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blogging, Mental Health

Communicating by Listening to What Others Say

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

Ernest Hemingway

A study showed that 70% of our waking hours are spent in communication with others, in some form, with almost half of that time taken up in listening. Reading, talking and writing were way down on the list.

So given that we spend so much of our communication in listening to others, do we do it effectively?

In his book, People Skills, Robert Bolton claimed researchers estimated up to 75% of oral communication is either ignored, misunderstood or quickly forgotten. Furthermore, he maintains that the quality of our friendships and the cohesiveness of our family relationships depends largely on our ability to listen.

“That went in one ear and out the other.”

Learning to be an effective listener takes work. It’s not something that we are actively taught to do in our schooling, so how can we listen better?

Reflective Listening and Attending the Conversation

Are we always fully present and attending the conversation? Or thinking of the next thing to say? For instance, do we always follow the speaker in conversations and listen for the deeper meaning behind the words?

In true listening, we reach behind the words, see through them, to find the person who is being revealed.”

Robert Bolton

Paraphrasing the essence or intent behind the words you hear, can assist in conveying that you have understood correctly, (or give the speaker the chance to otherwise clarify what they meant).

Summarizing the content of another person’s words may nurture a deeper level of trust between them. Trust encourages the other person to further open up and may build more satisfying relationships.

Use Questions Wisely

If we notice a change in the body language of others, we might see cues that they are bothered by something. For example, a child comes home from school looking sad and the reaction from others is sometimes, “Come on, cheer up!” An adult who is becoming agitated about a situation is told, “Calm down.”

This is usually the last thing they want to hear!

Instead of dispensing advice, which generally doesn’t work, asking open-ended questions may help folks who are feeling burdened divulge what is troubling them, especially if you give them a non-coercive invitation to talk.

What is the best way to do that?

Firstly describe the other’s body language – “You look as if something is bothering you.” Or: “You look troubled/sad.”

Secondly, invite them to talk:

  • “I’ve got time if you would like to chat.”
  • “Do you feel like talking?”
  • “I am here if you want to talk about it.”

Be wary of leading the conversation by asking more than one question at a time. Most questions can be re-phrased as a statement. It is good to remember that questions should help the other clarify the problem, rather than provide information.

The beginning of wisdom is silence. The second stage is listening.

Hebrew Sage

Silences in Conversations

Don’t be put off by pauses or silences as these momemts may allow the other person time to think of their answer or expand on what they want to say, at their own pace. During a pause in the conversation, you can still be fully present in the conversation by:

  • Using eye contact
  • Observing the other person’s gestures, facial expression during pauses
  • Adopting open encouraging, non verbal body posture and language
  • Keeping distractions such as checking the phone notifications, loud background etc music, TV to a minimum.

Focus on the Feelings and Emotions

Feelings are often triggered by specific events.

boat at the beach

Society’s norms implicitly teach us to suppress our feelings with the undesired result that they might bubble up and overflow. If everyone acted on impulse and expressed feelings spontaneously, society would completely disrupt. So we have a balancing act between blocking our sensitivity to emotions and freely expressing them. Reflecting emotions and feelings back to the speaker is a way of doing that while respecting the speaker’s privacy.

For instance:

I asked my daughter how her date went last night. “Okay.” was her subdued response. She wasn’t ready to talk about it, and was letting me know not to probe further. If I had not noticed her tone of voice, it could have meant it was just an average date. Her tone and body language was the key to deciphering the true meaning behind the words. Letting her know I was available, if she wanted to talk, gave her the chance to raise the subject when she was ready.

In developing empathy and reflecting the emotions of others, we can ask ourselves – if you were having that experience, how would we be feeling? Then we can put together the feeling, or emotion, and the fact with a familiar formula often used by professionals:

“You feel/are ..(insert the emotion or feeling word )….. since/because….(insert the trigger event or content associated with the feeling).

For example:

Bob: “My supervisor keeps asking questions about my personal life. I wish he’d mind his own business.

Marie: “It sounds like you are feeling pretty annoyed because he won’t respect your privacy.”

Something Further to Ponder

Have you used these techniques to improve conversations and support friends or colleagues? If so, how did they respond?

