Do you listen impatiently

An ear. Do you listen?

Do you listen impatiently?     

Do you really listen are you interested in what the other person has to say? Or do you stand there waiting for them to finish, to have your say?

For many the first few sentences remind them of a story they have, or an opinion they want to hold forth about. So they wait with great impatience not really hearing the rest just waiting impatiently for their turn. Do you do that?

Some will even butt in quite rudely just to have their say.

The power of conversation.

Conversation as defined by Wikipedia:

  • Conversation is interactive communication between two or more people.

The development of conversational skills and etiquette is an important part of socialization.  The development of conversational        skills in a new language is a frequent focus of language teaching and learning.”

Do you actually have conversations? Not gossip or idle chat but a real conversation.

As it says above, conversation is an interactive communication. Interactive as in 1 or more people listen, while another talks.

Those listening should be paying attention to the words, not already making up a response in their head.

Did you say WHY?

Why  Do you listen impatiently

Because its not about listening to talk/reply. It’s about properly listening to the words being said, hearing the meaning and taking it onboard. It’s paying attention to whoever is speaking and giving them the full attention that you would want if you were talking.

In an exchange of views (the art of conversation) when you have an exchange of ideas, views and opinions it will change your viewpoint just a little or maybe a lot.

If you get angry at hearing someone else’s views, then you no longer listen and the exchange cannot take place.  If your mind is closed to any other opinion except your own, the same result occurs.

A true open and honest conversation leaves all participants feeling good. They go away knowing that their life has been enriched by the exchange because they really listened and heard the other person or people.

Listen to learn.

When you learn something new, are you being taught either by a person or video, do you listen properly. Yes?

If so why? Because you are keen to learn or you need to learn the subject matter maybe. If it’s something you are interested in you will listen and pay attention. It’s much easier when you want to learn.

If your answer was no. Why? Are you being pushed into learning something that holds no interest for you? Maybe you just don’t like listening unless it’s something you want or concerns a hobby.

It’s our own best interest to listen properly when we are learning something new, otherwise we can end up going over and over the same thing just to take the knowledge onboard.

Is it your Attention span?

The Guardian says:

*  It’s just as you suspected; the information age has changed the general attention span. A recently published study from researchers at the Technical University of Denmark suggests the collective global attention span is narrowing due to the amount of information that is presented to the public. *

We do like to have something or someone to blame if we can’t or won’t do something.

BBC News website says:

Busting the attention span myth.

  • In the always-connected world of social media, smartphones and hyperlinks in the middle of everything you read, it can feel that much harder to stay focused.
  • And there are statistics too. They say that the average attention span is down from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds now. That is less than the nine-second attention span of your average goldfish.
  • You might have seen those stats in Time magazine, the Telegraph, the Guardian, USA Today, the New York Times or the National Post. Maybe you heard a Harvard academic citing them on US radio. Or perhaps you read the management book Brief.
  • But if you pay a bit more attention to where the statistics come from, the picture is much less clear. 

So apparently it is from some statistics and not from others. Well that’s not much of a surprise.

Although in general, thanks to social media, people have become used to focusing on points of interest for much shorter amounts of time. Let’s face it, if something doesn’t capture your interest in the first couple of lines, you move on.

Do you find your attention wandering and your hand reaching for your phone when you are supposed to be listening? Listening properly is a choice you make and often depends upon who you are listening to and the subject matter.

Conclusion.

Shorter attention span or not, some people do not listen and pay attention.  Many that do listen, only do so in preparation to speak themselves.

If you listen with an open heart and mind you can hear more than the words that are spoken. It can change you and your viewpoint in however small a way.

Do you sometimes feel that you aren’t listened too? The way to remedy that is to learn to listen to others, not just to reply, but because you want to.

Listening is a gift and sometimes a person doesn’t want help or advice just someone to listen and show they care. So put down the phone and really focus, give a person your full attention and just listen.

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Choices good or bad create your life

Choice

CHOICE!

Choices good or bad create your life which means the life you have now is because of all the choices you have made up to this point. Now that can be hard to take in, especially if you aren’t happy with the way your life is right now. Every choice you make impacts your life and changes it for good or bad. The smallest decision can make a difference. When you look back over decisions made in the past, even ones you didn’t really think much about, it makes you realise that in reality your life is created by your choices.

