There’s a lot of misunderstanding as to what ‘listening’ to someone is.  For example when listening to a ski instructor who’s trying to teach you something new.

As children, we’re told to pay attention, but have you noticed the more you try to pay attention you experience the opposite effect?

Or, listening really, really hard?  Again, you experience the opposite!

We tend to listen with a lot on our minds.

If you want to check out how much is going then next time you’re listening to someone notice what’s going on in your own head.  You’ll probably notice things like you’re formulating a response before they’re finished, or relating it to something you already know, or analysing what they’re saying, or thinking you’ve heard this before, or whatever.  These are just indications you’re not actually listening!  You’re only listening to your own thoughts, not what they’re saying.

Better to listen with nothing on your mind, which is a bit like listening to music.  Then you may hear something new as that’s where the juice is.  In the new.  All the juice has been squeezed out of the old stuff you already know.  There’s no juice in going over old ground in the search for something new.

For example, I’ve listened to recordings of somebody being interviewed, or re-read a book, or watch a movie again.  And each time heard something new, sometimes to the point I think someone has changed the recording or I’m reading or watching an updated version of the book or movie!

It’s often the case when spending time with a ski instructor that you’re analysing as you’re listening, in which case you’ll only hear them through the filter of what you’ve made up.  For example, I was listening to an interview of a teacher in Mexico who teaches her class with the same approach as I do.  She was talking about when the school inspector sat in on her class he commented how creative and wonderful the children were and how she was so lucky to be teaching such gifted and well-behaved children.  She turned and pointed out to the inspector that this was the special needs class!

So, point yourself in the direction of listening for something new.  It’s easy to fall back in to what you already know than to keep looking for something new.  It may seem like you’re looking in to nothing.  What are they trying to say that I don’t know?  Something new that I haven’t experienced before.

It’ll transform your experience and progression of skiing and you’ll get amazing value from your next ski lesson.  It might even improve your relationships too, not just your relationship with skiing!  After all, how appreciative are we when someone really listens to us.

And if you like to experience more skiing with nothing on your mind more often, then click here

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