257. Be Positive

This is an unplanned episode which contains some general thoughts on a range of different things. There is no specific agenda or language focus, but it does contain some news, a few film reviews as well as the usual spoken English and natural phrases which you can pick up if you’re listening carefully enough! The overall theme which emerged during the recording was that of being positive and making the most of what you’ve got. [Download]

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An LEP listener has transcribed this episode. Click this link to view the transcript. To view more transcripts for other episodes, click here to visit the transcript collaboration page.

In this episode I talk about lots of things, including:
Welcome to new listeners.
Getting used to living in Paris.
Going with the flow.
Looking on the bright side.
Seeing where life takes you.
The future is unwritten.
The benefits of staying positive and looking on the bright side.
Don’t let negative thoughts drag you down.
Take responsibility for the good and bad things you do.
Don’t beat yourself up if things go wrong.
See things as learning opportunities. (This is the self-help section of the podcast!)
No regrets.
Is the cup half full or half empty?
Philosophical Conundrums, such as “If a tree falls in the forest and there’s nobody there, does it make a sound?”, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” and “How long is a piece of string?”
What is the word for a philosophical conundrum? I couldn’t think of it, but do you know the word I mean? Leave your comment below.
Macmillan competition news.
Please tell a friend about LEP.
The transcript collaboration.
Thank you to certain Lepsters who have contributed to the podcast – you’re super-special LEP ninjas.
Some quick film reviews: Imitation Game, It Follows and Foxcatcher.
Eulogy for Dennis, my grandfather.

Please do leave your comments here on the page. I look forward to reading your thoughts, conversations and responses.


p.s. the word I was looking for was… a paradox. Thanks Edgar for jogging my memory.

  • ptholome/Antonio


    To flick the cigarrettes across the floor pavement in Paris is forbiden now and you could have a fine

  • Luke…I love you with every inch of my skin, i’m your loyal customer here, but this episode…really… khm…
    yes we always wait for your new stuff here to listen and enjoy and yes that’s so cool you managed to find some free time today to stay in and record this, but … really… perhaps it’d be better if you could think of what you’re gonna talk about in advance rather then making it up on the spot?

    i stayed positive though and decided to listen HOW you speak, not WHAT…))

    thanks anyway)

  • Amber

    Others here have already said many things I agree with, so I’ll add a couple of positive statements I found to be interesting. Here they are:

    # A pessimist’s blood type is always B-negative.
    # An optimist is the human personification of spring.
    # You can’t wrap love in a box, but you can wrap a person in a hug.
    # A hug is a great gift — one size fits all, and it’s easy to exchange.
    # Hugging has no unpleasant side effects and is all natural. There are no batteries to replace, it’s inflation-proof and non-fattening with no monthly payments. It’s non-taxable, non-polluting, and is, of course, fully refundable.
    # There’s something in a simple hug
    That always warms the heart,
    It welcomes us back home
    And makes it easier to part….
    # You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.
    # It isn’t the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it.
    # When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.
    # Freedom lies in being bold.
    # Most of us don’t need a psychiatric therapist as much as a friend to be silly with.
    # If a friend is in trouble, don’t annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.
    # In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.
    # The best six doctors anywhere
    And no one can deny it
    Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
    Exercise and diet.
    These six will gladly you attend
    If only you are willing
    Your mind they’ll ease
    Your will they’ll mend
    And charge you not a shilling.
    # Forgiving is rediscovering the shining path of peace that at first you thought others took away when they betrayed you.
    # To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
    # Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.
    # Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge.
    # Have patience, my friend, have patience;
    For Rome wasn’t built in a day!
    You wear yourself out for nothing
    In many and many a way!
    Why are you nervous and fretty
    When things do not move along fast;
    Why let yourself get excited
    Over things that will soon be past?
    # Bloom where you are planted.
    # Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favours.
    # Gratitude is the best attitude.
    # Thank you:
    For each new morning with its light,
    For rest and shelter of the night,
    For health and food, for love and friends,
    For everything Thy goodness sends.
    # I like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I’m realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.
    # An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
    # It doesn’t hurt to be optimistic. You can always cry later.
    # Always borrow money from a pessimist, he doesn’t expect to be paid back.
    # Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha-cha.

    Sorry if the list is too long. I got carried away.

    • This comment is absolutely lovely Amber. It deserves to be made into a podcast of its own.

      • ptholome

        This is a correction of my old post with a new note in the bottom,

        “Hi, luke,

        I am sorry for your loss. A Spanish philosopher named Savater wrote; we live as much as the last person remembering us die. I like this thought.

