“The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as ‘silent'”.
Take a moment to focus on the sentence above…
What does listening mean to you?
What about the meaning of silence?
Write these down.
Now, ask yourself this: Can you have one without the other? Think about it and hold onto this question, as we will come back to it later.
The amount of power that these 6 letters hold, no matter which of the two ways they are arranged is immense. Yet, as in all things, the meaning is in the way you’re looking at it.
There is a great difference between hearing, and truly listening, or looking and truly seeing. Most people unfortunately focus on their own thoughts in order to be ready with a response. Where few people actually focus on the meaning behind what they’re saying. We as humans are so caught up in retaliation rather than listening to understand and learn. This very habit of loud mindedness, is why we so desperately need to practice the value of listening. Trust me, focusing on opposing views, instead of on my own ideas and thoughts is one of my personal greatest weaknesses.
P-r-a-c-t-i-c-e; a repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.
Listening is learned, not given.
Coming back to the above question: Can you listen without silence?
Well, physically yes, you probably could. If there are cars driving passed or others talking around you, yes, it is still possible to “listen” to the conversation. This is obvious.
So, what about when we take a look on the inside. If you are having a conversation with another, and your mind is filled with what I call “garbage thoughts”, for example; “I have so much to do after this”, “what should I wear tonight?”,or, as we said above, focusing more on your next response rather than what the other is saying… Can you really listen without silence?
No! – If you said yes…you my friend are incredibly talented and should share your secrets.
When we have a loud mind, filled with garbage thoughts, it is hard, if not impossible to give the conversation the attention it needs to be understood. I can’t even count how many times have I have misunderstood someone because I didn’t hear them correctly, or took something the wrong way because I didn’t listen to the whole context. All. The. Time.
So I implore you to practice focusing on the conversation and silencing your own thoughts while speaking with another person, it will only make you and your relationships stronger. I can assure you it has for me.
To stay on track with finding our why within ourselves, the same theory applies when you are asking yourself your own questions. Quieting your mind will help you come closer to the answers you search for.
I’m going to share with you a way of questioning that has been a revelation in my own journey… When I am faced with a challenge or am feeling a certain way in a situation, I always begin this cycle:
Ask – Focus – Answer – Understand – Repeat
Ask – Why am I feeling lonely?
Focus – Quiet your mind and think about your question.
Answer – I feel this way because I rarely go out with my friends.
Understand – Quiet your mind, listen, and think about your answer.
Ask – Why do I rarely go out with my friends?
Answer – Because they always go out late, and I’m tired from a long day at the office.
Keep going with this cycle until you begin to clear up the BS and get to the root of the issue.
Try and practice quieting your mind the next time you are faced with a challenging situation.
All you need to do, is listen… the answer always lies within you.