This is our second Ted Talk post and is by Matt Cutts called, “Try Something New for 30 Days.”
Before you start the video, I’d like you to think about the following questions:
- What have you achieved in the past thirty days?
- What things do you do on a daily basis that are a waste of time?
- Have you tried something new recently?
(NOTE: We use the present perfect in the first question as “the past thirty days” is a present time expression and it still is connected to the present.)
Now, let’s take a look at the video:
To be stuck in a rut / To be in a rut
To be stuck in a rut means that you aren’t making progress and you are doing the same things all the time. Matt got out of his rut by trying something new for 30 days.
Here are more examples:
- My work is so boring and I’m not progressing. I’m stuck in a rut.
- I don’t want to get stuck in a rut with this novel I’m writing. I need some inspiration.
To follow in the footsteps
Matt says, “I decided to follow in the footsteps of the great American philosopher..” This means to copy someone or do something that is very similar to someone you know. A lot of the time, this is to do something similar to your parents.
- My friend followed in his father’s footsteps and became a painter.
- I’m going to follow in your footsteps by travelling to Argentina next year.
The months flying by
If time flies by, it means that it goes by very quickly. There is one particular expression here:
- Time flies when you’re having fun.
To want something badly enough
To want something badly means that you really want something.
- (A football manager to his players): How badly do you want to win this game?
- If you want to speak English badly enough, you’ll work at it every day.
If something sticks it means that it continues. When Matt made small changes, he said that he was more likely to continue doing these things, that they were more likely to stick.
Give it a shot
This is an American expression that means to give it a go, or try it out. It is usually used when the risks are low and the potential outcome is positive.
- (Talking to a friend who likes a girl): Go on, talk to her, give it a shot.
- I’m going to give this new project a shot.
Choose the best option (taken from the talk):