Become more fluent in English and life with inspiring English lessons based on the best non-fiction books and Ted Talks. Feel Good English is personal growth for English learners. Let's grow together! Get transcripts, extra lessons and connect with Kevin at www.feelgoodenglish.com
#119 Shhh - I'm Meditating "10% Happier" By Dan Harris
19:00www.feelgoodenglish.com To start this episode, let me ask you something. Do you have a voice inside your head? Like, do you have “something” inside of you that speaks to you? As weird as that sounds, I bet you do. And I’m not talking about “hearing voices” in your head, like a crazy person might, but just that self-talk we all have that guides us, or at least tries really hard to guide us. It’s that voice inside us that starts having a conversation as soon as we open our eyes in the morning. The voice is obsessed with the past, and also obsessed with the future. So is that voice us? Is that who we are? Or is it just part of us? And is there a way to tame this voice? To not be blindly controlled by it? I recently read a book that was recommended by one of my students. The book is called “10% Happier” by Dan Harris. This book attempts to convince skeptics on the benefits of meditation, by taking a very practical approach to the science behind this mindfulness practice, and showing you how and why letting go of your ego is important for living a stress-free life. So that voice in your head, we can refer to that as the ego. E-G-O. I’ve talked about the ego before. It can get in your way, make you do dumb things, and keep you from connecting with others on a deeper level. And the author of this book talks a lot about the experiences that led him to discover the benefits of meditation, but I’ll just sum it up so we can focus more on what meditation is and how you can start doing it, if you don’t meditate that is.
#118 How to Actually Live a Better Life - "A Guide to the Good Life"
17:30Get the transcript at www.feelgoodenglish.com Today I’m going to teach you a lesson from a book called “A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy” by William Braxton Irvine. In this book, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. I’m only going to share one lesson from this book, a lesson on how to get through the grocery store checkout line much faster, just kidding, but one very valuable lesson which will show you how the teachings of Stoicism can help us be little more grounded in today’s crazy world. Before I get into that, if you’re new here, or aren’t that new but still only put Feel Good English in your ears, I also have something for your eyes. Something to read, as I send out weekly emails that contain short interesting thoughts to thousands of interested English learners. If you want to receive those weekly emails, go to feelgoodenglish.com and look for the bear. The bear will be waiting for you on my website to help you sign up. The bear works for me for free, and the email is free too! Isn’t that nice? Now enough bear talk, let’s get into the lesson.
#117 The Dumb Things We All Do - "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely
17:59Get the transcript at www.feelgoodenglish.com Today I have some ideas from a very interesting book called “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely. And the main point in this book, the overall message is that much of our behavior is misguided, irrational. Through research and study, the author has found that a lot of this irrational behavior is also predictable, which means there are very human, and natural reasons we behave this way.
#116 How to Be Yourself - "Psycho-Cybernetics" by Maxwell Maltz
20:17Get the transcript at www.feelgoodenglish.com/go To get started with today’s topic, I got a question for you. What kind of person are you? Are you motivated? Are you lazy? Are you always running late? Are you a leader or a follower? Are you good at sports? And where did those beliefs come from? A former teacher, your friends who have labeled you a certain way, or maybe simply from yourself? We all have an image of the type of person we are. Some of these images are positive, but some are detrimental to moving forward and making positive changes. We use stories to understand the world, but sometimes we can make ourselves the villain without thinking twice about the consequences of that narrative. For example, if you think of yourself as a failure, you’ll quite likely fail. Conversely, if you consider yourself successful, you’ll find ways to succeed. If you think you’re bad at learning languages, well, you might subconsciously resist becoming a great English speaker. That’s dangerous. And that’s the basic idea from the book I recently read, how our self image dictates our behavior. The book is called “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz. It was published in 1960, so it’s been around a few years, but the book is great. I read a lot, obviously, and i read a lot of regurgitated ideas. People take some basic self-help ideas and write their own book about them. Put their name on them. Nothing really special there. But this book, even though it’s from many decades ago, I found plenty of interesting ideas I hadn’t thought of or read about before. I’m going to focus on one chapter in this book; keep it simple. The ideas in this chapter stuck out to me the most and I want to share them with you because I think they’re so relevant to not just life in general, but to speaking a foreign language. Here I go again, connecting life lessons with English learning. You ready?
