Shut Up & Listen

Thursday 18 October, 2018

A friend read my book and decided to try something out. Whilst reading, he had come across repeated encouragements to be quiet and just listen or observe what happens. He decided to give it a go. In a familiar environment, among friends with whom he would normally engage comfortably and confidently, he decided to shut up and listen. Resisting the pull to get involved, and without the distraction of interaction, he saw others’ behaviour more clearly. They were so wrapped up in their own stories, for example, that no-one even noticed he was quieter than usual.

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The Team & The Individual

Monday 15 October, 2018

The best thing you can do for your team is to work on yourself. If everyone does that, and people support each other in their respective development, the team will grow and mature. So, too, will the individual. PRACTICE and DISCIPLINE are the foundations of the work. They are qualities you will need to return to again and again as you seek to change certain habits. It can be difficult at first, but if you pay close attention you will be able to SEE YOUR PROGRESS, no matter how small. And it’s important that you see the small steps, because if you wait for the big leaps you will easily become downhearted.

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What Exactly Do I Do?

Thursday 2 August, 2018

Following a training I gave recently, someone approached me to teach them how to do what I do. He explained that other trainers he’d observed relied heavily on content or particular techniques (or both), whereas I seemed to do neither. His conclusion was that what makes me so effective is that I rely on myself. I have a belief in my work and I know my stuff intimately, but that was not what he was after because in the job he does, he has those things too.

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The List

Wednesday 16 August, 2017

What follows is a list of many of the most important pieces from this blog. The list makes it easy for you to understand at a glance what is necessary in this work. It takes you through the process of self-development and self-realisation – from awareness, observation and reflection, and back to awareness – offering you guidance on what to expect along the way and what you can do to help yourself.

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Yesterday I Was Clever

Wednesday 22 February, 2017

A common desire which people express about their interactions with others, is their wish to see the other person change, or grow, or at least move away from what seem to be unhelpful ways of doing things. We all recognise it. We have all felt the same about someone close to us – a friend, a colleague, or a loved one. The thing is, we cannot change anyone, and the sooner we learn this, the better it is for everyone. The title of this post is taken from a poet’s words about the desire to change others and the wisdom it eventually brings:

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Be Quiet, Be Still, & Listen

Saturday 24 December, 2016

If there is one thing which this year has demonstrated more than anything else, it is that we find it infuriatingly difficult to listen to opinions which are contrary to our own. The postmortem discussions following the UK referendum and the US election were at times hysterical and exaggerated, but eventually also insightful. It turns out we have a problem performing the simplest of tasks; one which could fast track our evolution: listening. As someone close to me always says: ‘People just want to be heard.’ Unfortunately, we can barely hear each other over the sound of our own voices. There are too many people making too much noise.

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TS 17 – Listen To Yourself

Friday 4 November, 2016

The fact that this was one of the best seminars so far was due partly to the variety of subjects we covered: the importance of listening (to the self and others), of writing, and of focusing on our breathing, as well as the role which suffering plays in our happiness. The main reason, however, was the clear demonstration by one participant of the entire point of the seminar. Namely, that we easily dismiss things if they do not fit into our narrow band of relevance, and that when we listen more closely we make life easier for ourselves. (That demonstration appears at 26:34 in the video below.)

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TS 10 – Calibrate The Machine

Thursday 16 June, 2016

Whereas last week we focused on those aspects of ourselves which are also visible to other people, this week’s seminar looked at the more subtle aspects of our existence  – those signals which only we can be aware of because they come from within. They are the thoughts, feelings and intuitive sensations which are often so subtle that we don’t even notice them; or if we do, we ignore them, or we explain them away as being ridiculous or irrelevant. Life gets easier, however, when we listen to those subtleties.

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A Vision For My Future

Wednesday 8 October, 2014

This post is for me. They all are really, but as one period of my life reaches its natural conclusion, the intention behind this piece is to define my pathway for the next phase of my development. I have referenced the imminent end to this blog on numerous occasions, but now there are only 16 days before the final journal entry is published, and it is becoming clear why my time at the house came to an end. In the last entries my annoyance reaches its peak and, whilst there are sporadic windows of relief and reassurance that everything might be fine if I stayed, there is a creeping inevitability about my departure.

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Calibrate The Machine

Friday 20 December, 2013

The more familiar you are with your core self, the easier it is to identify and deal with how your direct environment affects you. But with everything going on around you, how can you tell the difference between what is you and what you might be picking up – or have picked up years ago – from others? From day one we are so busy improving and developing that we hardly have time to catch our breath, let alone take stock or come to rest. Progress implies motion, so when do we have the chance to stop and reflect? And how do we calibrate who we really are?

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Active Listening

Sunday 23 June, 2013

Being able to listen actively and effectively is not as easy as it may seem. Just like good communication, and giving and receiving feedback, it is a skill which requires practice. We are all able to list the main requirements for active listening: focus; concentration; respect; feedback; ask questions; summarise what you have understood; refrain from judgement; and perhaps most importantly, create the intention to listen fully and to understand the other person. But what are the obstacles?

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Listen to Yourself

Friday 7 December, 2012

The answer came to me in an instant, but I couldn’t explain it or offer any evidence for it, so I kept quiet. I was sat in my meditation class. The lesson was about symbols and we had all been asked to bring something of importance: a symbol of our self, our life. I took my company logo which represents my work and signifies transformation. I spoke about how my teacher, Karaj, had taught me to see the information available all around us – in the words we use, the ways we behave, how we carry ourselves and the symbols and artefacts we keep with us.

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Taking The Time To Listen

Thursday 20 September, 2012

I have worked for a number of bosses: the workaholic who only ever looked up from his paperwork to find out why his coffee cup and ashtray were not where they should be; the too-soft middle manager promoted beyond his ambitions by virtue of years of service; and the arrogant one lacking any self-awareness, who could never be as good or as respected as he imagined himself to be. There were other more inspirational leaders too. Two in particular spring to mind. Partly because I worked for them longer than any of the others, but mostly because they had so many qualities in common.

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Why Don’t People Listen?

Tuesday 30 July, 2002

Another humid and tired day. I felt some emotions about not having achieved any of my own work over the last couple of days, but I did not react to them. I knew what was going on and that the evening would bring an opportunity to achieve something. In short, I relaxed. And besides, the work with Karaj has been necessary and we have made good progress.

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