4 questions to ask yourself when you have to make a big decision

ATTENTION
This content is recommended for 30~60 minute sessions. Note that tutors may not be familiar with the content. Make sure you consult with your tutor before using this material. 


Article

After a quick greeting, read the following article out loud. Your tutor will go over pronunciation if necessary.

[Photo: SARINYAPINNGAM/iStock]


[P1] For me, decision making is one of those things that I haven’t gotten better at with age. While I might know more than my younger self, I’ve also realized just how much more I don’t know. That realization is pretty scary when it comes to making big decisions. And the more of those I made, the more I realized just how much it changed the direction of my life, for better or worse.

[P2] Sure, you should do your research and gather as much information as you can. But at the end of the day, you’ll usually have to make do with incomplete information. With that in mind, there are questions you can ask yourself to get a better understanding of the right next steps to take. Here are four things you should think about:

1. HOW SIGNIFICANT IS THIS DECISION IN THE BIGGER SCHEME OF THINGS?
[P3] Not all decisions are created equal. Some decisions only affect the situation you’re experiencing right at that moment, or that day. It’s not worth it to sweat those, Mike Whitaker, author of The Decision Makeover: an Intentional Approach to Living the Way You Want, told Fast Company in 2017. So before you obsess over making what you perceive is a tough choice, think about how much it would really affect your day-to-day life.

[P4] Whitaker went on to say that when you have identified a big decision (which successful people tend to make once or twice a year), you should follow the strategies below:

  • Keep five prime goals and stay focused on them
  • Identify top priority and give it favorable treatment when making decisions
  • Look for a goal and decision overlap, and treat this decision with more care
  • Appreciate the momentum and identify the benefits of continuing to move in the right direction.

2. GIVEN THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DECISION, HOW LONG WILL I GIVE MYSELF TO DECIDE?
[P5] There are two kinds of decision makers, productivity expert and author Laura Vanderkam wrote in 2016: “maximizers,” those who are committed to finding the absolute best option, and “satisficers” who have a set of criteria, and make their decision based on the first option that meets it. On its face, maximizers might seem like the best approach to take, but unfortunately, this can actually paralyze decision making. In the back of their minds, they know there’s always something better out there.

[P6] If you fall into this camp, time coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders suggested budgeting a time for your decision. Yes, that includes big decisions. Once you’ve made it, make sure to reward yourself or celebrate.

3. WHAT WOULD I ADVISE SOMEONE ELSE IN MY POSITION?
[P7] Let’s face it, we’re all better at making decisions for other people. How many times have you watched a colleague or friend do something cringeworthy, and think, “I wouldn’t do that if I were them?”

[P8] As Stephanie Vozza previously reported for Fast Company, when you make the decision on behalf of someone else, “They feel less tired and rely less on decision shortcuts to make their choices.” In addition, they’re less likely to be clouded by emotions or ego, which often creeps into your decision-making process more than what you’d like to think.

[P9] So the next time you feel frazzled and uncertain, step back and consider, “How would I advise someone else in my position to act?” Ideally, you should think of someone who you’re not too close to, and whose circumstances you can assess in a completely dispassionate way. You might just find that the answer is much clearer than you think.

4. WHAT DOES MY GUT SAY?
[P10] While your gut shouldn’t be the deciding factor (research shows that it often contains biases that override our rational thoughts), you shouldn’t ignore it altogether. At the very least, your “gut feeling” is an indication of your emotions toward a particular outcome. Once you processed that particular emotion and understand where it comes from, you’re in a much better space to make a rational decision, and less likely to be clouded by them.

Source: https://www.fastcompany.com/40581993/4-questions-to-ask-yourself-when-you-have-to-make-a-big-decision

Vocabulary

Read the word/expression and definition out loud. Your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

Expression Definition
sweat (v) to work very hard
e.g. They sweated and saved so their children could go to college.
paralyze (v) to make (someone or something) unable to function, act, or move
e.g. The air strikes have paralyzed the city’s transportation system.
fall into camp (v) A group of people who think alike or share a cause; side
e.g. The council members disagreed, falling into liberal and conservative camps.
cringeworthy (adj) causing feelings of embarrassment or awkwardness.
e.g. The play’s cast was excellent, but the dialogue was unforgivably cringeworthy.
frazzle (v) to make (someone) very nervous or upset
e.g. He’s a clever player who knows how to frazzle his opponents.

Discussion Questions

Use the following questions as a guideline to help develop an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Summarize the article in your own words.
  2. What were some of the big decisions you made this year?
  3. Are you a ‘maximizer’ or ‘satisfier’?
  4. Describe your own decision making process. Share your thoughts with your Cambly tutor!

