Soft Skills for 2021 - Raising Awareness

I started this series last week focusing on the critical soft skill of being 'adaptable', which many of us have had to embrace in 2020 and will need it even more so as we enter 2021.  The next soft skill I'm going to focus on is 'Awareness'; this is what is needed if you want to have more control over your mind, your actions and ultimately the results you get in your life.  

Everyone has moments of awareness before falling back into what could be called a trance. Back in 1991, I remember going to a lecture where a Tibetan monk told the audience that 95% of the population were asleep.  I didn't quite understand what he meant back then. He was referring to the fact that most people live in their heads, always thinking, thinking and more thinking, operating out of awareness hence walking around asleep or in a kind of trance, unaware state.

If you drive a car, you'll recognise those moments of coming our of trance into present moment awareness; have you...

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How to know if you are really listening

Listening is one of those skills that is promoted widely but is easier said than done.  Whilst you could say we're always listening, the question is, how much do we really hear. 

As someone with a preference for extraversion and talking a lot, I used to be one of those people who mainly heard my own dulcet tones (and still do on a good day!)  A good conversation was measured on how much I had talked, how funny I was, what jokes I had made, how well I'd filled in the gaps of silence and kept conversations going whatever babble came out of my mouth. 

I have to be honest - it has taken me a good number of years to learn to shut up and really begin to listen.  That could be because I'm a slow learner or because it's actually a challenging skill to learn.  Probably more the latter.  Which is why I get annoyed when I read articles telling people how to listen, do a bit of this and that and hey presto, you've cracked it.  If it was that easy, why...

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