#157 - Do This and You'll Be Welcome Anywhere

October 26, 2022

In this episode, you’re gonna learn about a simple habit that will allow you to have better conversations and make more connections with people (in any language).

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[00:00:00] What's up, my friend? You already know this is the Life in English podcast. I am Tony Kaizen, your communication sensei, here to drop some knowledge on you. Today, I'm going to share something with you that will completely change the nature of your interactions with people. I'm going to share the simple habit that helped me learn a foreign language without taking the course or traveling to a foreign country. And this habit is the reason I'm able to make conversation with pretty much anyone I meet. And speaking of conversations, I'm currently writing a book that will teach you how to have better conversations in English or any language so be on the lookout for that in the future.

[00:00:35] For inspiration, I was thumbing through the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and I came across an interesting chapter called Do This and You'll Be Welcome Anywhere. And that's exactly what I'm going to share with you today. There are few things in this life that I can guarantee you, but I'm absolutely certain that understanding and applying this concept will change your life as long as you do it consistently. So let's not waste any more time. I'm gonna read you a few passages and summarize the ideas to make sure you understand the most important parts. Let's do it. Passage number one.

[00:01:13] "Why read this book to find out how to win friends? Why not study the technique of the greatest winner of friends the world has ever known? Who is he? You may meet him tomorrow coming down the street. When you get within ten feet of him, he will begin to wag his tail. If you stop and pat him, he will almost jump out of his skin to show you how much he likes you. And you know that behind this show of affection on his part, there are no ulterior motives. He doesn't want to sell you any real estate and he doesn't want to marry you. Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal that doesn't have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs. A cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.

[00:02:05] When I was five years old, my father bought a yellow-haired pup for $0.50. He was the light and joy of my childhood. Every afternoon, about 4:30, he would sit in the front yard with his beautiful eyes, staring steadfastly at the path. And as soon as he heard my voice or saw me swinging my dinner pail through the buck brush, he was off like a shot, racing breathlessly up the hill to greet me with leaps of joy and barks of sheer ecstasy. Tippy was my constant companion for five years. Then one tragic night -- I shall never forget -- he was killed within ten feet of my head. Killed by lightning. Tippy's death was the tragedy of my boyhood.

[00:02:50] You never read a book on psychology, Tippy. You didn't need to. You knew by some divine instinct that you can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Let me repeat that. You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Yet I know, and you know, people who blunder through life trying to wigwag other people into becoming interested in them. Of course, it doesn't work. People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves. Morning, noon, and after dinner.

[00:03:41] The New York telephone company made a detailed study of telephone conversations to find out which word is the most frequently used. And you've guessed it. It is the personal pronoun "I". I. I. It was used 3,900 times in 500 telephone conversations. I. I. I. I. When you see a group photograph that you are in, whose picture do you look for first? If we merely try to impress people and get people interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends. Friends. Real friends are not made that way. Napoleon tried it and in his last meeting with Josephine, he said, 'Josephine, I've been as fortunate as any man ever was on this earth and yet at this hour, you are the only person in the world on whom I can rely.' And historians doubt whether he could rely even on her.

[00:04:44] Alfred Adler, the famous Viennese psychologist, wrote a book entitled What Life Should Mean to You. In that book, he says, 'it is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men, who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.' You may read scores of erudite tomes on psychology without coming across a statement more significant for you and me. Adler's statement is so rich with meaning that I'm going to repeat it in italics. It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men, who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It's from among such individuals that all human failures spring."

[00:05:40] Now, when I read this passage, the message I take away from it is that trying to get people interested in you is a waste of time. It makes you seem selfish and boring. A lot of people spend their energy trying to impress others, show themselves in a particular light and get people's attention. But if you really want to be someone that people enjoy being around, then you've got to stop thinking so much about yourself and take interest in other people. So, let's move on to passage number two.

[00:06:16] "George Dyke of North War in Pennsylvania, was forced to retire from his service station business after 30 years when a new highway was constructed over the site of his station. It wasn't long before the idle days of retirement began to bore him, so he started filling in his time trying to play music and talk with many of the accomplished fiddlers. In his humble and friendly way, he became generally interested in learning the background and interests of every musician he met. Although he was not a great fiddler himself, he made many friends in this pursuit. He attended competitions and soon became known to the country music fans in the eastern part of the United States as 'Uncle George, the Fiddle Scraper from Kinzua County'. When we heard Uncle George, he was 72 and enjoying every minute of his life. By having a sustained interest in other people, he created a new life for himself at a time when most people consider their productive years over."