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

How to find your superpower

ATTENTION
This content is recommended for 30~60 minute sessions. Note that tutors may not be familiar with the content. Make sure you consult with your tutor before using this material. 


Article

After a quick greeting, read the following article out loud. Your tutor will go over pronunciation if necessary.

[Images: courtesy of Marvel Studios 2018]


[P1] Determining strengths and weaknesses is an integral part of most professionals’ personal development. After all, if you don’t know where you’re strongest, you may have trouble aligning your work with your best skills and may even miss the boat on developing essentials skills for the future. An array of evaluation tools has emerged to help in this endeavor.

[P2] But among the varied strengths and weaknesses any given person might have, there is usually a dominant gift—an attribute, skill, or ability that is stronger than the rest. Decorated police sergeant, author, and reality television star Derrick Levasseur—formerly on CBS’s Big Brother and currently on Investigative Discovery’s Breaking Homicide –calls them “superpowers.”

[P3] A fan of superhero franchises like The Avengers, Levasseur reasons that the difference between you and your coworker can be compared to the difference between Superman and Spiderman. Both have similar goals, but the exceptional abilities that can realize them may be quite different, as he explores in his new book, The Undercover Edge: Find Your Hidden Strengths, Learn to Adapt, and Build the Confidence to Win Life’s Game.

[P4] “Sometimes, in our society, we try and do what everyone else is doing to be successful when, in actuality, what we should be doing is using what’s successful to us,” he says.

[P5] While finding your superpower may seem like a frivolous exercise, determining your dominant strengths in this way can help you understand where you have a true advantage over pursuing the same goals. So, with a nod to the ubiquitous superhero presence in pop culture today, here are four questions that can help you uncover your own superpowers.

WHAT FEELS EFFORTLESS?
[P6] Think about the activities in which you are completely focused, and it’s easy to get to a place of peak performance. For some, this might be presenting. For others, it might be solving very complex analytical problems. Look for the areas in which you excel without much effort—those are likely indicators of your strongest abilities, says career coach Val Nelson.

[P7] “Something that you get into the flow zone with–what they call peak performance zone, where you lose track of time, it just feels so good, you feel one with the project—we’re probably using something that we have a high level of skill with when that’s happening,”

HOW DO YOU AMAZE OTHERS?
[P8] Have you been told repeatedly that you’re good at something? Do people seek you out to give advice or input in particular areas or lend a hand with certain projects? This type of feedback and request for assistance could indicate where your superpowers lie, Levasseur says.

[P9] “You have to listen to what’s being said around you,” he says. That includes everything from casual comments to performance reviews. Look for patterns in the commentary to get clues about where you might be more effective than you think you are.

[P10] It’s not unusual for people to have blind spots about their exceptional strengths or even discount them because these skills or talents come so easily to them, Nelson says. Sometimes, it’s helpful to ask trusted colleagues or mentors about where they see your most dominant strengths, she says.

WHAT MAKES YOU WILLING TO SACRIFICE?
[P11] Superpowers are forged trough a combination of passion and mastery, says Danny Gutknecht, CEO and cofounder of recruitment and leadership advisory firm Pathways and coauthor of Meaning at Work and Its Hidden Language. “Passion” is not just in a way that makes you happy, but in a way that motivates you and makes you want to do more, even if it means hard work or other sacrifice.

[P12] He says he likes to ask people to think about what they’re going when time, “melts,” he says. “And you’re having so much joy that you’re willing to struggle for it?” For example, a nurse might say they love the clinical aspect of taking care of patients, even though it can be difficult, time-consuming work. But, instead, it makes them want to learn more and do their job better. “What are you doing when you have that deep interest that makes you want to do things better,” he asks. That’s a good indication of where your superpower lies.

WHEN ARE YOU FEARLESS?
[P13] Think back over your work and other experiences to where you were most confident. Are there times when you felt comfortable and confident enough to take measured risks and stretch your abilities? That comfort level is a sign that you have a true strength in that area, says organizational psychologist Katy Caselli, founder and president of Building Giants, LLC, a workforce training and development firm, and author of Building Giants: A Proven System to Transform Your Workforce Through Effective Training.

[P14] Often, the things that you’re good at are also things that you enjoy, she says. “If you go to work every day and you feel like you’ve done what you’re really good at, that is what helps you realize, ‘I really had a good day. I got to tinker. I got to learn. I got to figure something out for the company. I got to fix a problem. I got to make a team work better together,’” she says. Those feelings and thoughts are good indicators that you’re tapping into your strengths, she adds.

