Wikepedia tells us that Francois Henri "Jack" LaLanne was an American fitness, exercise, and nutritional expert and motivational speaker who is sometimes called "the godfather of fitness" and the "first fitness superhero.
He hosted the fitness television programme The Jack LaLanne Show between 1953 and 1985. Here's a three-minute video clip where he talks about the secret of happiness.
Watch the video clip and answer these questions. You can check your answers by reading the transcript below.
1 What has Jack noticed about the people in the US?
2 What do all these people have?
3 What kind of people did he find when he was travelling in a street car in South America?
4 What did the lady nursing her child start doing?
5 What did the rest of the passengers start doing?
6 What's the most important thing in life for Jack?
7 What two pieces of advice does he give at the end?
I’d like to chat with you for a few moments about something that’s been on my mind for a long while.
Have you noticed, I know I’ve noticed this, all the time, when you’re walking down the street or perhaps you’re on a street car or on a bus, you notice how the people in this great country of ours are (1) so unhappy, you don’t see very many smiling people anymore. People have lost the ability to smile. This is right. Next time you walk down a street or you’re on a bus or street car you’ll see what I’m talking about. You see the people with their long faces, they’re out of condition. (2) You know, but they have everything, they have all the money in the world and all these modern conveniences.
What’s the matter with the people? Well, this is what I think. People have got so far away from the natural way they should be living because they have lost the ability to be happy anymore.
I remember a few years ago, I was travelling down in South America, one of the Latin countries, and I went down, visiting all the different parts, you know where the poor people are and the rich people and I remember one day, I took a street car ride, and I was down in the poorer section, and I’ll never forget, this is street car with real full. (3) A lot of these people you know their clothes were kinda tattered and torn. They didn’t have any money, a lot of them had many, many children.
I remember one lady in particular, ah…she had, uh, she wasn’t dressed very, very good and her dress was torn and she had this child with her and she was nursing her child right on the bus and you know what she did? (4) She burst out singing! And (5) everybody in the streetcar started to sing.
I started to sing right along with them, I didn’t know the words but I was humming along, and everybody was smiling, everybody was happy. Here are these people, they never had enough money, hardly for food, they never knew what it was to have an automobile, or any modern conveniences, radio or television or any of these things, not even enough clothes to wear, but they were happy.
(6) That’s the important thing about life, students, is to be happy. What’s the good of living, what’s the good of making a lot of money, what’s the good of having fine clothes and driving a fancy automobile if you’re miserable all the time?
And I am convinced, if you will spend just a little more time (7) trying to eat better, eat the foods in their natural state because we have gotten so far away from our natural eating habits it’s pathetic. Eat more fresh foods, fresh vegetables, lean cuts of meat. (7) And another thing it to get more physical activity because we know that this wonderful body of ours cannot be functioning right, it can’t be happy and it can’t repair itself properly if you don’t give it the right amount of exercise.
And we also know if you don’t get enough exercise, each day it affects your mind, your mind worries, you have these tensions and frustrations that people have too much and you’re just kinda down in the dumps and your body is hanging and sagging, your face is hanging and sagging, everything is down, it’s not conducive to smiling and being happy.
So please, let’s get back to the way nature intended us to be with a smile on our face and enjoy all the wonderful things that we have in this great land of ours, let’s appreciate it 24 hours a day. I’m gonna help you help yourself, come on!