Listen

My routine has gone out the window. In the past few months, we’ve gone through so many changes it’s hard to keep track.

In March, we began preparing the sale of the house. A lot goes into that process. Clean up. Painting. Fixing the lighting. Getting the house in tip top shape for the buyers. Once we decided to sell, simultaneously, we began searching for a house. That also takes up a lot of time. Research, going to look at places, putting in bids, losing, starting all over again.

That all finished near the end of April, I think. Then we moved out of the house at the end of April. For two months, my entire routine was gone. Then we moved into Eliz’s parents’ house for a few days with all our belongings but shortly after Eliz left for Cyprus to book the wedding venue and arrange the decorator, cameraman, videographer and the other hundred things.

It’s now May 18. I’m living at my parents and have been here for two weeks. I miss Eliz. Taking care of Niko is rewarding but at times I need a moment to myself and it’s hard to make that time for myself right now. I haven’t been able to write in a while. The days are longer now and Niko wakes with the sunrise.

At first, I was fighting him on it. Trying to get him and myself back to sleep but now I’ve embraced it. We get up at around 5:45 every morning. I go to the gym for an hour and then take him to the dog park for an hour. Before the start of the workday I feel accomplished. I think it helps me perform better at my job.

Speaking of work. I’m starting to feel the pressure. I think most of it is self-inflicted. I want to accomplish everything but I’m impatient. Despite realizing it, I can’t seem to control it. Maybe that’s the problem. I’m trying to control so much.

I never used to stress this much. I would let things play itself out. With more responsibility, I feel I need to do everything with extra care. As much as I try to be present in the moment, I can feel my mind rushing elsewhere and it’s hard to bring the focus back to whatever I’m doing.

The other day I was headed to Toronto. I was going take the train down. I was thinking about something else and ended up on the highway. By the time I realized I was on the highway I was already half way to Toronto. I had to pay double what I would have paid for a train ticket for parking. The cost of being mindless. I hadn’t meditated that morning. I haven’t meditated for a few days now. Again, it goes back to that routine. All this rush is catching up to me.

I should take notes of moments where I say to myself “This would be a great topic to blog about.” It usually happens during an intimate conversation and I don’t want to stop the flow so I can jot a note for my blog. I don’t think that’s being a good listener.

I’m reading How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. The book discusses the power of being a good listener. I think it’s lost on society. Everyone is concerned about their own lives. Including myself. We are all in our head. Worried about our fears. Anxious about our futures. Ambitious about our goals. I don’t think there is enough of us that really try to be great listeners. There isn’t enough of us that are great listeners.

I’m learning to be a better listener. Taking a genuine interest in my friends’ lives. Trying to understand my clients’ needs better. I can certainly improve. As with most books that I’ve been reading lately, this one is helping me accomplish it. That same night I went out to Toronto a few of my friends and I ended up at a quaint restaurant. We were sitting on the patio at the back of the restaurant. The weather was nice and it was great to have a conversation with them.

I decided to implement some of the principals mentioned in the book. I asked questions about their work and how it’s going. It led to some great conversations. It was insightful to hear what their challenges are and how they plan on dealing with it.

I can do a better job of listening to my family. I know I’m better than I was in the past but there is room for improvement. Yesterday, I took my mom and sister out to lunch. I don’t think I used the strategies at all. If I did I wasn’t mindful of it.

Listen.

That’s my advice for this post. Take an interest in other people’s lives. We are all struggling and sometimes feel as if we are going through it alone. Social media has intensified our need to personify ourselves as “successful” or “happy.” Truth of the matter is, I think many of us are struggling with the day to day grind and would love to be listened to.

I guess this blog is my way of coping with the grind. There are people in my life that simply don’t feel comfortable writing about their personal experiences. I believe people like that would love to be listened to. We need to be selfless and simply listen to our friends, family, partners, kids, clients, employees, whoever. It was rewarding to hear about my friends’ goals. One mentioned he had a dream to open a restaurant on an island like Cyprus. I would’ve never known had I not asked.

Listen. You will make someone happier and you may end up happier as well.

Work towards happiness.

 

 

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Author: Mehmet Akcagliyan

I am the Master of my Fate. I am the Captain of my Soul.

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