Are there other ways to develop better listening skills?

Communicating by Listening to What Others Say

Motivational, Philosophy

Improving Communication and Problem Solving

Recently we’ve been looking at sayings and ways to look at solving problems.

How many times has someone vented about their problems and a likely response is, “Why don’t you just xxx….[insert their suggested solution]. Notwithstanding there are occasions when someone does directly asks for advice, the act of suggesting solutions to others, rarely succeeds in solving the other’s problems.

Why?

male and female statue in Vigeland Sculpture park, Norway holding arms forming an arch

The diplomat, Dag Hammarskjold said:

Not knowing the question,

It was easy for him

To give the answer.

Robert Bolton, People Skills, [1987]

Giving Advice

We seldom understand the full complexity of another person’s situation. In conversations, we only receive basic facts and have no real way of determining the most appropriate course of action for someone else, without knowing the complete picture of what is going on for them and the associated ramifications of suggestions.

Certain ways of responding to friends can even hamper conversations, may trigger feelings of inadequacy, anger or perhaps dependency. The other person might become angry, submissive, argumentative or be very resistant to change.

Ever wondered why this is so?

Responding with solutions, in these situations, often shuts down productive conversation and discourages the person from discovering their own solution. Dispensing solution focused advice may often be seen by the other person as an insult to their intelligence. It’s implying the solution is blatantly obvious and they are incapable of solving their own problems!

Furthermore, we are most likely to bring to the table our own bias, history and prejudices. What works for one person may never work for another.

Logical Advice and Argument

When emotions are heightened, referring to the logical thing to do, or logical solutions, may only serve to infuriate or frustrate the other person. It can alienate a conversation by creating distance between people for they interpret those words as conveying a lack of empathy or a failing to understand.

Logical options rely on facts, and typically disregards discussion of a person’s emotions. When people have problems, their feelings are at the forefront of their minds. Dealing with their emotional response in the first instance, might allow for some brainstorming logical pathways at a later time.

Diverting the Conversation

Some of us are so uncomfortable hearing of another person’s difficulties, we might change the subject or divert the conversation away from the difficult topic and towards one that is more palatable or comfortable.

Enhancing Conversation

So we know what doesn’t work. What can help enhance conversations and others in regard to problem solving?

#1 Listening

Nurturing the person’s ability to determine their own solution by being a sounding board for their thoughts and frustrations.

#2 Ask Open Ended Questions

The old advice of using open ended questions can help.

Start with How, What, Why, Where and Who. Something that allows the person an opportunity to explain a little more, rather than a straight yes or no answer, which might block further dialogue.

#Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing the other person’s thoughts back to them summarizes the problem. In this way, you might rephrase the issue to check you have heard hem and understood their situation correctly. If you haven’t, this gives the other person a chance to clarify things.

What have you tried already?

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Environment

The Future – the Facts

Photo by Trace Hudson on Pexels.com

What the future will be like is a contentious issue, as it is not about what has been, but what might happen.

There are those who choose to deny it, who find it overwhelming or depressing, who stick their heads in the sand and conversely, those who are moved to agitate about it. Which ever side of the Climate Change debate you sit upon, certain things cannot be denied and are fact.

Facts on Climate Change

  • Rising global temperatures due to Industrialization are destabilizing weather systems
  • Ice shields in Greenland and Antartica are melting and destabilizing weather systems
  • Sea levels are rising and threatening coastal and island communities
  • Extreme weather events of all varieties are rapidly increasing
  • Deforestation and habitat loss is causing a mass extinction of animal and plant species at an unprecedented level since the Dinosaur era.

Before any climate change denier or sceptic raises the point that climate change isn’t real and it’s nature doing what it normally does, global climate does, without doubt vary from year to year, decade to decade; global warming and cooling does occur naturally, but it is the UNPRECEDENTED INCREASE IN RATE of CLIMATE CHANGE that is directly attributed to ADVERSE human activity and is not sustainable.

The world as we know it could not and will not sustain more than a 2 degree rise in global temperature without dire climatic consequences.

But there is hope.

