Fight The Good Fight – VIP Program
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Hello VIP and welcome to this month’s training. This is a passionate topic of mine, so let’s get started. The topic is Fight the Good Fight. That’s actually an idiom, a common phrase in American English. What this means is, fight for your principles. Fight for something noble or good and do your best and constantly fight for it.That is the topic I want to talk about this month, fighting the good fight in some aspect of your life.Now, this is exactly the opposite of what we are, in fact, taught every single day. We are not taught to fight the good fight in schools. We certainly aren’t taught to fight the good fight in our jobs. In fact, we are discouraged from doing that. We are encouraged rather, to be obedient. We are encouraged to conform. We’re encouraged to follow the rules, whether they’re good rules or not, whether they serve people or not we’re taught to just follow the rules and be like everybody else. Follow the policy and do what you’re supposed to do, which means do what everybody else is doing. This, in my opinion, is the reason we have so many problems in the world. It’s not because we have a lot of evil people and horrible leaders. We do have a lot of evil people and horrible leaders, but here’s the thing they can’t do all these terrible things by themselves. No, they have millions and millions of normal people doing their bad work for them.We blame the President, politicians and big bankers for causing the wars, for example, but it’s the millions of soldiers who are actually shooting the people and bombing them. They’re just following the rules, doing what they’re told, being normal and patriotic; they’re conforming. It’s the same in companies, right? We have these company scandals where we find out these companies are cheating, doing terrible things like polluting the environment, dumping poisons in the water and people are shocked and surprised and then they blame some big person in the company.And yes those people deserve blame they’re terrible people, but it’s actually the everyday workers who are doing those things. What about just the guy who was picking up the bottles of poison and pouring them into the water? We say he was doing what he was told, poor guy. That’s bullshit! He knew he was doing something bad and he did it anyway. Conformity is not an excuse. Everyone knows this say, when we look at World War II or something, that oh yeah those terrible German soldiers. But then in our modern life all the time, it’s constantly happening all these terrible things, we want to point the finger at the leaders but the real problem is that most people don’t have the guts, the courage or the true principles to do what’s right, so instead they follow, they conform.They’re more worried about breaking rules and being different than they are about doing the right thing. And, of course, at a very young age we’re taught this in school. If you’re different or cause problems you’re getting in trouble all the time. The students who are rewarded in school aren’t the smartest kids they’re the most conformist, they’re the ones who don’t cause problems and follow what the teacher says to do.It’s natural. I understand it. I taught children in my first job. It was very difficult and for my own sanity I wanted the children to sit down and behave because it was easier for me, but it wasn’t necessarily the best thing for them all the time. I was thinking more selfishly.So, we get these ideas put into us very deeply when we’re young, which continue and as adults we automatically go along and make excuses all the time. We see things that are wrong, that are ineffective and we’re like oh well, that’s the rules and how it has to be. Let me give you an example of this. I saw this all the time when I was a teacher working in schools for many years in the beginning. I knew the methods didn’t work. I knew the textbooks were terrible. I could see the students weren’t improving. I could see they were bored and stressed, and it irritated and bothered me, in the very beginning when I was quite young but I continued to do it. My main problem was that I didn’t know what else to do and had no idea of what else I could do. All I knew was to do what the school was telling me to do and use the books they were telling me to use. But, because I don’t like following rules too much I actually started looking for other answers. I started finding new and different ideas and started using them in my class. Some of them were successful, some were not, but the ones that were successful I used more and more. My students started to improve and started to enjoy English more with less stress but lots of great benefits. I started fighting the good fight as a teacher and at some point, I can’t tell you exactly when, I decided I will serve my students first not my bosses and not the school. That’s when I decided to fight the good fight in my career at that time many years ago. I decided I don’t care, I don’t care about my bosses I’m not here to please them I’m here to serve these students because they’re the one’s paying for this and the ones I’m trying to help. So I started fighting that good fight, but here’s what happens when you start to fight the good fight, I promise you this. The status quo will resist. Status quo is a phrase, which means the way things are now. It’s the normal way of things, the way things are always done. It’s the standard or traditional way. We call that the status quo. People who are involved in the traditional way, the old way or normal way they don’t like change. They don’t want things to change and if you start changing things, I promise you, they’re going to resist. In my case they started to resist. I started having problems with my bosses, because they would hear that I was not using the textbook I was supposed to be using, so they would call me into the office and say A.J. you’re supposed to use this grammar book why are you not using it? At that time I wanted to keep my job and getting my paycheck, but at the same time I had decided to fight the good fight and not do something bad just to please my boss.So I got good at kind of, well, okay I’ll try to use it some. I would give these vague answers to my boss and then I’d go back and continue doing what I wanted to do, what I felt was the best and the right thing to do. That worked for a while but then eventually I had more and more problems and then I would just leave, get another job and then that process would sort of repeat itself again.Then, as I started learning more and started trying more and more different things, becoming more and more different as a teacher, telling these crazy stories, these mini stories and really being very energetic, running around my room and totally get rid of textbooks and doing all these different things, two things happened at the same time. My students became super energetic and happy, fun, loved the class and started improving more. At the same time I started having bigger and bigger problems with my bosses with the status quo. So far you’re probably thinking A.J., this topic doesn’t sound very fun or exciting. It doesn’t sound very positive. Why would I want to do this and cause all these problems for myself? Let me talk about the benefits now, why you need to do this.When you fight that good fight, when you do what most other people will not, when you choose to be dedicated to excellence in something, not conformity not the old way but total excellence. When you choose to serve people instead of just going along doing the same old things, when you choose to do the right thing instead of what’s normal, you will be amazed of the energy and passion you will attract.
