How often do you listen to yourself?

Today is November 25 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you listen to yourself?” Navigating the chaos requires one to often drawn out the noise, turn inward, and listen to the whisper inside of you. For those struggling to figure out how to grow personally or professionally, instead of blaming others, ask yourself when you last listened to yourself? Listening to yourself is a habit of so many people who navigate the chaos.

Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher wrote “it is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind. The realm of your own.”

How can you be in the realm of your own if you do not listen to yourself? And conversely, how can you listen to yourself if you are not in the realm of your own? Listening to yourself should be a priority. You need to ask yourself how often do you surround yourself with noise so that you avoid listening to your inner whisper? Listening to yourself is hard since it is far easier these days to drown out your own voice with that of the information overload we have grown accustomed to over the last decade.

As reported in Forbes in June 2019, “The average adult consumes five times more information every day than their counterpart 50 years ago. Additionally, Americans spend as much as 12 hours a day in front of TVs and computers and that’s while at home!” When you add in the additional working hours, it is easy to see how the average American could possibly spend 12 or more hours, half of a day, in front of a screen.

As Lori Lewis' infographic "That is What Happens in An Internet Minute in 2020" illustrates the online activity of billions of people globally results in 19 million texts sent, 4.5 million YouTube videos viewed, and 188 million emails sent in just one minute of each hour in every day. Humans were not put on this earth to stare into their phones, computers, or devices all day yet that is exactly what far too many people do.

As Nicole Fisher reported in Forbes on January 24, 2019 “The average adult consumes five times more information every day than their counterpart 50 years ago. Moreover, Americans spend as much as 12 hours a day in front of televisions and computers while at home! Because of all this focus on screens, how we interact with one another and the world around us is evolving, with research suggesting our time on social media shows measurable, causal differences in our mental health.” With so much screen time it is imperative that you make it a habit to listen to yourself as you navigate the chaos.

It is only through listening can we hear what American filmmaker Steven Spielberg called the whisper of our dreams: “When you have a dream, it often doesn’t come at you screaming in your face. Sometimes a dream almost whispers. And I have always said to my kids: the hardest thing to listen to — your instincts, your human personal intuition — always whispers; it never shouts and is hard to hear. So, you have to every day of your lives, be ready to hear what whispers in your ear. It very rarely shouts. And if you can listen to the whisper, and if it tickles your heart, and it’s something you think you want to do for the rest of your life, then that is going to be what you do for the rest of your life, and we will benefit from everything you do.”

How often do you listen to yourself?