“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” (Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark Twain). Education is even more than learning, theory, and application, but hope and a future. Learning, discovery, training, and experience are lifelong voyages that very well may begin at the end of formal schooling. Develop a constant and never-ending improvement consciousness, coupled with action.
“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand” (Native American proverb). Developing our ability to effectively think by infusing our mind with positive applicable knowledge allows us to respond from our automatic subconscious mind when inquired. We must not think about what to say when we ought to be fully engaged in listening and observing another person express him or herself. Take full advantage of opportunities to completely engage yourself in understanding other people, while restraining from giving feedback, unless asked.
Motive matters when we speak. People are substantially influenced by the reason why we do something, much more than strictly what we do or say. Let’s be genuinely interested in what other people want by focusing on their desires equally, if not more so, than our own. Be a leader, knowing leaders are meant to serve, enhancing greatness and abilities in individuals. Remember the global golden rule to do unto others what you would like done to you. Daily, practice asking yourself, “What would I like others to say and do for me?” Take initiative to say and do that for them.
Remember, people have different wants and needs at varying times, therefore, be mindful toward those fluxing desires and necessities. Quality, value, caring, love, acceptance, empathy, gratitude, forgiveness, consideration, kindness, helpfulness, adaptability, and appreciation never go out of style. Inculcate these attributes into your character. Tattoo them in your mind.
My seven year-old son says and lives by the motto, sharing is caring. We must give to get and receive to give, therefore, let’s start sharing what we have. We must not allow what we don’t have, stop us from giving what we do have. Much more is given back to us in return through acts of sharing, caring, and giving.
The act of genuinely caring builds trust in every relationship. Trust is the foundational glue holding, growing and building all types of relations between people. Don’t allow absence of college degrees, lack of any type of formal education according to societal norms, or any other self-limiting belief hinder you another moment from choosing to do good, right, and unleashing your greatness within.
Furthermore, speaking can be a form of sharing, while sincere listening consists of compassion. In the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey writes that the gift of empathetic listening gives an individual psychological air. The goal of intentional listening is to be fully engaged and emphatically understand the person speaking; not focused on autobiographically or audibly responding.⁶ Let’s give people the gift of our undivided attention and attentive nonjudgmental ears.
“True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance” (Akhenaton). Practice making decisions quickly through self-awareness by knowing thyself well and increasing wisdom and understanding, which are lifelong endeavors. The more knowledge acquired reveals how little we truly know. Stay insatiably curious and hungry, constantly hunting to unearth golden nuggets of prudent insights that help mankind.
“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something” (Wilson Mizner). We can learn much by observing people, including watching our kids play or through hearing and heeding their wisdom. Old can learn from young, and young from older. Yes, edification occurs through teaching others, yet even more understanding, applicable knowledge, insight, awareness, and life-changing advice or suggestions comes through the art of listening.
Constant and never-ending improvement is an eternal endeavor. Winners commit to a plan, persevering no matter what. This means never, never, never giving up. Additionally, forgiveness breaks chains, thus granting freedom for progressive growth. Simple pragmatic ideas for a better life occur just from listening. Remember, purpose-driven action is imperative for continual progression.
“Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence” (Jorge Luis Borges). Daily, practice listening to people and talk only when asked a question. Give a succinct answer that does not provoke further queries. It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth, therefore let’s listen twice as much as we talk. We might learn a thing or two by having the mindset of being an eternal student of life, learning, progressing, and constantly growing through observation and listening.
Train yourself not to agree or disagree by shaking your head or making any verbal remarks during conversations, seminars, meetings, or sermons. This is more challenging than it sounds. Keep ethically upright personal opinions strong by not allowing others to influence or control your moral decision-making skills and abilities. Do not concern yourself with other peoples’ opinions (OPOs). Our own intrinsic opinions, beliefs, and convictions about ourselves, the universe, and all matter therein, matters most. Respecting and loving others begins by respecting and loving yourself.
As a kid did you ever play 3-2-1 blastoff or observe another child doing it? My son frequently played 3-2-1 blastoff, which I have adopted in the morning when the alarm goes off. I count 3-2-1 and make my feet hit the ground. Once I am up I have the energy to take on the day. Motion is a precursor to eliciting powerful emotions, which drive much of our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and actions. Similar to norepinephrine being the precursor to epinephrine (adrenaline) for the fight-or-flight response, putting ourselves in motion starts the day by moving us closer toward achieving what we desire.
It is never too late or too soon to begin again. Because you’re reading this blog you desire to change or improve your life in a positive way that obliterates any past false thinking or self-limiting beliefs, which hinder progression into being all that you desire to be. I admire your courage and determination toward seeking and strengthening the tools you already possess. This author’s sincere desire and confident expectation is that you will gain liberating practical and applicable insights through reading this blog, which help build unstoppable, unyielding, and limitless drives toward living out the greatest version of yourself, hence making dreams come true. The action-packed power to promptly decide and make that leap of faith to live on this side of ABLE is life-transforming.
“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some” (Charles Dickens). Focus on the present gift of now, not being hindered by yesterday’s events, which are vapor in the wind. Allow goodness to flow radiant light from every orifice of your presence, while practicing being proactive and not reactive with your life.
“Thousands of candles can be lightened from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared” (Buddha). Never underestimate the vast glory and power of a soul on fire. One person has the influence and ability to change the world, sending ripples of greatness, inspiration, and love that bolsters the human condition worldwide.