English Challenge 04

I.  Article

A. How to Learn in 2 Days What Normally Takes Six Months – Link / Excerpt and Questions /

B. Excerpt to Read and Record

  1. Research has found that having clarity about your goals is essential to having motivation to achieve those goals. If you’re not clear on what you’re doing, it’s hard to be motivated.  Which is why seemingly easy tasks, like sending a fax, could end up taking months.  There’s a lack of clarity on how to do it, so you don’t — until either you have to or it’s too late.
  2. Unfortunately, having a lack of clarity is why so many people settle for less than their dreams. Said Robert Brault, author of Round Up the Usual Subjects, “We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”
  3. You want clarity so bad that you’re willing to settle for lesser goals, simply because the path to getting your true goal is less obvious. When you’re trying to accomplish something big, you have the why but rarely the how.  The path to achieving your goals is far from obvious.
  4. You have no clue how you’re going to do what you want to do. According to some scholars, fear of the unknown may be the foundation of all other fears.  In order to avoid the unknown, most people bail on their dreams.
  5. When you experience the unknown, what is your emotional experience? Most people perceive the unknown as threatening, signifying a low tolerance for ambiguity.  However, some people are more open to the unknown.
  6. Interestingly, researchers have found that children generally have a higher tolerance for ambiguity than adults. Children are often more willing to accept murky conditions — situations where the likelihood of winning or losing is unknown.  As you get older though, your desire for surety and security keep you safely protected in your comfort zone.
  7. Research has found that the more satisfied you are with your work, the higher will be your tolerance for ambiguity. In other words, if you enjoy and believe in what you’re doing, you’ll take-on the emotional discomfort of the unknown.  Said Bill Walsh, former 49ers Head Coach, “If your why is strong enough you will figure out how!”
  8. It’s settled then. If you want to achieve big things, your path will be unclear and hazy.  The emotional need for clarity and fear of the unknown leads people to abandon their dreams for more straightforward pursuits.  Having goal clarity is essential to motivation.  Consequently, in order to get motivated to achieve your big dreams, you need clarity.  However, this does not mean you have “it all” figured it.  It means you’re clear on the next step or two.
  9. If you’re at mile marker 1 and your dream is at mile marker 50, you just need enough info and support to get to mile marker 3 or 4. Once you get there, you’ll need further instructions.  But you have no clue what those instructions will be, because you don’t currently know what you don’t know.  When you get to the next step, you’ll be able to ask better questions.  You’ll be able to better assess who can help you get to mile marker 5, 6, 7, or 8.  What got you here, won’t get you there.  You’re on a treasure hunt and you’re finding clues and guides along the way.  This is the process and emotional experience of pursuing a big dream.
  10. D. Comprehension Questions

    1. Why does the US Army try to recruit former Mormon missionaries?
    2. What methods do the Mormons use to teach a language quickly?
    3. What does this article say about the value of feedback?
    4. According to Tony Robbins, what is the secret to achieving lasting change?
    5. According to Tony Robbins, why do most people fail to achieve lasting change?
    6. What is the fastest way to learn a language?
    7. What does this article say about clarity?

    E. Grammar Questions and Notes

    1. In the first paragraph, why is there a hyphen after 18, that is, “18-“?
    2. In this sentence in the first paragraph:
      “Students at the MTC learn in a few weeks what takes most college students three or four years.”
      Identify the (a) subject, (b) verb, and (c) direct object of the main clause.
    3. In the third paragraph, what are these punctuation marks called and when are they used?
      “at the MTC — learning while doing — with a teacher standing
    4. In this sentence in the fourth paragraph:
      “One group of adolescents got traditional discussion-based training while another did role-play based training.
      Why was “while” used as the subordinating conjunction?
    5. In this sentence in the last paragraph:
      “The more clarity you have of the path set before you, the higher your motivation will be to go down that path.”
      what structural pattern is used here and what does it mean?
  11.  II.  Song

    A. Frozen – Link / Lyrics and Questions /

    B. Story

  12. This song tells the story of a discontented woman who was locked up for much of her childhood because she possessed magical powers that were felt to be dangerous and were therefore kept secret from others so they would not fear her and possibly kill her.  When it was time for her to become queen of her kingdom following the death of her parents, she accidentally revealed her magical powers and fled the kingdom to hide in isolation because her people now thought she was an evil witch.  So she became an outcast or exile of sorts.

    She eventually finds herself alone on a desolate mountainside, free at last from the need to hide her secret powers from everyone.  She suddenly feels more free and alive than she has ever felt before.  Possessing a mastery of cold-element magic, the cold of a desolate Iceland doesn’t bother her at all, so metaphorically speaking, she is not bothered by the “cold” of her isolation in exile either.  Thus, she chooses to feel no regret or guilt about what has led to her exile.  She is now free to do as she pleases, so she decides to test her powers to their limits to see what her true potential is.  She discovers that she likes the person she has become.