[00:07:18] And this passage makes me think about the experience of learning a foreign language as an adult. A lot of people think it's impossible to learn new skills once they leave traditional school. They think the key to fluency in a foreign language is taking more classes, buying more courses, and watching more YouTube videos. But the key is actually just taking interest in other people, just like the man in the story. He wasn't a great musician in the beginning, and that didn't matter. He just decided to immerse himself in the culture. He tried to learn from and connect with every musician he met. Over time, this allowed him to create a network of musicians, and he became well-known all over the eastern United States.

[00:08:00] And that scenario reminds me of the people who joined the Life in English community - people who have chosen to learn English as a foreign language just using the Internet. The people in our community who make the most progress and have the most fun are the people who simply choose to immerse themselves in the language. They're always consuming content in English, starting conversations, asking questions about the language, and sharing things about their culture. They understand that you join a community because you're interested in meeting and supporting people who have the same goals and interests as you.

[00:08:33] And by taking interest in other members of the community, by making an effort to get to know them, by constantly trying to learn and grow with them, you end up creating an environment in which everyone benefits, including you. You can't experience the same growth when you're only thinking about yourself and what other people can do for you. It's going to be really hard to learn a language if you're not interested in other people. Alright. Let's move on to passage number three.

[00:09:10] "A show of interest, as with every other principle of human relations must be sincere. It must pay off not only for the person showing the interest, but for the person receiving the attention. It is a two-way street. Both parties benefit. Martin Ginsburg, who took our course in Long Island, New York, reported how the special interest a nurse took in him profoundly affected his life. 'It was Thanksgiving Day and I was ten years old. I was in a welfare ward of a city hospital and was scheduled to undergo major orthopedic surgery the next day. I knew that I could only look forward to months of confinement, convalescence, and pain. My father was dead. My mother and I lived alone in a small apartment, and we were on welfare. My mother was unable to visit me that day.

[00:10:03] As the day went on, I became overwhelmed with the feeling of loneliness, despair, and fear. I knew my mother was at home alone worrying about me not having anyone to be with, not having anyone to eat with, and not even having enough money to afford a Thanksgiving dinner. The tears welled up in my eyes and I stuck my head under the pillow and pulled the covers over it. I cried silently, but oh so bitterly. So much that my body wracked with pain. A young student nurse heard my sobbing and came over to me. She took the covers off my face and started wiping my tears. She told me how lonely she was having to work that day and not being able to be with her family. She asked me whether I would have dinner with her. She brought two trays of food - sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and ice cream for dessert. She talked to me and tried to calm my fears. Even though she was scheduled to go off duty at 4 p.m., she stayed on her own time until almost 11 p.m..

[00:11:10] She played games with me, talked to me, and stayed with me until I finally fell asleep. Many Thanksgivings have come and gone since I was ten. But one never passes without me remembering that particular one and my feelings of frustration, fear, loneliness, and the warmth and tenderness of the stranger that somehow made it all bearable.' If you want others to like you, if you want to develop real relationships, if you want to help others at the same time as you help yourself, keep this principle in mind. Become genuinely interested in other people. Do this and you'll be welcome anywhere."

[00:11:57] Now, over the years, I've come to realize that the majority of people in this world don't get much love, attention, respect, or admiration. Most people don't ever get listened to. And when you choose to be the one that takes interest in another person and shows them some love, there's no telling what kind of effect that's going to have on them long term. There have been so many cases when someone chose to share very personal information with me. Things they have never told their families or best friends just because I was the first person who truly took the time to listen to what they had to say. Because instead of judging them, I was seeking to understand them better. People will tell you all kinds of things once they know you're truly listening.

[00:12:43] I remember comments that I received years ago just because I almost never receive compliments growing up. So when somebody actually takes the time to not only notice something about me, but then tell me what they noticed, I end up thinking about it for a long time. Like them, I can't believe someone was paying so much attention to me and cared enough to let me know about it. Now, this might sound counterintuitive to you, but it's an idea that I'd like you to experiment with in the future.

