Over the last two decades, we’ve been introduced, seduced and held captive by the overwhelming presence of digital communication. From the days when we promised ourselves we would ‘never get emails on our Blackberry’ to an age where we can DM, post, comment, react, share, support, subscribe, pin, tweet, self-publish, sync, stream, webcast, update, upload and download practically anything and everything.
We’ve moved from a chosen behaviour to listen and learn to a conditioned behaviour of reacting, responding and replying; and, it’s spilling over into our real-world lives.
With so many things in life, if we want to do them well, we need to pace ourselves, listen and learn. Learning can happen in many ways, including taking action, but if we haven’t listened properly, our actions will almost always be inadequate or inappropriate.
Becoming exceptionally good at anything requires hours and hours of learning and growing, and it requires focus, diligence and dedication. But, the digital world urges us to move faster whilst thinking and feeling less. This is why we find ourselves stuck or trapped in debt or with a string of poor financial decisions in our past and a lack of confidence to make better decisions in the future.
It’s why we struggle to connect through deep conversations and crave a journey of self-awareness and change on our own terms, not someone else’s agenda. Perhaps, we need to be reminded that it’s okay to simply listen and learn.
We don’t have to respond and reply to everything people say and do. We can let them be who they feel they need to be so that we can focus on who we want to be, making decisions that best benefit us.
It’s okay to listen and learn.
As Stephen Covey put it, “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.”