If Tomorrow Never Comes

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Most people have this strange notion that they should do it early in the morning when it is quiet or in the afternoon or in the evening because they think their brain works better. Perhaps it's true to some.

But it doesn't work for me. I have trained myself not to be dependent on what others call perfect time, perfect world, perfect universe. I do not get myself tricked by the clock or by my mood. I have always told myself, "There is only now!"

I do not care about what else are going on around. All that matters is I do it now. You don't have any clue. As I was writing this, I had no idea about the time.

Scared of distractions? My neighbor refused to keep the volume down while singing karaoke. I had neighbors who preferred to drill and hammer away at odd hours, play musical instruments in the wee hours of the morning, and move furniture in the middle of the night.

I don't care the heck if it's 12 midnight, or if there's an Adele wanna-be next door, or if the environment is too loud. I JUST DO IT! 

No one and nothing can stop me.

What if you don't have that option to study in a quiet place by yourself? Will you not do anything at all. Many people don't feel like doing anything because it's raining, because it's too hot, because it's too noisy.

Trust me. When you don't feel like it and you do it anyway, you eventually develop the discipline that makes things happen. Do it anytime, anywhere.

Let me tell you a story. It won't take you a moment. I was on a bus one time going to a place you probably don't care about where. I sat lost in thought in the passenger seat. Sitting next to me was an old woman who seemed to enjoy keeping her eyes on the road.

I wasn't thinking about work or anything. I was just staring into blank space and watching the scenery that flew by. I sported a facial expression that revealed nothing, but my eyes and ears were open. 

I was hearing indistinct chatters. I looked around and saw people on the bus talking in a low-voice exchange and throwing meaningless gestures.

I was about to just stay quiet and drift into deeper contemplation when suddenly I felt a tug of excitement. I realized every minute counts and yet there I was wasting it. So, I took my notebook out of my backpack, uncapped my pen, and wrote down the following lines:

I drive. You drive. They drive. She drives. He drives. Kenjie drives.

I did a silent reading. After doing so many times over, I then whispered sentences based on SVO pattern as you can see below.

I drive a bus. You drive a bus. He drives a school bus. She drives a double-decker bus. They drive a yellow bus. Kenjie drives a Tesla-made bus.

These sentences look overly simple on paper, right? But lots of my students get them wrong when they open their mouths. By the way, the old woman beside me peered over her glasses and eyed me suspiciously. I looked at her and faked a smile.

Her intent was obvious. She checked to see if I had gone completely insane. I thought to myself, "I'm sorry for causing a scene Madam, but I don't give a damn about what you think of me." 

I carried on. Did I do something wrong? What do you think?

In our society, we are led to believe we need to do what is commonly done. We get reluctant to do what needs done because we care deeply about what others think. Well, if confronted by anyone, have a story ready. 

Look at them straight in the eye and tell them, "I am a student. I have a final exam tomorrow." One and done. Simple.

No one. None. None of the bus passengers had any idea what I did was, to me, massively important. I look at learning English as a matter of survival. And if my life depends on it, I will do anything to stay alive. Yes, I will die learning English before I see myself quit.

Do you see the problem here? Most students just kind of want it. They want to have a good command of English. They talk about it. They dream about it. They keep thinking about it. But they do not study it as bad as they want to party with their friends.

The moment you think about what other people may think about you, you are telling me you are not driven enough. If so, you might as well stop studying English and do something else you think you can be accepted and be productive. 

You've all heard it many times. Commit fully! Do your best! Do what it takes!

Do or do not; there is no try. — Master Yoda

Let me ask you. What sacrifices are you willing to make? Are you not ready to experience embarrassment and rejection as part of learning English? Can you do what I did on the bus? Many people are terrified of being judged. 

By the way, do I forever have to follow what is acceptable to be considered normal? How about you? Are you willing to do something what others think is crazy?

Do you ever wonder why you are not getting there? Haven't you figured out why you don't have a good command of the English language yet? Let me break it to you gently. This is it, the final revelation and I dare you to listen to me. 

I'll tell you what you don't want to hear, and I'll give you the truth. You may not like what I have to say. Here we go!

Most of you write, watch films, listen to songs and audio clips, and speak only when you are being compelled to do so. No joke. Here's the funny thing: 99% of the speaking that you do, only happens during classes.

Do you want me to tell you where the other 1% is? The other 1 percent takes place when you are literally cornered. Yes, when you have nowhere else to go. Care to know what I hear all the time from you when you are left with no choice but to speak English?

It's SO, SO and I KNOW, I KNOW. 

Bloody OMG! 

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