Source: https://www.fastcompany.com/40578240/how-to-find-your-superpower

Vocabulary

Read the word/expression and definition out loud. Your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

Expression Definition
frivolous (adj) not important : not deserving serious attention
e.g. a frivolous conversation
ubiquitous (adj) seeming to be seen everywhere
e.g. The company’s advertisements are ubiquitous.
flow zone (v) in positive psychology, flow, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.
blind spots (n) an area around a car, truck, etc., that the driver cannot see
e.g. When driving on the highway, you need to make sure no one is in your blind spot before changing lanes.
tinker (v) to try to repair or improve something (such as a machine) by making small changes or adjustments to it
e.g. He was tinkering in the garage.

Discussion Questions

Use the following questions as a guideline to help develop an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Summarize the article in your own words.
  2. Which activities feel effortless to you? When are you fearless?
  3. What is a “flow zone”? Describe a time when you felt like you were in a flow.
  4. What are your superpowers? Share your thoughts with your Cambly tutor!

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

Anthony Bourdain has died in an apparent suicide at 61

ATTENTION
This content is recommended for 30~60 minute sessions. Note that tutors may not be familiar with the content. Make sure you consult with your tutor before using this material. 


Article

After a quick greeting, read the following article out loud. Your tutor will go over pronunciation if necessary.

Business Insider/Sarah Jacobs

[P1] Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef who hosted CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” was found dead Friday morning, CNN reports.

[P2] Bourdain’s body was found in his hotel room in France, where he had been working on new episodes of “Parts Unknown,” in which he traveled the world and reported on local cuisine and culture. The apparent cause of death was suicide, CNN said, with early reports indicating he hanged himself.

[P3] “It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN in a statement Friday morning. “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink, and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time. He was quite a character,” President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday. “Very sad,” he said.

[P4] In 2000, Bourdain wrote “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly,” which detailed his life as a chef. The book, which became a best-seller, marked the beginning of his breakout as a crossover star, leaving behind day-to-day chef work to explore opportunities in storytelling in print and on-screen.

[P5] Throughout the late 2000s and 2010s Bourdain racked up an impressive reel of awards and nominations for his work. In a 2017 interview with The Guardian, Bourdain reflected on his life in kitchens and said he’d been able to find peace out of a chaotic upbringing, saying he had “put aside my psychotic rage, after many years being awful to line cooks, abusive to waiters, bullying to dishwashers. Nowadays I still have a rather withering ability to be sarcastic and displeased but I’m not screaming at anyone,” he told The Guardian.

[P6] Bourdain was born in New York City and grew up in New Jersey. He would have been 62 on June 25. Despite his success, Bourdain was known to struggle with drug addiction and had a history of heroin use. “I was an unhappy soul, with a huge heroin and then crack problem,” Bourdain said in The Guardian interview. “I hurt, disappointed and offended many, many, many people and I regret a lot. It’s a shame I have to live with.”

[P7] Bourdain is survived by a daughter and by his girlfriend, the Italian actress Asia Argento. Argento is a vocal critic of the Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, whom she has accused of sexual assault.

[P8] Just one day before Bourdain’s death, the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that the designer Kate Spade’s cause of death earlier this week was a suicide.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/anthony-bourdain-has-died-in-an-apparent-suicide-by-hanging-at-61-2018-6

Vocabulary

Read the word/expression and definition out loud. Your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

Expression Definition
cease (v) to stop happening : to end
e.g. The conversation abruptly ceased. [=halted]
culinary (adj) used in or relating to cooking
e.g. They serve a variety of culinary delights.
breakout (n) having, causing, or marked by sudden and great success that comes usually after a time without much success
e.g. The company had a breakout year last year, tripling its profits from the previous year.
crossover (n) a change from one style or type of activity to another
e.g. The actor made a smooth crossover to politics.
wither (v) to become dry and weak
e.g. Our hopes have withered away. [=died away]

Discussion Questions

Use the following questions as a guideline to help develop an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Summarize the article in your own words.
  2. Do you know Anthony Bourdain? How would you describe him in your own words?
  3. What makes a great cook?
  4. Do you have a personal hero? Share your thoughts with your Cambly tutor!

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

Land for Endangered Animals

Conversation

After a quick greeting, use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  • Some people think that human needs for farmland, housing, and industry are more important than saving land for endangered animals. Do you agree or disagree with this point of view? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer
    • What value do endangered animals have?
    • Who gets to determine what land is used for?
    • Is there a compromise that can happen?

