Being a Good Listener, and a Simple Rule for Life and Work.
Good morning, afternoon and evening.
Welcome to Self-Mastery — a place for exploring timeless ideas to become the architect of your mind, create yourself, and do less, better.
To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.
A simple rule for life and work:
“Don’t rush, but don’t wait”.
Let’s think about thoughtful action. It is our duty to take positive steps towards what matters to us. It not only matters to take action, but it matters to know how to be good at taking action, time and time again. Because we will often need to repeat certain actions to achieve what we want.
Think about completing a new workout every other day, writing daily, presenting to an audience twice a week, making sales each month, and so on. To be good at these things requires constant action. Repetition. Starting fresh every day.
When starting something new, we begin to feel excited by the new possibilities it entails. We glean over a future after our success. We ask ourselves: what does it feel like? What happens once we achieve it? What is our day like? Who are we then? With irregular rhythm, we tap our feet underneath the school or office table from the mere anticipation to get going. We procure a stray smile at random times during the day, every now and then, when our new life after success pops into our mind.
We just struggle to begin.
Many people have a problem with overthinking. They want their start to be perfect and faultless. And as a result, they stall. I know many people who wanted to change their lives or do something different, but couldn’t put the theory to practice.
This is why it is important to get good at taking action for what you want.
Be impatient with your actions, but patient with your results.
Start without worry, and continue without doubt. We all stall our clutch and struggle to head towards what we want in life from time to time. Perhaps we’re too afraid of what could go wrong?
I was the same. I hesitated with my goal to start investing in crypto. I doubted myself when first putting my work online. I kept overthinking my goal to compete as an athlete in a sport I loved. But, as it happens time and time again, once I did get started, I felt like I never wanted to stop.
Don’t rush the process of taking action, but don’t wait to get going.
What’s on My Mind
What Documentary filmmaker Valerie Kaur said on listening:
"Deep listening is an act of surrender. We risk being changed by what we hear.
When I really want to hear another person’s story, I try to leave my preconceptions at the door and draw close to their telling. I am always partially listening to the thoughts in my own head when others are speaking, so I consciously quiet my thoughts and begin to listen with my senses.
Empathy is cognitive and emotional—to inhabit another person’s view of the world is to feel the world with them. But I also know that it’s okay if I don’t feel very much for them at all. I just need to feel safe enough to stay curious.
The most critical part of listening is asking what is at stake for the other person. I try to understand what matters to them, not what I think matters. Sometimes I start to lose myself in their story. As soon as I notice feeling unmoored, I try to pull myself back into my body, like returning home. As Hannah Arendt says, ‘One trains one’s imagination to go visiting.’ When the story is done, we must return to our skin, our own worldview, and notice how we have been changed by our visit."
The quality of your mind is the quality of your life.
Article of the Week
Health and happiness are both skills. You can choose to increase both—the first step is simply realising you can.
Favourite Thing This Week
Do as Little as Needed, Not as Much as Possible by Tim Denning.
Question of The Week
What am I working on that will still matter in five years?
Have a wonderful week.