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ESL Lesson: Building Life Skills and Personal Growth for ESL Learners

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

Objective: To introduce and reinforce essential vocabulary related to personal growth, self-improvement, and success through engaging activities and discussions.

Duration: 60 minutes

Warm-up Discussion:

  • 1. What is a personal goal that you have about the future?

  • 2. Why is it important to you to have goals?


  1. Fulfilling: Feeling happy and satisfied with what you do.

  2. Opportunities: Chances to do something or achieve something.

  3. Acquiring: Getting or learning something new.

  4. Networking: Making connections and friends to help each other.

  5. Setbacks: Problems or difficulties that make progress slower.

  6. Motivated: Having the desire and energy to do something.

  7. Solely: Only, without any other reasons.

  8. Responsibility: Being in charge of something and taking care of it.

  9. Consistently: Doing something regularly and not stopping.

  10. Achieving: Successfully completing or reaching a goal.

A Short Story: The Little Seed's Big Dream

Once upon a time, in a quiet garden, there was a little seed named Sammy. Sammy lived in the soil, surrounded by other plants. But Sammy had a dream that was bigger than itself – it wanted to become the tallest, most beautiful sunflower in the garden.

Sammy didn't know much about the world above, but it believed in its dream. Every day, it soaked up water and sunlight from the soil. The other plants around Sammy were already big and strong, but Sammy wasn't discouraged. It knew that if it tried its best, it could achieve its dream.

As days turned into weeks, something magical started happening. Sammy began to grow taller! Its stem stretched towards the sky, and leaves appeared on its sides. The other plants whispered, "You're just a little seed. You can't become a big sunflower." But Sammy didn't listen. It remembered its dream and kept reaching for the sun.

One day, the sunflower buds started forming on Sammy's top. It was so excited! It knew that its dream was coming true. Sammy's yellow petals began to open, and it stood proudly, taller than all the other plants. The garden was filled with the golden glow of Sammy's petals.

People passing by the garden stopped and marveled at the beautiful sunflower. "How did you become so tall?" they asked. Sammy smiled and replied, "I believed in myself and my dream."

And so, Sammy, the little seed with the big dream, showed everyone that even the smallest can achieve great things with determination and self-belief. From that day on, the garden was a place of inspiration, where everyone learned that dreams really can come true, just like Sammy's dream of becoming a magnificent sunflower.

Watch video:

How to Live Life Without Relying on Luck - Summary:

The video "How to Live Life Without Being Lucky" by Nas Daily discusses ways to lead a fulfilling life without depending solely on luck. The speaker, Nas Daily, shares valuable insights on how to take control of one's life and create opportunities for oneself.

Nas begins by emphasizing that life is not solely determined by luck, but rather by the choices we make. He suggests that setting goals and working consistently towards them is essential for achieving success. Nas encourages viewers to believe in their abilities and take responsibility for their actions.

The video also highlights the importance of learning and adapting. Nas stresses that acquiring new skills and knowledge can open doors to various opportunities. He advises viewers to invest time in self-improvement and personal growth.

Furthermore, Nas discusses the significance of networking and building relationships. He suggests that surrounding oneself with supportive and motivated individuals can lead to collaboration and shared success. Nas emphasizes that these connections can be instrumental in creating opportunities.

Nas also addresses the fear of failure, explaining that setbacks are a natural part of life. He encourages viewers not to be discouraged by failures but to learn from them and keep moving forward.

In conclusion, the video emphasizes that living a successful life is not solely dependent on luck. By setting goals, working hard, learning continuously, building relationships, and embracing failure, individuals can take control of their lives and create their own opportunities.




In the video "How to Live Life Without Relying on Luck," the speaker delves into the notion of luck and it's influence on our lives. The core message revolves around the idea that relying solely on luck is an inadequate approach to achieving success and fulfillment. The speaker emphasizes the significance of proactive planning, hard work, and strategic decision-making in realizing one's goals. Through insightful anecdotes and analysis, the video encourages viewers to cultivate a mindset centered on purposeful actions rather than depending on chance. The narrative underscores that individuals possess the power to shape their destinies by embracing a proactive, intentional approach to life. In essence, the video advocates for a shift from passive reliance on luck to active engagement in creating one's path to success.

Advanced Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you believe that achieving your goals is solely a matter of personal effort, or do external factors like fate and luck play a significant role? Why?

  2. Can you share an example from your life where you feel luck played a role in the outcome of a goal? How did you react to this element of luck?

  3. How does cultural background influence people's beliefs in fate and luck? Are there cultures that tend to emphasize these concepts more than others?

  4. Is there a fine line between attributing success to luck and undermining one's efforts? How can individuals strike a balance between acknowledging luck and recognizing their hard work?

  5. In what ways can belief in fate or luck impact a person's motivation and determination to achieve their goals? Can these beliefs be empowering or limiting?

