When You Listen, What Do You Hear?

spring flowers“…what truly matters at the end of the day—[is] not how much we accomplished but how much we listened and loved the people who matter most in this precious life.” – Rachel Macy Stafford

I talk a lot about choosing a career that makes you happy; one you can feel excited about on a daily basis. This week, I feel inspired to talk about a simple thing that can contribute to wonderful new perspectives in your life: deep listening.

Why is this on my mind? Spring is a natural time to notice the new sounds that are emerging …. birds singing, rain falling, bugs whirring. But in order to hear these sweet things, we must stop and be still. They are small, delicate sounds that can easily be missed if we remain focused on ourselves.

The same applies to our relationship with the people around us. It’s easy to miss eye-opening signals in a conversation if we remain focused on our thoughts, our opinions and reactions. (e.g. “I had an experience just like that…” or “I don’t agree with you…”)

When someone takes the time to truly focus on our message – what we’re saying and what we’re not saying – we feel truly valued. Ultimately, one of the greatest human desires is to be heard. To be known.

Having someone truly listen to us – to be present with us – is the greatest gift we can receive. It is also the greatest gift we can give… to our partner, our children, friends and colleagues. It shows how deeply we value them. It repairs and advances our relationships. It accelerates our learning.

So this long weekend, as you spend time with your family and friends, consider the following questions:

  • Where (and to whom) in life are you really listening?
  • Where are you missing the deeper message?
  • What’s in your heart that needs to be said and heard?

Deep listening has a way of opening our eyes and our hearts to better living and stronger relationships. Give it a try.

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