    C. Lyrics

01 The snow glows white on the mountain tonight,
02 Not a footprint to be seen.
03 A kingdom of isolation,
04 And it looks like I’m the queen.
05 The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside,
06 Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I’ve tried,
07 Don’t let them in, don’t let them see!
08 Be the good girl you always have to be.
09 Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know!
10 Well, now they know…
11 Let it go, let it go!
12 Can’t hold it back anymore.
13 Let it go, let it go!
14 Turn away and slam the door.
15 I don’t care what they’re going to say.
16 Let the storm rage on.
17 The cold never bothered me anyway…
18 Let it go, let it go!
19 Can’t hold it back anymore.
20 Let it go, let it go!
21 Turn away and slam the door.
Let it go (go, go, go go, go go, go go, go, go, go go)!
Let it go!
Let it go!
Let it go!
22 It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small.
23 And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all.
24 It’s time to see what I can do,
25 To test the limits and break through.
26 No right, no wrong, no rules for me —
27 I’m free!
28 Let it go, let it go!
29 I am one with the wind and sky.
30 Let it go, let it go!
31 You’ll never see me cry.
32  Here I stand and here I stay.
33 Let the storm rage on…
34 My power flurries through the air into the ground.
35 My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around,
36 And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast.
37 I’m never going back, the past is in the past.
38 Let it go!
39 The cold never bothered me anyway.
40 Let it go, let it go!
41 And I’ll rise like the break of dawn.
42 Let it go, let it go!
43 That perfect girl is gone.
44 Here I stand in the light of day.
45 Let the storm rage on…

D. Questions for the Students

    1. What does the repeating phrase “let it go” mean?
    2. In the second stanza (paragraph), what do you think the “swirling storm inside” refers to?
    3. What does Line 08 refer to?
    4. In Line 09, what is she concealing?
    5. In Line 10, what do they know now?
    6. In Line 14, what emotion does “slam the door” imply?
    7. What does Line 17 mean?
    8. What do you think she is saying in Line 37?
    9. In Line 44, what do you think she means by “standing in the light of day”?
    10. What does she mean by “let the storm rage on”?


A. How to Gain Control of Your Free Time – Link / Excerpt & Questions /

B. Read and Record – Excerpt

    1. Anyway, the idea is we’ll save bits of time here and there, add it up, we will finally get to everything we want to do.  But after studying how successful people spend their time and looking at their schedules hour by hour, I think this idea has it completely backward.  We don’t build the lives we want by saving time. We build the lives we want, and then time saves itself.
    2. Here’s what I mean. I recently did a time diary project looking at 1,001 days in the lives of extremely busy women.  They had demanding jobs, sometimes their own businesses, kids to care for, maybe parents to care for, community commitments — busy, busy people.  I had them keep track of their time for a week so I could add up how much they worked and slept, and I interviewed them about their strategies for my book.
    3. One of the women whose time log I studied goes out on a Wednesday night for something. She comes home to find that her water heater has broken, and there is now water all over her basement.  If you’ve ever had anything like this happen to you, you know it is a hugely damaging, frightening, sopping mess.  So she’s dealing with the immediate aftermath that night, next day she’s got plumbers coming in, day after that, professional cleaning crew dealing with the ruined carpet.  All this is being recorded on her time log.  Winds up taking seven hours of her week.  Seven hours.  That’s like finding an extra hour in the day.
    4. But I’m sure if you had asked her at the start of the week, “Could you find seven hours to train for a triathlon?” “Could you find seven hours to mentor seven worthy people?”  I’m sure she would’ve said what most of us would’ve said, which is, “No — can’t you see how busy I am?”  Yet when she had to find seven hours because there is water all over her basement, she found seven hours.  And what this shows us is that time is highly elastic.  We cannot make more time, but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.
    5. And so the key to time management is treating our priorities as the equivalent of that broken water heater.  To get at this, I like to use language from one of the busiest people I ever interviewed.  By busy, I mean she was running a small business with 12 people on the payroll, she had six children in her spare time.  I was getting in touch with her to set up an interview on how she “had it all” — that phrase.  I remember it was a Thursday morning, and she was not available to speak with me.  Of course, right?
    6. But the reason she was unavailable to speak with me is that she was out for a hike because it was a beautiful spring morning, and she wanted to go for a hike.  So of course this makes me even more intrigued, and when I finally do catch up with her, she explains it like this.  She says, “Listen, Laura, everything I do, every minute I spend, is my choice.”  And rather than say, “I don’t have time to do x, y or z,” she’d say, “I don’t do x, y or z because it’s not a priority.”  “I don’t have time,” often means “It’s not a priority.”  If you think about it, that’s really more accurate language.  I could tell you I don’t have time to dust my blinds, but that’s not true.  If you offered to pay me $100,000 to dust my blinds, I would get to it pretty quickly.

D. Comprehension Questions

    1. In the first paragraph, explain the idea that the speaker thought was completely backward.
    2. What point was the speaker trying to make in Paragraphs 3 and 4?
    3. When a person says, “I don’t have time”, what does the speaker say this really means?
    4. In Paragraphs 5 and 6, the speaker wanted to interview someone but that person was not available to talk to the speaker to schedule an interview.  Why?

E. Grammar Questions and Notes

    1. In this sentence in the second paragraph:
      “I had them keep track of their time for a week so I could add up how much they worked and slept, and I interviewed them about their strategies for my book.”
      how many independent clauses are there?
    2. In this sentence in Paragraph 6:
      “If you offered to pay me $100,000 to dust my blinds, I would get to it pretty quickly.”
      what parts of speech are “pretty” and “quickly”?
    3. This phrase appears in Paragraph 5:
      “By busy, I mean…”
      When you read this phrase, what do you expect the remainder of the sentence is going to talk about?

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