Vocabulary

Skip this section if you have 15 minute plan. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

Expression Definition
species (n) group of similar living organisms
Which species would you want to protect?
extinction (n) something no longer in existence
Without care, the mammoths were in danger of extinction.
endangered (adj) seriously at risk of extinction
They fought to protect the endangered species.
rewarding (adj) providing satisfaction
Helping animals can be a rewarding experience.
preserve (v) maintain in its original state
Each species deserves to have someone preserve them.
displace (v) be removed from their home
They had to displace the rabbits to a new home.
force out (expression) excessively move something
With new buildings going up, the species were forced out of their homes.
knock down (expression) destroy, break down
Many animals were displaced after they knocked down their homes.
close off (expression) not allow in, seclude
The farmer had to close off the land that was dry.
hang in there (expression) don’t give up
The organization told the volunteers to hang in there even after the funding was cut.

Something Extra

Read the following quote out loud.

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.”
― Gerard De Nerval

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

Never, Never Give Up

Conversation

After a quick greeting, use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  • The expression “Never, never give up” means to keep trying and never stop working for your goals. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
    • In what situations is it helpful to follow this expression?
    • In what situations is it not helpful to follow this expression?
    • Are there limits to this expression?

Vocabulary

Skip this section if you have 15 minute plan. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

Expression Definition
goal (n) object of someone’s ambition
Whatever your goal, chase after it.
journey (n) long process, travel
They knew that this journey would be a difficult one.
undecided (adj) not authoritatively determined
She was undecided of whether she would continue.
motivated (adj) have a motive for someone
She was motivated to win the competition.
persevere (v) continue in a course of action
Despite the challenges, she persevered and won the race.
concede (v) accept something after resisting it
She would never concede on her conviction.
give up (expression) cease making an effort
Her dad always told her never to give up.
scale back (expression) make something smaller than intended
He realized he needed to scale back his expectations.
shy away (expression) shrink, retreat
She wasn’t one to shy away from danger.
pull yourself together (expression) calm down
After he was afraid, he pulled himself together and got to work. 

Something Extra

Read the following quote out loud.

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
― Vince Lombardi

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

Personal Lives of Famous People

Conversation

After a quick greeting, use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  • Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television, newspapers, magazines, and other media pay too much attention to the personal lives of famous people such as public figures and celebrities. Use specific reasons and details to explain your opinion.
    • In what ways does the media pay too much attention to famous people?
    • Would you be comfortable or uncomfortable with the amount of attention you would receive if you were a celebrity?
    • Is such attention a good thing or a bad thing?

Vocabulary

Skip this section if you have 15 minute plan. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

Expression Definition
paparazzi (n) photographers who pursue celebrities
She was always alert of paparazzi around.
fame (n) condition of being known or talked about
She wasn’t excited about the fame at first but later learned to enjoy it.
prominent (adj) important, famous
He loved being a prominent member of the organization.
annoying (adj) causing irritation
She found it annoying that she couldn’t even go out in public anymore.
conceal (v) hide, put out of sight
Not wanting attention, she tried to conceal her identity.
embrace (v) accept or support willingly
She finally learned to just embrace all the attention.
gear up (expression) get ready for a busy season
He was excited to gear up for another movie premiere.
get away from (expression) go to a different location
There was no way she could get away from the photographers.
pan out (expression) the way a situation develops
With no disguise, she wondered how her presence would pan out.
give the cold shoulder (expression) ignore
She didn’t want to talk so she gave them the cold shoulder.

Something Extra

Read the following quote out loud.

“My happiness doesn’t come from money or fame. My happiness comes from seeing life without struggle.”
― Nicki Minaj

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

Earth vs. Human

Conversation

After a quick greeting, use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  • Some people believe that the Earth is being harmed (damaged) by human activity. Others feel that human activity makes the Earth a better place to live. What is your opinion? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
    • In what ways could human activity harm the earth?
    • In what ways could human activity benefit the earth?
    • Could there be a balance between the two?

Vocabulary

Skip this section if you have 15 minute plan. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

Expression Definition
pollution (n) the introduction of something that is harmful for the environment
With the increase in car travel, there was more pollution in the air.
advantage (n) something that puts someone in a favorable position
His biology background gave him an advantage in helping their community.
harmful (adj) likely to cause harm
Smoking can be very harmful for your lungs.
beneficial (adj) favorable or advantageous
He thought it was beneficial they were being conscious of the environment.
misuse (v) use something for the wrong purpose
People sometimes misuse natural resources.
rescue (v) save from danger
He made it his mission to rescue his neighborhood tree.
be out of (expression) have no more left
Soon, they’ll be out of money to save for the organization.
break down (expression) stop working
The wood started to break down because of the harsh weather.
fight off (expression) resist something
We had to fight off the mosquitos during our camping trip.
every cloud has a silver lining (expression) good things come after bad
Even though the house had burned, he realized that every cloud has a silver lining when they could get new things.

Something Extra

Read the following quote out loud.

“Look deep into nature and you will be able to understand everything better.”
― Albert Einstein

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.