“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?” – Edward Hersey Richards
Daily Nugget of Gold 1240
Letting Go of Stubbornness
We love this billboard which, posted in the spirit of trying to get people to take preventive measures for their health that reads in big white letters on a red background, “This year thousands of men will die from stubbornness.”. The most popular internet posting of this advertisement shows the sign and what someone spray-painted just below the message, “NO WE WON’T” Some of us do love being stubborn, don’t we?
As with many human traits, there’s a time to use this quality and a time to let it go. Stubbornly going after your goal would be a good thing, stubbornly arguing a point with another person? Not so much. Fortunately for you, your author has been “blessed” with a heaping amount of stubbornness at times- usually at the wrong times. We’ve seen the wisdom of other people letting things go when it was called for and we’ve witnessed the deterioration of our popularity as we steadfastly argued for it.
With the risk of coming off like a reformed smoker who now evangelizes about the evils of smoking, we’re going to make “the argument” about why we should want to re-think being so stubborn with other people. One of Napoleon Hill’s list of 12 things that constitute true riches is the wisdom with which to understand people. So, let’s ask a question, do we learn while we are doing the talking, or do we learn when we are listening?
When a stubborn person listens, do they listen to understand fully the other person’s point of view or do they listen so that they can attempt to dismantle the other person’s argument? Let’s give a hint on how we can spot the difference within ourselves: If we are crafting what we will say next while the other person is still speaking, perhaps our motives aren’t as pure as they could be. Listening to another person speak is a full-time job, if we want to get and understand fully what it is they are trying to convey. Wouldn’t you agree that if we really want to enjoy the full benefit of hearing what a person is saying, not only with their words but their voice intonation and inflection, and body language that perhaps formulating answers simultaneously might interfere with that?
As we’ve implied, we speak from authority on this one. We’re still in the process of trying to improve. What we can do is to hold our tongue and let the other person fully vent what they are feeling, then ask appropriate questions for anything we’re unclear on. After that, we want to examine what would be the benefit of giving our own opinion on the matter. Often times, upon thinking about that, we might decide not to, and just let what they said go unchallenged. If there is a situation where it’s important for the other person’s best interest, we might offer our own opinion, but we want to understand that people often have a right to make a dumb choice for themselves- isn’t that how we, ourselves, have learned much of what we learned?
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do to increase my ability to listen so that I fully hear the what the other person is saying?”
Copyright 2014 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.