Listen for your lessons in life

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” - Jimi Hendrix


On a regular basis some of my team members and coachees inform again about the poor (cultural) behaviour and the negative impact some of their colleagues are having on them, which in the end has a less positive impact on their daily work pleasure. As in my optimistic view every negative has a positive side, I started thinking of the positives... So, this is what I've came up with and found as best advise: Stop --> look and --> listen for your lessons in life!

Did you know that every person you come in contact with is there to help you with one of your life's lessons? Some people will enter your life for just a few moments, some for a few days, some for a few months, and some for many years. All of these people have one thing in common: they are there to help you with one of the lessons you need to learn in your life.

There is an ancient saying that "No man is my friend, no man is my enemy, and every man is my teacher." When you choose to look at everyone you meet as a teacher, you will then be able to stop, look, and truly listen to what these people have to say. You will hear the guidance and direction you need to take for your next step in your life journey. It will also allow you to decide with whom to spend more time and.... who to block or refuse to spend more time with because what you could learn from them would be limited and/or negative... This will help you to spend and invest your time more effectively and learn more effectively.

So many of us go through life not really seeing or hearing others. Are we to busy? Have we become to egocentric? Do we think we know it all? In most cases we are so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the times that we don't have a clue as to what signs and guidance we may be missing! Many times we are the "walking unconscious" (sounds familiar?). This means we go through portions of our lives unaware of our surroundings. In this state of mind we will miss some valuable guidance and might miss out on effectively using our time.

When you don't stop and really listen to others, you will miss the guidance and wisdom that may make your life much better. You may miss the signs that could save you a lot of time and grief later on... You may miss the wisdom needed to make better decisions each step of the way... You may miss the support to boost your career... You may continue to repeat your mistakes... You may continue to "spin your wheels" in 3rd gear without getting anywhere or making any real progress... You may feel stuck, confused and hopeless... You may feel you want to give up...

So much of your time and energy could be saved and used more productively if you would only stop, look, and listen for your lessons in life. For example: The next time a friend or colleague recommends a book to read pay attention. Take note and get the recommended book and read it. There may be a lesson for you in the words of the book!

When someone recommends something to you pay attention. There is a lesson to be learned. If you hear the same message repeated by someone else you can be sure you need to listen and learn of your life lessons.

Everyone you meet is a teacher for you even if it's just for the moment. Stop what you are doing and open up your ears and heart to hear the messages that are being sent to you through others. When something goes wrong, learn from it. When something goes well, learn from it. Find your lessons around you. Your life's journey will be much simpler and less stressed when you choose to stop, look, listen, and learn from everyone you meet!

An example: One of the most useful and compelling questions I often raise in my coaching sessions: "Who can support you in reaching your goals?". My personal answer is; all of my teachers, who provide me with lessons in life can support me in this my family, my colleagues, my friends, my clients and all the other people I meet!

Be thankful for your lessons; listen to them, learn from them, and then move on to your next lesson. Enjoy your ever evolving and enlightening journey!

“It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Make this a Positive & Fruitful day…..unless you have other plans!

Best regards and success with listening, learning & succeeding,

Patrick Driessen