#115 Biggest Lessons of the Year - Part 2
26:59Get the transcript at www.feelgoodenglish.com/go The podcast that blends, mixes, English learning with personal development. Making your time spent with English more inspiring, enlightening, and...exciting? This is the last episode of 2017, well, it’s literally the first episode of 2018, but I am still going to touch on a couple ideas from 2017, two BIG ideas I shared with you that I consider to be so important. Both of these are ideas are really simple, straight to the point, but can have a big impact on behavior. And I’m going to go into these two ideas, going to review them with you today because you can take these two concepts and apply them to your life this coming year. They can help you stay strong and help you stay focused, two things I often need help with.
#114 Biggest Lessons of the Year - Part 1
27:23Get the transcript at www.feelgoodenglish.com/go I have a lesson for you today that will be good for speaking practice. I want you to speak today, either out loud so people think you talk to yourself like a crazy person, or in your head, so you can create voices in your head that speak English. So you’ll either be crazy and talk to yourself or you’ll have voices in your English that speak English. Got it? It’s almost the end of the year, so I wanted to do a bit of a yearly review. Review some of the biggest, most popular, and also what I consider to be the most important lessons I learned with you this year. But I want you to get involved today, so I am going to bring you in on the conversation. I’m going to ask you some questions about what I talk about, and you should answer them. If you ever hear me say the word, “blank”, that means you need to fill in the “blank” with a word. So if I said, “I really like “blank”, you would say, “Kevin, I really like...clowns” Make sense? So review with me some great lessons from this year , use you mouth a bit, or use your internal mouth, whatever the hell that is, and feel good!
#113 Lindsay McMahon - Perfection is the Enemy
29:56Get the transcript at www.feelgoodenglish.com/go Today I have something special for you. Well, I guess it’s always special, right? But today is extra special. It’s not going to be just me on the show, I brought someone else on the show to talk about life-changing topics. Lindsay McMahon from AllEarsEnglish will be on the show today, talking about the main premise behind her very popular show The AllEarsEnligsh podcast, the importance of connection, not perfection. More specifically, what gets in the way of connection when trying to communicate with others. Get in the way of means, by the way, to obstruct, become an obstacle, prevent from happening. So we’re going to talk about three things that prevent us from connecting with others when speaking English. And I’ll also be stopping the interview periodically to ask you some questions. I’m also going to stop the interview to go deeper into what was talked about, help you understand what we’re saying, and to slow it all a down a bit. I hope you enjoy it. But more than that, I hope today’s episode helps you focus on connection more than perfection because perfection can be such a terrible enemy!
#112 How Stress Can Make you Stronger - "Antifragile"
25:56Get the premium lesson at www.feelgoodenglish.com/go I’m going to talk about a concept today, a pretty complicated one. A concept that’ll stretch your mind, make you think, possibly make your mind stronger. And speaking of stronger, let’s first talk about muscles. How do we build muscle at the gym? I mean, how do we really build muscle? By going to the gym and lifting a light amount of weight, many many times? Or by pushing your muscles beyond their limit? Beyond what they’re used to, what they’re accustomed to? Well, if you’re not too knowledgeable about building muscles it works like this... When you go to the gym and lift really heavy weights, when you feel the burn and get close to your limit, but push on and do just one more rep, one more repetition, that’s when muscle growth happens. This happens because the fragile parts, the fragile tissue in your muscles, are broken down, are ripped you could say. You give a “shock” to your muscles by surprising them with heavier weight than they’re used to. That’s how stress and shock can prepare your body for even bigger stress. And it’s the building of this “extra capacity” to avoid future shock that I’m going to talk about today. What we are going to think about is how shock, stress, and volatility make things stronger. More resilient. This concept is based on a book called “Antifragile” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. This book reveals how some systems thrive on shock, volatility, and uncertainty, and when things allow for breakage, like muscles, it’s actually a good thing.