From Wikipedia:

  • Choice involves decision making. It can include judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one or more of them. One can make a choice between imagined options or between real options followed by the corresponding action.*

Every single day we make choices whether you realise it or not.

Many people believe that life happens to them so things that happen in their life, isn’t their fault. Do you? Or do you realise that your life is created by your choices?

What Choices do you make?

Do you take the route of doing nothing when there are choices to be made, believing that any consequences that occur are not your fault?  Well I don’t like to disillusion you but ……….. that too is a choice. You are choosing not to make a choice and therefore the consequences of that choice are your responsibility.

signpost. Choices good or bad create your life

As we go through life we make choices, even as children. Choosing friends, books to read, whether to work hard in school or not. Then at high school choosing the subjects to take for exams. Thinking about what direction to go in after school, university or straight into a job.

Every day we choose when to get up, what to eat, whether to exercise, turn up for the job/school/interview etc.

How much cleaning gets done, laundry, washing/hoovering floors, dusting/getting rid of cobwebs etc.

What to do to relax, read or watch TV, do something creative or the myriad of other choices we have.

Many of these choices are done automatically, we don’t think about them much at all, it’s just something we do as part of daily life.

What do You want from life?

If you have found your way here you are clearly looking for change. So do you have an idea of what you want to change in your life?

Your job, home, relationship? Not as big as that or just too big a task to start with?

Your happiness level? Are you happy?

If you have been looking at others lives and wondering why their lives are so different or better you now know it’s about choices. Yes it can be irritating to see someone that’s no different to you in background, schooling, intelligence etc and yet they are now way ahead of you in the life stakes.

It makes you wonder if maybe it is pure luck, if so then there’s nothing you can do about it. An easy option right there. Luck is fickle, it hits you or it doesn’t, therefore it’s pointless trying to make changes. Right?

WRONG!

Good choices, bad choices.

Why are some choices good and others considered bad? Is there such a thing as a good or bad choice?

It’s not that the choice is good or bad it’s more about the outcome. If you aren’t happy with the result of the choice then you have learnt not to make that choice again.

When we make choices deliberately then we are taking responsibility for our lives. We understand that anything that goes wrong is down to a choice we made either recently or in the past.

We aren’t blaming others or expecting other people to get us out of problems of our own making, we are taking responsibility for our choices and subsequently our own lives.

When you make a deliberate choice and then take action you are creating a pathway to the future. Along the way you will make other choices, some may need adjusting as you go, as they steer you off the path. That’s not failure, it’s a course correction to keep you heading in the right direction.

Conclusion.

Choices are an everyday part of life, many we make unconsciously.

The rest you:

Either opt out of and don’t take responsibility for your life, the direction it takes and the way it is now.

Or you take charge of your life and make choices that take your life in the direction you want it to go. So you enjoy the life you have now and eventually have the life of your dreams as you shape your future.

Choose wisely because Choices good or bad create your life every single day.

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Beyond the Comfort Zone

What is a Comfort Zone?

Collins Dictionary defines it as: If a situation or activity is out of your comfort zone, it does not make you feel secure, comfortable, or in control.

Beyond the Comfort Zone

It’s a safe place to stay inside, unlike going beyond the comfort zone. Nothing exciting happens, nothing much changes and pretty much everything is on an even keel. Sound familiar?

No new horizons to explore, no pushing the boundaries of existence. Does that sound a bit dull?

Don’t you feel the urge for change? That urge is there somewhere, otherwise you wouldn’t be looking for answers. I suspect there is a part of you, however small it is, that is getting the urge to break free. Or just to have something different in your life, maybe.

Do you go beyond the comfort zone?

A lot, a little, never?

A comfort zone can be a safe place to watch the world from but wouldn’t you rather step outside it and take part in life?

Whats that? You like where you are? Really? Then why are you here? Something has brought you here, maybe it’s the need to find something more than the safe life you have. It begins with a restlessness, discomfort, a need to see what’s out there.

Yes, the world can be scary but it is also amazing, wonderful, exciting and a good place to explore is a comfort zone?

Why leave the Comfort Zone?

WHY?

Because there is a whole world out there to explore. Do you want to see the world or even parts of it for yourself? Wouldn’t it be amazing to actually see and touch things you have only seen through a screen or in a book? Wouldn’t you like to be free?

Eventually it can feel like ties that bind or chains that hold you in place.

