How to Know When to Listen

by Rachel Miller

September 7, 2021

ABOVE :Brett Jordan

Use this as your sign to listen carefully: when you say or think “I know.” Whenever you think or feel “I already know that,” listen more closely. Even when you’re reading. Even the things you know well, and especially, the things you’ve studied before.

Pay attention to what you “know”:

  • Knowing something well does not mean you don’t need to listen. All the more, it holds greater incentive for us to listen carefully. To pay closer attention. Maybe something will click the second time you hear it. Maybe you will discover it holds more value today then the first time you read it. The material may be the same, but you are different. Your circumstances are different. You have different demands, desires and goals. You are essentially reading it with fresh eyes.

  • When you think you know something well, you’re tempted to close off, to shut down, to stop listening: you already know the answer, you already have all the information. “Knowing” closes our mind to learning. It keeps us from gaining new insights around us. It limits us. Holds us back.

  • The more you feel you know something, the more closely to pay attention, to listen. There’s always something more valuable for you to learn. There is always something new for you to gain. You won’t know, unless you first listen. And you can’t listen if you already “know”.

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Comments (1)

  1. Edie says:

    Very true and well written! Sounds like a conversation I would’ve had with your Dad. You’ve definitely inherited his wise mindfulness.

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