With the pandemic, politics, and a thousand 24-hour news programs blasting at us, I find myself constantly fighting stress and trying to refocus things. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. One of the best ways I’ve found to do this is to get back to the basics of the three L’s: Laughter, Listening and Learning.
Laughter is an instant vacation. Milton Berle
For me, having a “happy heart” goes a long way to clearing my mind. One of the easiest ways I do this is watching something entertaining that just brings a smile or a laugh. Something like an old episode of Seinfeld can do the trick. I find it especially helpful before I go to bed to help unclutter the noise in my head.
Pick times & make some sanity breaks in your day to engage in something fun and see how it works. I find this to be a great “reset” button – and a fresh and open mind is often the first step in a path to success.
There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak. Simon Sinek
Listening is a forgotten skill in communications. We used to think it was just the active sense of hearing, but now we have social media complicating things. For example, my daughter can text me three messages before I get the first one read – let alone respond to it.
Listening is being able to sift through everything you hear, extract the message and effectively respond. With our continuous bombardment of incoming information, a strong listening skill becomes even more critical. By listening better, you will improve your outward communications and understanding.
One of the keys to my 40-year marriage is trying to remember what my wife frequently reminds me: “it’s not what you say – but what they hear.” Unfortunately, I sometimes forget this (so she reminds me) – but I’m still married to her – so I’m getting some of it right.
Learning never exhausts the mind. Leonardo da Vinci
As I continue into my more mature years, I’m finding my thirst for knowledge increasing. I think some of the motivation is that as we accumulate an abundance of experiences, it creates a desire to understand the circumstances. It also makes me really appreciate why things happened the way they did – or were done the way they were done. One of my favorite signs growing up said, “I’m surprised at how much Dad has learned over the last 10 years!”
Try laughing more, listening better, and learning more. I think you’ll like the results. Feeling better, appreciated, and understood is a goal worth the effort. While sometimes I really miss the mark (just ask my wife), I always keep trying!