Not the faint-hearted ostrich like mentality that technology will inevitably safe us from ourselves and our environmental problems if only we wait and recycle our goods more, but hope that we can come together in an effective and collaborative global response to this human-caused threat.

Hope based on Action.

Once we act, hope is everywhere.

Greta Thunberg

Because it is a problem, caused by humans. By us. So we can fix this.

Communicating Climate Facts to the Public

The Hollywood Mad Max type future portrayed in some apocalyptic movies generates only fear, guilt, anger despair, is not at all helpful and can result in many turning a deaf ear to conversations on action or acknowledgement of climate change.

Instead, as Rebecca Huntley believes, it is inspiring to read and to see stories of hope, of action, of people overcoming odds and succeeding in small ways to making changes at a local level changing their lifestyle and damaging habits. Renewal of ecosystems, caring and nurturing animal and plant species and systems, environmentally friendly options and products, less emphasis on fossil fuels and their products.

According to Per Espen Stoknes educating people is a good first step, but it may never be enough. Presenting facts on global warming has so far not sufficiently convinced policymakers and journalists of the scale of the problem, nor the sense of urgency around it.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Climate Science

Part of the problem is that this issue is conceptually complex and the descriptions reflect a potential and somewhat vague future, not a tangible, direct event that people can see and identify.

Climate Scientists have known about these predictions since 1979 and lament that the physics and conversations have not changed, that they are simply updating the data. Yet nothing was done by Governments.

University Science students, like me, were lectured on global warming back in the 1980’s and yet, no one in the community or Government was interested in listening.

it no longer seems rational to assume that humanity, encountering an existential threat, will behave rationally.”

Nat Rich (Journalist)

To me that is a concern. A grave concern.

Are you concerned?

Do you tune out on the issue of Climate change?

Do you have hope?

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Community, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – Hurtful words

This week in Australia, there has been many hurtful words slung in the fight for supplies in supermarkets – primarily panic buying on toilet paper. The premise is flawed as we have enough supplies and manufacture it here. But still, folks panic buy a trolley load! Brawls have erupted in the toilet paper isles of the major supermarkets! Hurtful words have been said.

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Feeling Irritated

A few weeks ago I was discussing what happens when we feel irritated by someone else’s words.

I asked:

What do we gain by feeling irritated? Is there any kind of benefit in this?

  • We get to feel like a martyr – meaning I AM still okay so you are NOT
  • We get to blame others for our feelings
  • We get to feel unhappy and it’s someone else’s fault

Ultimately, all of us need to take responsibility for our own feelings and aim to be more accepting of other people, their temperaments and priorities.

But what about the other side of irritation? The fall out from those spiteful words said in a moment of anger that are often regretted? It is not always easy to repair the damaged relationship, nor unsay what has already been said.

Hurtful words are often said when we do not have, or cannot find, the words to clearly express our needs, clearly or succinctly. It seems like frustration and pain often lie behind the words that are spoken.

Te Mata Peak New Zealand

Weekly Quotes

“Let your hopes, not your hurts shape your future” – Robert Schuller

The Hidden Meaning Behind Hurtful Words

from pamfullerton.com

“In making hurtful comments, we are usually trying to communicate strong, unresolved feelings. However, this seems to work against us as it causes pain in ourselves and others.”

And if we don’t transform pain, we might transmit it.

Thinking about what it is that we really want to communicate when we say hurtful words to, someone we know, is useful.

Some examples:

Angry statement: “You never spend time with me anymore – you don’t care about anyone but yourself!”

The real meaning: “I miss you and sometimes I feel unloved & lonely when we don’t spend time together”

Said with frustration: “Calm down”

The real meaning: “I’m at a loss, I feel inadequate because I have no idea how to help you”

Said with hurt: “I’m done – I want out”

The real meaning: “I don’t want to be hurt anymore and I’m at a loss as to how to make things better between us”

Said in exasperation: “Get over it and just deal with it”

The real meaning: I can’t help anymore, as I am out of useful suggestions.

Expressing our true feelings can makes us feel vulnerable, and if the other person fails to respond to our admissions, with empathy, or begins to accuse or blame, the hurt will be felt even more acutely.

