Conversation 2

(W=woman, M=man)


W: What’s up with you? You don’t look very happy.

M: [12] I feel like I’m a failure. I can’t seem to do anything very well.

W: I wouldn’t say that. You do very well in a lot of things. That presentation you gave last week was excellent.

M: Yes, [12] but I have this urge to strive for perfection. I really want to push harder and progress further. 

W: Well, that’s very admirable. But be careful. [13] Overconcern with being perfect can damage our confidence if we never achieve it.   

M: Yes, I know. I feel awful whenever I make a mistake in whatever I’m trying to do.

W: Well, think about it. You can’t make progress without making mistakes and learning from them. Thomas Edison, the famous inventor, once said “I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

M: You may well be right. I guess I should recognize my mistakes and learn the lesson they teach me and move forward.

W: Also, remember a successful ending is not the only thing worthy of a celebration. You need to recognize each step of progress you take towards achieving your goals. And no matter how tiny it is, it’s still good news.

M: [14] I always feel down when I see others accomplishing things and I feel miserable about my own achievements. I’m always trying to be as good as others, but I never seem to get there.

W: Listen. [15] If you always compare yourself with others, you’ll never feel good enough. You’re the only person you should be comparing yourself with. When you compare your current status with the starting point, you’ll find you’ve made progress, right? That’s good enough.

M: That’s great advice. Thank you. I’m feeling better already.


Q12: How does the man feel about himself?

D) Dissatisfied.

Q13: What does the woman think is the man’s problem?

A) He is too concerned with being perfect.

Q14: How does the man feel when he sees others accomplishing things?

C) Miserable.

Q15: What does the woman suggest the man do?

B) Compare his present with his past only.