Day 1,057 – Thankful for Tough Decisions and Seeking First to Understand

There was a very tough decision I faced today.  Over the course of the day there’ve been no less than a dozen things I’ve been very grateful for outside of the usual suspects (I’m still working on not duplicating gratitudes).  In the past 17 hours I’ve started mentally writing posts until another one takes its place.  As I tried to narrow down my choices these were amongst the front runners:

  • Waking up early to catch a beautiful sunrise over the bluffs
  • A chance encounter with a small buck before sunrise
  • Helpful coaching and feedback
  • Business meetings that include river time
  • Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Living in the Driftless Area
  • Music, the wind, and presence
  • The ever changing sky over the river

It was a very tough decision, but one thing really feels like it will stick for an even longer time or more deeply than the rest.  In having to make that difficult decision I find great joy.  I am so thankful for so many blessings today to choose from!


What really sticks out to me today is a reminder of how important it is to seek first to understand instead of trying to be understood.  My mind often goes rapid fire through past paradigms and experiences to help me take shortcuts to where I want to go.  In doing so I’ve found that I sometimes miss the important details that could make all the difference.  Over the past day I’ve had a great reminder of why it is so important to pause and consider where others may be coming from.

The specific example isn’t important, but suffice to say that hearing the why caused me to pause and look at the situation from a different angle.  When considering that new found knowledge it’s leading me to a potentially much better solution that can benefit all involved significantly more.

I find it so interesting that when I pause and truly listen after asking someone “why?” the answer is quite often different than I would’ve imagined.  My brain tries to fill in the blanks instead of switching mindsets with the other person to see what their motivation might be.  In skipping ahead without first seeking to understand I can lead myself to wrong conclusions and complete derail positive and productive thought.  When I remember to first pause and ask someone for their “why” we can more quickly find a way to help us get to what helps us all get where we are attempting to go.

This has been yet another reminder for me of the times when the ego can get in the way. I tend to look through the world through my eyes first when I should be pausing to look through the eyes of others back at myself first.  Maybe if I have enough examples like this it will eventually become habit.  Until then I’ll keep today near and dear to my heart as a reminder of why it is so important to start with understanding someone else’s “why” prior to deciding it for them in my head.


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