The art and skill of active listening

An acctive listening is the basis for true understanding.

listening

All human progress starts with communication. Without learning from others, understanding challenges and problems, receiving constructive input and feedback that make us grow, and getting our points across, we can never reach our full potential as creative human beings.

Yet, we are often bad at communication, and what we may perceive as a meaningful dialogue, is too often parallel monologues where two persons are talking, and no one is listening.

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To smell the roses

True wisdom is knowing what really counts in life.

Roses

At a 30-years class reunion, one of the former students had succeeded with everything in his career. At age of 25 he founded his first business. A few years later he had earned his first million, and now he was the owner of a very profitable multinational company with business in 14 countries. At the reunion he was the centre of attention, and his former class mates gathered around him and wanted to learn from his success story.

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What is a friend? Ten qualities in true friendship

In times of increased mobility where our interactions with other people more and more are through social media, it is worth reflecting on what is meant by true friendship.

friendship

Our present time is characterized by a number of phenomena that have radically changed our way of socialising with other people. Today, we have a geographical mobility that is unprecedented in history. It is not uncommon for people to move with just a few years’ interval and very few people stay in one place all their life.

During our lifetime, we also come into contact with a great many more people than any previous generation in the history of mankind, while the time and possibilities of cultivating a deeper friendship are becoming less and less.

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Take the load off your shoulders

Like the monk in the old Zen story, we are carrying a lot of mental burdens that just cause us pain and suffering.

Take the burden off your shoulders

In a well-known Zen story, two monks are walking along a country road. They eventually come to a place where they need to cross a river. By the riverside they see a young woman who also wants to cross over to the other side, but the current is too heavy. The older of the monks offers to carry her across, and she gratefully accepts the offer. On the other side they bid farewell and the two monks continue their walk.

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The important question “Why?”

why2

When asking questions, it is important not only to settle with the answers given to us, but to constantly expand our understanding by posing the simple but critical follow-up questions: “Who?“, “What?“, “When?“, “Where?“, “How?” And perhaps most importantly, “Why?” The answers to these questions mean that we do not miss contexts that may not be obvious at first glance. The answers will also open up doors for new questions that give us an even deeper understanding. This understanding, stemming from our curiosity, gives us the ability to see patterns and contexts much earlier than others.

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Who am I? A short reflection on an eternal question

Who am I

The question “Who am I?” has followed reflecting humans over millennia, and preoccupied the minds of numerous philosophers. The most common answer is to frame it in our relations to the outer world. I’m a son in relation to my parents, I’m a father in relation to my children, I’m a partner in relation to my loved one, I’m a professional in relation to my employer and colleagues, and so on. But this is not the true “me”. These are only my relational positions. So, who am I?

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Life is play – play is life

Play

Play is a vital part of our lives. As young children, it is through play that we gradually learn to master a complex world. In play, the child can mimic the adults, test boundaries and learn how to act and behave in their own environment and react in different situations. But play is not only for children; it also has a number of benefits for adults. In play and playful activities, we can be absorbed and end up in the state of total presence and the feeling of being one with an activity we sometimes call “flow”.

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