Essential Step 3

Hi, this is AJ. Welcome to Webinar Number 3, Step Number 3 in the 7 essential steps for change and leadership. So you’ve learned Step Number 1 which is to develop your own health and energy. Without energy, hard to do anything else. You’ve already learned Number 2, which is to develop a personal mission. And the mission really gives you the focus and the passion to accomplish great things in your life. And that will affect everything you try to do in life. So those first two steps are really quite deep. They’re not really specific to one little change. They will affect every change you want to make in your life. They will affect every situation in which you want to try to be a leader or a teacher, for example. So those first two are super, super powerful and important. But now we’re going to get a little more specific. So you’ve taken care of those first two, or you’re at least planning to take care of those first two. So what’s Step Number 3? Because now you want to focus on something maybe specific, a specific change that you want to make. Or a specific leadership situation where you need to change somebody’s mind or help somebody. So what’s the next step? What’s Step Number 3? Well Step Number 3 is…what? It’s to understand deeply. That’s right. You’re not going to just jump in and start doing stuff yet, right? You’ve got the energy. You’ve got the passion. You’ve got the purpose. But the next thing you need to do is you really need to understand deeply before you start trying things. So what are we talking about? Well the first thing you need to understand is yourself, right? You’ve got to understand yourself, your feelings, your thoughts, your motivations, your psychology…all of the stuff going on inside your head. This is true for a change you want to make personally in your life. It’s also true if you’re trying to lead another person. If you don’t really understand what’s happening with yourself, you’ll have a very difficult time making effective changes that last, that are long term. The second thing you have to understand is the situation, what’s happening with yourself and the environment. What is the situation now?

You need to understand it as much as possible before you start trying things. And finally you need to understand other people, other people who are involved in this situation, this problem, this challenge, this goal that you want to accomplish. So let’s talk about these a little more specifically and let’s just talk about the specific example of improving your English. So let’s imagine that your English speaking is so-so. You read English pretty well, but your speaking is not great. And you, of course, want to improve it a lot so that you’re really a great speaker of English, that you’re understandable, that you speak easily and quickly and automatically. You’re not thinking. You’re not, uh, uh, uh, having a lot of problems. It’s just a very natural speaking process for you when you use English. Okay, so if that’s your goal, if right now you’re soso and you want to speak really well, well the first thing you need to do is understand your current situation. Why don’t you speak English very, very well? Why have you not achieved that goal already? Because if you’re listening to this I’m guessing you’ve already studied English for 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 years, or more. So obviously there’s a problem. Something’s wrong. Because if you’ve studied English for that long you should speak it pretty well, maybe not perfectly, but you should speak quite well. So you need to first understand what’s happening now, what’s going on. First you need to understand yourself, right? You need to think back and think what have I tried in the past already, right? What have I already done and tried? What methods did I use? What kind of motivation did I try to use? What was my reason for learning English? You need to really understand and ask yourself a lot of questions.

The next thing you need to understand is your own psychology. Psychology is so important. Students tend to focus on the method, the method, the method. And yes, that’s important, but they forget the psychology. See if you have a great method but you’re not motivated, you’re not energized, and you don’t use it, then it’s worthless. And that’s the case for a lot of people. A lot of people, especially they learn from our emails and they kind of understand this great method. But they just don’t feel like using it. Every day they’re tired. They have other things to do. And they’re not really motivated. So you need to understand your own psychology. What motivates you? What makes you want to do something and what doesn’t work for you? For example, do tests motivate you? Because in school probably the teacher was always making you take tests and that was maybe a major motivation for studying English. And maybe it didn’t help you really learn to speak English very well. You memorized the information for the test. And then you took the test. And then you forgot it. That’s the normal pattern. It’s certainly the pattern I used when I was learning Spanish in school. Memorize it for the test, get a great big A on the test, and then two weeks later forget everything. And that’s why I can’t speak Spanish very well.

