Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share it.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
I want to talk to you about something very important to your success and well, life in general. The difference between hearing and listening – and what it means to be truly present. In life, we are bombarded by things all day coming from seemingly every direction. Some of these things are important, others are just distractions. And, there has been a lot of study done on how the average person’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter.
If you think about it, it makes sense. As technology has enabled things to be more readily at our fingertips, there is more to interrupt our life and for us to consume. I fear that it will be even worse than it is now when you grow up. And that is why this one skill will be so important. It will make such a difference for the people that have it because it will be increasingly rare to find.
That skill is learning the BIG difference between hearing and listening and committing to be truly present in your interactions with others.
Let’s start with hearing vs. listening. I know there have been times where you are busy doing something and your mother and I are talking to you and you acknowledge that we are, but don’t really pay attention to what we say. I mean, you are 6, going on 7. It’s par for the course. But, it is also prevalent in adults too – I’m guilty of doing this as much as the next person. I admit that I can multi-task with the best of them. I can be on a phone call, answering email, checking stock quotes, posting on social media, etc., all at the same time and you wouldn’t know it if you were on the other end of the line. But, I do!
And I know I am not giving my best in these moments. While, I am not perfect, this is an area I’ve really tried to focus on in recent years and it is incredible how much it pays off. In fact, doing this show has really helped me to hone this skill as I know the more engaged I am and focused on each guest, the better the episode will be. I’ve even put rules in place like keeping my cell phone out of the studio, turning off notifications on the computer, and closing email to make sure distractions don’t come up.
You see, when you are just hearing someone or something, you are not fully engaged – you are not truly listening, or active listening as it is called. To truly hear someone, you must focus on them and think deeply about what they are saying so that you can give your best to them in that moment. You must listen to them, not just with your ears, but your mind as well. That is the difference between hearing and listening.
And when you do this, you will be truly present in that instance and fully engaged which will deliver much more for you and the person you are listening to. A much richer, more meaningful, and more fruitful experience.
Hannah, and anyone else who is listening, take the time to learn the difference between hearing and listening and commit to being truly present in your interactions in life. You’ll be glad you did, have great success, and ultimately a richer life.
I love you, Daddy
Best Quote: “To be truly present and engaged, you must listen to others, not just with your ears, but your mind as well."