ESL Video Quiz: Try something new for 30 days

Quiz by: ChezTeresaESL
Quiz #: 25273
(ESL Category: listening) TED Talk: Matt Cutts

00:11 A few years ago, I felt like I was stuck
in a rut, so I decided to follow in the
footsteps of the great American philosopher,
Morgan Spurlock, and try something new for 30
days. The idea is actually pretty simple. Think
about something you've always wanted to add to
your life and try it for the next 30 days. It
turns out 30 days is just about the right
amount of time to add a new habit or subtract a
habit – like watching the news – from your
00:42 There's a few things I learned while
doing these 30-day challenges. The first was,
instead of the months flying by, forgotten, the
time was much more memorable. This was part of
a challenge I did to take a picture every day
for a month. And I remember exactly where I was
and what I was doing that day. I also noticed
that as I started to do more and harder 30-day
challenges, my self-confidence grew. I went
from desk-dwelling computer nerd to the kind of
guy who bikes to work. For fun!
01:14 (Laughter)
01:16 Even last year, I ended up hiking up Mt.
Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. I
would never have been that adventurous before I
started my 30-day challenges.
01:27 I also figured out that if you really
want something badly enough, you can do
anything for 30 days. Have you ever wanted to
write a novel? Every November, tens of
thousands of people try to write their own
50,000-word novel, from scratch, in 30 days. It
turns out, all you have to do is write 1,667
words a day for a month. So I did. By the way,
the secret is not to go to sleep until you've
written your words for the day. You might be
sleep-deprived, but you'll finish your novel.
Now is my book the next great American novel?
No. I wrote it in a month. It's awful.
02:11 (Laughter)
02:13 But for the rest of my life, if I meet
John Hodgman at a TED party, I don't have to
say, "I'm a computer scientist." No, no, if I
want to, I can say, "I'm a novelist."
02:28 So here's one last thing I'd like to
mention. I learned that when I made small,
sustainable changes, things I could keep doing,
they were more likely to stick. There's nothing
wrong with big, crazy challenges. In fact,
they're a ton of fun. But they're less likely
to stick. When I gave up sugar for 30 days, day
31 looked like this.
02:50 (Laughter)
02:53 So here's my question to you: What are
you waiting for? I guarantee you the next 30
days are going to pass whether you like it or
not, so why not think about something you have
always wanted to try and give it a shot! For
the next 30 days.
03:11 Thanks.

Link to the TED Talk:

'stuck in a rut' (idiom): doing the same thing,
day after day; bored with your daily life;
habit (n): something that a person does often
and in a regular, repeated way
challenge (n): something that is hard to do; an
invitation to compete in game or activity;
adventurous (adj): not afraid to do new and
dangerous or exciting things
novel (n): a long, written story, usually about
imaginary characters and events;
novelist (n): someone who writes novels;
sustainable (adj): able to last or continue for
a long time;

Discussion questions:
Have you ever decided to start a new habit or
to stop a bad habit? What happened?
How long do you think it takes to form a new
habit or to break a bad one?
Which of Matt Cutt's 30-day challenges did you
find most interesting?
Why do you think 30 days is about the right
amount of time to add a new habit or subtract a
bad habit?
Why do you think Matt Cutt's self-confidence
grew as he completed more challenges?
Think of something you would like to do (or not
do) for 30 days. Write your own 30-day

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