Why, exactly, are you learning English? Why do you want to speak English powerfully? Surprisingly, many people have only a vague idea. They know that English is the "international language" and they feel they should learn it. In school, they are told that English is important. Some people are focused on test scores. They are studying English in order to get a high score on the TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS, or other exams.
Where do these goals come from? Typically, they come from the school system. In other words, they are external goals that are promoted by other people. Students are told these goals are important and thus spend years focusing on test scores. The problem is that external goals (goals provided by outside people) feel like work. These goals feel like an obligation.
These goals are weak and uninspiring, and that's a problem because goals are our brain's targeting system. Goals tell our brains what we want when we want it, and why we want it. A powerful goal energizes, inspires, and motivates us to do more and be more. A great goal can totally change your life. Weak goals, on the other hand, produce weak results.
Another step in developing your Effortless English fuel is, therefore, to develop stronger goals. But what makes a strong goal? A strong goal is one that creates a positive obsession in your mind. A strong goal is emotional. A strong goal not only motivates you, but it also seems to pull you towards action and success.
A great goal is like a positive addiction. The goal keeps you focused on what is important in your life. You can't forget about it. In fact, with a truly powerful goal, you will find it difficult to stop thinking about it. This goal guides you and motivates you even through difficult times.
To be powerful, a goal must be intensely emotional in a positive way. This is why test score goals are so weak. Who gets excited and inspired by tests? In fact, for most people, tests are negative experiences that produce feelings of nervousness, fear, and stress. That's not very energizing or inspiring. No wonder so many people feel bad about English.
So how do you find and create truly powerful goals? Begin by asking yourself power questions. These are questions that help you find a deeper reason for speaking English. As you go deeper, you will find more inspiring goals. And the best power question of all is simply, "why?"
Repeatedly asking why is an easy way to find your deeper purpose for English. For example, you might first ask yourself, "Why am I learning English?" Maybe your first answer is, "To get a high TOEFL score." That's a weak external goal. So you ask yourself again, "Why do I want a high TOEFL score?" Maybe you answer, "To get a better job." Again you ask, "Why do I want a better job?" Now you are going deeper, finding your true purpose. Maybe you answer, "To make more money for my family." And then you ask, "Why do I want to make more money for my family?" And you might answer, "Because I love them and want to provide an abundant and wonderful life for them." You have found your big internal goal.
Your big goal is not to get a high TOEFL score, your true goal is to create a wonderful life for your family. English is a tool to help you with that goal. Isn't that more powerful and emotional? Doesn't that excite and inspire you more? Doesn't that create much more fuel for your engine?
Of course, everyone is different. Maybe your big goal is to travel the world and live a life of adventure – and you know that English is the international language. Maybe you dream of being a rich and successful international businessperson, and English will help you achieve that dream. Maybe you dream of studying abroad at an American university. Maybe you want to make international friends from many countries around the world. Maybe you have more than one big goal for English.
The point is that English is a tool for communication. Just knowing a lot of words and grammar is useless. You must use the language to unleash its power. So the key to finding your big goal is to figure out how you want to use English in the real world.
With English, you must focus on your real-world reasons for speaking the language.
Goals must excite you. You should feel enthusiastic and energized just thinking about your goals.
Even though I'm writing on this topic, I too have sometimes been guilty of having weak goals. For example, I recently did a series of seminars and presentations in Thailand. My initial goals were:
- To teach people about the Effortless English system.
- To connect with more people.
Now, these were certainly positive goals – but they had no power. They didn't excite me. They didn't create passion. So I thought more deeply. I asked myself, "Why do I want to teach people about the Effortless English system? Why do I want to connect with more people? What do I want to contribute? What do I want to accomplish?"
Better goals instantly came to my mind, including:
- I want to inspire people and change their lives!
- I want to awaken people's passion and love for learning.
- I want to awaken their imaginations!
- I want to heal their English trauma!
- I want to totally change the way people learn English.
- I want to help people achieve their dreams using English as a tool!
- I want to build an international family of super enthusiastic learners!
- I want to give people incredibly positive & powerful emotional experiences! I want to give them happiness, laughter, passion, and powerful confidence.
- I want to free people from doubt, from insecurity, from boredom, from hesitancy.
- I want to help them achieve their dreams!
Now, these were exciting goals! These goals immediately gave me energy and power. They made me want to jump out of bed and get to work! They made me want to do a fantastic job as a teacher. They inspired me to learn and grow better and better. They made me want to create an amazing demonstration – not just some boring lecture.
Such is the power of big and meaningful goals. Why do you want to learn English? What is the most exciting outcome you can imagine speaking English will bring you? What truly inspires you about learning English? Think bigger. Dream bigger!
Do yourself a favor: Choose big, audacious, powerful goals for learning English. Ignite your passion!
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