• Michael Edmondson

How often do you listen to yourself?

Today is November 25 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is "How often do you listen to yourself?"

Navigating the chaos requires one to often drawn out the noise, turn inward, and listen to the whisper inside of you.

For those struggling to figure out how to grow personally or professionally, instead of blaming others, ask yourself when you last listened to yourself?

Listening to yourself is a habit of so many people who navigate the chaos. Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher wrote “it is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind. The realm of your own.”

How can you be in the realm of your own if you do not listen to yourself? And conversely, how can you listen to yourself if you are not in the realm of your own?

As reported in Forbes in June 2019, “The average adult consumes five times more information every day than their counterpart 50 years ago. Additionally, Americans spend as much as 12 hours a day in front of TVs and computers and that’s while at home!”

When you add in the additional working hours, it is easy to see how the average American could possibly spend 12 or more hours, half of a day, in front of a screen. As Lori Lewis' infographic "That is What Happens in An Internet Minute in 2019" illustrates the online activity of billions of people globally results in 18.1 million texts sent, 4.5 million YouTube videos viewed, and 188 million emails sent in just one minute of each hour in every day.

With so much screen time it is imperative that you make it a habit to listen to yourself as you navigate the chaos.

It is only through listening can we hear what American filmmaker Steven Spielberg called the whisper of our dreams:

“When you have a dream, it often doesn’t come at you screaming in your face. Sometimes a dream almost whispers. And I’ve always said to my kids: the hardest thing to listen to — your instincts, your human personal intuition — always whispers; it never shouts. Very hard to hear. So you have to, every day of your lives, be ready to hear what whispers in your ear. It very rarely shouts. And if you can listen to the whisper, and if it tickles your heart, and it’s something you think you want to do for the rest of your life, then that is going to be what you do for the rest of your life, and we will benefit from everything you do.”

Listening to yourself will also allow you to consider critical life questions such as “What do I want?” “Is what I want right now different from what I wanted last year?” “Do I have the courage to live a life that will make me proud? These questions and more are highlighted in Eric Roth’s screenplay of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

#listen #MarcusAurelius #StevenSpielberg

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