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God is Talking -- Are You Listening? Part 4 
By W. Bradford Swift 

Turning Up Your Hearing

When we acknowledge and become responsible for the interference that comes from our monkey mind, our full cups and from being biased, what naturally begins to occur is a new opening for being fully present, aware and available for contribution.

This open-minded approach to life is sometimes referred to as "beginners mind." Coming to a relationship with a beginner's mind approach makes it possible to gain much more value from the other person. The value increases even more when the other person is willing to be open-minded as well.

There's a second way of relating to a conversation that can dramatically increase the value we receive, especially when it's woven together with beginner's mind. I call it Turning On Your Radar for Insights. When you have your radar turned on for insights, you're open and receptive for hearing pearls of wisdom and nuggets of gold that can make a difference in your life.

But gathering insights is only the beginning. Often times many of us are so enamored with this first step that we forget to follow through with all the insights we gather. But as my first coach often said, "An insight by itself is like a pinch in the buttocks -- interesting for a moment but hardly life changing." To really get the most value from insights, you must apply the Growth and Development Formula:

Insight + Action = Growth and Development

For example, many people have had the insight that if they want to lose weight they must eat less, eat more balanced meals and exercise more. But those insights by themselves will make no difference for the person who's interested in losing weight unless they take action on the insight

If you've gleaned some insights from this series of articles here's an exercise I offer to help you take action:

    What insight did you have about yourself regarding the obstacles that block you from receiving the most value from a conversation? (The blocks are monkey mind, the full cup syndrome and bias.) Which seems to be your most predominate block?
    Pick 3 or more conversations in which you'll catch the blocks to value, and consciously set them aside. Then practice listening with a beginner's mind for insights upon which you can take action.

And the last bit of coaching for now. If you found yourself resisting doing this exercise, take a moment to examine what that is about. See if you're willing to move beyond it and play the game this week.

W. Bradford Swift is director of Life On Purpose Institute -- an organization dedicated to people clarifying their life purpose and living true to it -- where he is a coach, writer and trainer for other coaches. Hundreds of his articles have appeared in such diverse publications as Modern Maturity, Hope, New Age Journal, Yoga Journal, and many others. He may be contacted by email: brad@lifeonpurpose.com; by phone: 1-800-668-0183; or visit the Life On Purpose Institute website: http://www.lifeonpurpose.com.

© 2001 W. Bradford Swift

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