Understanding is an art…and not everyone is an artist.

Do you understand what they are saying?

To understand something requires a combination of variables as varied as the topics or subjects that one might be trying to understand.

Sometimes, understanding is cerebral. The topic may be whatever it happens to be, and one’s ability to understand what is being communicated may require specific knowledge that is capable of allowing another person to grasp what is being communicated.

More often, understanding requires more human skills that are based in compassion, reason, empathy and more. In this suite of tools lies the secret to developing a deeper relationship with anyone. For with these resources, we are able to defer our own perceptions, bias, and world perspective, in order that we may see the circumstances through the eyes of the party with whom we are communicating. 

In those moments of true connection, the other party is elevated to a higher consciousness because when they are trying to communicate something of importance to them, having another person who is willing to listen and really comprehend what they are sharing, could not be more important.

We all want to be understood. That is the essence of communication. We have all had countless experiences in which we are sharing something important that is either personal or professional with another party, and we can tell the other party is completely tuned out. It feels like a personal affront to our being and leaves us disappointed and irritated that we are wasting the time trying to communicate to someone who could care less. 

In those times when another person is craving to be understood, there is a type of validation that accompanies their desire. This validation is an expression from another human being that what they are communicating, what they are feeling, has merit or value. It does not matter what their topic of discussion entails, it only matters that they are able to share that with someone else and that that person finds value in listening. 

Sometimes they want feedback on what they have shared. Other times, the feedback is moot, and they just want to be heard. In both circumstances, the art of listening and understanding the other person is a skill that everyone should practice regularly. You may not always agree with what they are saying, nor may you always appreciate what they are saying, but as a sentient human being, you would be well served in your personal growth to become ever better at allowing them a chance to be fully understood (and appreciated).

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!