TED Conversations

James Zhang

TEDCRED 30+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Understanding, Listening, and... Focus!

Hello all,

One summer a while ago, I was an extremely active forumer on here. But then school happened and I got my ass kicked, hence the inactivity. But I survived and graduated, and now I've got a job, a job that means a lot to me.

To the point, that summer was revolutionary to me. I was actively pondering, talking with people on Ted, thinking about why there are problems in the world, listening to Tupac's music, and then they hit me. I found World Changing revelations. The biggest one is this:

The cause of all human problems is Misunderstanding.

To this day, I have yet to disprove this, and I dare you to challenge this theory. Every problem, from horrible code, to bad IT management, to unengaging teachers, etc. all had this commonality or led to it somehow in some way.

So if the problem is identified, then everyone needs understanding.

How?

*drumrolls*

by Listening. And I don't mean the kind of "listening" where you're in some russian nuclear physics lecture and you hear the guy talk everything he says just becomes asjfkldsajkfjdfjsdlawhat, or the kind of "listening" where your mom tells you the list of chores like take out the trash, clean the dishes, wash the dog, do the laundry, etc. when you're in the middle of a playing Super Smash Bros. with some friends and you just go "uh huh, uh huh, no NO OH GOD NOOOOOOO". That's not listening at all because zero message is getting to the brain.

This is true listening. True listening is when you're engaged.
It's when you read a good book you can't put down. It's when you watch Forrest Gump and you cried. It's when you're playing Smash Bros. with your friends and not paying attention to your mom telling you to do chores. It's when you heard loud and clear what the shy kid has to say. It's when you didn't understand what a Pointer in Java is and instead of just keeping quiet, you ask the teacher to clarify.

This is listening.

What's the commonality? The revelation I found today is...

Focus. (TBC)

+1
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jul 24 2013: A friend recently said to me "Todd, I love your blog, how do you get such inspiration?"

    It was a lovely thing for her to say, but my response was easy:
    "I make a conscious effort to notice remarkable things and purposely filter out junk, news and noise that may cloud my perspective of the world."

    Specific to this thread, I just wrote a post about truly listening to feedback during a product pitch (customers or investors). Recent experiences in listening to pitches have resulted in the entrepreneur waiting for ME to ask all the questions. If you are pitching an idea, product, movement, YOU need to ask people incredible questions and really LISTEN to their perspective.

    James I'm so proud to see your examples of true listening in the last paragraph, I couldn't agree more.

    FYI: the post I mentioned http://beingremarkable.me/blog/you-will-fail
    • thumb
      Aug 2 2013: "Specific to this thread, I just wrote a post about truly listening to feedback during a product pitch (customers or investors). Recent experiences in listening to pitches have resulted in the entrepreneur waiting for ME to ask all the questions. If you are pitching an idea, product, movement, YOU need to ask people incredible questions and really LISTEN to their perspective."

      One of the hardest things to do is to Listen to the right thing at the right time and maintaining that focus so that you can know when to interject. In the end you're right for most cases.
      • thumb
        Aug 12 2013: I like to hear stories about young men with big dreams and the big skills to get the job done. We need more of that in this world. And to my way of thinking, we need a whole lot less of of whole lotta' other stuff. Less noise would be nice.

        Whatever it is that your doing, saying, selling, or smelling, I really hope it's something good. Something green. Something healthy. Something wholesome - that makes a better new world for all of us.

        I guess used cars are good too. Quality's gone up at the factory, so the used ones last lots longer these days. Keep listening, Y'all.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.