        I agree with you, we don´t want that our family were sad because our death. But people told me that during those moments they speak and remember about the actions of this person and they laugh a lot because some of them are very funny.
        My mother is 101 years old. We will be very sad when she will pass away if we don’t die before, we know she is not happy because she can’t do anything without the help of an assistant and she can not stand it. She is a very proud person. Nevertheless, even if it is very hard for her to live, She answer, when I tell her to be prepared mentally to her death because we are going to die at any time, Antoñito, we don´t need to go too fast, I will wait more time until this day.

        And a funny anecdote:

        Five years ago, I went to Ireland to visit my daughter and the last day before my journey to the UK she told me (crying): My son, maybe this is the last day I see you.

        I told her: My God! Mom, are you going to die while I am abroad?

        She answered: No, I am not, I fear your plane could crash!

        All my family is still laughing at that.

        Another thing I want to tell you; I like a lot your podcasts and I want to congratulate the person who has transcribed it. It is a big job and very, very useful for people like me who need them to understand the whole text and to follow it from the start to the end because it is hard to be focused on our listening all the time. I agree with you when you tell us how useful is to listen to these long texts.

        Good night Teacher or “Maître”.

        NB. Reading Amber list of positives sentences I found out my old writing and I noticed many mistakes. So I have modified it.

        Also, I want to tell you that finally my mother died. I miss her a lot even if it was very hard for me to see how bad her life was the last year.

        So, I wanted her end, though I don’t know if it was a kind of egoist feeling instead a better one. Certainly the first was stronger. Nevertheless, even if I am sad, I usually smile because I remember what she said or things she did. I agrée with a Spanish philosopher that our life finishes really when the last souvenir about us end. I like to think that we will have a very long and better life in our family´s memories because they will remember our best moments again, and again, and again, and again…

        I continue loving a lot your podcasts and now also, you! Because your commitment and because we know you better and more.

        Bye Luke

      • Awesome comment Antonio.
        Your Mum’s joke is absolutely brilliant and I can see why you’re still laughing about that now, and I really hope that memory continues with you for a long time still. Sorry for your loss, that must be hard. But I would also like to say congratulations for having a Mum with such a good sense of humour.

      • ptholome

        Thanks, Luke

    • ptholome

      A pessimistic person does nothing because their lack of motivation so they fail instantly, while an optimistic person try and sometimes they fail and others they succeed. But, Always they learn from their success and for their failures.

      The optimism boost everything in your life. So be optimistic! Come on! :)

  • Anonymous

    Liar Paradox

  • riddle

    If anyone wants to eradicate his/her negative thinking “, then it’s a must to read the following book: “The magic of thinking big” by D. J. Schwartz. I highly recommend it to you folks.
    When thinking about this podcast, a certain qoute came to my mind. Namely, what Shakespeare once said – “There is nothing either good or bad, except that thinking makes it so.” This really was a self-help podcast. I really enjoyed it. At the end of this comment I’d like to express my condolences for your loss Luke. In the next few days I’m going to listen to your new episode devoted to your grandfather. Take care: ) and stay positive !:)

  • ptholome

    Hi luke, reading the text again I remember something you can search about voltaire and how he won the first lotery in France imported from your Country. This can be good for your future podcast about gambling and lotery… In 2050?

  • Antonio

    Hi, luke,
    I am sorry for your loss. A Spanish philosopher named Savater, wrote, we live until the last person who remember us die. I like this thought. Another thing I want to tell you is that you are right we don´t want people we love were sad because our death. Besides during this day people remember the actions of this person and they laugh a lot because some of them were very funny.

    I have an old mother (101 years old) and though we will be sad the day of her death, if we don´t die before her, we know she is not very happy because she can´t do anything at all. So it is quite hard for her to continue even if she says, when I tell her to be prepared for her death, we don´t need to go to faster, I can wait more time before the last day.

    Five years ago, I went to Irland to visit my daughter and the day before my journy to UK she told me: My son, maybe it is the last day I will see you.

    I told her: Mother don´t die while I am abroad!

    She answered: No, it is not me, I fear your plane could crash! All the familly is still laughing at that.

    Another thing I want to tell you. I like your podcast, and I want ot congratulate the person who has transcribed it. It is a very big job and very, very useful for people like me, who need them to understand the whole text and to follow it from the start to the end without having our brain going away, because it is hard to be focused. I know you told us it is a very good excercise to listen long texts and I agree absolutely.

    Good night Teacher or “Maître”.

    • It sounds like your Mother is hilarious! And 101 years is an incredibly good innings!

      I agree about the transcriptions. Actually, I did this one in advance of recording, but others are often done by listeners, members of my family or just me again.

      It’s good to read your thoughtful comments.

      Have a good weekend!