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Extreme Employees

Reading: 

Although some countries like France and Australia have begun to experiment with additional vacation time to balance work and personal happiness, the worldwide trend has progressed in the opposite direction. For example, Japan has long been known for its excruciating workweeks. Employees in other countries are falling victim to longer and longer hours at the office in recent years, too. The result is a new type of employee, called the "extreme employee."

5 Things Successful People Never Do

Reading: 

There are a million things that contribute to your success: your attitude, your people skills, and your ability to lead, listen, and take responsibility, to name a few.

Why Successful People Leave Their Loser Friends Behind

Reading: Why Successful People Leave Their Loser Friends Behind

We all want to be amazing. We all want to be successful, happy, and regarded as important figures in our fields. I am sure that you’ve heard all of the keys to success before: planning, hard work, perseverance, etc.

But today we are going to look at the one factor that will likely make or break your success: the people you surround yourself with.

Hobbies & Interests

Questions for discussion:

  1. What are your hobbies or interests? Have they changed over the years?
  2. How did you discover your hobbies or interests?
  3. What kinds of interesting hobbies or interests do your friends and family have?
  4. How much time every week do you spend on your hobbies?
  5. What do you think are the benefits of doing something you enjoy every day?

New Year Season

Questions for discussion: 

  1. This is the season of gift giving. Do you have trouble picking out gifts for family members and friends? Do you prefer to buy gifts or do you give gifts that you've made yourself? Do you think consumerism has replaced the real spirit of the holidays? 
  2. Russia has among the longest federal holiday seasons. Do you think the holidays should be made shorter or stay the way they are? What are good and bad things about being on vacation for so long? Would you rather have federal holidays some other time of year? 

The Arts

Author: Denis Dedov
Questions for discussion:

Alcohol

Questions for discussion:

  1. Is it possible to balance alcohol consumption and a healthy lifestyle?
  2. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?
  3. Should parents be able to determine drinking age for their children before the age of 18 (as opposed to the government controlling this)?
  4. Drink driving: in some countries it’s ok to drink a little before driving. Is it possible to have similar law in Russia? Why or why not?

Business

Questions for discussion:

  1. Are you interested in the world of business?
  2. Do you think you have a good head for business?
  3. What kind of business would you like to start?
  4. Do you think anyone can start their own business?

Books

Questions for discussion:

  1. How important are books to you?
  2. What would life be like without books?
  3. What kinds of books do you like?
  4. Do you prefer paperbacks or hardbacks?
  5. If you wrote a book, what would you write about?

Dream House and Living Arrangements

  1. Do you like spending time at home? Where do you live and lived before?
  2. When you were a child, did you have to share a bedroom with your siblings? Did you like it or did you want your own room?
  3. Which part of Moscow do you live? What are good and bad areas to live in Moscow and in your town?
  4. What would be your ideal living arrangement:
    •  house in a city
    •  flat
    •  studio
    •  cottage
    • castle

Dreams and Goals

Questions for discussion:

  1. Do you think our dreams shape our personality?
  2. Do you think your dreams are shaped by the society you live in?
  3. What do you want to achieve in the next ten years?
  4. If you were able to put five people in a room that you would like to be like, who would that be and why?

Living in society: Is it easy to be "social animal"?

1) How often do all the members of your family get together?
2) What differences has the internet made to people's ability to keep relationships going over long distances?
3)The human being is said to be a "social animal". One of the main criticisms made of internet is that we're getting used to relating to people we'll never meet. What are the implications of that?
4)Does it worry you that many children nowadays spend more time in front of computer games than actually playing with their friends?

Drugs

1.​ What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘drugs’?

2.​ Have you ever known somebody who was using drugs? What happened to this person?

3.​ Why are some drugs more addicting than others?

4.​ What happens in the brain of a person that causes addiction?

5.​ Have you ever known somebody who was using drugs? What happened to this person?

6.​ Have you ever used illegal drugs?

7.​ Are there strong laws in your country to prevent the use of drug

Prejudices

1. What is prejudice?

2. Why does prejudice exists?

3. Are women highly regarded in your society? Why?

4. Are men highly regarded in the community?

5. Are there gender role biased issues in your country? What are they?

6. Are women workers often promoted at their workplace?

7. If yes, what qualities do they possess over the other gender?

8. If not, what make them not excel at their work?

Countries

Questions for discussion: 

  1. What country would you like to visit?
  2. What country would you like to live in and why?
  3. What country would you like to work in?
  4. What country has the most interesting customs?
  5. What country would be fun to work in?

Culture Shock

1. How do you feel when you leave your home culture and enter into a completely new culture?

2. What is culture shock? Have you ever experienced culture shock?

3. What is reverse, or re-entry, culture shock? Have you ever experienced reverse culture shock?

4. What do you think is important when visiting another culture?

5. What other cultures have you met people from? What has surprised you when you've met people from other countries?

Vegetarianism

1.Do you know any vegetarians?
2.Do you think restaurants should offer one or two vegetarian dishes on their menu?
3.What are the different kinds of vegetarians?
4.Could you try vegetarianism for a month?
5.Could you try vegetarianism for a week?
6.Could you try vegetarianism for a full day?
7.If someone eats cheese and drinks milk, are they vegetarian?
8.If someone wears leather shoes or a fur coat, can they call themselves "vegetarian"?
9.What is the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian?

