September 17


EP7: Patience

Hello hello, fellow learners of English, how are you doing out there? This is Kristian here, nice to be with you again, and welcome to the Learners of English Podcast, episode number 7.

Before we begin, let me just remind you that you can get in touch with me via email,

And there’s more. You can now also get in touch with me via Twitter, or via Facebook.

I’ve set up both social media accounts to communicate with you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments. You can use the direct message system on both platforms.

BTW, you can find all this information on my website If you go to the page of this episode, you can find a transcript with all the information, including my email address and social media pages.

OK, that’s enough housekeeping, let’s crack on.

How are you doing out there? How are you coping with the current covid-19 situation? As I speak, the numbers in Prague keep rising. The atmosphere in the city is changing. People are getting worried again, after a calm summer period.

Having said that, I don’t feel at risk when I walk in the city. Last week my cousin and a friend of hers came to visit me, and the three of us very much enjoyed the calm atmosphere. It was very quiet on the streets, even in the city centre.

On the last evening of their stay, we had a great time together in Vyšehrad. After a 30-minute walk we arrived at the beer garden, where we sat down to have a few drinks. And, believe or not, at one point we started talking about the 4-P’s.

Do you remember the 4-Ps? Priorities, practice, patience and progress. To make real long-term progress, you need to set priorities, to practice and to have patience.

Most people understand and agree on the importance of priorities and doing the work (practice). However, the concept of patience is quite often misunderstood.

Here’s my take on it:

At 43 years I still feel young, and there’s really no reason why I can’t learn a new language at my age. Or start a new podcast. Or start a new relationship. Or become fit and healthy.

It’s a simple calculation: 43-18 = 25 years. So I’ve lived 25 years as an adult. If I add another 25 years, I’m only 68 years old. Let me remind you that some people are running for president of the USA this year, while they are in their seventies…

The counter-argument is always something like this: “Easy for you to say, Kristian. You are single. You don’t have children. You’ve got no obligations.”

Well, firstly, it’s my own choice to be single and to not have children at this stage of my life. It gives me the freedom to pursue other things. And yes, I know about the biological clock. I understand the implications for women. (And for their partners)

Which brings me to my second point:

Many people seem to think that when you are in a relationship, or when you have children, you don’t have the time to improve your English. Or any other language. Or any other thing you’re interested in. But that’s not true at all. It just takes longer, so you need to have more patience.

My sister is a good example: she has four children, a job and last year she got interested in manicure-at-home. She started to learn about manicures and now she’s doing nails for other people when she has time. Of course, she would like to improve faster. But that’s not stopping her from doing it.

Patience, dear listeners, is the most underrated concept of all the 4-Ps. Most people understand that priorities and practice result in progress. Hundreds of books have been written about these topics. But patience doesn’t get the positive attention it deserves.

Especially these days. We want progress, but we want it now. We want instant gratification. Because who knows what could happen to us tomorrow, next week, next month?

But I don’t want to live like that. I’d like to use rational numbers and figures. And they tell me that there’s a pretty good chance I’ll get another 25 years. At least.

That’s why I can have patience. To me patience is a positive force that helps me to make long-term, life-changing progress.

Now, buyer beware, be careful, it’s true that patience can become a pitfall. If you keep postponing something because you have patience, you’re kidding yourself. And when you want to become a professional football player, but you are not skilled after 5 years of daily intensive practice, you’re delusional.

But in general, patience in life pays off. Patience, as the old saying goes, is a virtue.

Oh my god, I now realise I went off on a tangent. I wanted to talk in this episode about how I learn new words in English, but somehow I suddenly started thinking and talking about a completely new subject.

Anyway, I will talk about how I learn new vocabulary in the next episode. And I will also teach you some new vocabulary in the process.

And speaking of new episodes, from now on I’m gonna publish new episodes every Friday. So you can get your regular dose of language learning motivation before the new work week starts.

OK, that’s it. Let me know your thoughts on this episode in the comments or via email. Don’t forget that you can find the transcript on the website

And if you want to get in touch with me, you can send me an email at or reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter.

All right. Take care of yourself, and each other, and I’ll catch you in the next episode!

About the author 


Kristian is a Dutch guy who teaches English online. He relaxes with audiobooks, music and podcasts. Kristian still has a lot to learn, but he's happy to share what he has learnt along the way.

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