Every student-athlete wants to be better at something in their lives right now! Not everyone of them WILL get better at that thing in their lives right now! Some probably has gotten better and the change they thought they would see didn’t materialize!

How do you know that you’re working on the right thing that will bring about the change you want to see? If you’re not yet perfect, how can I spot the areas that I NEED to work on?

Here’s ONE skill that you should acquire in order to figure that stuff out – LISTENING!

I know as a young adult you have your own “correct” view of what you need to do but sometimes being a listener can teach you so much more. There are coaches and other adults around that can give you a needed perspective but that is only if you ask for it and have an open enough mind to think that you may not have a total perfect perspective.

Read this parable about listening (original posting from http://www.mayayogasamudraa.com)

A teacher teaching Maths to a five-year-old student asked him, “If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?”

With no hesitation the student replied, “Four!”

The dismayed teacher was expecting an effortless correct answer (three). She was disappointed. “Maybe the child did not listen properly,” she thought. She repeated, “My boy, listen carefully. If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?”

The student had seen the disappointment on his teacher’s face. He calculated again on his fingers. But within him he was also searching for the answer that will make the teacher happy. His search for the answer was not for the correct one, but the one that will make his teacher happy. This time, hesitatingly, he replied, “Four.”

The disappointment stayed on the teacher’s face.

She remembered that this student liked strawberries. She thought maybe he doesn’t like apples and that is making him loose focus. This time with an exaggerated excitement and twinkle in her eyes she asked, “If I give you one strawberry and one strawberry and one strawberry, then how many you will have?”

Seeing the teacher happy, the boy calculated on his fingers again. There was no pressure on him, but a little on the teacher. She wanted her new approach to succeed. With a smile the student enquired, “Three?”

The teacher now had a victorious smile. Her approach had succeeded. She wanted to congratulate herself.

But one last thing remained. Once again she asked him, “Now if I give you one apple and one apple and one more apple how many will you have?” Promptly the student answered, “Four!”. The teacher was aghast. “How my boy, how?” she demanded in a little stern and irritated voice.

Very feebly the young student replied, “Because I already have one apple in my bag.”

Moral of the Story:

When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you expect, don’t think they are wrong. There may be an angle that you have not understood at all. You will have to listen and understand, but never listen with a predetermined notion.

Enjoy listening for the next week and practice listening with the intent to understand and simply for the sake of listening alone.

Listening is more than hearing what another person is saying…it is also being thoughtful enough to engage what they are saying with honest curiosity. Without getting feedback about yourself from “TRUSTED others”, you can never grow!

True listening will help you get better in the right thing!

Who will you listen to today?

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