Listening The Wrong Way

I’m a nice guy. You all know this by now, yes? So when I tell you that I I spent last week listening to a lot of people I didn’t like….you won’t judge me, right?


HOW can you judge that face? Note: Reggie (left) and I were sad because we had been on set for 16 hours. We were tired. But really it was a fun day.

What baffled me was that these people were all giving great advice and information. I just didn’t particularly like their delivery. I found their methods to be negative, and sometimes even condescending.

I’ve always believed that in order to be a good speaker, you have to be a good person too. Why listen to someone who is going to be condescending? That just hurts our pride. Maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s not. One thing I’ll admit is this: We should always listen to good advice, regardless of how it’s delivered. This doesn’t mean we have to be best friends with the speaker. But ignore what they’re saying and we could miss out on a lot.

What flipped the switch for me was this quote from Dani Johnson. For those of you aren’t familiar with her, Dani is a motivational speaker. She also happens to be a millionaire.

“‘She’s not educated. She doesn’t speak right. She doesn’t talk right’… You’re right. But you’re there and I’m here. And I got here because I was there and I had to lay down my pride and my ego to learn from someone that I did not like.”

I used to think that having an ego solely referred to being cocky and full of ourselves. I also thought that knowing the definition (or at least part of it) meant you didn’t have one. I learned this week this isn’t true. I have some work to do with my own. A lot of us are so focused on doing things the right way, we miss out on all the information that comes out the “wrong” way.

In Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements,” agreements, he tells us not to take anything personally:

“Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in.”

Okay. Easy enough. Don’t let the haters get to me. I hear you, Don!

….except I didn’t really hear him. He goes on to talk about how this applies to both negatives and positives.

“If people tell you how wonderful you are, they are not saying that because of you. You know you are wonderful. It is not necessary to believe other people who tell you that you are wonderful. Don’t take anything personally.”

This might be a tough one to grasp. But I honestly believe that if we can learn to incorporate both the negatives and the positives together, the concept will be easier to comprehend as a whole.

What are some areas where you can start putting your ego aside? What thoughts might you take personally that you don’t necessarily have to?

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