There’s an awesome link in Richard K. Morgan’s ‘Broken Angels’:
“Face the facts. Then act on them. It’s the only mantra I know, the only doctrine I have to offer you, and it’s harder than you’d think, because I swear humans seem hardwired to do anything but. Face the facts. Don’t pray, don’t wish, don’t buy into centuries-old dogma and dead rhetoric. Don’t give in to your conditioning or your visions or your fucked-up sense of . . . whatever. FACE THE FACTS. THEN act.”
Morgan is the guy behind Altered Carbon, which got turned into a Netflix series (now with two seasons) a couple of years ago.
There’s real wisdom in this.
The average person, from the way I see it, spends enormous amounts of time and energy refusing to face facts… but very little in actually facing them and acting accordingly.
And honestly, I’ve been guilty of this too.
A good, and very illustrative, example of this is back in 2016 after the UK voted for Brexit. My business was booming, but I was earning in pounds then converting all that money into Japanese yen. And when the pound crashed following the Brexit announcement, my income was effectively halved. But my expenditure (which was in Yen) remained the same.
So what did I do?
Instead, we carried on spending as always: business costs didn’t change, neither did our cost of living. We had two kids in a private school, which wasn’t cheap. And this carried on for about six months while I diligently ignored the facts and my balance sheet (which I was paying someone else to do as I couldn’t be bothered to do it myself).
Long story short, a good friend of mine who’s an accountant stopped me and made me go through all of my accounts, fire the person doing our books and start doing it myself.
It turned out I was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Another month, perhaps two, and that would have been it.
Now, luckily we caught the problem in time and made some pretty extreme cuts. I took my company’s financial health into my own hands, studied my ass off reading every business finance book I could get my hands on and now, five years later, business is booming and I’m very financially healthy again.
Point is, what facts are you refusing to acknowledge?
For many, it’s the simple fact that their English is too shit to do the job they’ve been hired for and that’s why they waste huge amounts of time, energy and opportunities.
For others, it’s the fact they’re doggedly persisting with learning methods that don’t work.
Or conversation lessons that feel good, but have long ceased to do anything useful for actually improving in English conversation.
Or taking the lazy approach and telling themselves watching a bit of TV or living in an English speaking country will be enough (it won’t).
Well, you can ignore these facts and keep doing what you’re doing.
Or you can take a long hard look at them, then act.
A good starting point would be to pick up a copy of Master English FAST (which includes a complete audio version via my app) and study it. Of course, it’s a book and doesn’t come with all the customisation or depth you’d expect working with me on a coaching basis — but it’s also a very low investment compared with my very expensive coaching.
The place to go is here:
Note: to access the audio version you must have a smartphone that can run the latest apps, and there are instructions in the book for registering.
Dr Julian Northbrook