I hate it when I have to relearn something that I already knew. For instance, a principle of life that I knew once, practiced it, then forgot and had to relearn it.
I was in the pool today and I relearned one of those principles. As I was swimming and people were skiing behind my wake 😉 I noticed that I was just going through the motions with my legs. I was kicking but not a focused, intentional kick. I knew the kick was important but I had forgotten how much. So, as an experiment, I decided to count the strokes it took for me to complete a lap with my regular kick. Then I was going to do the same with the new and improved kick.
What I learned was really amazing. With a more deliberate kick, I was able to reduce my strokes significantly. My intention in swimming is not to win a race, but it did feel good just to have all my body functioning more effectively.
Another part of the body that is greatly underused on a regular basis are our ears. We go through life haphazardly hearing what is going on, but rarely deeply listening. I mean the kind of listening that is deliberate, focused, seeking to understand, and replacing judgment with curiosity. Instead, we go through the motions of listening while getting distracted, becoming defensive, and developing a 10 point rebuttal that includes three songs and a poem.
Here is what I have found. (Get ready because this is profound.) When you do the deliberate listening, truly making it about the other person and what they are trying to say, the relationship moves a lot quicker in a positive direction. Conflicts are resolved in less time with less damage. But you probably already knew this. Right?
So, another lesson of life relearned. Use my legs more when I swim and my ears more in my relationships. I know my relationships will appreciate the listening, but I might get kicked out of the pool for creating too much wake.
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