Sometimes we don’t need advice. We just need somebody to listen.

One of the greatest gifts you can ever give another person is to listen with all of your presence and all of your heart.

There are times when another person is so overwhelmed with their life experience as to preclude their ability to hold it all in. They just need to unload some of what they are carrying, so that they can have an emotional release and find their stability again.

Men, in particular, are programmed to be problem solvers. They wish to fix everything…sometimes, to the complete exclusion of listening past the point where their mind is zeroing in on the problem as it is being shared. This personality trait, while valuable in many circumstances, can be completely off-putting in moments where another party just needs to communicate. 

If you are in that emotional state and wish to just unload some of what you are carrying on your shoulders, sometimes having someone interrupt you with their solutions is absolutely the very last thing you want. (Even if that is actually what you really need.) At that moment, you are in a cycle of unleashing emotional duress and wanting desperately to find a solution that will enable you to find your own personal equilibrium again. 

Given those parameters, if we are more aware of this true need in our friends, lovers, colleagues or family, we can become better people by learning to close our mouths and listen while staying fully present to everything that they are communicating. In this act of kindness and compassion, we are strengthening our bond with the other party, improving our personal dynamic and we are growing as an individual… all by keeping our mouths closed.

The opportunity to communicate with another being carries tremendous power and magic. It is incomparable to just about anything else in life, because it carries the process of two brains connecting, which unleash countless permutations of possibilities as a direct result. 

When you speak freely, without inhibition, you open pathways in your own mind, and magical things happen. Sometimes, you discover answers that are right on your doorstep (metaphorically speaking) just by voicing your own concerns, thoughts and opinions. Sometimes you find an epiphany that is waiting for you and you are overwhelmed by how obvious and apparent it is, when prior to speaking to the other party, it felt nonexistent in your own mind.

As you are going through this catharsis, having another person interjecting their opinions and perspectives can be both jarring and annoying because what you are really doing is verbalizing thoughts from deep within, that needed to be uncovered and unleashed.

It is a wise opportunity for each of us to understand that if we feel this way ourselves, that sometimes, our greatest gift in life can be to close our mouths, open our mind and enable another person to have access to us as a repository of their emotions, thoughts and feelings… and listen warmly with compassion and zero judgement. It may feel as if you are not doing enough for them, but in many cases, you are actually providing what they need the most.

Thanks for listening (or reading!)

Happy Friday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!