The Golden Circle of English Fluency

Golden-CircleToday I want to share one of the most effective English learning activities I’ve ever taught, guiding you step by step through 3 super important questions critical for English learning success:

1. WHY you’re learning (your purpose, motivation)
2. HOW you’re learning (your method)
3. WHAT is your desired result (your goals and results).

Note: whether you’re a teacher or a student, the ideas discussed today are “force multipliers,” meaning that the more you learn and explore these questions, the more they will accumulate and dramatically increase the impact of your effort.

Watch the Video Lesson

Free PDF Worksheet/ Activity


screenshot-2017-01-01-11-13-32Aww yeah, Global Citizens, I’m Justin, your RealLife English fluency coach. Today I’m super excited to be giving a very important lesson on 3 questions that will guarantee your English learning success in 2017. Aww yeah!

So to give to today’s lesson, we’re going to use a really awesome model used by Simon Sinek, who has a TED Talk called “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” and a book called “Start with WHY.”

This is called the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle really illustrates the 3 different questions that we’re going to ask today, starting at the center, at the heart, of WHY. Why do anything? Why are you learning English? What’s your purpose? What’s your cause?

Moving out, we’re going to talk about your method, HOW are you doing? What’s your way? Are you doing it correctly?

Finally, we have WHAT. And WHAT is your vision, your definition of success, your result.

So these three questions that we’re going to ask today really depend on each of these of layers, each of these levels of the golden circle.

Video that Inspired this Lesson: Start with Why (Simon Sinek)

Free PDF Golden Circle Worksheet


But before we start, if you want to follow and really take advantage of this lesson, I recommend you download the PDF, which is a 9 page PDF worksheet that will guide through this exercise, that will give you space to write, to reflect, to really explore your motivation, your method, and your vision for your English learning, your vision for success.

So download that now, follow along, do that as you go, and I promise you this will revolutionize- this will guarantee, your English learning success in 2017.

1. WHY: Your Purpose & Motivation

Alright, so the first question we want to ask. WHY are you learning English? What’s your purpose, what’s your cause, what’s your motivation, what’s your emotional connection to this.

There are many different levels of this of course, and you can be learning for internal reasons, external reasons, some people say that they’re learning because they want to make more money, or maybe there is making them, maybe their parents are making them, but really I don’t believe are the highest reasons, I don’t believe these are the best reasons.

There many reasons to be learning, and sure, to advance in your career and to make more money- these are good reasons- but these are very base reasons. Think traveling, think about connecting with people, think about becoming a global citizen, seeing the world beyond your physical, cultural, and linguistic borders.

A lot of people don’t realize this, they don’t understand this until they actually learn English because it’s really difficult to see this at the very beginning of the process. But, if you can see the potential, the potential to look at the world in a different way, to have a global perspective. This completely changes your whole process.

So take that piece of paper, download and print out the PDF, spend some time reflecting, WHY are you learning English, and if you have a strong emotional connection to WHY you’re learning English, this will serve as the- the motor, the engine, that will fuel the rest of the process, and it will give you the motivation and the purposes to make the sacrifices and build the habits and take the actions that you need to carry out, to realize your method.

The second big question that you need to ask, HOW? HOW are you learning English, what is your method, how successful have you been, are you learning in the right way?

2. HOW: Your Method & Way

Here at RealLife English, we help people learn the RealLife way, and this what we believe is a very optimal method. Each person needs to really have a self-awareness about how they learn best.

At RealLife English, we say, “don’t just learn it, live it.” And this means connect your English to your life, to the things you already do and the things you enjoy doing, to make it a fun, natural, convenient, exciting part of your life.

If you can do this, it gets a lot easier. So, these are just principles of HOW you can learn English, but really you’re the person, you’re self-taught, you need to go and really understand how you learn, reflect upon your process.

What are the changes you could make.?What’s the number one thing you can do to change your process, to change your English, so you can make 2017 a really awesome year for your English learning and for your life.

3. WHAT: Your Results & Vision

And the third and final question that I want you to ask yourself is WHAT? What do you define success as? What do you imagine that to be? What results do you want?

