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Describe a positive change that you made in your life

Part 2

This episode's vocabulary


  • Solo (adj.) - alone; without other people.
  • To lessen (verb) - if something lessens or is lessened, it becomes less strong.
  • Necessity (noun) - the need for something.
  • To fall away (phrasal verb) - if parts of something fall away, they break off and drop to the ground.
  • Root cause (noun) - the fundamental reason for the occurrence of a problem.
  • To pin down (phrasal verb) - to discover exact details about something.

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Questions and Answers


M: Now Rory is going to describe a positive change that he made in his life. How exciting is that? Rory is gonna say what the change is, why he did it, actually why he made it, he made a change, who he did it with, or like he did something with, and he's gonna explain how he feels about the change. Rory, are you all ready with positivity and changes and your life stories? Off you go. Tell us, tell us.

R: About three years ago I gave up smoking, which is quite a common bad habit around the world. And definitely, there's lots of people that smoke in my country. It's funny because I didn't do it for any specific reason, despite the fact that there are obvious health and social benefits. I just sort of completely lost interest in it. And I didn't feel any great sense of loss. Since it didn't give me any pleasure at all after a certain point. It was pretty much a solo thing since many of my friends still smoke. But in my case, I just found other things to do like reading or doing certain breathing exercises when I'm stressed. A lot of people smoke to calm down. So this explains it in my case as well. I also became more competent at the things I like doing and at my job. So the stress wasn't just, was also not as intense as it used to be. So that cut down on that aspect as well even further. And my work environment changed, which lessened this even more. So the whole necessity just sort of collapsed after a while even though no one really needs to smoke. A lot of people come out of quitting smoking, saying that they feel rather relieved, or they get stressed out by having to avoid it all the time. But in my case, I didn't really feel anything about it. I'm not an expert in addiction psychology or anything. But I think that's the key to the whole thing. You just find other things to do with your time and life to the extent that the problem just falls away, as well as taking steps to sort out the root cause. So in my case, it was like a lot of stress. I also don't get very upset if I last from time to time, sometimes I'll smoke socially, but it doesn't happen very frequently. And it's easy to forgive since I don't really feel the need to do it again. It's difficult to pin down exactly why that happened. Maybe I just burned out the neurons that I needed to have that particular addiction because I just did it too much. I'm not too sure. But anyway, I'm pleased that I stopped and it's definitely made a big difference in my life.

M: What about your friends? How do they feel about this change?

R: I don't think there bothers them so much. Mostly, they just focus on their things in the sense.

M: Thank you, Rory, for your story!

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Discussion


M: Oh, wasn't it a lovely story about quitting smoking. I loved the way you said. I burned all the neurons connected to smoking.

R: Well, I honestly, I think I do because I just woke up one day and I was like, I just don't need to do this anymore. Do I? And I just stopped.

M: Really? Wow. Okay. Interesting. But once in a while kind of if you feel like it, you can smoke now.

R: Well, yeah, like if I've had like a drink. But it's not like again, even then it's not every time I've had a drink. It's just maybe how many times this year, one time this year, and it's it's almost June. So that's pretty good, I think.

M: Interesting. Wow. How cool. Yeah, so that's a positive change that Rory made in his life. So we make changes. And the task asks you to talk about something in the past, right? So a change you made in your life. So this change could be about your health, your habits. Maybe you moved. Maybe you applied for a new job. So you got a new position. Maybe you got married. You started listening to IELTS Speaking for Success podcast. What a nice change. Yeah, so something like this, dear listener, or maybe you finished your studies. And you entered a university. Think about one change that is easier for you to describe, and maybe a change that you enjoy describing. If you've never had any positive changes, could you please make it up.

R: I was gonna say who hasn't had a positive change in their life?

M: Oh...

R: Just sit and talk about our podcast for two minutes. That's a positive thing. You're obviously listening to this to get ready for your exam. So that just fits in nicely, doesn't it?

M: Yeah, it does. It does. So Rory started with about three years ago I gave up smoking. So with smoking we say I gave up, I quit. I gave up drinking. but he didn't say I gave up drinking. Whiskey is too, too good in Scotland.

R: I don't like whiskey. It's always bourbon.

M: Are you Scottish? No, you can't say you don't like whiskey. Come on.

R: Yes, I can. I can say what I like. We have that freedom here.

M: No, no, you're Scottish. Listen, listen, you're Scottish and you're supposed to drink whiskey. You're supposed to put freakin whiskey in your conflicts for breakfast.

R: No.

M: I'm supposed to eat vodka for breakfast every day. Eat and yes, I do mean eat vodka, yum, yum, yum, you know? I don't. I don't like vodka. And you don't Whiskey. Am I Russian? Are you Scottish? What's going on?