Cultural Differences

1. What do you think is interesting about your culture?
2. Do you know much about your own culture?
 3. When people from other countries think about your culture, what do they usually think of?
4. What has surprised you when you've met people from other countries?
 5. Have you looked at Internet pages from a different culture? If so, how were they different from those of your own culture?
6. What do you like about your culture?What don't you like about your culture?

Do alcohol and pot really make you more creative? It depends

Creative artists have used mind-altering substances from time immemorial. The first evidence of fermented beverages was found in a 9000-year-old archaeological site in China, alongside some of the oldest intact musical instruments. Naturally.

In modern times, it's hard to imagine American culture without booze and pot — from Louis Armstrong, a prolific marijuana smoker, to Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, heroic drinkers both. But how do alcohol and pot actually affect the creative mind? Well, it depends on who you ask.

7 ways to quickly become a master at anything

There's a right way to learn. Want to be more successful? Actually that's not ambitious enough — want to be the best? I do. So I called my friend Daniel Coyle, author of the best books on getting better at anything: The Talent Code and The Little Book of Talent.

Dan knows that the "10,000 hour rule" is nice, but you need to align your effort with the way your brain was designed to learn. Hours are vital but you can get to mastery faster — much faster — by practicing the right way. So how can you and I do that? Here are seven steps experts use:

Stereotypes and cultural differences

Tonight we will primarily be looking at stereotypes and cultural differences between Russian and British culture, however, if our discussion naturally flows onto the topic of other cultures, that’s fine too. There are many myths and stereotypes surrounding both Russian and British culture. Some of them may be true, some may be verging on the edge of truth or partly true, some may be ridiculous, and some may even cause offence.

Internet

Questions for discussion:

  1. What is the internet?
  2. Can you remember the first time you used the internet?
  3. Could you live without the internet?
  4. How do you think the internet has changed the world?
  5. If you use the internet, what do you use it for?

Travelling

People travel for many different reasons. For holidays, for business, to move permanently, to gain further insight into the world, for self development, and then some people are travellers (more impolitely known as, gypsies). Their lives are constantly moving as they travel in a mobile home from place to place. Tonight we will discuss many aspects of travelling.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Do you go travelling, if so, for which purposes?
  2. Do you enjoy travelling, or is it just a necessity, e.g for work?

Nursing Homes, Retirement Communities, Disabilities and Handicaps

Questions for discussion:

  1. Why do you think people send their elders to nursing homes?
  2. Do you think sending your loved ones to nursing homes is a kind of abandonment?
  3. Do you think we should take care of our parents when they grow old? Is it a family duty?
  4. Do you ever get tired of family duties?
  5. Does the government in your country care of people in their old age?
  6. Would you consider living in an retirement home when you're older?

Family & Alternative Lifestyles

Questions for discussion:

  1. Do grandparents help to look after their grandchildren in your country? Who should take care of old people, in your opinion?
  2. Do unmarried couples live together in your country these days? What do people in your society think about this kind of arrangement?
  3. Do people in your country ever decide to remain single and not create a family? If so, what does the rest of your society think?
  4. Is polygamy allowed in your culture? Is it OK to have more than one spouse? Would you like this life style?

Beach

Questions for discussion:

  1. What do people do at the beach? was the last time you went to the beach? Where did you go?
  2. Have you ever been night-swimming? Are there any problems with jellyfish, sharks or stonefish at your local beach?
  3. Have you ever played sports on the beach? Which sports have you played?
  4. Have you ever collected seashells? Can you describe a shell that you have collected?What did you do with the shells that you collected?
  5. Have you ever been fishing on the beach?

Willpower and Self Discipline

Willpower Definitions:

  • The ability to control or reject unnecessary or harmful impulses.
  • the ability to arrive at a decision and follow it with perseverance, until its successful accomplishment.
  • It is the inner strength that enables you to refuse to indulge in unnecessary and useless habits.
  • It is inner power that enables you to overcome inner and external resistance and obstacles.
  • It is the antidote to laziness and procrastination.

Self Discipline Definitions:

Do our brains need fitness?

Reading:

Why You Need to Put Your Brain on a Fitness Plan, Too

Fact: We are outliving our brains. Life expectancy in the United States today is about 80 years old. Girls have a one in three chance of living to 100, while boys have one in four. The problem? Our cognitive brain performance peaks in our early 40s. That means mental functions like memory, speed of thinking, problem-solving, reasoning, and decision-making decline in the last 30 or 40 years of life.

Family

Reading:

SON: "Daddy, may I ask you a question?"
DAD: "Yeah sure, what is it?"
SON: "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?"
DAD: "That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?"
SON: "I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?"
DAD: "If you must know, I make $100 an hour."
SON: "Oh! (With his head down).
SON: "Daddy, may I please borrow $50?"
The father was furious.

To Live and Survive in the Office

1. Do you believe that in the office there are sharks, donkeys, jackals and other animal-prototype employees? What kind of workers do you notice in your office? In which spheres you can find them in abundance?

2. What are the skills/traits of character that annoy you most in your colleagues? What do you like in your colleagues? What kind of colleagues do you ignore? What type are those colleagues?

3. How to survive in a company: common rules and general practices?

ECC in social networks

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