[00:13:12] If you want to receive something, try giving some of it first. If you want more love from people, show more love to people. If you want more respect from people, show more respect to people. If you want people to be more interested in you, show more interest in people. Obviously these are general statements. I'm not saying you should show love, respect, and interest to people who clearly don't like you or want to be around you. Do not degrade yourself by chasing people. If you're chasing something, that means it's actively trying to get away from you. So it's probably best to just let it go, you feel me?

[00:13:56] What I'm saying is, be the person who extends their hand first, literally and figuratively speaking. Greet the world with the energy you would like to receive. Alright, there you have it, my friend. The key to better interactions, deeper relationships, and a stronger network is becoming genuinely interested in other people. In a world where everyone is only interested in themselves, only interested in what they can get from other people, only interested in talking, only interested in how much money, attention, and validation they can get for themselves, I'm asking you to walk in the other direction.

[00:14:35] I'm asking you to take interest in other people. I'm asking you to step outside of yourself and into someone else's shoes. I'm asking you to be curious, to think deeper, to ask better questions, and to develop empathy for the people you meet. If you can do this, you'll learn more about this world and the people in it than you ever imagined possible. People will enjoy speaking to you so much more. You will conquer your fear of speaking to strangers. You'll be able to talk to anyone anytime, anywhere.

[END OF EPISODE]

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[00:00:00] What's up, my friend? You already know this is the Life in English podcast. I am Tony Kaizen, your communication sensei, here to drop some knowledge on you. Today, I'm going to share something with you that will completely change the nature of your interactions with people. I'm going to share the simple habit that helped me learn a foreign language without taking the course or traveling to a foreign country. And this habit is the reason I'm able to make conversation with pretty much anyone I meet. And speaking of conversations, I'm currently writing a book that will teach you how to have better conversations in English or any language so be on the lookout for that in the future.

[00:00:35] For inspiration, I was thumbing through the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and I came across an interesting chapter called Do This and You'll Be Welcome Anywhere. And that's exactly what I'm going to share with you today. There are few things in this life that I can guarantee you, but I'm absolutely certain that understanding and applying this concept will change your life as long as you do it consistently. So let's not waste any more time. I'm gonna read you a few passages and summarize the ideas to make sure you understand the most important parts. Let's do it. Passage number one.

[00:01:13] "Why read this book to find out how to win friends? Why not study the technique of the greatest winner of friends the world has ever known? Who is he? You may meet him tomorrow coming down the street. When you get within ten feet of him, he will begin to wag his tail. If you stop and pat him, he will almost jump out of his skin to show you how much he likes you. And you know that behind this show of affection on his part, there are no ulterior motives. He doesn't want to sell you any real estate and he doesn't want to marry you. Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal that doesn't have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs. A cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.

[00:02:05] When I was five years old, my father bought a yellow-haired pup for $0.50. He was the light and joy of my childhood. Every afternoon, about 4:30, he would sit in the front yard with his beautiful eyes, staring steadfastly at the path. And as soon as he heard my voice or saw me swinging my dinner pail through the buck brush, he was off like a shot, racing breathlessly up the hill to greet me with leaps of joy and barks of sheer ecstasy. Tippy was my constant companion for five years. Then one tragic night -- I shall never forget -- he was killed within ten feet of my head. Killed by lightning. Tippy's death was the tragedy of my boyhood.

[00:02:50] You never read a book on psychology, Tippy. You didn't need to. You knew by some divine instinct that you can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Let me repeat that. You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Yet I know, and you know, people who blunder through life trying to wigwag other people into becoming interested in them. Of course, it doesn't work. People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves. Morning, noon, and after dinner.

[00:03:41] The New York telephone company made a detailed study of telephone conversations to find out which word is the most frequently used. And you've guessed it. It is the personal pronoun "I". I. I. It was used 3,900 times in 500 telephone conversations. I. I. I. I. When you see a group photograph that you are in, whose picture do you look for first? If we merely try to impress people and get people interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends. Friends. Real friends are not made that way. Napoleon tried it and in his last meeting with Josephine, he said, 'Josephine, I've been as fortunate as any man ever was on this earth and yet at this hour, you are the only person in the world on whom I can rely.' And historians doubt whether he could rely even on her.