Maybe that is a step too far. What about having new experiences, meeting new people, moving house or changing your job?

It’s very easy to become too complacent and comfortable in your Comfort Zone. But the outside world doesn’t stand still. It continually changes and eventually can end up disrupting that safe life you thought you had.

And think about it. Do you really want your life to be exactly the same in 2 or 5 years time as it is now?

What are the benefits of leaving your Comfort Zone?

Experiencing real life.

A bit of stress and anxiety are good for us, it helps us to grow as people. It’s not good for us to remain in a comfortable bubble. insulated against the world.  If we do, when a time of change occurs, it can be hard to cope with.

New experiences are all part of growth too even though we are often afraid of failing. Obstacles and challenges raise those fears, but there is a greater sense of accomplishment when we succeed.  Taking risks is really breaking through the barrier.

Challenges and obstacles are things we face and overcome, whereas taking a risk is stepping forward, away from the comfort zone and into the unknown.

Taking risks are growth experiences. Many people avoid these due to the chance for failure but failure is also a growth opportunity.

You come to understand that the only real failure is giving up, that each failure teaches you a way Not to do something.

You also come to realise that fail means ‘First attempt in learning.’

Change is good

Life is all about change, day to day change, week to week and even year to year. What am I waffling about? Change is good. It keeps us learning and growing and stops us from stagnating.

If there are no changes then you begin to exist rather than live. Is that really what you want? Even small chan

Conclusion

Pushing at the boundaries of that Comfort zone is clearly a good thing even if it’s only occasional.

Staying within that zone is existing, not living.

Stepping out will allow you to grow as a person, gain new skills and breakthrough even more boundaries. As you realise how much you can do and achieve, those boundaries will get pushed back even further. Life will take on new colour and meaning, becoming exhilarating at times as you start to really live your life as you are meant to. You will have your freedom back and be happy.

Get the Attitude of Gratitude habit

Thank you

Attitude of Gratitude

It was World Gratitude Day the other day.

Who knew there was such a thing, not me. Thankful. Get the Attitude of Gratitude habit

BUT….

If you get the Attitude of gratitude habit and it can really change your life.

The more grateful you are, the more you have to be grateful for. It sounds corny but it’s true.

You might say: I don’t have anything to be grateful for. I don’t have a job, a nice home, any money etc.

BUT! You are alive, you may not have much but the little you do have is a reason to be grateful. You wake up in the morning, you breathe, you can think. All reasons to be grateful.

You own or have access to technology, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. Once you find a few reasons to be grateful, you will soon find more.

Gratitude can bring happiness. When you learn to truly appreciate what you have it brings contentment and happiness. While you are being grateful, a positive thing, you aren’t having negative thoughts to bring you down further.

Will it make a Difference?

It won’t change your life overnight! I know that’s a bit off putting but you know what they say?

“Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.”

Is that true though? I suppose it all comes down to belief. I suspect that one could be classed as a limiting belief. If you grow up hearing that, it becomes true for you.

What is Gratitude?

I googled it and got this:

noun
“she expressed her gratitude to the committee for their support”
Similar words:
gratefulness
thankfulness

thanks

appreciation
recognition

How can it help me?

This article from the Guardian newspaper on 23rd October 2018 states:

  • Study after study has found a robust association between higher levels of gratitude and wellbeing, including protection from stress and depression, more fulfilling relationships, better sleep and greater resilience. Simple exercises that people can do on their own – such as spending two weeks writing a daily list of three things for which they are grateful – have been found to increase life satisfaction, decrease worry and improve body image, with the beneficial effects lasting for up to six months. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and a world authority on gratitude, has advocated that interventions such as this be used by therapists to help their patients.*
  • Happiness is a strong feeling of appreciation to someone or something for what the person has done to help you. The feeling or quality of being grateful.

The benefits of Gratitude:

For the individual:

  • increased happiness and positive mood
  • more satisfaction with life
  • less materialistic
  • less likely to experience burnout
  • better physical health
  • better sleep
  • less fatigue
  • lower levels of cellular inflammation
  • greater resiliency
  • encourages the development of patience, humility, and wisdom

For groups:

  • increases prosocial behaviors
  • strengthens relationships
  • may help employees’ effectiveness
  • may increase job satisfaction

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If you have any questions, please ask. General comments also welcome.

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