Exercise 1

A. Listen to a speaker talk about the qualities of high achievers. Choose the four qualities he talks about.





lifelong learning


positive attitude


high self-esteem








B. Listen again. What does the speaker suggest people do in order to build the four qualities of high achievers? Write the suggestions in the chart.



lifelong learning, responsibility, risk-taking, creativity


lifelong learning: absorb information through books, blogs, videos, and social media sites; take courses

responsibility: don’t blame others for your failures; don’t use difficult situations as excuses

risk-taking: try something you are afraid to do; go out of your comfort zone

creativity: brainstorm solutions for a problem; keep a creativity journal


Speaker:   Do you want to be a high achiever?

Crowd:   Yes!

Speaker:   Then you’re going to have to think like a high achiever! Are you ready to change the way you think?

Crowd:   Yes!

Speaker:   Are you willing to change the way you do things?

Crowd:   Yes!

Speaker:   Ha, then it sounds like you’re ready to be high achievers!

The first thing you’ve got to keep in mind is that life is a constant process of learning. The secret of any kind of success is education. And we’re all able to take in much more information than we think we can. People who aim to be high achievers can take advantage of this in a number of ways. For example, no matter what you’re trying to achieve, make sure to absorb information about it every day. Read books, magazines, blogs. Watch videos, exchange information on social media sites. Do whatever you can to increase your knowledge in your chosen field. And, whenever they’re available, take courses that will build your knowledge in the area you’re interested in.

In conversations with many high achievers over the years, I’ve come to understand that high achievers always accept total responsibility for their situation. In order to develop this quality in yourself, practice not blaming other people for your failures. Also, try not using difficult situations as excuses. High achievers know that the keys to success are always in their hands and that it’s their responsibility to use them.

Now we come to the quality of high achievers that I think many people have the most trouble developing in themselves. I’m talking about the vital quality of being a risk taker. Now, if you’re already willing to take risks, that’s great. If not, you can start by going after opportunities that are a little risky. Think of something you’ve always wanted but were afraid to try for. Then, go for it – even if you’re going out of your comfort zone. Remember: No pain, no gain!

Creativity is another quality that all high achievers share. Creativity involves trying to think about things in new and different ways. The next time you’re faced with a difficult problem, brainstorm as many possible solutions as you can. You’ll find that the first solutions you think of are rarely the best ones, while the last ones tend to be the most creative. Another great idea is to start a creativity journal. During the week, jot down those creative ideas you’d otherwise just forget. Then, at the end of the week, go over them and see which ones you can use . . .

Now, everyone, it’s time to break into work groups to practice some of the ideas we’ve learned. I want all of you to take . . .

Exercise 2

A. Listen to Luisa talk about her grandmother and Chu Lan talk about his tennis coach. How do Luisa and Chu Lan feel about the people they are describing?

B. Listen again. In what ways did these people influence Luisa and Chu Lan? Write two ways for each.


How did Luisa’s grandmother influence her?

How did Chu Lan’s coach influence him?









Luisa respects her grandmother and feels she Is strong and very smart.

Chu Lan feels grateful to his coach, and he feels like they were friends.


How did Luisa’s grandmother influence her?

1   She taught Luisa how to respect other people.

2   Her grandmother helped make the whole family very close.

How did Chu Lan’s coach influence him?

1   The coach’s constant encouragement gave him lifelong confidence.

2   Ho helped him decide on a career in sports medicine.


1   Luisa

Who influenced me the most? Oh, that’s an easy one. That would be my mother’s mother, my grandma. She came to live with us after my grandfather died, so she was always around while I was growing up. She did a great job helping my mother and father, and also us kids. She was such a strong woman, and very smart, too, you know? It’s hard to explain, but she was kind of like the “glue” of the family; she somehow, without saying it directly, managed to communicate to us the importance of family, of staying close as a family. Another thing she used to teach us was respect – respect for our parents, for her, but also respect for all people. When I think back on it, I feel that my grandmother was really an amazing woman.

2   Chu Lan

Let’s see . . . If I had to choose the person whose example made the biggest difference in my life, it would have to be my high school tennis coach, Mr. Wade. I’m so grateful for all of his help and advice. In fact, everyone on the tennis team appreciated Mr. Wade. His constant encouragement really gave us confidence – you know, the kind of confidence that you keep your whole life. He had a way of convincing you that there was nothing you couldn’t do. And he was incredibly patient and easygoing. We all felt like he was more than just a coach – we felt he was one of our friends. And even though I didn’t have the talent to actually become a professional tennis player, Mr. Wade spent a lot of time helping me think about my future and finally decide to pursue a career in sports medicine.

Exercise 3

Listen to a conversation between two students. Then check (✓) true or false.




1   Greta is studying for a history test.

 Constance Cummings-John fought for voting rights.

3   Jeannette Rankin was the first U.S. congresswoman.

4   Rico would be the only man in Greta’s class.


1 True   2 False   3 True   4 False


Rico:   What are you studying, Greta?

Greta:   Ah, hi, Rico. I have a test in my Women in History class.

Rico:   Women in History? That sounds interesting.

Greta:   Yeah, we’ve studied a lot of women I’ve never even heard of?

Rico:   Like who?

Greta:   Well, like Constance Cummings-John, for example. She was a West African who fought for the education of young women in Sierra Leone when women had no rights at all.

Rico:   Wow. Who else have you learned about?

Greta:   Let’s see, there’s Jeannette Rankin, who was the first female member of the United States Congress. She had helped win the right to vote for women in her some state of Montana. As a congresswoman, she was one of the very few who opposed the war in 1917, and for that she lost the next election.

Rico:   So she stood up for what she believed in, even though it was an unpopular viewpoint.

Greta:   That’s right. And there are a lot of other women like her. This class has been fascinating.

Rico:   Cool. Maybe I’ll sign up for it next semester. But … will there be, I mean, like …

Greta:   You mean, will you be the only guy in the class?

Rico:   Well, yeah! I don’t want to be the only one.

Greta:   Oh, come on, Rico. Actually, there are more men than women in my class.

Rico:   That’s surprising.

Greta:   Yeah, but I guess people have heard what a great class it is. Hey, I’ve got to go. I have a lot more studying to do!

Rico:   OK, see you later.

Greta:   Bye, Rico.

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