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Let’s Talk about Success Stories and Life Lessons We Learned

When chatting with someone, we often find ourselves telling stories about success or how an obstacle has been turned into an opportunity. Do you have all the vocabulary you need to do that in English?

Prepared with love by: My Personal English Coach

How to get the best out of your

Helloooo! Just a few words of support for those of you who are starting your experience in our Conversation Club and don’t feel very confident. 

Don’t worry, we’re here for you!

On this page, you’ll find the vocabulary that can help you speak with your Club Partners (other MPEC students you’ll be paired with for guided conversations).

If you feel like you need to prepare before the club session, you can review the content of this page in advance. We are your Coaches and we know you well! We know that using Idioms & Phrasal Verbs can be a real challenge, so those are often the language elements we’ll suggest you use 🙃

After the preparation (you’ll find both the vocabulary and the conversation questions on this page), we invite you to participate in the Club session. You have received an email with the ZOOM link for the session:

On Tuesdays, the Club takes place from 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM, and on Thursdays, from 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM. If you haven’t received the access instructions via email, please, get in touch with us:

If you want to practice more after the Club session, you can come back here to do the Follow Up activity (at the bottom of the page). Are you ready? Let’s begin!

Idiomatic Expressions Related to Success

  • Hit the jackpot (Definition: Achieve a major success or win a big reward.) Example: After years of hard work, she finally hit the jackpot when her business took off. 🎰💰
  • The sky’s the limit (Definition: There is no set limit to what you can achieve.) Example: With determination and effort, you can achieve anything—the sky’s the limit! ☁️🚀
  • On top of the world (Definition: Feeling extremely successful and happy.) Example: After winning the championship, he felt on top of the world and couldn’t stop smiling. 🌎🏆
  • Born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth (Definition: Born into a wealthy and privileged family.) Example: She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, so she never had to worry about financial struggles. 🥄💰
  • Break new ground (Definition: To pioneer or achieve something innovative.) Example: Their groundbreaking research broke new ground in the field of neuroscience. 🌱🚧
  • Climb the ladder of success (Definition: Progress steadily towards achieving higher levels of success.) Example: Through hard work and dedication, she climbed the ladder of success from an entry-level position to a leadership role. 🧗‍♂️📈
  • Rise to the occasion (Definition: Meet challenges or demands with competence and determination.) Example: When faced with a crisis, he rose to the occasion and led the team to success. 🌅🏃‍♂️
  • In the driver’s seat (Definition: In control or a position of leadership.) Example: With the new promotion, she’s now in the driver’s seat and can guide the project’s direction. 🚗👩‍✈️
  • Put on the map (Definition: Gain recognition or become well-known.) Example: Their innovative product design put the company on the map in the competitive market. 🗺️📌
  • Run the show (Definition: Be in charge or control of a situation.) Example: As the CEO, he runs the show and makes key decisions for the company’s success. 🎬👑

Very Formal Connecting Words

  1. Moreover (Definition: In addition to what has been said; furthermore.)
  2. Nonetheless (Definition: Nevertheless; in spite of that.)
  3. Conversely (Definition: In an opposite or contrary manner.) 🔄
  4. Henceforth (Definition: From this point forward; from now on.) ⏭️
  5. Insofar (Definition: To the extent or degree that.)
  6. Alternatively (Definition: As another option or choice; on the other hand.) 🔄
  7. Subsequently (Definition: Occurring or coming after something else in time or order.) ⏭️
  8. Moreover (Definition: In addition to what has been said; furthermore.)
  9. Notwithstanding (Definition: Despite; in spite of.)
  10. Consequently (Definition: As a result or effect of something; therefore.)

Much Less Formal Connecting Words

  1. Also (Definition: In addition; as well.)
  2. However (Definition: But; on the other hand.)
  3. On the flip side (Definition: Looking at the opposite perspective.)
  4. So, yeah (Definition: Informal way to introduce a point or conclusion.)
  5. In a way (Definition: Kind of; to some extent.)
  6. Or something like that (Definition: Suggesting a similar concept.)
  7. And stuff (Definition: Adding various unspecified items or ideas – really informal.)
  8. Anyway (Definition: Regardless; moving on.)
  9. Like I was saying (Definition: Returning to a previous topic.)
  10. As a result (Definition: Due to this; therefore.)

Round 1 – Let’s Warm Up

  1. Triumph Over Adversity: Share a success story of someone who overcame significant challenges to achieve their dreams. What were the obstacles they faced, and how did they persevere?
  2. Turning Failures into Gold: Let’s discuss a famous individual who transformed multiple failures into a path to success. What strategies did they employ to learn from their mistakes and keep moving forward?

Round 2: Let’s Explore it!

  1. Learning from Role Models: Choose a role model whose journey aligns with your passions. What qualities do they possess that you’d like to emulate, and how can their story inspire your own growth?
  2. Continuous Learning: Share the story of someone who made a habit of continuous learning throughout their journey. What resources did they utilize, and how did their commitment to learning contribute to their accomplishments?
  3. Paying it Forward: Discuss a success story that’s dedicated to giving back to the community. How do their philanthropic efforts enhance their legacy, and what lessons can we extract from their altruism?

Round 3: Let’s Share Our Stories

Think of a difficult or challenging life lesson you received in the past that at the end allowed you to grow or to expand your skills, awareness or knowledge.

Tell your partner a story using as many elements from our Storytelling Sequencing File as you wish!

Remember – there is always more! Here is your Follow Up video:

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