[00:04:44] Alfred Adler, the famous Viennese psychologist, wrote a book entitled What Life Should Mean to You. In that book, he says, 'it is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men, who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.' You may read scores of erudite tomes on psychology without coming across a statement more significant for you and me. Adler's statement is so rich with meaning that I'm going to repeat it in italics. It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men, who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It's from among such individuals that all human failures spring."

[00:05:40] Now, when I read this passage, the message I take away from it is that trying to get people interested in you is a waste of time. It makes you seem selfish and boring. A lot of people spend their energy trying to impress others, show themselves in a particular light and get people's attention. But if you really want to be someone that people enjoy being around, then you've got to stop thinking so much about yourself and take interest in other people. So, let's move on to passage number two.

[00:06:16] "George Dyke of North War in Pennsylvania, was forced to retire from his service station business after 30 years when a new highway was constructed over the site of his station. It wasn't long before the idle days of retirement began to bore him, so he started filling in his time trying to play music and talk with many of the accomplished fiddlers. In his humble and friendly way, he became generally interested in learning the background and interests of every musician he met. Although he was not a great fiddler himself, he made many friends in this pursuit. He attended competitions and soon became known to the country music fans in the eastern part of the United States as 'Uncle George, the Fiddle Scraper from Kinzua County'. When we heard Uncle George, he was 72 and enjoying every minute of his life. By having a sustained interest in other people, he created a new life for himself at a time when most people consider their productive years over."

[00:07:18] And this passage makes me think about the experience of learning a foreign language as an adult. A lot of people think it's impossible to learn new skills once they leave traditional school. They think the key to fluency in a foreign language is taking more classes, buying more courses, and watching more YouTube videos. But the key is actually just taking interest in other people, just like the man in the story. He wasn't a great musician in the beginning, and that didn't matter. He just decided to immerse himself in the culture. He tried to learn from and connect with every musician he met. Over time, this allowed him to create a network of musicians, and he became well-known all over the eastern United States.

[00:08:00] And that scenario reminds me of the people who joined the Life in English community - people who have chosen to learn English as a foreign language just using the Internet. The people in our community who make the most progress and have the most fun are the people who simply choose to immerse themselves in the language. They're always consuming content in English, starting conversations, asking questions about the language, and sharing things about their culture. They understand that you join a community because you're interested in meeting and supporting people who have the same goals and interests as you.

[00:08:33] And by taking interest in other members of the community, by making an effort to get to know them, by constantly trying to learn and grow with them, you end up creating an environment in which everyone benefits, including you. You can't experience the same growth when you're only thinking about yourself and what other people can do for you. It's going to be really hard to learn a language if you're not interested in other people. Alright. Let's move on to passage number three.

[00:09:10] "A show of interest, as with every other principle of human relations must be sincere. It must pay off not only for the person showing the interest, but for the person receiving the attention. It is a two-way street. Both parties benefit. Martin Ginsburg, who took our course in Long Island, New York, reported how the special interest a nurse took in him profoundly affected his life. 'It was Thanksgiving Day and I was ten years old. I was in a welfare ward of a city hospital and was scheduled to undergo major orthopedic surgery the next day. I knew that I could only look forward to months of confinement, convalescence, and pain. My father was dead. My mother and I lived alone in a small apartment, and we were on welfare. My mother was unable to visit me that day.

[00:10:03] As the day went on, I became overwhelmed with the feeling of loneliness, despair, and fear. I knew my mother was at home alone worrying about me not having anyone to be with, not having anyone to eat with, and not even having enough money to afford a Thanksgiving dinner. The tears welled up in my eyes and I stuck my head under the pillow and pulled the covers over it. I cried silently, but oh so bitterly. So much that my body wracked with pain. A young student nurse heard my sobbing and came over to me. She took the covers off my face and started wiping my tears. She told me how lonely she was having to work that day and not being able to be with her family. She asked me whether I would have dinner with her. She brought two trays of food - sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and ice cream for dessert. She talked to me and tried to calm my fears. Even though she was scheduled to go off duty at 4 p.m., she stayed on her own time until almost 11 p.m..