First, it will come out of you. If you’re feeling bored and tired in your job right now it’s probably because you’re just following along doing what everyone expects. But, when you start fighting the good fight, really making decisions based on your highest principles, your highest values and what you feel is the best and the right thing and you’re not going to worry about whether other people like it or not, that’s what you’re going to do.You will suddenly get this incredible energy and that energy will grow and grow. You’ll gain this amazing passion and enthusiasm, and as you do that you’re going to do something else, you’re going to start inspiring people. You will inspire other people, because let me tell you something, right now in the world people are dying for someone who will fight that6 good fight. They’re dying to be inspired. They want it and need it, in jobs, in families and in schools they want it, because they’re not getting it. Their political leaders certainly aren’t inspiring them. Their teachers in school are not inspiring them. Their bosses and companies are not inspiring them. Sadly, in most cases, their family members are not inspiring them.People want to be inspired. They want to serve something bigger than themselves. They want to fight for something good and excellent, they do. When you make that decision and start doing that, other people will become very excited. They will be attracted to you. So, when I did this as a teacher my students, the energy started increasing incredibly. They started talking to each other. They started telling other students about me and my classes. This incredible energy and enthusiasm started happening in my classes. I started becoming a little bit famous at the school, as oh my God, this guy’s crazy, this guy’s amazing, he’s so energetic and passionate they became passionate and energetic.They became excited about English. These students who before thought it was so boring, horrible and terrible, but when they started feeling and seeing that I was really fighting for excellence, doing everything I could and I didn’t care about being normal, I didn’t care about being traditional and I didn’t care about pleasing my bosses or following the rules and policies, I cared about truly being an excellent teacher. They became so excited and passionate it was amazing and I started attracting more and more of those kinds of people and then I started meeting online, meeting other teachers who shared some of these ideas and that gave me even more motivation, encouragement and more support. It was amazing. When you do that you inspire people and when you inspire people you become inspired yourself. It’s that upward spiral that keeps repeating. You inspire them they inspire you.
You inspire them they inspire you. More enthusiasm, more energy, more passion it’s absolutely amazing, people want this they need it, in all parts of their life and you need to step forward and do it. I know it’s scary. I’m not going to promise you that it’s always easy because it’s not, because you will have to go against the bosses and people making the rules, and all those people who don’t want to change. All those people who just want you to be quiet shut up and do what you’re told. But, that other positive side is much, much, much more powerful.Now eventually, in my last major job which was in Thailand I was going so far and was so different that eventually I just couldn’t stay there anymore. I had this meeting with my bosses, they were unhappy, I wasn’t happy and we agreed it was over. At the time I was a little bit upset, but on the other hand I was also inspired, and that’s really when Effortless English started to be born. It was only a couple years after that, that I started my own company.I never would have started this company if I hadn’t fought the good fight. This company then, when I started it, I didn’t know anything about business. I didn’t know anything about technical stuff, websites or the Internet really. And yet, it succeeded very rapidly, very quickly and has grown, grown, grown. Now we have you, the best, the VIP members, these incredibly passionate, energized and inspired people.Why is that? It’s because I chose to fight the good fight and not just be a normal boring teacher. I chose not to just follow the rules like every other English teacher in every other English school around the world. So I had challenges because of that, but ultimately it gave me amazing, not just success, but an amazing passion and energy, an amazing happiness and much better life. That’s what happens, you just unleash this incredible power and then you attract these amazing people and that energy and passion, enthusiasm and inspiration just grows and grows and grows and it never stops.That’s what this is about, so that’s what I want you to do. I want you to be a hero. Be a hero in some part of your life. What does a hero do? They step forward and do the right thing and they commit to being excellent, great and they fight against the old way, they fight against the bad things. And they have some difficulties, but they keep on doing it. And because of that people admire them, look to them and follow them. They create incredible lives for themselves and for other people. That is my challenge to you this month. I’ll talk more about this in the commentary, but my challenge to you is, pick some area of your life and fight the good fight. Look at some area of your life, maybe it’s your job or career, really look at it and say am I really living my highest principles and values? Am I really doing everything possible for excellence? I guarantee you’ll say no, because nobody is doing everything possible, there’s always more you can do.I want you to identify what those things are and find the courage and strength to start living that and fighting for that. Break the rules, do whatever you have to do but do it. It doesn’t have to be your job if you’re afraid of losing your job. Start with your family, friends, school just some area of your life it doesn’t matter, but commit to total complete excellence and the highest morals and principles. Break those rules. Do it and make it a lifetime thing to fight for what’s best and what’s good.That’s it. That’s an easy assignment, right? I will see you later. I’ll certainly see you next month and listen to the commentary where I’ll talk more about this topic.
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