Welcome to Insights and Implications!
Listening can be effortless and easy. Less on your mind is all you need to succeed.
All the best,
All of us at Insight Principles
Be A Better Listener Without Trying
Can you recall a time when you really felt heard? When someone was really listening to you? A time when there was a strong connection, when you had room to explore your ideas or questions, when your thinking became clear. Maybe you even had some new thinking.
Don’t be surprised if you can only think of a few times or if you can’t think of an example at all. This quality of listening is not the norm. As a friend of mine used to say, “people listen worse than they sing.”
It’s hard to listen when we have a lot on our minds. Our minds are usually (and innocently) active with strategies, logistics, worries, likes and dislikes, conversations with ourselves, rehearsing/rehashing conversations with others, problems we want to solve, and the list goes on. We may have learned ‘active listening’ techniques or other listening skills, but these strategies just seem to put more on our minds. Listening under these mental conditions is like trying to listen to someone while a teenage rock band practices in your basement or garage.
Luckily, there is hope, and I am proof. I became a better listener without trying.
When I began to have insights about how the mind works, I noticed something very interesting. I had less on my mind. I didn’t try to clear my mind, I didn’t meditate, I didn’t try to become more mindful. I didn’t try to do anything. There was simply less thinking filling up my head.
There were two reasons for my decreasing mental volume. The first? I woke up to the inside-out nature of my experience. I realized that circumstances or people are not responsible for my feelings in the moment. This reduced my complaining and blaming. I dropped a great deal of extra thinking and stopped trying to get my experience just right. Other people looked more innocent – I noticed they were often caught up in a simple misunderstanding about the source of their feeling and experience.
The second reason for my metal quiet was my realization that my mind is designed to work in my favor. I could count on a resource beyond my endless analysis. I could have an insight about my most vexing problem at any time. Overthinking and overworking no longer looked helpful or wise. I noticed that ideas and answers often showed up when I was washing dishes or walking the dog or traveling from one place to another. I stopped thinking so much – I didn’t need to anymore. It was like no longer needing training wheels after discovering I could balance my bike without them.
With so much less on my mind, my listening naturally improved. Instead of hearing my own thinking, I started hearing the speaker. I started connecting. I started understanding.
Listening is easy, satisfying, and highly effective when our minds are free and clear.
©Insight Principles, Inc.