t over do it and make ourselves hate studying.

Make that crap FUN

I’ve never met an ODer who didn’t enjoy what they were doing. OD Overbey doesn’t engage in boring, tedious, unfun anything. Surely I jest? haha, nope. He finds whatever way possible to make it fun for him. It may not work for you, what is fun to him, and visa versa. You gotta make it fun. Try what you need to do to get it to be fun. Experiment!!!

Remember those sims we talked about? A lot of times they find doing certain things fun while their learning. You don’t have to worry about the stress/fun bar with a lot of things. Sure you could choose an option that gets them to learn (like reading a book for logic skill) but why do that when they can play (chess or looking through a telescope for the logic skill). A means to an end doesn’t have to be a bad, unfun one when there are plenty of fun options. If you find text books fun and invigorating, then go right ahead dude! But if you find off the wall matching games, and clicky games, go with that!

OVERKILL

I know I’m making a lot of gaming references, but I can’t help it, I’m a gamer at heart. Any of you played a Final Fantasy game or one like it? You ever noticed that fuzzy feeling when you kill a monster? Ever feel even fuzzier when you didn’t just kill it by 1 point, but by 1,000,000? haha. You’re likely the person who leveled all the characters to 99, maxed out their gear/spells/weps, whatever!

ODers generally go all out so much that its Overkill. They wouldn’t learn just the bare minimum of 2-3ish thousand Kanji. No, that’s not good enough. They will learn as many as humanly possible. They wont just learn common phrases, that’s not good enough. They will learn all the common and obscure ones. They will light those idioms on fire with their passion! They’re not happy with just understanding, They will OWN. They’re not happy with just being understood, they will become Native!

This is a great mentality, but it does have a dark side to it. Often times Overkills will be wasting effort and time. Sure knowing rare and intriguing kanji or vocabulary would be cool, but in all honesty if you’re not going to use it in your lifetime, it’s probably just wasting your time from learning something else that’s usable on a daily basis.

Experiment

I saved the best for last. I know I touched on this a few times before, and that is because it seems to be in almost every trait that ODers are at. Any person with this kind of obsessive behavior can tell you that they never stop experimenting. Whether its new things and/or combinations or brand new ideas spawned from their underbellies, an ODer will Experiment till the cows come home. And then some more.

OD Overbey plays that great ol’ WOW. In WOW there are lots of things to get lost in. He likes to have epic damage, especially against others and especially against others who are playing his class. I see this boy sitting over there meticulously working out rotations, glyphs, talents, weapons, gear, and finger pattern combos to gain the edge over others. Lost in my lingo?

For a Japanese learner, this would be akin to never accepting any method out there as the best way. There is probably something better that you can think of for you, combining programs, games, music, movies, artists, methods, books, and such to gain the edge over your previous ways. Never accept that you have found THE Way, but rather you have found only One Way.

Things are being created everyday by all sorts of people everywhere. While OD Overbey may spend some of his time researching that new stuff, it never takes over his Doing it, and Experimenting for himself. In the end, there is no right or wrong way to do something, merely what works for you doesn’t work for others and visa versa.

He sits down and thinks about his weaknesses. He pinpoints them and destroys them by experimenting ways to get rid of it. He experiments with ideas that aren’t even related to playing WOW. Sometimes your source of inspiration can come from something totally unrelated to what language learners do. Which brings me to my next point that I just thought about 😀

Adapt

Nothing is set in stone, especially a language. Japanese today doesn’t sound like Japanese from 30 years ago, just like English has changed radically in the last 100 years, so has Japanese. It changes yearly too. Ever heard of the fast phrase that is now gone for the most part out of the media? ドンダケ?(I could be spelling it wrong) 😀

Just like the craze for crazy bands, they come and go. Technology is constantly changing, so don’t get stuck on the old, it often has been improved. Anki may be the go to now, but it might get blown away any day now by some new and improved great thing out there. While adapting is really just a part of Experimenting and doesn’t necessarily need its own little section, I feel this is an important thing that people overlook.

I’ve been adapting my Japanese studying since day one. I’ve been introduced to new programs, new methods, new ideas, new technology, and I implement what works, and toss what doesn’t. Need some gamer terminology? Adapt to game patches that change your talents/glyphs, ect. Adapt to the ever-changing world out there, experimenting with all the stuff you want to, and you’ll find yourself well on the way of becoming a true ODer.

—–

As a side note, if your reason for not studying deals with motivation, you’ll find that this mentality is very hard, as it requires a decent amount of motivation to fuel it. But don’t give up there. Don’t let lack of motivation keep you from something. Try to find out why you’re not motivated. Look at your life and see what you’ve accomplished with motivation and see what triggered that. Try and recreate that trigger.

Some people are motivated by being able to show case what they’ve learned to others. Some are motivated by being able to watch things without subs and understand it. Some are motivated by music, love, or ambition. Some are motivated by jelly beans. (I heard of a guy who every time he got something significant he’d eat a jelly bean, which he loved to death.) Find what motivates you and apply it to Japanese if you can.

I think a lot of people find that they cannot get into learning Japanese because they lost their motivation or didn’t really have motivation to begin with. Good Luck as always, and go get ’em!

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  1. Are You An Overdoser?…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…



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  • Read More or Die! 2011

    _2011 End Results_
    Total read for Tadoku:
    __433.3 pages!__
    Placement: 115/188
    ___________________
    October 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 97/120
    End Tally: 59.2
    ___________________
    July 2011 Contest:
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    End Tally: 195.6
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    April 2011 Contest:
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    End Tally: 154.5
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    January 2011 Contest:
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    End Tally: 24
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    August 2010 Contest:
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    March 2-Week:
    Goal: 125
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    January:
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