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“Spiteful words can hurt your feelings, but silence breaks your heart.” Source – unknown

Do you ever get the silent treatment in times of conflict? Phone calls that are blocked or remain unanswered?

Could this communication breakdown be a method of coping with the situation or possibly freezing you out so that reconciliation is impossible and the other party will be seen to be right? Are they finding it impossible to find any words to convey their true emotions?

Hurtful words damage the trust we feel in any relationship.

Quotes and proverbs provide us with some wisdoms:

“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.”

-Archibald MacLeish

Weekly Proverb

A gentle word opens the strongest lock

– Old English Proverb

Sunday Sayings – Something to Ponder About

Norrheimsund
Motivational, Philosophy

Be Less Judgmental

embroidery craft  bench seat

Do you think Frank needs a job?”

No wonder Lucy doesn’t present well, her clothes are so old-fashioned.”

You should take more care with your car.

How often do we hear judgemental comments about others, analysing what folks should or shouldn’t do? These comments or suggestions are often negative and critical in nature.

Making a judgement about someone else effectively puts up a barrier between them and us. So if we stop, or at least aim to reduce, judging and analyzing commentary towards others, we might find communication improves, and we might begin to feel closer.

If we minimize judging and analyzing, the spin off can also be a greater peace of mind for us.

When we complain about other folks, we are actually sabotaging our own peace of mind. This is because we allow ourselves to be disturbed that things are not as they “should be.

Ron Mueck
Ron Mueck

The Taoists say,

“It is possible to appreciate people for their uniqueness – like you might enjoy a certain song. You don’t have to analyse and pull it apart.”

In being more open, flexible and accepting, you let others be the master of their own lives.

PEACE OF MIND CAN COME MORE FROM A CHANGE OF ATTITUDE, THAN A CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES.

Making Mistakes

We learn so much from our mistakes, don’t we?

Therefore, it is sensible to let others make mistakes and not rob them of that learning experience opportunity that might be so valuable to them.

We are also taught, via our education system, to analyse and have an opinion. But it is perfectly okay to have no opinion at all.

Question: –“Do you think Frank should get a job?”

Answer: – “I think Frank should do what he wants.”

technology

Judgement Challenge

This week I will set a challenge for myself and for anyone who cares to join in to:

Spend a week not judging anything or anybody.

When I meet someone who talks about others, complains a lot or doesn’t work, under my breath, I will say something along the lines of:

I give you the space to experience life as you choose.

It’s not for me to judge you.”

Let’s see if life is a lot easier that way.

Will you join me in trying this?

It doesn’t mean you have to like everybody.

Being less judgemental means you can maintain your own particular preferences in life, but remain more calm in your attitude.

If you are around a complainer, you might choose not to be in their company, but this is coming from a position where it does not feel right for you, rather than open condemnation of their differences.

If you spend your whole life being irritated by others, it is obvious that there is going to be a lot of people who don’t see things your way.

You can wait for people to start thinking like you or you can grant them the right to live their lives the best way they know how.

YOU GRANT THEM THE RIGHT TO LIVE THEIR LIVES THE BEST WAY THEY KNOW HOW.

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alone

Evaluation

Let’s check back in a week to see how we are doing with this.

StPA

New Zealand Oriental Bay
Community

Survival Tips for Neighbours from Hell

Decades ago, the local neighbourhood was the epicentre of one’s universe. It was a place where kids rode bikes, homemakers chatted over fences and lots of cups of tea were drunk.

Society today is so heavily focused on the individual’s needs and wants, good neighbours do seem hard to find.

What sort of neighbours do you have?

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#1 The Repressed Policeman/Woman –

These neighbours are apt to bang on your door late at night, telling you to turn the music down, especially when your teenagers throw a one-off party, in your usually quiet home. They like everyone to stick to the ‘rules’, at all times and will publicly shame you for any minor wrongdoing. Most neighbours give them a wide berth in the supermarket and walk on eggshells around them.

Survival Tip: Exercise caution.

#2 The Gardening Expert –

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Bordering on extinction, these types are often busybodies, who good-naturedly offer you gardening advice and give out various botanic “cuttings,” suggesting you plant them in particular spots of their choice, in your back garden. They are experts in extracting information about you, but can also be obsessive about how promptly you fix loose fence palings, cut back overhanging tree branches, or how many leaves blow over into their yard.

