Book Review – (La Vaca) Once Upon A Cow – Camilo Cruz

Do you want to learn English more than anything else in the world, but there is always something that makes it so difficult and almost impossible to achieve? It seems incredible that the solution can be found in a book that is sold in almost any bookstore. But more than a simple book, it is a guide that will teach you step by step how to recognize, handle and eliminate all those obstacles that appear when you’re starting to learn English. The book that I am talking about and the one that is going to be reviewed in this video is “La Vaca” or the English version “Once Upon A Cow” written by Dr. Camilo Cruz. If you have heard about it, you know that it is not a book to learn English. The book is not telling you at any moment, that to learn English you have to do this and that. However, something that I am sure is that to learn English, it’s necessary to have a guide to overcome the obstacles, excuses and fears along the language learning. Al these limitations are the cows that the book is going to teach you how to kill to attain success when learning the English language. It’s possible that you have never heard an interpretation of the book such as the one in this video, but you will realize how a book that is thought to teach you how to get success in life, you can use it to be successful learning English. So, let’s start with the sad but happy story of the cow.

Once upon a time, a wise teacher wanted to give the most important lesson in the life to his pupil. So they started out a long journey and finally arrived to a town with very poor houses everywhere. The wise man said to his young student, that they were going to stay in one of those houses during that night, and he chose the most poor and old house to ask for lodging. When they knocked the door a man came out and was evident that he was consumed by the extreme poverty of that place, also they realized that in the small house there was a big family in the same conditions. In that moment the wise old teacher asked politely for lodging. The man of the house, not really convinced at the beginning, accepted and invited them to get into his humble house.

When the wise man and his student were in the house, they were surprised when they noted that the family had an unthinkable possession taking into account their situation. A cow. This scrawny cow was giving them the minimum sustenance to survive and also was giving this family the sensation of having something secure to guarantee their survival. Everyone in that household were living paying attention to feed the cow, to water the cow and making sure the cow was fine. All the members of the family were convinced that their purpose in life was take care of their cow to continue living. By the morning the wise man and his pupil woke up very early to continue their journey, taking care of not waking up anyone. But before leaving the humble house, the old man said to his student that in that moment he was going to learn the lesson that took them to that place. Meanwhile the young student wasn’t understanding yet of what his teacher was talking about, the wise man pulled out a sword and with a quick movement, killed the cow that fell down without making to much noise. The boy not believing yet what he was witnessed, thought that his master had become crazy and feeling really bad for the tragic destiny that was waiting for this nice family, followed his teacher going back to home.

Some years later, the pupil was still feeling guilty because of that injustice where he took part and he was thinking on the terrible things that could happen to that family. Then his teacher told him that they were going to go back to the same house where they have committed that outrageous crime that was still haunting the pupil. Not really convinced of doing it, he went back with his teacher to that place with the fear that he was going to find the worst and convinced that the family had had a horrible destiny. When they arrived to the same place where the old and humble house was, they were surprised to see that instead of the old and poor house, there was a big and pretty nice house, something unthinkable some years ago. They knocked the door and the young student was sure that he was not going to find the same household that gave them lodging that far night. Such a surprise when the person who came out from the house was the same man whom recognized them right away and welcome them with a big smile. However now he was dressing good clothes and evidently he seemed much more happy. And the same was happening with all the family. The situation with that household was so different that the young student couldn’t believe what he was seeing, and the emotion was such that he could only ask How is this possible?, What happened here?, How did you do it?, How?. And then, the man related the most incredible story the pupil could ever heard in his life. He told them that by chance that day when they left the house, ignorant of what really happened, an envious malefactor had killed cruelly his valued cow.

And it was in that moment of desperation, realizing that if they didn’t do something they might die, they decided to plant some seeds in the backyard of the house and cultivate some vegetables to feed themselves. In the next months they realized that the crop was enough to sell some vegetables to their neighbors and later it was possible to sell a good amount in the market of his town. Then it turned out that the incomes were enough to build a new house and buy the things that they could only dream about before their cow was killed.

The pupil was so excited for the ending of this amazing story that couldn’t keep the emotion. When they were going back, the old wise man and his pupil were reflecting about this life changing experience. So, the old man asked. Do you believe if this family hadn’t lost their cow, their life would be better now? The answer given by the pupil was clear and with confidence. Of course not, because the cow was the chain that had that family doomed to that life of misery and mediocrity and was necessary to kill that cow to be able to improve their lives.

Well this is the tragic but also happy story of the cow. I have tried to summarize it but I didn’t want to neglect any essential detail of the teaching of this inspiring story. In the book this story is covered in more than 10 pages and contains much more details that deepen in it and make it more interesting. The first time I just listened to the audiobook, but it was enough to realize that I was a rancher with a lot of cows. All my cows were all the excuses, pretexts and justifications that I had during 30 years and that did not allow me to learn English. It was until, the one that I think was my main cow died and I saw me in the total desperation, that I had the necessary motivation to decide that I had to learn English at any cost. But there is something really important and it’s the following. I had the guides to achieve it. And one of those guides was the audiobook of the cow that I found in YouTube. In that moment I had something to lead me step by step to be able to recognize my cows, to handle my cows and finally, to kill those stupid cows. This is what is possible to get when using the book of The Cow as a guide in something so challenging as learning English from scratch.

