The Gift of Listening

27 Mar

Gift of listeningHello everybody,

very nice that you join me (again) this week!

Today my third week ended in my quest to test the world box of happiness. This week was quite successful in the sense that I am now able to offer everyone who signs up for this website the first chapter of the world book of happiness, right here! The box of happiness is based on this book and therefore if you like what I am doing you probably also like this book. So what are you waiting for? Go and check it out!

Remember the tasks of the past week:

This week, listen with full attention and sincere to two people for at least ten minutes, who you normally do not listen to.

** Think about some good cases or charities to which you could donate something. Give.

The act of listening

How unbelievable this might sound, this task was actually the one I found most difficult up till now. I am also not quite satisfied with how I fulfilled it, but before I continue let me first explain what I did. I did listen to people who I usually do not listen to, but in fact these were people I normally just simply do not talk to. So, in fact I found that too easy. I listened truthfully and sincere to a guy that I run into on Monday and I hadn’t seen for ages. We had a very nice conversation and I listened carefully to what he was telling me. This would have been person number one. Person number two was actually a good friend of mine that I have not been listing to very much lately. I had some difficulties with our conversations because she was caught up in a negative circle. I find it important to stay positive and even though we all should be able to talk about our problems every once in a while I am convinced that the positive aspects of life should always prevail over the negative ones. So, I hadn’t listened to her for quite some time and I actually felt pretty guilty about it, but I did not know how to talk to her about it. So, this week I took the time to listen to her sincerely as I hadn’t done for quite a while and I am really happy I did. It brought us closer together again and hopefully we can continue that way.
Even though I did listen to both of these people for more then ten minutes and I was sincere about it, I am still not completely happy with how I fulfilled this task. I still really want to talk to someone I never talk to because I try to avoid talking to them because I feel uncomfortable around them. To remind myself of this I will leave this task as unfulfilled until I have done this and I have the feeling I am satisfied about it.

[Update: in the meantime I have listened to several sales people here in London and afterwords point out the manipulation techniques we learned during our Master in Health and Social Psychology, which they use to convince people of their products. If I am in the mood for it it is actually quite fun to do: it reminds me of the psychological theories I have learned and it makes me pay extra attention to not only listen to what their saying but also to what their body language is telling. I think by now this task is fulfilled.]

Something for you?

Active and sincere listening can bring you a lot quicker a lot closer to the person you are listening to. Even thought this was a very difficult task I have kept it up and I am aware of how I pay attention to what people are telling me much more than I used to. Especially when meeting new people this supports the conversation and makes it more enjoyable. A good exercise to try out for a week!

A gift to Charity

I liked this task a lot since it gave fuel for good conversations. I must say I have been donating some stuff already in the last couple of weeks while trying to clean my room. I gave a couple of books to Maastrichts charity ‘Books 4 Life’. I donated three bags of clothes to the ‘Leger des Heils’ the Salvation Army, and also four pairs of shoes. But as I said before, I only did this because I wanted to get rid of the stuff. So doesn’t really count as charity, does it? I did donate blood however, which I think does count. I even made sure to do this before I got my tattoo, since now I am not allowed to donate for another half a year. But I also did something this week. First off all I wanted to make sure that whatever I donate also really ends up in the place where I want it to go. In fact I would love to jump on a plane and fly to some place in the world to give them something that will make their lives easier or a little happier even if it is just for a moment. It turns out my best friend is actually going to do that. She is going to work with little children in South-Africa in a month and she said I could donate drawing books and colours for the kids. I think this is a wonderful idea and I am definitely going to do that!
Next to this I also signed up to become a stem cell donor. A friend of mine survived her illness because somewhere someone on this planet wanted to be a donor for a person he or she never met and will probably never meet. I was inspired by this to also become a donor and signed up for blood donations. I also wanted to become a stem cell donor, but I never did. So now I actually signed up and I will get a package soon of which I will show pictures! So, to keep the spirit up, I would like to ask you if you want to think about becoming a stem cell donor yourself. If a person is really that ill that they need a stem cell transplantation and you happen to be a good match, there is a good chance you can actually save this persons life. You can click here for the stem cell donation website and sign up! Thank you!

Something for you?

Donating is a lot of fun and it does give you a boost for a while. It increases how connected you feel with the world, however it also wears of very quickly. Good for a quick boost but for a long time effect unfortunately you will have to repeat it quite often!

I hope you enjoyed it and maybe even got inspired!

All the best to all of you,

Anne-Sophie

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2 Responses to “The Gift of Listening”

  1. marlies333 March 27, 2013 at 22:47 #

    You are amazing.

    • Anne-Sophie Sloet van Oldruitenborgh April 14, 2014 at 20:12 #

      Thank you my dear! It was lovely to see how the children enjoyed my gifts 🙂