A while ago I posted my favorite daily calendar quotes from the first six months of 2008. These are from my office calendar made by Stephen Covey's company (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). Here are my faves from the last six months of the year. I won't be posting again until next week, as this weekend is my 10-year anniversary trip to California!
Note: I've updated the music playlist, so if you scroll allllll the way to the bottom of the page, you'll see an entire list of gravelly-sounding rock songs that you can play. Enjoy!
Is it logical that two people can disagree and that both can be right? It's not logical: it's psychological. And it's very real. And unless we value the differences in our perceptions, unless we value each other and give credence to the possibility that we're both right, that life is not always a dichotomous either/or, that there are almost always third alternatives, we will never be able to transcend the limits of conditioning.
It simply makes no difference how good the rhetoric is or even how good the intentions are; if there is little or no trust, there is no foundation for permanent success. Only basic goodness gives life to technique.
Communication is the most important skill in life. We spend most of our waking hours communicating. But consider this: you've spent years learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak. But what about listening? What training or education have you had that enables you to listen so that you really, deeply understand another human being from that individual's own frame of reference?
Habits can be learned and unlearned. But it isn't a quick fix. It involves a process and a tremendous commitment. Those of us who watched the first men walk on the moon were transfixed and superlatives such as "fantastic" and "incredible" were somehow inadequate. But to get there, those astronauts literally had to break out of the tremendous gravity pull of the earth. More energy was spent in the first few minutes of lift-off than was used to travel half a million miles.
Habits, too, have tremendous gravity pull. And breaking them involves more than a little willpower and a few minor changes in our lives. But once we break out of the gravity pull, our freedom takes on a whole new dimension.
We are not our feelings. We are not our moods. We are not even our thoughts. The very fact that we can think about these things separates us from them and from the animal world. Self-awareness enables us to stand apart and examine even the way we "see" ourselves. It affects not only our attitudes and behaviors, but also how we see other people. It becomes our map of the basic nature of mankind.
Empathic listening is a tremendous deposit in the Emotional Bank Account. It's deeply therapeutic and healing because it gives a person "psychological air". If all the air were suddenly sucked out of the room you're in right now, what would happen to your interest in [reading this blog]? You wouldn't care about anything except getting air. Survival would be your only motivation. But now that you have air, it doesn't motivate you. This is one of the greatest insights in the field of human motivation: Satisfied needs do not motivate.