Shout out to: Birth of a New J by Julie Guardado

I’m extremely honored by Julie Guardado for using some words of mine as the opening quote for her new book, Birth of a New J.

It’s available now on Amazon.

I’m waiting for my personal copy to arrive and will be taking a photo of it, in-hand, when I get it. But until then, here’s the next best “pics-or-it-didn’t-happen” proof… :)

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Matters of miscommunication

Many miscommunications are perpetuated by people who fail to check that they are either being understood correctly or correctly understanding someone.

One effective means to overcome misunderstandings is to repeat back to the person what you think they said.

“If I’m understanding you correctly, what you’re saying is…”

In that way, you can make sure you’re on the same page and not wasting unnecessary time & energy — or potentially making things worse.

Many misunderstandings also happen because, rather than listen closely to what others are saying, people often use the time that others spend speaking to plan what they’re going to say next. They listen to reply, rather than listen to understand.

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” — Stephen R. Covey

This is often evidenced by how often people interrupt each other.

Unless it is for the purpose of clarification, interrupting someone to steer a conversation in a different direction is not only an indication that you aren’t listening closely, it’s a sign that you think what you have to say is more important than what the speaker is saying.

While interrupting someone can be acceptable in fun and playful conversations between friends, it can be disrespectful and potentially hazardous in any exchange meant to be taken seriously.

While it’s important to be able to express yourself clearly, it’s equally, if not more important to be able to listen effectively.

There is truth in this ancient wisdom from Epictetus, the Greek Sage and Stoic philosopher:

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

We learn much more through listening carefully than we do by thinking about what we’re going to say when the person speaking stops talking.

There is great power in being a person who can listen effectively.

There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” — G.K. Chesterton

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You. Making a difference.

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7 billion people on the planet.

And you’re THE ONE in 7 billion today who is going to make someone’s day significantly better by having been a part of it?

That’s value, power, and making a difference.

That’s being awesome.

What are you, some kind of superhero?

Keep up the good work!

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Doing it “wrong” and doing it anyway

Make a donation to a charity? Someone will tell you it’s the wrong charity.
Give to the homeless? Someone will tell you why that’s a bad idea.
Like a certain kind of music? Someone will tell you why it sucks.
Read a good book lately? Someone out there hates it.
Think something is funny? Someone won’t see the humor.
Have something cool you want to attempt? Someone will tell you not to bother because it’s already been done.

George Lucas, JK Rowling, The Beatles, and countless other success stories — all got rejected because someone thought there was something “wrong” with what they had to offer, but they all succeeded because they persisted anyway.

It should go without saying that no matter what you do or what your motivation is for doing it, there will almost always be someone to tell you that you’re doing it wrong.

At some point, you just have to learn to listen to your heart and your intuition and do what you feel is right, regardless of what the critics say. Because sometimes what’s considered wrong or flawed to one person, may be a work of genius to another.

Use feedback to make yourself, your actions, and your offerings more effective, but never give up doing what you want to do just because someone doesn’t “get it”.

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Influence by example

You don’t win points for liking something before it was popular or because it is old.

You don’t win points for judging people or criticising others because they don’t like exactly the same things you do.

You don’t even “win points” for simply being a decent human being, but you’re definitely more likely to earn the respect and admiration others if you keep an open mind and try.

If it brings someone joy and it isn’t causing harm, people should be able to like or do whatever they want without being criticized for it.

When you keep an open mind and look beyond differences, you’ll often find a common ground & things you can appreciate or work for together.

And you might just find life is easier when you see it that way instead of looking for things or people to have issues with.

People are more likely to be influenced by the attitude of others — and the examples they set — than they are by being criticized or having others impose their beliefs on them.

There’s enough judgement in the world. Enough name calling. Enough bullying. Enough “this vs. that” and “us vs. them”. Enough imposing of beliefs.

You don’t change people by telling them they’re wrong.

Want change? Keep an open mind, find common ground, and influence by example.

Be the change.

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