Deep down, I’m selfish. And you are too. You can call it ambitious or you can call it goal-oriented, but I promise you that—somewhere within—those feelings are hidden within the guise of selfishness.
Now, I’m not writing this from a position of condemnation, I’m guilty too. Rather, I’m writing from a position of warning and, possibly, encouragement.
Because I believe that wrestling this deceptive, selfish demon is necessary in embracing fullness in every aspect of your life.
Is your workload a status symbol?
A recent Harvard Business Review article entitled, Why Men Work So Many Hours, had a passage that totally floored me:
How do the elite signal to each other how important they are? “I am slammed” is a socially acceptable way of saying “I am important.” Fifty years ago, Americans signaled class by displaying their leisure: think banker’s hours (9 to 3). Today, the elite — journalist Chrystia Freeland calls them “the working rich” — display their extreme schedules.
You’re probably not a good listener.
No offense. It’s just that most people aren’t.
No one wants to be known as a bad listener. No one wants to forget an entire side of a conversation and have to ask someone to repeat. Everyone wants to be a good listener. Few people want to become a good listener. Just like everyone wants to play the guitar, while few want to learn to play guitar.
You are likely a bad listener for one of seven reasons:
- Selfishness. This isn’t as bad as we have made it sound. This is normal. You are always thinking of yourself. Have you ever had a dream that you were not in?
- Preoccupation. You are distracted. Deadlines, problems at home, an illness.
- Your mind wanders. We speak at about 130 words per minute. You can listen at about 400. You can think at 1,000. There is a 600-word gap between thinking and listening. Your mind is going to fill that in.