13 Master Your Mind by Mastering Silence and Presence: Shut Up and Listen

You were blessed with two ears and one mouth. Use them proportionately.


You say it best . . . when you say nothing at all.

—Alison Krauss, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter

While this is not a “communication skills” book, one of the ways you can truly master your mind is by paying closer attention to your communication skills. By this, I mean pay closer attention to both how you talk to yourself and how you talk to other people. One of the clearest examples we see of people moving too fast and hampering their results is in verbal communication. With the proliferation of texting, email, and social media, it feels like conversations have gotten smaller, shorter, fewer and further between, and, most concerning, totally sound reactive in nature instead of connective. Whereas just a few years ago we had to wait until after 9 p.m. to use our unlimited minutes, nowadays, we leave hours on the table because we try to communicate with the least number of characters possible. However, where you think that a quick message can get the job done now, it’s often counterproductive, leading to a whole string of messages that aren’t even close to the topic you started discussing. “In the weeds” is where a lot of miscommunication, speculation, and conflict arise.

Watch Out for the Dreaded MFAS

Do you know the person who always has the answer to every question, even the ones that were never asked? Or the person ...

Get Master Your Mind now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.