Do want a quick, easy way to improve your life regardless of your circumstances? Spend less time focusing your attention—your consciousness—on what you want to impart to someone else and way more on trying to truly understand their perspective. Because an ego just hears a view and then either agrees or disagrees with it instantaneously and purely out of habit. You can see this with politics where 99% of the people arguing have no clue what the actual platforms of any of the parties actually are. They are bashing their preconceived ideas into each other rather than actively listening in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of the world.
A person living Clearly will more often listen to people openly. Maybe they’ll learn new reasons to agree with their current view. Or maybe they’ll hear reasons to change their view. But if we’re not listening and we’re not flexible and open minded with our views, then we’re in ego and we will suffer. Because our views will be hard and solid and inflexible and that also makes them brittle and breakable. But if we’re flexible, we can wrap around an opposing idea, we can incorporate it, or we can even adopt it. In short: we have more freedom.
It is possible to listen to people as an activity unto itself. So you’re not listening for a purpose—you’re not even listening to understand. You’re not listening to see how their opinions compare to your opinions, nor are you listening to accomplish anything like make someone feel better. You’re just listening. No agenda. This is what it is to be aware. This is how you get to witness the beauty and elegance that is this incredible world. You just need to be quieter inside.
The opposite of quiet is noisy. Noisy is you talking to yourself about what other people should have done, or should have said, or how they should have acted. And maybe you’re telling them those things or maybe you’re telling other people how upset you are because of those things—it doesn’t matter. If you’re saying it to yourself, the person you’re upset with, or gossiping with someone else, you’re noisy inside and you will suffer for it. But if you’re not back-talking in your head or in person, then the energy that is you is free to focus on listening. And that’s when you hear the things that help you know what you should really say. If you should say anything at all.
Remember—you either output or input. Do less offering, suggesting, blaming, explaining, etc. and just be. Don’t want to change the world. Don’t want it your way. Just, as Paul McCartney suggested, let it be. Be active in your quietness. You will always hear the wisdom if you’re truly listening for it. And that sounds like a great way to ensure a great day. Enjoy yours.
peace (and quiet). s
Following a childhood accident should have left him dead, Scott McPherson spent his life meditating on thought, consciousness, reality and the self. Seeing the emotional damage done by ego-based overthinking he began dedicating a part of his life to guiding students toward more peaceful and rewarding lives. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, Canada.