What makes people successful?


Richard St John spent 10 years trying to find out what traits successful people had in common. It took him 500 interviews and listening to more than a thousand success stories to come up with the answer.

On a TED talk he explains his findings. Click on this link to access the talk and a multiple choice listening task to do while you watch: http://ed.ted.com/on/kUEoaB9w


What do you think about it? #occeoic

Taking into account what you just learnt after watching the TED Talk, and your own experience, what advice would you give to people in the situations below?
1) Imagine a friend of yours wants to change their career but they are full of self-doubt and are wondering if it will be worth it. What would you say?
2) Imagine a co-worker of yours is full of brilliant ideas to improve the workplace but won’t communicate them for fear of being turned down or unwelcomed. Could you give them some advice?
If you need extra help to describe personality in English, you can click on this blogpost, which features a short film and a list of websites where you can learn or revise adjectives of personality.


I like people who…

Let’s take the chance to share and learn about the the positive qualities that we like. Audrey Hepburn once said “I like people who make me laugh.” What about you?  What makes you admire somebody? What makes you just want to sit around to enjoy their company?

The video below is a wonderful short film by Tiffany Shlain which explores how we can develop our character, and which are the core virtues that we generally agree are positive.

Here goes mine:

I like people who are open-minded, trustworthy and relaxed. I like people who are positive. I like people who don’t focus only on the flaws, but instead, see the chance to make them become a virtue.

I like people who are able to see their own weaknesses but are not ashamed of them. You should only feel ashamed if you are not willing to change. I like people who take pride in their victories, no matter how unimportant they may seem to everyone else (a meal, the right phrase in the right moment).

I like people who are sincere and give their opinions, not to hurt but to share and help. I like people with an eye on solutions, not the problems. 

I like people who explore, create and build. I like people who are supportive with  people who create. I like people who help build new paths for freedom, learning and experience.

I like people who smile.

I like people who are kind-hearted and emotional. 

If you want to share your opinion and/or take the chance to practice some English, here go some suggestions.


1) Post a comment.

2) Enter a simple relative clause or phrase to describe the kind of people you like on this website I Love People Who Website.

3) Post your opinion on twitter using the hashtag #occeoic


Click here for practice on describing personality: Esl-lab

You’ll find more extra listening practice on http://www.elllo.com

What are your best qualities? First think of which adjectives you would choose to describe your own and then listen to What are your best qualities by Elllo.

What are your worst qualities? Then listen to What is your worst quality from Elllo and compare.

If you need help with language

Help with adjectives:Lingolex

Help with relative clauses: Eltbase