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14 Inspiring Quotes from Best-selling Book “Tuesdays with Morrie”

14 Inspiring Quotes from Best-selling Book “Tuesdays with Morrie”

In a world of hustle and bustle, it’s sad that we have to wait for the harsher realities in life to jolt us awake.  In the end, all the worldly possessions we strive for or the status we all reach for mean nothing.  Have you loved and did you love?  That’s all that matters in the end. Here are 14 inspiring quotes  about life from Mitch Albom’s beloved book Tuesdays with Morrie.

1.  “Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hold on too long.”

Mourning has to happen, we have to honor those that we lose by really sinking into that feeling of loss.  But we are amiss when we spend too much time there. Use pain and heartache to catapult you to new purposes and look around at what’s left of living. Look at it with a new-found perspective.  Don’t be defined by your losses.  Let your losses define your motivation.

2.  “Love each other or perish.”

A life without love is like a plant without water, it slowly deteriorates.  Love brings life, it brings motivation and inspiration.  Love brings with it confidence and adventure.  Love makes life come alive and without it we are wilting away day by day.  Start planting the seeds by putting love out there and watch how the more love you share, the more comes back to you.

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3.  “What if today were my last day on earth?”

Nothing teaches gratitude as much as thoughts about how precious time is.  Truly the best way to go forth in life is to appreciate how precious it is to be alive.  When we think of it this way, we are more purposeful with how we spend our time and what goals we give ourselves.

4.   “Love is the only rational act.”

We try to fight love but we are fighting for make believe walls and holding on to insecurities.  Let it all go and just let love out.   Stop letting your life be ruled by anything more than what’s in your heart.

5.   “Love always wins.”

Resistance and friction happens when we’re fighting to protect the little bubble of a world we live in, we’re hoarding all the wrong things in this bubble.  We want to be right.  We want to have pride.  We want the wrong things.  Love is the only solution to conflict. Love heals all wounds.

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6.   “Find someone to share your heart, give to your community, be at peace with yourself, try to be as human as you can be.”

Don’t isolate.  Get in the world and interact with it.   When it seems that nothing is going your way think about what vibes you give out to the universe.  Usually what you send out is what comes back to you.  Get comfortable with people and with giving of your heart.  The art of a big heart takes practice.  The more you share your heart, the more you feel it will be reciprocated.  Then you start to get the confidence to try harder.  Soon you become good at it with practice and more of it comes back to you.

7.   “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”

We all spend so much time with our energies everywhere but in our hearts.  All searching for happiness and acceptance when it’s within us, right with us all along.  Isn’t it funny that when we figure this out, everything else seems to fall into place?

8.   “If you really want it, then you’ll make your dream happen.”

Sometimes we don’t know what we really want.  Sometimes pain finally forces us to look inside and figure it out.  In pain, good things happen, if you let it.  Find out who you are and start crafting the dream that’s inside of you.  Be the better person you’re meant to become.  Once you know what you want and it’s clear it and you can see it, you can move mountains to make things happen.

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9.    “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

Everyone needs to find something inside that drives them, that they’re willing to push themselves through tough times.  Don’t wait for a tragedy to happen or a tragic loss to happen for you to realize that you need to find your purpose.  Take the time to find out what it is, do the work to find out who you are and what you want.

10.  “Don’t cling to things because everything is impermanent.”

Things come and go.  Life seems so much more stressful with more stuff.  Think about how our life has evolved even over the last 10 years.  The rise of consumerism has given way to so much clutter in our lives.  We all each have 10 pairs of shoes for one season. Eight different versions of a jackets for one season.  A raincoat, a workout coat, a nice dressy coat-okay maybe one in black and one in red, a long one, a short one, a leather one.  Remember when it was so easy to keep up with one?  So we’ve created a lot of stress in our lives trying to keep up with our possessions.  This stress takes away from the quality time we can be spending with people.  Life is about relationships, not things.

11.  “Accept who you are; and revel in it.”

The biggest lesson is life is that the sooner you know how to be as authentic to your self as possible is when you really come alive.  Be no one else but as you as you can be.

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12.  “Everyone knows they’re going to die but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.”

The best thing is to not live life in denial.  There is as bit of pressure in life to make it count.  Don’t be complacent about life.  Be aware and try to make something matter in the time you are here.  If you don’t know where to start, it usually good to start with giving of yourself and finding out where that takes you.

13.  “Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others.”

Don’t live a life of regret.  Don’t linger in the wrongs.  Linger in making things right and moving from there.  Say sorry even when you don’t want to, the act of saying it will release you.  Hanging on to wrongs does nothing for you.  Move forward.

14.  “Without love, we are birds with broken wings.”

In order to fly we need to be intact.  Love is what holds us together and keeps us up in the air soaring with the wind blowing in our faces feeling alive.

Featured photo credit: By Mitch Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher via google.com

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

What Makes People Poor Listeners?

Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

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I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

How To Be a Better Listener

For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

1. Pay Attention

A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

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I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

2. Use Positive Body Language

You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

According to Alan Gurney,[2]

“An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

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Be polite and wait your turn!

4. Ask Questions

Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

5. Just Listen

This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

6. Remember and Follow Up

Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

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Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

  1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
  2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

8. Maintain Eye Contact

When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

Final Thoughts

Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
[2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
[3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
[4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

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