[00:11:10] She played games with me, talked to me, and stayed with me until I finally fell asleep. Many Thanksgivings have come and gone since I was ten. But one never passes without me remembering that particular one and my feelings of frustration, fear, loneliness, and the warmth and tenderness of the stranger that somehow made it all bearable.' If you want others to like you, if you want to develop real relationships, if you want to help others at the same time as you help yourself, keep this principle in mind. Become genuinely interested in other people. Do this and you'll be welcome anywhere."

[00:11:57] Now, over the years, I've come to realize that the majority of people in this world don't get much love, attention, respect, or admiration. Most people don't ever get listened to. And when you choose to be the one that takes interest in another person and shows them some love, there's no telling what kind of effect that's going to have on them long term. There have been so many cases when someone chose to share very personal information with me. Things they have never told their families or best friends just because I was the first person who truly took the time to listen to what they had to say. Because instead of judging them, I was seeking to understand them better. People will tell you all kinds of things once they know you're truly listening.

[00:12:43] I remember comments that I received years ago just because I almost never receive compliments growing up. So when somebody actually takes the time to not only notice something about me, but then tell me what they noticed, I end up thinking about it for a long time. Like them, I can't believe someone was paying so much attention to me and cared enough to let me know about it. Now, this might sound counterintuitive to you, but it's an idea that I'd like you to experiment with in the future.

[00:13:12] If you want to receive something, try giving some of it first. If you want more love from people, show more love to people. If you want more respect from people, show more respect to people. If you want people to be more interested in you, show more interest in people. Obviously these are general statements. I'm not saying you should show love, respect, and interest to people who clearly don't like you or want to be around you. Do not degrade yourself by chasing people. If you're chasing something, that means it's actively trying to get away from you. So it's probably best to just let it go, you feel me?

[00:13:56] What I'm saying is, be the person who extends their hand first, literally and figuratively speaking. Greet the world with the energy you would like to receive. Alright, there you have it, my friend. The key to better interactions, deeper relationships, and a stronger network is becoming genuinely interested in other people. In a world where everyone is only interested in themselves, only interested in what they can get from other people, only interested in talking, only interested in how much money, attention, and validation they can get for themselves, I'm asking you to walk in the other direction.

[00:14:35] I'm asking you to take interest in other people. I'm asking you to step outside of yourself and into someone else's shoes. I'm asking you to be curious, to think deeper, to ask better questions, and to develop empathy for the people you meet. If you can do this, you'll learn more about this world and the people in it than you ever imagined possible. People will enjoy speaking to you so much more. You will conquer your fear of speaking to strangers. You'll be able to talk to anyone anytime, anywhere.

[END OF EPISODE]

Writing prompts

  • What are some characteristics of welcoming behavior?
  • Describe the most interesting person you've ever met.
  • Are you good at interacting with strangers? Why or why not?
  • Is the culture in your country more outgoing or reserved? Which cultural behavior do you prefer?
Key Vocabulary & Grammar Guide
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Key Vocabulary Guide

Transcript

[00:00:00] What's up, my friend? You already know this is the Life in English podcast. I am Tony Kaizen, your communication sensei, here to drop some knowledge on you. Today, I'm going to share something with you that will completely change the nature of your interactions with people. I'm going to share the simple habit that helped me learn a foreign language without taking the course or traveling to a foreign country. And this habit is the reason I'm able to make conversation with pretty much anyone I meet. And speaking of conversations, I'm currently writing a book that will teach you how to have better conversations in English or any language so be on the lookout for that in the future.

[00:00:35] For inspiration, I was thumbing through the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and I came across an interesting chapter called Do This and You'll Be Welcome Anywhere. And that's exactly what I'm going to share with you today. There are few things in this life that I can guarantee you, but I'm absolutely certain that understanding and applying this concept will change your life as long as you do it consistently. So let's not waste any more time. I'm gonna read you a few passages and summarize the ideas to make sure you understand the most important parts. Let's do it. Passage number one.

[00:01:13] "Why read this book to find out how to win friends? Why not study the technique of the greatest winner of friends the world has ever known? Who is he? You may meet him tomorrow coming down the street. When you get within ten feet of him, he will begin to wag his tail. If you stop and pat him, he will almost jump out of his skin to show you how much he likes you. And you know that behind this show of affection on his part, there are no ulterior motives. He doesn't want to sell you any real estate and he doesn't want to marry you. Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal that doesn't have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs. A cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.

