The people around you — your co-workers, your boss, your partner, all the characters in your story — they’re all trying to tell you something.
Are you listening?
You have populated your life with characters. You have chosen all of them in one way or another. That’s easy to forget. You have actually chosen the people you are surrounded by, for one reason or another. Even the people at work (or at home) who are driving you crazy are all there to help you grow as a person.
What are they telling you?
Whether they are on your side or against you, each of the characters in your life has something to teach you. It may be that you need to speak up. Or pipe down. Or be more empathetic. Maybe even care a little less. The point is, each of the characters in your life is part of your life story, and you have chosen them for some reason. The question is: are you paying attention to what they are telling you?
Stand back a little.
The trick is to remember that your life is a story. And that takes a little mental distance, which is not easy to achieve. But you can do it if you focus. If you will take a moment to view your life through the lens of a good story well told, you can see yourself as a man on a mission which, unless you’ve chosen an overly-easy route, will grow more and more challenging as you go along. So try that, will you? Do the mental work of seeing yourself as the main character in a story, surrounded by a supporting cast, each of whom is there to both encourage you and to challenge you to grow through the obstacles placed in your path.
Take one step.
One step you can take today is to listen to this brief talk (about 12 minutes) by Zachary Wood about listening to the people in your life you deeply disagree with. Please listen and then ask yourself:
Who in my life (parent, child, co-worker, partner, etc.) could I spend some energy listening to today around a subject we are likely to disagree about? And how could I grow through this experience?
When you make time to listen to the people around you, the characters in your life, you grow as a creative, intelligent man.
Want more help?
I can help you listen better, and learn from the people in your life.