Listening with fresh ears – 200 words project

February 02, 2015

Here is this week’s 200 words project



“A fixed idea should never prevent you from listening to something with fresh ears; it’s too easy to miss a lot that way.”_**

Denise Shekerjian in the book Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas are Born, author Denise Shekerjian


This “fixed idea” is most prevalent, almost ubiquitous (at least in my life) when dealing with family – children, spouses, parents… When they open their mouths, we think we know them so well that we complete their sentences in our heads. And we think we know exactly what they mean, even before they complete their sentences. And most times we may be right.

But what about those few times when we don’t really know them and they are trying to tell us? These few occasions are precious gifts which we throw away because we already “get” them, and we don’t really pay attention.

So, my practice is this – to let my family say their words completely and listen as if I’m meeting this person for the first time, as if I don’t really know them that well. The truth is that I don’t really know this exact person in front of me. I know this person from the past – from yesterday or an hour ago. But I don’t know this person right now…for all of us change moment to moment. And this fixed idea in my mind – that I already know this person – doesn’t let me be with the person and understand this person.

But this listening with fresh ears, this practice comes with it’s own cost. When you go about listening in life this way, while listening and paying attention to the only one person in front of you at this times – this leaves no room for multitasking. Which might be a good thing after all.


About the 200 Words Project

Once every week, on Monday morning, I will post my ‘200 Words Project’ post where I will ruminate on some idea which caught my interest in the current book I’m reading, or maybe (sometimes) from a blog post or podcast – in 200 words or more, never less!

Tags: 200-words-project

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