If we think about the story of the cow, it is applicable to any situation in our lives where we have had to face new things that at the beginning are hard to face. The easiest thing in those situations, when we are not willing to pay the real price required to get it, is to start to giving excuses and pretexts not to do it and avoid the responsibility. Do you remember any situation like this? If you are starting to learn English from scratch or at least from a very beginner level, it’s going to be very difficult because the results are not going to appear immediately and it is going to be very easy to see how new cows start to appear in front of you. In the video that I made previously called “Fears Before Starting To Learn English” I mentioned some of the most common cows during the learning of the English language. However there are other cows that are extremely dangerous, this because they seem like phrases of wisdom that surely you have heard or definitely you are going to hear in some moment. For example some popular cows in Spanish translated to English would be:

The most important thing is not to win, but have competed. So what? This means that it doesn’t matter to learn to speak in English but just to make the attempt to learn? Another one would be…
It’s better a little than nothing. Does this mean that if I want to learn English, but is too difficult to learn it, I have to accept no more than my native language? They are senseless!
I’m just giving two examples of so many that you can find and that are shared by so many people. It’s possible you never thought that these popular sayings were cows that were going to impede you to achieve something big and it is normal. Nobody explains this type of things, neither the school nor the majority of our homes in our countries. This is the difference with countries where most of the people is successful, because they think in a different way and even though I don’t know how the education is in those countries, I could assure with no fear to err that in their schools the students read books like The Cow. If it were my decision, The Cow would be a mandatory lecture and orientation book during all the years of study here in my Guatemala. Just imagine how would be a country where all the students that are ready to get into the college, have a mindset geared to kill cows. Of course I mean excuses killers, pretexts killers and justifications killers. A country like that could compete with any other developed country in whatever thing. Difficult, yes. Impossible, not at all.

Cows are all the justifications and limiting attitudes that you can think about. There are of all the colors, smells and flavors. There are own cows, lent cows and gifted cows by other people. There are little cows, regular size cows and enormous cows that every one of us can have at our care. However it doesn’t matter how innocent the stupid cow looks, it can drawn us into a mediocre life without any purpose. The cows are so real like for example the debts that you possibly have and are haunting you. Or like that sensation of not being able to learn English despite the burning desire for learn it. I know exactly how it feels, but now I also know that the most important principle to get there, is changing our way of thinking.

If in this moment you are asking yourself, can this book really help me out to learn English by killing cows? I can assure that definitely yes. But something that is true is that is not going to be easy at all, and will be really hard to accept that we have some cows that we have to kill. But Dr. Camilo Cruz has written the book explaining with full details in 5 steps how to get a life free of cows.

Step 1: How to identify your cows.
Step 2: How to determine the limiting beliefs that live in your mind.
Step 3: How to make a list of the negative things because of your cows.
Step 4: How to make a list of the positive outcomes after killing your cows.
Step 5: How to establish new habits of life to become a professional cow killer.

Now please let fly high your imagination visualizing a life free of cows. Imagine what you are going to be able to do if you become in someone able to identify your cows, also in someone that can develop a strategy to attack them frontally and kill them before they become obstacles that will impede you to grow. Killing the cows of the English language learning is a big beginning. Once you learn how to do it, is going to be very easy to apply it to any other thing in life. And the book of The Cow explains clearly how to do it.

Finally I want to share very briefly the example of one of my héroes, no for what he is now but instead for what he did to learn English and see the amazing success that he has now. He knew somehow that learning English to a high level was really worth it. I am talking about Mr. Jack Ma, a professional cow killer. Nowadays he is the richest man in Asia and is also the founder of the biggest ecommerce business in the world. And everything started out learning English. What he did in order to learn English was extraordinary. During 9 years he was working as an unpaid tourist guide in his home city Hangzhou, China in exchange for English lessons with the foreign visitors. Nine years learning English this way only because he believed, just believed that learn it was important. And now is so easy to come and complain because there is no money to pay an English academy, and that is the justification to say that is not possible to learn it. Incredible but true. Do you imagine how many cows Jack Ma had to kill in order to learn English? The outcomes he has had and continue having because he is a professional cow killer are clear. In the description of the video I’m going to leave some links to a few videos of Jack Ma that are really inspiring. This is for you to see by yourself the way of thinking of a person who never complains about the problems and limitations that the life puts in front of him.

Wow this was an extensive video but I’m really happy for have made it because I know out there is someone who will find it useful. Below in the description of the video you will find the links to the audiobook of “La Vaca” although it’s in spanish, it’s a good reason for you to start to learn some Spanish while listening to it. The whole book is summarized in two videos of about 2 hours or so. So far it’s available completely for free for you to go and listen to it.

Well this was my review of the book “The Cow”. Remember you can come back and watch the upcoming videos because this is the way how the content in this channel is going to be shared. Also watch the videos that are already uploaded and if you liked the video, subscribe to my channel and share it with someone you believe is going to find it useful. Thank you for watching and I hope you have a great day. Bye for now.

Audiolibro de La Vaca – Canal Oficial Del Dr. Camilo Cruz
Parte 1:
Parte 2:

Jack Ma’s Top 10 Rules for Success

Jack Ma Davos Interview: I was rejected from Harvard 10 times


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