I have the answer; I know exactly what you should do. Before the other person is even finished speaking, we blurt it out. You know what happens next?
Our perfect solution is perfectly useless and worse the speaker snaps: “You don’t understand!”
Listening can be one of the toughest things in the world because it requires the one thing we all lack, Patience. As Warren Buffett says, “It’s simple but not easy.”
Active listening is actually active understanding. Sometimes that’s all you need to do, just listen intently. The speaker will gain clarity by virtue of articulating their thoughts aloud. The inconsistencies will automatically be filtered out, all because of your quiet presence.
Seek clarity: If a thought doesn’t pass your high-standards of clarity then by all means seek clarity with pointed questions. Let the speaker explain and feel heard.
Summarise: Go one step further. Summarise what was said in your own words and understanding. When you hear the response “Exactly” you will know you are on the right track. Watch how the speaker feels relaxed and grateful.
Only when you have done all of this, should you dare to propose solutions- even professional counsellors don’t claim to be problem solvers, why should you. Our role as friends, family and well-wishers is to listen and prod and gently steer our loved ones in the right direction. It starts with listening #priceless
I woke up with a start;
To the eerie silence of the night.
The cold breeze bit into my skin;
Swept away any semblance of warmth inside.
She is lost to my reality;
but her thoughts continued to haunt me;
On yet another sleepless night.
You can sit with a glass of beer and enjoy a performance (from a distance). Head home high and happy. The end!
Or, you can become engaged and experience the fear, anxiety and sheer brilliance of human effort. No longer are you an observer, but very much a part of the whole. Deep engagement that will leave you emotionally and physically exhausted, but fulfilled. You choose #priceless
“Am I worthy of her love?” a friend asked me. He didn’t think he was, after all she was smart, successful and stunning. And he wasn’t quite there yet- personally or professionally. Could he really stand in front of her boss or father with pride? It was a valid question.
“What if she turns into a failure?” I asked. “Would she be good enough for you?”
“It wouldn’t matter,” he said without a thought. “I like her for her kindness.”
There was his answer. He just needed to hear himself. Success and failure are inevitable. She, too, liked him for something more intrinsic. As long as he stays true to those values, the opinions of her boss, father and friends won’t matter. The real danger is losing himself in the quest for success.
And if you lose yourself, all the money, fame and power won’t be enough to keep her. #priceless
Looking out the window of a plane taking off is a great moment to reflect. With the plane, you too can allow yourself to zoom out of your day to day struggles and see the bigger picture. The small dots you see on the ground won’t seem so important. Perhaps you will have an epiphany, may be an insight- if not at least the view will be nice #priceless
You can enjoy a performance (sport, art, etc.) with a glass of beer an head home- high and happy. Nothing wrong with that.
Or, you can choose to become a part of the performance. Feel the fear, anxiety, and sheer brilliance of the process of creation or destruction. No longer, are you, an observer, but very much an active participant. This deep engagement will leave you emotionally and physically spent. But fulfilled #Priceless