3.en.08 The way to success

Have you ever wondered why some people succeed in life while others don’t? What paths can lead you to success?

We will try to explore whether success in life is one of our goals and how we can make them come true.

bizinspiration1-675x320

Let’s start by thinking what is success for us:

Look at the image below. Who are these people? Can you identify anybody?

Do you think these people have been successful? Why / Why not?

Celebrities

Now think of a person who, in your opinion, has succeed in life. It can be a celebrity or somebody you know.

  • What makes you think this person has succeeded?
  • How does it show?
  • How has this person become successful?
  • What does success mean for you?
  • What abilities or talents must someone possess in order to succeed?
  • Are personal abilities enough?

Outliers – The key to success according to Malcolm Gladwell

We have heard a radio programme in which they commented Gladwell’s book about success: Outliers

Click on the image in order to learn a bit more

In the programme, Jenny Osmond, editor of FOCUS – the BBC monthly science and technology magazine – comments her interview with Martina Hingis’ mother, in which she stated:

“My daughter has been hitting tennis balls since the age of three.”

Can you identify the verb tense? Find out more by clicking on the image below:

Abilities & Skills

Do you think it is necessary to have any special abilities or skills to succeed in life?

Click on the links below to learn ways to describe skills and abilities

Describe your Skills

Talking about talent

Now you’re going to listen to Kathy and Brad talking about the talents and abilities of some players:

Use the words below to complete the following expressions to describe talents and abilities used in the conversation:

talents

a) The would be Sarah. She’s a …………………………..

b) No one comes ………………………. to her speed.

c) She’s got …………………….. and …………………….. for getting out of difficult situations.

d) She sounds ……………………………..

e) She can almost do it in her …………………………………..

f) She’s also ……………. at being a leader.

g) She has a …………………… for getting along.

h) We recruit only ……………………… players for the national team.

i) This year we hope to be …………………… and ……………………… above any of the other teams.

j) I think you’ll be impressed with the …………………… you see.

Task: Use five of the expressions from the vocabulary exercises and write five different sentences about your abilities and talents.

Failure & Success

Now watch this animation film about success. The film was created by Laura Lee and it is based on ideas from Alain de Botton (a well-known British philosopher), who, by the way, is the narrator of the film!

Visit Laura Lee’s website to see many other interesting animations:

Lara Lee

Tasks:

  1. What common ideas of what success is are challenged in the video?
  2. Name at least two examples of less heralded things that also show success according to Alain de Botton.
  3. What does he say about being successful at everything? Give one of his examples.
  4. What is even better than being sucessful?

Alain de Botton and the School of Life

If you want to find out more visit Alain de Botton’s website, The School of Life. The website is devoted to develop emotional intelligence through the help of culture.

The School of Life

Now watch this TED video in which Alain de Botton examines our ideas about success and failure – and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.

Task: What does Alain de Botton has to tell about success and failure?

Find the answers to the following questions:

  1. Why do we really need materials goods?
  2. What does driving a Ferrari tell us about its owner?
  3. What is today’s dominant emotion in our society?
  4. What is meritocracy?
  5. Does meritocracy have any negative implications?
  6. What can meritocracy lead to, according to Émile Durkheim?
  7. Complete St. Augustine’s quote: It’s a _____ to judge a man by his _____ .
  8. Why do we fear failure?
  9. What was the main purpose of Ancient Greek Tragedy?
  10. How can we describe our modern society compared to ancient ones in what we worship?
  11. What do we have to accept about success?
  12. What is de Botton’s piece of advice about our own success?

In case you would like to learn more about Alain de Botton, visit his website:

Alain de Botton

You could also read any of his many books. Here you are a few:

status anxiety

how proust can change your lifeconsolations of philosophy

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