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Shut Up And Listen To This Carefully

Shut Up And Listen To This Carefully

Think about the last time you confided in a friend. Did they understand your thoughts and gave you comfort just by simply listening to your worries and being there for you? Listening looks easy, yet hard to master. Because speaking is often more desirable than listening, and our goal is usually to persuade the other to understand and resonate with our thoughts (even doing it unintentionally).

Speaking is often more desirable than listening, and our goal is usually to persuade the other to understand, and resonate with our thoughts (sometimes even unintentionally). Even though speaking well is often praised and recognised by the public, listening is, in fact, a very important element in good communication. It creates better responses and clarifies conversations. Also, if there are no listeners, there won’t be any speakers.

We compiled 5 books to help you to be a better listener, be it comforting a friend, going to a lecture, or understanding a new concept, these books will help you to minimise information loss from communication.

The Good Listener by James E. Sullivan

    This little book is written by a priest who has to deal with hurt people every day, pointing out how our poor listening hurts others (often unintentionally), and how much we can heal a person just by listening and understanding their feelings.

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    The book gives suggestions on how we can improve our listening and how we can share so the other will understand us better. Even so, do not expect this to be a tool book as you will not become a great listener just by following 5 steps, instead, it is about being aware and learning to walk away from our selfish desire to be listened to. This book is recommended if you are someone working in the field of counselling, or anyone who wants to build a deeper and stronger relationship with others.

    Reading Duration: 1hr 59mins

    Get The Good Listener from Amazon at $10.95

    Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All by Bernard T. Ferrari

      Ferrari reveals how to turn a tin ear into a platinum ear in this book because poor listening can lead to poor business decisions in organisations. The author suggests that the skills and habits of a good listener can be learned and taught, in this book he offers a step-by-step guide to turn readers into an active listener.

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      In the book Power Listening, the author focuses on corporate listening instead of peer-to-peer and interpersonal listening. This book is great for anyone who facilitates or leads groups through decision and design. By identifying the cause of bad corporate listening, readers are able to follow the guide to effective listening.

      Reading Duration: 4hrs 17mins

      Get Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All from Amazon at $32.99

      The Lost Art Of Listening by Michael P Nichols 

        What is it that keeps so many of us from really listening? Nichols answers the question in the book and frames listening as an active art, something we need practices to transform passive reception to real hearing. The book is filled with vivid examples that demonstrate easy-to-learn techniques for becoming a better listener. The book is embedded with empathic listening, a listening technique enabling us to break through misunderstandings and conflict in our relationships. “Listening isn’t a need we have; it’s a gift we give.”

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        Reading Duration: 6hrs 29mins

        Get The Lost Art Of Listening from Amazon at $7.99

        Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston

          The first make-or-break step in persuading anyone to do anything is getting them to hear you out. This book is about listening and giving responses, it emphasises that everyone wants to feel “felt”, and only little appropriate responses can achieve this. Just Listen is a practical how-to guide to becoming a better face-to-face communicator. It reveals how to make a powerful and positive first impression, talk an angry or aggressive person away from an unproductive reaction, and more. If you deal with difficult people around you, this is a must-read for you to not only understand them but also have them felt understood.

          Reading Duration: 5hrs 17mins

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          Get Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone from Amazon at $14.19

          Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George J. Thompson 

            Verbal Judo is a martial art that can show you how to be better prepared for every verbal encounter, including listening and speaking more effectively and engaging people with empathy. The book is written in a conversational style, with real-world examples and tips for controlling your own emotions when you feel verbally attacked.

            “The other person will believe you’re trying to understand. Whether you really are interested is irrelevant.” Someone might disagree with this, yet it is powerful in the listener’s mind because we all know at certain times, all we need is an ear from a friend instead of theories and advice.

            Reading Duration: 4hrs 37mins

            Get Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion from Amazon at $9.48

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            Lifehack Reads is the curated collection of our favorite books, carefully categorized and sorted by our Editorial Team.

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            Last Updated on May 28, 2020

            10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

            10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

            Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

            You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

            Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

            You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

            Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

            1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

            If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

            Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

            When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

            Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

            So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

            Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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            2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

            Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

            Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

            • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
            • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
            • Answer a few Superpower Questions

            Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

            3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

            Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

            The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

            You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

            Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

            Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

            4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

            The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

            Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

            To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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            This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

            5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

            Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

            Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

            • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
            • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
            • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

            The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

            Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

            6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

            I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

            To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

            Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

            A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

            Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

            Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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            7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

            Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

            Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

            What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

            Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

            8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

            Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

            Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

            What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

            These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

            9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

            Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

            This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

            Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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            “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

            10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

            Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

            Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

            You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

            You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

            Final Thoughts

            Eleanor Roosevelt said,

            “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

            Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

            By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

            If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

            This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

            Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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            Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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