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Confront #2 types and they might become revengeful, landing you with a complaint letter from local council over perceived dog barking or pet birds squawking, because it has disturbed their daytime nap. They are notorious for mowing their lawns/operating whipper-snippers at annoying hours, mostly when others are sleeping, earning the ire of all other residents in the street.

Survival Tip: Take the good with the bad and compost the undesired plant cuttings.

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#3 The Sports Fan –

This ultra friendly, highly socialized, neighbour invites everyone known to man over to his/her place, generally on football nights, and often parties hard until 4am, at least four nights a week. Woo hoo! Not! Their house guests can easily be tracked by the ‘Hansel and Gretel’ detritus trail of empty beer bottles and fast food containers they leave in their wake.

Survival Tip: Earplugs – buy a decent set. You will need them.

#4 The Forgetful Neighbour –

These folks ‘borrow your garden/electric/tools’ and forget to ever return them. They mean well. This type is bound to cross swords with neighbour #1.

Survival Tip: Lock your shed and throw away the key.

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#5 The Loner –

Often perceived as ‘weird,’ this neighbour never acknowledges or socializes with others in the street. Easily identified by the house with windows and doors shut tight, even on sweltering days, this occupant is largely unknown. This neighbour arouses lots of suspicion from neighbour #2 .

Survival tip: Show some compassion. The Loner might think you are pretty weird too.

If you have a neighbour who is a closed book, respect their privacy, but look for ways to improve communication with them. It might be a small gift left at their doorstep, or as simple as a card, in their letterbox saying hello and wishing them a lovely day.

Kindness costs nothing.


#6 The Neighbour Everyone Wants –

This particular neighbour appears to be extremely rare in modern society, but I ask the question:

Are they hard to find or do we need to be open-minded and communicate better?

Survival Tip: Change your attitude towards #1 – #5.

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Although the previous examples are almost completely tongue -in -cheek and bear no resemblance to any person, living or dead, they do illustrate how blanket judgements and misconceptions can hinder open discourse and foster prejudice, or even hatred. If open communication is lacking or non-existent, divisive opinions will continue to spread.

Ron Mueck
Ron Mueck

In a neighbourhood, we have a challenge, even an obligation that comes with living there. To get along with those from all walks of life, for the ultimate benefit of the entire community. Shall we see it as an opportunity or a pain in the backside?

Queenslander home



Racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic.

It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics.

~ Alex Haley

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/alex_haley

In the wake of the Christchurch tragedy, keeping an open mind will foster better communication with our neighbour, no matter who or where they come from. We don’t necessarily have to agree or like their cultures, habits, food, or ways, we only need to understand and know them and acceptance will follow.

Our neighbours are a precious resource in maintaining community and increasing our integrated sense of belonging, and that is our best weapon against terrorist acts and radical thoughts.

If we fail as a neighbourhood group to understand them, we also fail to create any sense of “community,” for ourselves.

Something sobering to Ponder About

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Community

Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdoms

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking.

I hope you will too.

graffitiart (Small)

A guilty conscience is a hidden enemy

– Indian proverb

Eyes

Continuing on with the theme of listening again this week, is Ralph Nichols’ quote:

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood.

The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”

– Ralph Nichols

Dr. Ralph Nichols was a major force in our understanding of the complexities of listening behavior and research in the “field of listening.” Do you think you are a good listener?

You will find ten questions here to see whether you are really listening or not.

One of those questions is:

Are you listening to understand, rather than listening to respond?

In a world of increasing conflicts, how often do you, in your own small corner of the world, really listen and value a speaker, their experience, the conversation or the message they are trying to convey?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment here under.

proverbial-thurs

Now posting on Fridays

Something to Ponder About

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Community

Proverbial Thursday- Global Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too. 

 

The proverb this week comes from Kenya, but is it just speaking of material possessions?

 

Stolen things bring in misfortune

(Kenyan Proverb)

 

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Quote of the Week: –

I keep returning to Nietzsche, for he has much to say and it is often controversial, provocative, deep and timeless. When I read this quote I pondered about mental health.

