“One Leg At A Time” – The Secret to Motivation and English Fluency
Why The Best Students Learn English “One Leg at a Time”
“One leg at a time…”
That’s what Mike, a counselor of mine, told me at a camp one summer when I was 10 years old.
Mike was actually a bit slow to reply at first. He was surprised and slightly embarrassed because I had asked him the following question:
“How can I be like you?”
There I was, a small, nervous kid looking up to (phrasal verb meaning to admire) this older guy, and asking him for advice.
To me, Mike had everything…
He was strong, popular and all of us boys thought he had a very hot (attractive) girlfriend.
So when I asked him how I could be like him, I expected to hear lots of great advice about weightlifting or how to talk to girls. You know, things like that…
But he just smiled and said, “I put my pants on one leg at a time.”
This is a very common expression that means “there’s nothing special about me, or what I do.”
example: “When I get dressed, I put my pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else.”
I was confused. So I asked him if that was really everything he could share, and he explained a bit further:
I could tell you lots about many different things. Fashion. Women. Work. Life.
But you’d either forget everything, or try to do too much and accomplish nothing.
So, the simple secret to success is to do one thing at a time.
You can’t get everything all at once anyway, so pick one thing, work on it until you do it well, and then move to the next thing.
I was a skinny kid just like you not that long ago, but by working on one thing at a time, I slowly became who I am today.
And I’m still not finished!
The truth really is in the way we put on pants!
The funny thing is that no one tries to jump into both legs at the same time when they really do put on their pants… But many people don’t get what they want because they won’t follow that same advice for everything else in their lives.
Mike was a smart guy. And I bet he still is.
Like 10-year-old me, it’s easy to feel far from where you want to be when you look at native English speakers.
But remember that they had to learn the English language just like you’re doing right now.
So put on one leg on at a time – focus on just one word, phrase or grammar point and really master it – and I promise you’ll get where you want to go faster than you think!
Fluency really is that simple. 🙂
Your English Fluency Guide
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