25 Weeks of Rediscovery: Chapter 4 Discussion – Tuning In. Tuning Out.

Posted February 4, 2015 by jimhigley

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(This is the fifth week of a six-month journey of self-discovery. Thanks for joining me. Earlier this week I shared Chapter 4 from my book, “Bobblehead Dad: 25 Lessons I Forgot I Knew.”  Today we take the topic presented in that chapter a little deeper – and I share some thought questions for you. Tomorrow, I hope you’ll come back for a new story about receiving – and giving – advice.. Thanks for being here. 

Lesson 4: Welcome good advice with action.

Every time I read chapter 4 of my book, I feel grateful.

There’s an interesting parallel between Coach A and Karen, isn’t there? I didn’t know either of them well yet they each gave me some of the most important advice of my life.

Important and life-changing.

How easy it would have been to ignore, dismiss, or just forget either of those messages. Thank goodness I didn’t. The truth is, with each of those stories, I actually remember thinking to myself, “This is big stuff. Don’t blow it.”

And trust me, I’m not tooting my own horn. I miss a lot of life’s signals and messages because I think I know more than I actually do. And, often, I don’t like to hear the advice of others because, in doing so, it means I need to work harder at some aspect of my life.

Tuning out is easier. Selective listening, right?

Tuning in is hard.

So what does one do?

I actually work hard at listening. There’s a term called “active listening” – which may or may not describe my approach. But I like the name. I try to be actively engaged in my listening. I ask a lot of questions and I try to clarify what people are saying. The funny thing is that I’ve discovered that some people are offended by my question-asking style: they view it as me not trusting them. So I’ve come to accept that sometimes you just can’t win. And I plow ahead with my questions.

Because questions give me clarity.

The second thing I do is size people up. Gosh, that sounds terrible, doesn’t it? But I do. Everyone in my life – from my immediate family to people I casually know – has an informal rating from me when it comes to the “wisdom meter.” It’s my way of identifying who to stop and pay attention to. And who I just merits politeness and courtesy from me.

Call it my “Tune in, tune out” filter.

It works. And it’s constantly being adjusted.

Because I never know where the next bit of good advice is going to come from.

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Here’s some things for you to noodle on:

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Who have been the important teachers in your life?
What advice do you need to follow today?

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Want more?  Read the first week’s posts including the  Prologue and Introduction. And come back tomorrow for an entirely new post!