Depression and anxiety, for instance, appears to be verging on epidemic proportions, in today’s society. This quote, with particular reference to difficult life circumstances, gives some advice.

But, is it helpful? What do you think?

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To live is to suffer; to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.

(Friedrich Nietzsche)

 

Does it any relevance to a situation you know ?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

 

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  Proverbial Thursday –  Something serious to Ponder About

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Community

Proverbial Thursday – Global Pearls of Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too. 

 

Great ocean Road

 

Do not lengthen the quarrel while there is an opportunity of escaping-

Latin Proverb

I do like this proverb.

It could be helpful in all situations, both personally and diplomatically. Some of us need to have the last word, or feel if we say just one more thing, it will convince the other party of our view, or our righteousness. Why is it so hard for some people to walk away from a quarrel, and other’s not?

Is this the only interpretation of this proverb? Perhaps you can find a deeper layer?

Join in the discussion, by leaving a comment below.

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The quote this week, is something I do fully agree with. Knowledge is empowering.

Even my dog agrees!!

 

 

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”-

Nelson Mandela

 

Do you agree with Nelson Mandela’s words?

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Proverbial Thursday – Something to Ponder About

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Community

Proverbial Thursday – Pearls of Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too.

lars stana

Another Norwegian Proverb this week to continue the series:

 

Det man förlorar på gungorna tar man igen på karusellen. – Norwegian proverb

The loss on the swings is won back on the

merry-go-round.

 

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Nietzsche features prominently in my selected quotes for they are always so interesting.

 

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.

If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself-

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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Have you struggled to find or escape from being overwhelmed by the tribe? Some of us like to walk our own path, and if that is the only way to achieve our dreams, then we must do it or let our dream slid away.

Do you Agree with Nietzsche? Science tells us that the losses catch up eventually but has that been your experience in your life so far?

A fortune cookie told me just last week:

“What appeared to be a loss will turn out in your favour.” – I am still waiting for the favour!

proverbial-thurs

Proverbial Thursday – Something to Ponder About

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Community

Proverbial Thursday – Pearls of Wisdom

flowersI find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct, in communicating messages, to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too.

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From Norway the proverb this week has some encouraging words for those who feel despondent about not measuring up to a task.

 

Even the best horse may stumble.

[Aldri så god hest at den ikkje kan snuble.]

 

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and a rather cryptic quote from Confucius this week:

 

“The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.”

― Confucius

 

 

What do you suppose it means?

Do you have an opinion?

Post a comment below and join in the discussion.

 

 

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Proverbial Thursday – Always Something to Ponder About

Community

Proverbial Thursday – Pearls of Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct, in communicating messages, to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

 

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too.

 

 

Moffat Beach
Tooway Creek, Moffat Beach

 

Do you believe things happen for a reason, or is there merely a continuum of movement and progression (forward or sometimes backwards), in your life? Just as the river flows from its spring to the estuary, we are all on a journey from the lofty beginnings of life to the wide, winding meanderings of a river close to its mouth.

 

This week’s proverb comes from Poland and has many layers.

 

Do not push the river, it will flow by itself.

Polish Proverb

 

 

 

 

The quote this week comes from  Danish physicist Niels Bohr: –

 

 

 

 “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

 

 

I sense a touch of irony in his words. What do you make of them?

and…

How much do you push the ‘river’ – or do you always go ‘with the flow?’

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

 

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Community

Proverbial Thursday – Pearls of Wisdom

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I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct, in communicating messages, to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too.

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The less you expect, the more pleasant life gets

– Anonymous

 

Do expectations set you up for failure? Or give you a challenge to rise to?

Is there one thing that it is impossible not to have expectations about? Perhaps our career?

Perhaps we might feel less burdened without expectations? I know I would feel freer, but I fear that my motivation might also then decrease proportionately. What do you think?

 

I think anyone who has an opinion, and voices it, will offend someone

– Peter Steele

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Like expectations, is it impossible to have a world devoid of offensive opinions? Can we be so politically correct, so careful in our communication, so inert in our opinions that we do not offend?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

Proverbial sml

Proverbial Thursday challenging you to have Something to Ponder About.