[00:02:05] When I was five years old, my father bought a yellow-haired pup for $0.50. He was the light and joy of my childhood. Every afternoon, about 4:30, he would sit in the front yard with his beautiful eyes, staring steadfastly at the path. And as soon as he heard my voice or saw me swinging my dinner pail through the buck brush, he was off like a shot, racing breathlessly up the hill to greet me with leaps of joy and barks of sheer ecstasy. Tippy was my constant companion for five years. Then one tragic night -- I shall never forget -- he was killed within ten feet of my head. Killed by lightning. Tippy's death was the tragedy of my boyhood.

[00:02:50] You never read a book on psychology, Tippy. You didn't need to. You knew by some divine instinct that you can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Let me repeat that. You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Yet I know, and you know, people who blunder through life trying to wigwag other people into becoming interested in them. Of course, it doesn't work. People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves. Morning, noon, and after dinner.

[00:03:41] The New York telephone company made a detailed study of telephone conversations to find out which word is the most frequently used. And you've guessed it. It is the personal pronoun "I". I. I. It was used 3,900 times in 500 telephone conversations. I. I. I. I. When you see a group photograph that you are in, whose picture do you look for first? If we merely try to impress people and get people interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends. Friends. Real friends are not made that way. Napoleon tried it and in his last meeting with Josephine, he said, 'Josephine, I've been as fortunate as any man ever was on this earth and yet at this hour, you are the only person in the world on whom I can rely.' And historians doubt whether he could rely even on her.

[00:04:44] Alfred Adler, the famous Viennese psychologist, wrote a book entitled What Life Should Mean to You. In that book, he says, 'it is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men, who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.' You may read scores of erudite tomes on psychology without coming across a statement more significant for you and me. Adler's statement is so rich with meaning that I'm going to repeat it in italics. It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men, who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It's from among such individuals that all human failures spring."

[00:05:40] Now, when I read this passage, the message I take away from it is that trying to get people interested in you is a waste of time. It makes you seem selfish and boring. A lot of people spend their energy trying to impress others, show themselves in a particular light and get people's attention. But if you really want to be someone that people enjoy being around, then you've got to stop thinking so much about yourself and take interest in other people. So, let's move on to passage number two.

[00:06:16] "George Dyke of North War in Pennsylvania, was forced to retire from his service station business after 30 years when a new highway was constructed over the site of his station. It wasn't long before the idle days of retirement began to bore him, so he started filling in his time trying to play music and talk with many of the accomplished fiddlers. In his humble and friendly way, he became generally interested in learning the background and interests of every musician he met. Although he was not a great fiddler himself, he made many friends in this pursuit. He attended competitions and soon became known to the country music fans in the eastern part of the United States as 'Uncle George, the Fiddle Scraper from Kinzua County'. When we heard Uncle George, he was 72 and enjoying every minute of his life. By having a sustained interest in other people, he created a new life for himself at a time when most people consider their productive years over."

[00:07:18] And this passage makes me think about the experience of learning a foreign language as an adult. A lot of people think it's impossible to learn new skills once they leave traditional school. They think the key to fluency in a foreign language is taking more classes, buying more courses, and watching more YouTube videos. But the key is actually just taking interest in other people, just like the man in the story. He wasn't a great musician in the beginning, and that didn't matter. He just decided to immerse himself in the culture. He tried to learn from and connect with every musician he met. Over time, this allowed him to create a network of musicians, and he became well-known all over the eastern United States.

[00:08:00] And that scenario reminds me of the people who joined the Life in English community - people who have chosen to learn English as a foreign language just using the Internet. The people in our community who make the most progress and have the most fun are the people who simply choose to immerse themselves in the language. They're always consuming content in English, starting conversations, asking questions about the language, and sharing things about their culture. They understand that you join a community because you're interested in meeting and supporting people who have the same goals and interests as you.

[00:08:33] And by taking interest in other members of the community, by making an effort to get to know them, by constantly trying to learn and grow with them, you end up creating an environment in which everyone benefits, including you. You can't experience the same growth when you're only thinking about yourself and what other people can do for you. It's going to be really hard to learn a language if you're not interested in other people. Alright. Let's move on to passage number three.

