Speakers like me struggle with listening to other speakers all the time.
- “Oops…he did not pronounce it right….”
- “Oh no…there is a misspelled word in his PowerPoint.”
- “That’s an old joke…”
- “I’ve heard that one already…”
This is not good. This means I will never be able to learn anything.
Sometimes when I listen to speakers speaking, mind would say: “He got this from Charles Swindoll’s book entitled “Grace Awakening” third chapeter left hand page bottom corner…”
The mind processes thoughts five to ten times faster than the human ear can ear and my mind is just so noisy.
This is what I call the IKTA syndrome.
IKTA is an acronym that means: “I Know That Already.”
Then this thing operates, it closes my mind from learning anything new.
This is not a good thing.
IKTA should be countered by another acronym BAIDI (BUT AM I DOING IT?)”
Sure. I have heard it before but have I been applying what I have heard and the next question is: “Am I already good at it?”
To learn things has to first start with having a beginner’s mind.
The word is “SHOSIN.”
This time this is not an acronym. This is a Japanese word, which means “beginners mind.” Author Shunryu Suzuki explains it this way: “This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything. It is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” Think like a beginner, not an expert, when reading this book. Suspend what you know and empty—don’t open—your mind to the ideas in each chapter. Think about how you’ll implement these strategies. Ideas are easy. Execution is hard.
I agree but I need to qualify. I never want my mind to be running on empty. All these things about meditation and emptying of the mind are not my cup of tea. I have always believed in the seriousness of critical thinking.
Having the ability to think is not the same as having an open mind all the time. If your mind is too open your brains may fall out.
What I mean is not to let pride seep into the mind and convince me that I am so good or in fact better than the speaker such that what he or she says is far inferior to what I know.
I need to remind myself that when I was in High School, I graduated in the part of the class that made the top half possible.
I need to be a life long learner. And even if the speaker is saying something I have heard before, it should be treated as a reminder for me to put it into practice.
My audiences are kind. Many of them have heard me many times. They may have heard the same thing, the same funny stories, the same jokes and they would tell me, “Francis I have heard you at least 4 times and even though I have heard the same funny lines…I still laugh every time you say it.”
Now that’s their polite way of saying, “Francis why don’t you update and upgrade your stuff?”
This is why I attend seminars, I go back to school, I read books and I listen to Audio CD’s in order to learn and to equip myself with new stuff. And I need to be humble enough to understand that the day I stop learning from a 6 year old boy is the day I am finished.
This is also the reason why I have read the entire Bible for so many times cover to cover yet I feel like I have not known anything. Try it for yourself. This is why we need a lot of humility and courage to admit this. I know I do.