Most of us are all great talkers. Just look at social media, we can talk all day about ourselves, it’s just fantastic right? Who doesn’t love to go online and read all about someone else’s perceived amazing life? Clearly no one, because in return we just talk about more about ourselves. And on and on we go, back and forth, post after post, picture after picture about ourselves.
Now let’s be clear I have zero qualms with self-confidence however when I scroll through Facebook I begin to wonder, do we ever stop to take something in? Or is it all about what we can show the world?
I was reading a research paper earlier (“Effects of Business Embedded & Traditional Training Models on Motivation”)* on the purpose of training and it stated, “Companies learn when their people do.” This struck me. We live in an era of time where we are all about development. Most companies are concerned with how quickly they can advance and most individuals are concerned with what they have to offer to the world and how quickly they can grow. We have the right intent however we talk an awful lot about ourselves for being a generation that professes that they want to grow.
I say this because growing requires us to listen. How are we supposed to grow if we continually talk about what we already know? How perfect our lives appear? Or what a great “selfie” we just took? This is what fills social media and it’s no secret that social media fills our lives. Since this is the case we are obviously all as perfect as our profiles right? (Clearly not, but I think you get my point.)
We need to become a generation that can talk less and listen more. But instead we take offense to anyone who poses some opinion that might mess with our perfect profile or filtered “insta”. We are horrible listeners and we are great at being offended. If we intend to be a people that wants to build a better tomorrow (or better anything really) we must learn when to talk and when to NOT talk but listen.
Listen… when it’s not what you believe.
Listen… when it’s not your opinion.
Listen… when it hurts your pride.
Listen… when it hurts your heart.
As a generation we have this immediate need to express why we believe we are correct in our belief or actions. However what we don’t realize is that sometimes there are multiple ways you can be correct and when there is only one way, well for the truth there is no substitute. And it really doesn’t need defending or protecting. It’s not something someone can corrupt that’s why it’s the truth. That’s what makes the truth so perfect, you can’t change it, it’s incorruptible and not subject to opinion. So then we shouldn’t be afraid to test it by listening right?
If you are determined to grow then you will take in many opportunities to stop and listen, not because you agree with what is being said but because you are willing to be uncomfortable in order to test your truths. You see, if it’s true, then it cannot be altered and it will prevail any offense. If it’s not then you have found an area to develop. Either way, you win when you listen.
Maybe we can become a generation that talks less about ourselves and instead listens to test our truths. Imagine what we could do if we applied as much effort to finding areas of growth as we do to posting the best “selfie”.
What a generation we would be if we were who we pretended to be on social media.
*Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies Vol. 2, No. 5, pp. 236-244, May 2011