[00:09:10] "A show of interest, as with every other principle of human relations must be sincere. It must pay off not only for the person showing the interest, but for the person receiving the attention. It is a two-way street. Both parties benefit. Martin Ginsburg, who took our course in Long Island, New York, reported how the special interest a nurse took in him profoundly affected his life. 'It was Thanksgiving Day and I was ten years old. I was in a welfare ward of a city hospital and was scheduled to undergo major orthopedic surgery the next day. I knew that I could only look forward to months of confinement, convalescence, and pain. My father was dead. My mother and I lived alone in a small apartment, and we were on welfare. My mother was unable to visit me that day.

[00:10:03] As the day went on, I became overwhelmed with the feeling of loneliness, despair, and fear. I knew my mother was at home alone worrying about me not having anyone to be with, not having anyone to eat with, and not even having enough money to afford a Thanksgiving dinner. The tears welled up in my eyes and I stuck my head under the pillow and pulled the covers over it. I cried silently, but oh so bitterly. So much that my body wracked with pain. A young student nurse heard my sobbing and came over to me. She took the covers off my face and started wiping my tears. She told me how lonely she was having to work that day and not being able to be with her family. She asked me whether I would have dinner with her. She brought two trays of food - sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and ice cream for dessert. She talked to me and tried to calm my fears. Even though she was scheduled to go off duty at 4 p.m., she stayed on her own time until almost 11 p.m..

[00:11:10] She played games with me, talked to me, and stayed with me until I finally fell asleep. Many Thanksgivings have come and gone since I was ten. But one never passes without me remembering that particular one and my feelings of frustration, fear, loneliness, and the warmth and tenderness of the stranger that somehow made it all bearable.' If you want others to like you, if you want to develop real relationships, if you want to help others at the same time as you help yourself, keep this principle in mind. Become genuinely interested in other people. Do this and you'll be welcome anywhere."

[00:11:57] Now, over the years, I've come to realize that the majority of people in this world don't get much love, attention, respect, or admiration. Most people don't ever get listened to. And when you choose to be the one that takes interest in another person and shows them some love, there's no telling what kind of effect that's going to have on them long term. There have been so many cases when someone chose to share very personal information with me. Things they have never told their families or best friends just because I was the first person who truly took the time to listen to what they had to say. Because instead of judging them, I was seeking to understand them better. People will tell you all kinds of things once they know you're truly listening.

[00:12:43] I remember comments that I received years ago just because I almost never receive compliments growing up. So when somebody actually takes the time to not only notice something about me, but then tell me what they noticed, I end up thinking about it for a long time. Like them, I can't believe someone was paying so much attention to me and cared enough to let me know about it. Now, this might sound counterintuitive to you, but it's an idea that I'd like you to experiment with in the future.

[00:13:12] If you want to receive something, try giving some of it first. If you want more love from people, show more love to people. If you want more respect from people, show more respect to people. If you want people to be more interested in you, show more interest in people. Obviously these are general statements. I'm not saying you should show love, respect, and interest to people who clearly don't like you or want to be around you. Do not degrade yourself by chasing people. If you're chasing something, that means it's actively trying to get away from you. So it's probably best to just let it go, you feel me?

[00:13:56] What I'm saying is, be the person who extends their hand first, literally and figuratively speaking. Greet the world with the energy you would like to receive. Alright, there you have it, my friend. The key to better interactions, deeper relationships, and a stronger network is becoming genuinely interested in other people. In a world where everyone is only interested in themselves, only interested in what they can get from other people, only interested in talking, only interested in how much money, attention, and validation they can get for themselves, I'm asking you to walk in the other direction.

[00:14:35] I'm asking you to take interest in other people. I'm asking you to step outside of yourself and into someone else's shoes. I'm asking you to be curious, to think deeper, to ask better questions, and to develop empathy for the people you meet. If you can do this, you'll learn more about this world and the people in it than you ever imagined possible. People will enjoy speaking to you so much more. You will conquer your fear of speaking to strangers. You'll be able to talk to anyone anytime, anywhere.

[END OF EPISODE]

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