  6. Imagine two individuals with identical goals and skill sets. One believes in the power of fate, while the other attributes success solely to their effort. How might their journeys differ?

  7. Are there instances when relying on fate or luck can be detrimental to achieving goals? How can a healthy skepticism about fate and luck drive individuals to take proactive steps?

  8. Consider the concept of "serendipity," where unexpected and positive events occur by chance. How can individuals create an environment that encourages serendipity without relying solely on it?

  9. How do you interpret the saying "You make your own luck"? Can you provide real-life examples that illustrate this idea?

  10. Discuss instances where people who have faced setbacks or failures attributed them to bad luck. How can reframing these experiences as learning opportunities impact their future pursuits?

  11. In fields like sports or arts, where competition is fierce, how much of an athlete's or artist's success can be attributed to luck versus skill and hard work?

  12. Explore the psychological impact of attributing success or failure to luck. How might these attributions influence a person's self-esteem and future endeavors?

  13. How might the rapid advancement of technology and the internet influence perceptions of fate and luck, considering the access to information, opportunities, and connections they offer?

  14. Have you encountered situations where a fortunate outcome was seen as luck by some and as a natural consequence of effort by others? How can differing perspectives lead to conflicts or misunderstandings?

  15. Reflect on your own beliefs about fate and luck. Have these beliefs evolved over time? How have personal experiences shaped your viewpoint? great quotes on Luck :


  1. Notion: Noun. An idea, belief, or concept.

  2. Influence: Noun. The power to affect or shape someone's decisions, behavior, or opinions.

  3. Fulfillment: Noun. A sense of satisfaction or achievement resulting from the realization of one's aspirations or desires.

  4. Revolve: Verb. To center around; to have as a central theme or focus.

  5. Inadequate: Adjective. Insufficient or not satisfactory for a particular purpose or need.

  6. Proactive: Adjective. Taking initiative by anticipating future needs or opportunities and acting accordingly.

  7. Strategic: Adjective. Planned or executed in a way that aims to achieve long-term goals.

  8. Decision-making: Noun. The process of selecting a course of action from various alternatives.

  9. Anecdote: Noun. A short, interesting, and often personal story or account that illustrates a point.

  10. Cultivate: Verb. To foster the growth or development of a particular quality, skill, or mindset.

  11. Mindset: Noun. A person's attitudes, beliefs, and way of thinking about things.

  12. Passive: Adjective. Inactive or not taking an active role.

  13. Destinies: Noun. Plural of "destiny," referring to the predetermined course of events in one's life.

  14. Embrace: Verb. To accept or adopt a belief, idea, or approach willingly.

  15. Shift: Noun. A significant change or movement from one state, position, or direction to another.

  16. Reliance: Noun. Dependence or trust placed on something or someone.

  17. Engagement: Noun. Active involvement or participation in a particular activity or process.

These words can enhance a C2 ESL learner's vocabulary and understanding of the summary's content, allowing them to express ideas more precisely and comprehend advanced texts effectively.

IETLS Speaking Questions:

Fate, Luck, and Chance:

  1. Do you believe in the concept of fate? Why or why not?

  2. How much do you think luck and chance play a role in a person's success or failure?

  3. Can you provide an example from history or literature where luck or chance played a significant role in shaping an individual's life?

  4. In your opinion, do people have control over their fate, or are they simply subject to random events?

Serendipity and Destiny:

  1. Have you ever experienced a serendipitous moment in your life? How did it impact you?

  2. Do you think destiny is something that is predetermined, or is it something that individuals create for themselves through their choices and actions?

  3. Can you think of instances where people's efforts and actions aligned perfectly with what seemed to be their destiny?

  4. Is there a balance between following one's destiny and actively shaping one's future through hard work and determination?

Hard Work and Success:

  1. To what extent do you believe that hard work is necessary for achieving success?

  2. Are there any examples you can think of where a person's hard work led to significant accomplishments despite unfavorable circumstances?

  3. Is it possible for someone to achieve success without putting in a substantial amount of effort? Why or why not?

  4. How does the role of hard work differ across various aspects of life, such as education, career, relationships, and personal development?


  1. Vocabulary Matching: Match the vocabulary words from the summary with their definitions.

    • Fulfilling

    • Opportunities

    • Acquiring

    • Networking

    • Setbacks

    • Motivated

    • Solely

    • Responsibility

    • Consistently

    • Achieving

a. Having a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

b. Challenges or difficulties that hinder progress.

c. Gaining new skills or knowledge.

d. Working regularly and without interruption.

e. Being determined and enthusiastic to achieve goals.

f. Possibilities for advancement or success.

g. Building connections and relationships for mutual benefit.

h. Being accountable for one's actions.

i. Reaching desired outcomes.

j. Not depending on anything else; only.