R: It's almost like we are unique individuals.

M: Oh... Yeah, and when I tell people, well, I don't drink vodka. I don't like it. They kind of look at me as if I had three heads. Maria, are you from Russia?

R: Are you in there?

M: What, wait, wait, wait, what do you mean? You don't drink vodka? What? What's your problem? Are you sick? Are you like, you know... Oh boy. And then they asked me about my friends. What about your friends? Do your friends drink vodka? I say no. And they don't trust me. I mean, like foreign people from different countries. So yeah, that's funny. Okay. And Rory said that I just completely lost interest in something. And it didn't give me any pleasure at all. But that's kind of like negative, but let's stay with a positive change. Rory described what he did instead. So he stopped smoking. And then I just found other things to do like reading doing certain breathing exercises. Yeah. So you can say what you stopped doing. And then you started doing something else. Also Rory used to. So stress, the, the stress wasn't as intense as it used to be. So if, for example, you chose to talk about your work, you can say that, yeah, it used to be very stressful, but then I changed my position. And now the stress isn't as intense as it used to be. So I don't have to smoke or drink or do something else. And then Rory continued, my work environment changed, which lessened the stress even more. Rory, did you mean to say that you don't work for the worst school in the world anymore?

R: No, I work for, well, right now I work for, well, us.

M: You work for us. Rory works for us. So yeah, so my work environment changed. If you speak about work, and then the stress lessened. So to lessen is a verb, the stress became less intense, or the stress lessened. About feelings, so Rory said that, usually people feel relieved. Right? So they quit smoking, they feel relieved, but Rory didn't feel anything about it. That's funny. So just kind of woke up and said, oh, I don't want to smoke.

R: If other people want to keep doing it, then that's up to them. In my case, I'm like, no, it's fine.

M: It's just so much. Your lungs just like kind of said like, no, mate. No, we're tired. You know, you know what? You just like stop. We just don't want it anymore, you know, we are full of it. Oh, that's funny. And then our kind of secret strategy. I'm not an expert in. But I think that and a nice one you used, the problem just falls away.

R: But that just means it just disappears.

M: Yeah, at some point, the problem just falls away. And you can take some steps to sort out the root. So the main reason for why something is happening. So if you want to make a positive change, you need to take steps to sort out the major reason, the root. Yeah, you said like the root cause. The root cause - the major cause. And you said that I don't get very upset if I lapse from time to time. Lapse, what did you mean by that?

R: It just means if you occasionally go back, so you go back to maybe if you have one cigarette when you've had a few drinks, something like that.

M: Yeah, yeah, for example, if you started getting up early, you can say, well, yeah, I kind of changed my getting up hours. But I don't get very upset if I lapse from time to time. So kind of I get back to normal, getting up at 1pm in the morning. So stuff like that. Cool. Jolly good, jolly good.

R: Thank you.

M: Yeah. What helped you to organize your answer so it's a logical and well connected?

R: Well, I went back to the past, so about three years ago, and then talked about what happened. And then I talked about why I did it. Oh, I talked about why I did it as well. And I just said, I just lost interest. And then for talking about who I did it with, I didn't say, I did it with, I said, it was a solo thing. So I did it by myself. And then how I felt about it. Well, I talked about how people usually feel about it, and then compared that to how I felt about it as well. So that means that I managed to get in a few more descriptive ways of talking about the emotions because I didn't feel anything. I was just like, oh, okay, I don't like smoking anymore. That's fine.

M: Oh, that's so funny. And so before you stopped smoking, how long had you been smoking?

R: It's a good question. Since I was 16, and I started smoking when I was 30. So that's almost 14 years.

M: Oh, wow. And 14 years, you would smoke like every day, like maybe like, how many cigarettes a day?

R: I can't remember. It varied from like a pack of 20 to as little as two or three, as few as two or three, I should say.

M: Good. Watch your grammar. So kind of you used to be a heavy smoker for like 14 years, and then like, boom, no, I just don't have to do it anymore. I'm done. Oh, that's funny. Cool. Cool. Yeah, dear listener, so I wish that everybody could do that to get rid of their bad habits. So they just you know, fall away. You wake up and you understand. Oh, I just don't want to do it. You know, just like, it takes 14 years. And then just the problem falls away. Oh, sweet.

R: You just need to sort out your life.

M: Sort it out, sort out your life. Thank you very much for listening! We wish you positive changes, and just positive vibes are sent through my microphone into your head, into your heart. And you feel joy and happiness. Hey-hey! Rory, say goodbye to the world.

R: Goodbye world!

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