Who do you listen to?

By Martha O’Regan
They say we are a product of the top five people whom we listen to with regularity. Hmm, what does that mean to you? Who are your top five? Are they family members always sharing the latest and greatest drama or gossip? Are they friends you hang with out of habit but really don’t engage or inspire you into your authentic growth? Are they the talk radio hosts who are negatively judging every person they talk about or are, quite frankly, saying nothing at all? Are they mindless TV shows that drain the life out of you night after night? And we can’t forget that voice in our own head. Certainly gives you something to ponder, doesn’t it?
Are you where you want to be in your life? If not, maybe it’s time to evaluate your top five. If you aspire for success in your specific field of interest, seek out those who have achieved what you want and follow their steps. If you are tired of the draining energy of gossip and judgment of others, casually shift the conversation into something that feels better, even if it is just the weather at first. If you feel helpless while commiserating with the family member who is always coming down with the latest illness, start researching “spontaneous healings” and see what you discover. Find music that inspires you either through lyrics or a more lively beat and tempo. Turn off the news. Listen to your own thoughts, and if they are self judging, practice self love instead. It’s OK, no one has to know.
There are countless ways to begin to change what goes into your brain and nervous system without running away and moving to a mountain top. Once we become aware of who we are listening to, then tune into to how it feels in our mind/body, we can begin the process of choosing what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes, just the awareness brings about its own change, often without fanfare or drama, just a drifting away of what used to be a “habit” but, quite simply, no longer resonates.
A speaker at a recent workshop broke learning down into four stages. The first is unconscious incompetence, meaning “you don’t know what you don’t know’.” The second is conscious incompetence, meaning “now you know what you didn’t know.” Here is where choice occurs — you can either not care that you didn’t know and move along the same path or decide to begin learning about that thing that you didn’t know that you didn’t know … get it?
Stage three is conscious competence where you are learning something new, repeating it, learning more, repeating it, etc. This is the stage that is building new neural pathways in the brain through learning and repetition, ultimately taking you to the fourth and final stage called unconscious competence. At this stage, this new thing or idea is now a part of you, embedded deep in the brain and you don’t even have to think about it anymore. A perfect example is driving your car. Remember when it was new and you had to think about every aspect of starting, driving and parking a vehicle? Now, we often don’t even remember the journey from point A to point B, we just do it without thought — unconscious competence.
Have fun for as long as you need to in stage three as you consciously tune into your top five, finding ways to course correct based on how it feels. Check in periodically and re-evaluate. I bet that over time you will have unconsciously created a circle of influence that supports your dreams and desires.
Live well … have fun.

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