1. True or False: Determine whether the following statements are true or false based on the summary.

a. Luck is the only factor that determines a successful life. (False)

b. Setting goals and working consistently are important for success. (True)

c. Acquiring new skills is not necessary for personal growth. (False)

d. Networking and building relationships have no impact on opportunities. (False)

e. Failure should be avoided at all costs. (False)

2. Fill in the Blanks: Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words from the summary.

a. _________ personal goals requires dedication and hard work.

b. Learning from _________ can lead to future success.

c. ___________ helps individuals build valuable connections.

d. Taking ___________for your actions is crucial for personal growth.

e. Success is not based ___________on luck but also on effort.

f. Continuous _____________eads to personal development.

Discussion Questions:

a. Do you believe that luck plays a significant role in success? Why or why not?

b. How do you feel about facing setbacks or failures? Are they discouraging or motivating for you?

c. What are some ways you can acquire new skills and knowledge in your daily life?

d. Have you ever experienced the benefits of networking? How did it help you?

e. Can you think of a situation where taking responsibility for your actions was important?

Answer Key:

Exercise 2:

a. Achieving

b. setbacks

c. Networking

d. responsibility

e. solely

f. self-improvement

A Short Story: Unwavering Belief

Once upon a time in a bustling city, lived a young woman named Maya. She was known for her remarkable determination and unwavering belief in herself. Maya had faced numerous challenges in her life, but she never allowed them to shake her confidence.

Maya had a dream of becoming a renowned architect. Since childhood, she was fascinated by buildings and structures that seemed to touch the sky. Despite her humble background and limited resources, Maya was determined to make her dream a reality.

As Maya pursued her studies in architecture, she encountered skepticism from her peers and even some of her professors. But Maya had a strong sense of self-belief that could not be easily shattered. She used every negative comment as fuel to work even harder. She spent countless nights studying, researching, and sketching her designs.

When it was time for her to present her final project, Maya poured her heart and soul into creating a masterpiece that showcased her unique vision. The day of the presentation arrived, and Maya stood in front of a panel of esteemed architects and experts. The room was silent as she unveiled her design. Gasps of awe filled the room as her innovative ideas and intricate details were revealed.

Despite her initial fears, Maya presented her project confidently and eloquently. As she finished, there was a moment of silence followed by a resounding applause. Maya had done it. She had not only believed in herself but had also proven her doubters wrong.

Her design caught the attention of a prominent architecture firm, who offered her an internship. Maya's hard work and self-belief had paid off. Throughout her internship, she continued to impress everyone with her creativity and dedication.

Years went by, and Maya's name became synonymous with groundbreaking architectural designs. She had transformed her dreams into reality, and her story became an inspiration to many. Maya never forgot the importance of self-belief, and she often shared her journey with aspiring architects and students, encouraging them to never give up on their dreams.

Maya's unwavering belief in herself had not only shaped her own destiny but had also left an indelible mark on the world of architecture. Her story became a reminder that no matter the challenges one faces, with self-belief and hard work, even the loftiest dreams can be achieved.


Here are some discussion questions related to the story "Unwavering Belief":

Character Traits:

  • What character traits did Maya possess that helped her achieve her dreams?

  • How did Maya's determination and self-belief impact her actions and decisions?

Challenges and Setbacks:

  • What were some of the challenges Maya faced along her journey to becoming an architect?

  • How did Maya respond to skepticism and negative comments from others?

Dreams and Goals:

  • Why was becoming an architect Maya's dream?

  • How did Maya's passion for architecture drive her actions and decisions?

Presentation and Confidence:

  • How did Maya feel while presenting her final project?

  • How did Maya's self-belief contribute to her confident presentation?

Impact of Belief:

  • How did Maya's unwavering self-belief impact the outcome of her story?

  • Can you think of other examples from real life or fiction where self-belief played a crucial role in someone's success?

Inspiration and Influence:

  • How did Maya's story inspire others, both in the story and potentially in real life?

  • Can you relate to Maya's story in any way? Have you ever been inspired by someone's journey?

Life Lessons:

  • What can we learn from Maya's story about the importance of believing in oneself?

  • How can Maya's story be applied to our own lives and goals?

Overcoming Doubts:

  • How did Maya handle doubts and skepticism from others? What can we learn from her approach?

  • Have you ever faced doubts or criticism regarding your goals? How did you handle them?

Hard Work and Success:

  • How did Maya's hard work and dedication contribute to her success?

  • Can you think of other examples where hard work and self-belief lead to success?

Personal Reflection:

  • Reflect on a time when you achieved something because you believed in yourself. How did it feel?

  • What steps can you take to build and maintain self-belief in your own life?

These discussion questions can help foster a deeper understanding of the story's themes and encourage thoughtful conversations about self-belief, determination, and pursuing one's dreams.

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