So you have to really look at your own motivation. What is it that, when you do something in your life and you’re excited about it and you keep doing it, why? What works for you? Some people are motivated by status. They want other people to think that they’re, y’know, kind of have achieved something, that they’re important. Other people are motivated by the need to be successful, just personally, to achieve something difficult. And other people are more motivated socially. They want to connect with other people. Well those are very different motivations. If your motivation is to connect with people, if that’s what you love is just socially connecting with other people and meeting new people and making new friends…well if you’re trying to learn English and you’re focused on tests and grades, you’re not probably going to have much motivation to try very hard. But if instead you focused on making tons of new friends in all different countries and having a great time socially, you might feel that you’re actually much more excited about studying English every day.

So you really need to ask yourself and understand deeply your own psychology and motivations. Now another part of this is what other problems have you had that prevent you from achieving your success. You need to really look at what you’ve done in the past. What’s happening in your own mind and your psychology, what’s happening in the general situation that so far has stopped you from making a lot of progress, right? And I can’t answer that question for you because every student is different. For some people they have all these negative feelings about English and all this stress about English because of school. For others it’s because they used all these grammar translation methods for so long. And now all they do, before they speak, they’re just constantly thinking of grammar rules and translations, and that causes them to speak badly.

Whatever it is, for you maybe it’s those things and other things, you need to understand it. Write them down. Really know what it is so you can change it. You’ve got to understand yourself and the situation deeply. And finally, you have to understand other people. Now on this English example, when I say understand other people, you need to look at other people who have gotten the result you want. And understand how they did it. Let’s take someone like Jerry Dye. He’s one of my favorite examples because he speaks English so perfectly. He sounds like a Canadian. And he’s from Taiwan and he really mastered English as an adult, not as a child. And he did a lot of different things which are very similar to what I’m teaching you with our approach, with our methods. And by doing that he achieved this very high result, this high level of English speaking where he sounds like a native speaker. He sounds like an American. He sounds like a Canadian. So that’s what you need to do.

You need to start looking at people who have achieved the highest level that you want. And then start examining, what are their beliefs. What are their motivations? What methods did they use? Did they use grammar translation or did they try something else and use something else? This is how I developed my own teaching method. Obviously I’m a native speaker of English so it’s kind of easy for me. But what I started doing is looking at my best students, the ones who were achieving the highest results. And I looked, what are they doing differently? And I looked at other people who weren’t my students but who had achieved, again, a very high level of English speaking as adults. And I read about them and asked questions if I could actually talk to them in person. And I started seeing patterns. I learned what works most effectively for speaking and what doesn’t. You need to do this, too. You need to answer these questions on your own. You can learn from me but you also need to answer these questions on your own. So, in general, what have you got to do? You’ve got to understand deeply. Question very deeply. Think deeply, not just really quickly. This is such a major problem for so many students. They don’t really think. They think, I want to understand, I want to improve my English. And so immediately they jump into doing a lot of work that’s the same as what they used to do. They start studying vocabulary books. They start studying TOEFL books and exam books.

And they’re using a lot of energy. And they’re really passionate about it. They’re really focused. And they’re working and working for hours and hours every day. But they’re doing the same old things and they get the same old results. They don’t get what they want because they didn’t stop first to really examine what they had done, what their motivations were, what successful people are doing. So you’ve really got to do this. You’ve got to ask a lot of questions. So that’s Step 3, understand deeply yourself, the situation and other people. So if you’re in a leadership situation this is also very true. So let’s use a different example instead of learning English. Let’s say that you’re leading a team at work or you’re leading your kids as a parent or whatever it is. Well you also have to understand them completely.

You need to understand their motivations, their psychology, their situations, their problems, what they have tried in the past, right? If you’re going to help other people make changes, positive changes, well you’ve got to understand yourself and you’ve got to understand them as well. So understand deeply, that is Step Number 3. Understand yourself, understand the situation and understand other people as deeply as possible. Okay, I hope you enjoyed this third webinar. Of course, the next one would be Number 4. But in the meantime, listen to Number 1 again, listen to Number 2 again. And, of course, listen to this one several times. And most importantly, put this into action. Start doing some of these things, really thinking deeply about each of these steps so that you can make great, powerful, effective changes in your own life.

Okay, I’ll see you again next time. Bye bye.


  1. Excellent post. I absolutely appreciate this website.
    Stick with it!

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  2. I always agree with you we should simulate a successful persons and benefit from their experiences ....thank you AJ I respect you a lot


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