Last week in my Advanced Business English class, the topic was Success: Defining it and achieving it. Defining what it means to be successful led to a lot of interesting debate, but generally everyone was of the mind that money was a key indicator – it is business class after all! They also identified happiness and that great feeling of accomplishment you get when you reach your goals. This was particularly relevant too as it was also test week and, like anyone who studies English can appreciate, they were all hoping to get that feeling on Friday. So I had all the students research and present either a theory of success or a famous example and what they found was a pattern of some essential characteristics.
Here then is a compilation of some of the points the presentations had in common, which I hope you will find helpful in the pursuit of your own goals – especially in learning English!
- Dedication, determination, hard work and perseverance! These themes came up over and over again in every case studied, from Will Smith and Nick Vujicic (an Australian motivational speaker born with no limbs) to Ayrton Senna and Ronaldo (who exemplify that Brazilian adage, “I am Brazilian, I never give up!”)
- Don’t forget, it’s a process! Sun Tzu teaches that it’s through challenge that we grow. Donald Trump says to be thorough and use your momentum and focus.
- Think positively and have belief and passion for what you do – lessons promoted by Oprah and Pope John Paul II. As Simon Sinek so succinctly puts it, it’s not about what you do or how you do it – it’s about the why!
And I’m pleased to report that the test scores reflected that these steps to success do work! So I hope they also help you become a success in all aspects of your life and particularly when studying English.