These are really important to think about to develop a vision for, to be able to imagine yourself accomplishing these goals, because if you can’t imagine yourself doing this, it ‘s really hard to be successful. You need to believe that you can, you need to see it in your mind’s eye. And a lot of times you have limiting beliefs that- that can contradict with your success.

That’s a different process, but we talk that in the – in the PDF worksheet, the goal-setting, but another really important idea is SMART goals, SMART objectives.

Smart Goals

SMART is an acronym for a method of creating and- and achieving your goals, and so S stands for SPECIFIC, M stands for MEASURABLE, A stands for ATTAINABLE, R stands for RELEVANT, and T stands for TIMELY, there needs to be a date, a deadline.

So every single one of your of your goals needs to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. So those are just a few of the ideas about how to create your WHAT.

So those are the 3 questions. You start with your WHY, you start with your purpose and motivation, you move to your method, really clarify that. Think about it, reflect upon, how you learn best. You’re the only one who can really guide your process, you can’t give your responsibility to someone else, it’s on you. And finally is your vision, imagine yourself succeeding, imagine what success looks like. Put it all together.

Learn more About Smart Goals

The Elephant and the Rider

elephant-the-riderThe final idea I want to share with you to to help you to bring it all together and unleash your true English learning potential is the elephant and the rider, an idea popularized by behavioral psychologist, Jonathan Haidt.

The elephant represents the unconscious, irrational, emotional part of us, and it is much powerful than the rider – the guy on top.

The rider, on the other hand, has vision, rationality, direction, and he can plan ahead and consciously program the future, or shape the path.

The problem most English learners encounter is that they are not emotionally invested in their learning, and their emotional elephant does not want to listen to the rational rider. Because of this, the process is slow, frustrating, and ineffective.

When you clarify and connect your emotions to WHY you’re learning English, you are unleashing – or unlocking the immense power of- your inner elephant and aligning it with your clear thinking conscious intention and problem-solving ability-your WHAT.

If you’ve done the work of clarifying your HOW -the most fun, natural and effective way for YOU to learn- you’ve got a wonderful map, plus the unconscious momentum to start taking some big steps in the right direction on your journey to true, lifelong fluency.


I hope you enjoyed today. It was definitely really exciting for me to be able to teach this. This has been very successful with everybody that I’ve used it with, and it’s really awesome to make it available to the masses, so if you really enjoyed it, push like, give us a comment below. Let us know what you think.

What’s your WHY? WHY are you learning English? Or what is the number 1 part of your process you need to improve? Or what is your end goal? You can put that below and I’ll be happy to comment and give you feedback on it. And thanks a lot. Aww yeah!!!

Free PDF Golden Circle Worksheet

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  • Siti Nafira (Fira) says:

    Aww, Yeah! It’s awesome! It’s very refresh my motivation. Thank you!

  • Yogesh maccks says:

    Wow !!! This one is kickass
    I love the way you said and explained. it is cool that you motivated us less than 10 minutes video i m feeling motivated and inspired
    Awww yeah !!! You did Justin a great job

    • RealLife says:

      Aww Yeah Yogesh. I appreciate your enthusiasm and sharing your thoughts. After you do the exercise feel free to send it to me at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to give you feedback.

  • Luiz Fernando Michel says:

    Hi everyone, I guess that is very important point when we are looking at the direction where the target it is to make question about Why, How and What our English make sense in our lives, it is important understand the real sense of the things that surround us when we living a English life. Best Regards. Aww Yeah!!!

    • RealLife says:

      Aww Yeah, Luiz, thanks so much for watching and commenting. Yeah the WHY is like an engine that fuels the whole process. Thanks again!

  • Diego Alexsandro Bradley says:

    Awwww yeah!!! I’ve liked this podcast that I’ve heard, this is a great question in our lives because We always should have direction in where we must go. And then, I want to seek practice these things in my life. So thanks for this amazing podcast.

    • RealLife says:

      I’m glad it was useful Diego. Keep kicking butt in your learning man!