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

Posted February 4, 2015 by jimhigley


(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.


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?


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