“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey

Lesson of the Week

Listen up. It’s something I’ve forgotten to do recently, and yet it’s one of the best ways to connect with others, and to build relationships, both new and existing. Several weeks back, I talked about a friend who had told me about her life dreams, the impractical but absolutely honest and fantastic dream of being a wedding planner (to the stars no less!). Although I had stressed the inner truth of that dream, and of the dreams we often think but rarely say, one thing I had overlooked at the time was that it came from listening to her. And thinking about some of the better conversations I’ve had recently, and the worse ones, it’s almost always been a matter of listening. Except that’s an elementary school lie, isn’t it? “I just want someone to listen.” Listening is the easy part, but it’s what comes after that’s difficult. Listen, and then ask. That’s how you get to know someone, and how you get to know yourself too. As much as we love to talk about ourselves, I’ve learned infinitely more from hearing what others have to say, and I think that’s true for most. So go ask some questions and see what you find out, you never know, the world might surprise you.

Positive News of the Week

  • On Pi Day (March 14th) seven couples in Washington, D.C. got married at a pizzeria for free as a fun and quirky celebration.
  • Scientists from NASA believe they may have found conditions suitable for microbial life on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons.
  • In a funny twist on modern technologies, new ad strategies use “wake-up” words in TV commercials to trigger smarts speakers in the room, such as Amazon Echo.
  • The European Court of Human Rights ruled that transgendered people should not be required to undergo sterilization in order to change their names or gender on government documents.
  • On Thursday, Thailand started the celebration of Songkran, a massive water festival that celebrates the Buddhist New Year, and includes water flinging and family time.

Challenges of the Week

  • Internal Challenge ∅ This week, try to read something for fun, whether it’s revisiting a favorite or picking up something new. It could be a book, some poems, even a magazine!
  • External Challenge ∅ This week, try to introduce two friends who you think would hit it off. A new friend is an awesome gift.