#109: Master This Skill To Change Your Life [Podcast]

I was recently on the phone with someone, and they were talking. Something they said sparked a reaction in me, and I began thinking about how is going to respond. As they continue to talk, I constructed an elegant argument in my head to counter what they had just told me. Then they spoke words that struck fear into my heart: “Do you think I should’ve done that?” I had no idea what they were talking about.

San-Diego-Bay

San-Diego-Bay

You might think the skills and I’m urging you to master is listening. That is an effect of mastering this skill, but not the skill itself. Mastering this mysterious skill will make you a better listener, more focused, less distracted, and a better thinker. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Plus, here are some additional reasons to keep listening…

  • The best way to master your email challenge. If you feel overwhelmed by email, this one is for you.
  • A fun and exciting way to sharpen your mind.
  • What your life would look like if God wrote the script.
  • Now let’s get on with it…

Announcements:

  • If you enjoy the podcast, I would consider it a great favor if you subscribe (and leave a review) in iTunes. This helps new people discover the show. A big thanks to Mark Noldy and Deanna Gillingham for giving us a review on iTunes this week. You can also find the podcast on Stitcher.
  • I’ve received a lot of questions about the affordable mastermind I’ve been thinking about starting. In the show, I explain more of what I was considering, now that is changed based on some responses I received. In a nutshell, it seems like what would be useful to folks is to provide some basic training materials and building an online business, and having a monthly Q&A call where you could talk with me. Interested? Would love your thoughts. Put them in the comments at the end of this post.

Tip Of The Week 

Tip #1: Crash Course is an educational YouTube channel started by Hank Green and John Green, also known as the VlogBrothersCrash Course was one of the 100 initial channels of YouTube’s $100 million original channel initiative. Having finished earlier courses on Biology, World History, Ecology, English Literature, Chemistry, and United States History, Hank and John Green now teach, respectively, Psychology and Literature. Crash Course launched a preview on December 2, 2011. As of April 6, 2014, the CrashCourse YouTube channel has earned over 1.5 million subscribers and over 90 million video views.

Tip #2: How and why you might declare email bankruptcy…

Spiritual Foundations

The Fifth Gospel, and God’s will for your life. What would your life look like if God wrote your biography in advance? Well, He has already done so. Here’s what that means:

  1. You were alive before you were born.
  2. You have the DNA of Christ.
  3. You have a new kind of life, fueled by the nature of God.
  4. You have received new superpowers.
  5. You have a new mission in life.

Feature Segment:  Master This Skill To Change Your Life

The skill that will change your life is mindfulness. Awareness. Being right here, right now.

This is not as easy as it may sound at first. Our mind loves to play a hilarious trick on us, and causes us to live either in the past or in the future, impishly avoiding the present.

Being mindful makes you aware of God’s presence, of what is happening right in front of you. This will make you a better listener, a better communicator, more skilled in your work, or successful, happier, at peace, and bring your greater depth of fulfillment.

So how do you become more mindful? How do you master this skill that I guarantee will change your life? As silly as this may sound, the easiest way to begin is to mentally, or even out loud, speak what you are noticing right now. It might sound like this:

“I am standing on my deck, drinking this cup of coffee. I am breathing in. There is a bird sitting on the wire that stretches across my backyard. It is a Robin. I breathe out. A soft wind is blowing across my skin.”

This takes practice. It is more difficult than you think, and it is also easier than you think. There is no trick to it, other than being aware of what is happening in this moment.

When you’re having a conversation with someone, being mindful of what they are saying will bring you a shocking new awareness in your relationships. Nobody will say to you, “hey, you seem more mindful now.” But they will sense that you are actually listening to them, paying attention to them, valuing what they have to say. They will feel heard by you, and this is one of the most basic human needs.

“Right now, he is telling me about his work, and I sense by the expression on his face in the tone of his voice that he is anxious and worried about something there. Now he is explaining a conflict with his boss. This situation makes him both fearful and angry.”

You speak out loud: “That must make you anxious and angry at the same time.”

It’s important that you understand this is not a technique meant to help you manipulate other people, or “push their buttons”. The most valuable possession you have is the present. All I’m suggesting is that you in fact value it, notice it, experience it.

The temptation you will have at this point is to write this off as either too flighty, or impractical, or blindingly obvious. If that’s how you’re feeling, I simply challenge you to occasionally be aware of the present moment as you go about your life. Notice what you’ve been missing.

What To Do Now

 

Question:  what have you noticed about the importance of being present and mindful? Click here to leave your comments.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “#109: Master This Skill To Change Your Life [Podcast]

  1. Hey Ray! I love the idea of the mastermind. Please consider it!

    When you talk about mindfulness, I think it’s a skill that we, in the 21st century, are really lacking. In fact, we’re conditioned to do the opposite. Yet, every time I’m aware that I’m “in the moment”, I realize I could be experiencing that much more every day if I intended to do so. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I came across this mindfulness lesson in Steven Covey’s book when he talked about ‘seeking first to understand, rather than to be understood’. Practicing the art of hearing people, not just with what they are saying but even picking up their emotional messages is something that can only come when you really have a heart to serve the person who is speaking to you (giving them psychological air). It is, as you said, the greatest human need – to be understood. But I guess I never really connected the two together – that is, the mindfulness of being in the present moment and the act of truly listening to another with the intent to understand them. But the two really do go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. Thanks Ray for making that connection for me.

  3. Enjoyed your message on mindfulness, Ray. It is an ‘oft forgotten skill, but one that can really realign your life to tune into what’s important. I’m always juggling several different projects and commitments, which leaves me feeling frazzled, with thoughts scattered all over the place. But in trying to be more mindful, I’ve begun to feel an inner peace, with a clearer, focused mind.

  4. Hi Ray,
    I am so glad you addressed two important topics:
    1. We have the DNA of God
    2. Mindfulness
    So many riches in just one episode! If there’s one thing that God has the capacity to do, it’s to be fully present with each one of us simultaneously. And since there is no past or future with God, he is always in the present. So since we have God’s DNA, it stands to reason that we should be fully present where we are, and most especially with whom we are.
    Like everything worth doing, it takes practice. And it runs counter to our hyper-connected, multi-tasking culture. Those who master it are happier, better liked, and more successful.
    Thanks for blessing us, Ray.
    All the best, Kathleen