Quiet the Mind
by Kevin D. Crone
If this principle is so important, why does everyone seem so much more stressed and unhappy? Why do we have so many uncertainties with relationships? Why does the world appear to not be working for us like it used to?
This principle is about controlling our thoughts or silencing our internal dialogue. It’s seeing what’s really going on in a conversation or an observed action so you respond appropriately. This is a learned behaviour.
It would take too much writing and your time, to go in-depth about the eastern thinking background of this ancient, but powerful philosophy, and the why behind it that forms powerful practices, allowing you to be successful and happy. So let’s just get to some other practical behaviours that make sense to me, when applied allow you to be productive and have fewer problems. Maybe some of them will resonate with you. They’re easier to write about than to apply, but so what. Michael Jordan missed 26 potential winning shots. He’s the most successful failure in the history of basketball. So it here goes.
Your speaking: Catch yourself! Be impeccable with your words. Speak with integrity and say only what you mean. This could mean not talking about others or gossiping. Just don’t listen to the world noise. Think for yourself. Be authentic by asking what it means to you and your commitments? Don’t speak badly about yourself, your team, friends and family. Use your words to be about your commitment to others. You say you want others to succeed or that you love them. Maybe you have made promises in the relationship or a business agreement. So stop and think about what others are trying to do in their dreams, your commitment to them and talk respectively. When you do, you will be truthful to yourself and supportive to them which supports your commitment.
Be better at giving recognition and appreciation than giving criticism. Criticism doesn’t make you smart. Learn how to influence positively. There’s a big difference. If you do these things, you’ll be free of negative emotion, remorse and tension.
Your listening: Stop in the middle of your listening and remind yourself not to take things personally. The world isn’t about you. When listening, remind yourself what others are saying is a projection of their reality, their dreams, and their view of how the world works.
When you become immune to the opinion of others, you won’t count on it to feel good. Just be an effective listener, and you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. Most importantly, to transform your life, catch yourself in your assumptions. Stop and ask questions. Find out what others mean, where they’re coming from, ask another question. Go deeper. Those that immediately interrupt or/and jump in with their additions to what others are saying (for example, when it happened to them, or tell you what you mean, or compare what you are saying to another concept or experience) are basically getting little depth from the conversation and can be irritating. Be different – watch and catch yourself in your assumptions. Ask. Ask. Ask. And then, ask again.
High level listening: Listen for the big things. Catch yourself in your automatic listening. As I’ve already said, that means stop listening for what you like or don’t like, comparisons, etc. Instead, listen for what others are committed to, and what assumed context they are speaking from. Make the distinction in your head. Then test the distinction through your questions. This is about “getting” them, how they see the world, what they want etc. You’re probably the only one who does this with this kind of sophisticated listening.
Listening this way reveals what people see is possible. What opportunities are available for them, and, through your questioning, can guide both of you to a higher level of performance and a productive relationship with less stress. Going further, you can help them see what works for them, doesn’t work, and how their viewpoint might limit possibilities. You might even, through questions, get into creating new possibilities and subsequent actions with them. People don’t do what seems impossible to them. All of this high level listening is the practice of a great coach.
Don’t have “talk about” conversations like what’s going on in the global news. That isn’t you. That isn’t even how the world is. If anything, it can be a distraction. Take responsibility for what you say. Talk from a commitment, for example, here is what I stand for… Not what you demand of others but what you expect from yourself. Don’t move your thinking around like a ping pong ball. Operate, think and talk from what you are committed to. Yes, listen for reality in relationship to your wants and stands so you always know how to proceed further.
Always do your best. Do what you say you will do! Never let people down. Never release your commitment to them. When you can’t fulfill a commitment, let people know. You will always know you were true to yourself. You will never have to avoid people. Even so-called enemies will respect you. Everyone will want to talk to you and you won’t have a lot of self judgement and self criticism or regret.
What resonates? Now what?
Have a great week!
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