A Gift that Could Change Your Life

A speedometer using kilometres per hour. (km/h...

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Greetings,

I have something to share with you, that has been on my heart and mind for a long time. After much prayer and preparation, I want to present some information to you, that will dramatically improve your life — way beyond what you can imagine. I am asking that you take it to heart and implement it into your actions and life. I don’t normally ask that of my readers… but this is exceptional: it is worth it.

I did not invent anything I say here. I have learned it from men and women who are experts in communication and relationships. What I have integrated into my life has changed it powerfully for the better, and played a large part in my successes. Some of what I say here is paraphrased, some quoted directly from a book called Communication Catalyst, by Mickey Connolly and Richard Rianoshek. I wish I could make that book required reading for everyone I know, but I can only give it the highest recommendation.

Communication drives life, and if used properly, can exponentiate success in every area of your life.

True communication is a network of conversations, linking separate lives into a larger system.

A true conversation is a language cycle that causes perception, meaning, action, and learning. Think about that. If a conversation does not bring those into existence or furthers their progress, it has not fulfilled its purpose. That is its goal, and should be ours. Life is a vast world of conversations, and so this is vitally important to every one of us.

Any conversation can be measured, indicating how well it is working towards those goals. I will show you all a meter by which you can measure conversations.

Any conversation fits into one of four quadrants, measured as 0-25, 26-50, 51-75, and 76-100, like on a speedometer. It is, in fact, very much like a speedometer. The higher the number, the faster, the more efficiently, and the more effectively you are traveling towards your goals and bringing about value.

High numbers are good, just so you know. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So what are these four kinds of conversations?

We can call them with four names: Pretense, Sincerity, Accuracy, and Authenticity. Most people use the first two, and don’t even know about the existence of the last two. But those last two, accuracy and authenticity, are our goals: those are where we want to be.

Pretense is lying, evading, and withholding information.

Sincerity is honest, untested opinion masquerading as reality.

Accuracy separates observable facts from explanations of those facts (interpretations and opinions), and then compares the different possible explanations to find value.

Authenticity reveals previously hidden value at the intersection of someone else’s view and your own (not compromise: contribution).

Most people would want to think that they use accuracy, but in reality, most people are using sincerity at best. Some people even think that authenticity is either impossible or undesirable.

I can’t go super in-depth into these kinds of conversations in this article (’tis long enough), but if you want to learn more, just hang around… I’ll be doing a series of posts digging in deeper and elucidating the art and science of effective communication.

What I do want to focus on in this post, though, is a contrast between sincerity and authenticity.

While sincerity does its absolute best to present its best ideas and help to a community, it does not work with other people to find out where its purposes and ideas intersect with theirs. If you do this, seeking to find common ground and building off of that, new ideas arise that are better than what either of you can come up with on your own. Trust me on that. Haha. It does not require compromise — it does not require giving up anything: it just requires you to think outside yourself.

If you can realize that other people have a different perspective than you, value that other perspective, and seek to find out how you can benefit them and yourself at once in the same act, then you have gained a level of maturity rarely achieved by anyone in this world.

I have seen this kind of maturity in my friends. I have seen people working together, seeking to learn, and contributing to work in synergy, and it inspires me. It is a powerful blessing. That is why I am talking about this, to help us improve, and move on to the next level. I know that you can learn from this, and benefit from it.

I don’t believe any of us have reached the full potential that God has for us in this area. We can do better, and I want to encourage you to put in that extra effort to excel even more. I would like to impart to you some of the huge blessings that God has taught me.

I believe you can take it and use it to great advantage.

P.S. A quick tip before I sign off: the most valuable form of a sentence is a Question. Handled skilfully, it can discharge the duties normally assigned to the other kinds of sentences with greater effectiveness than they could ever aspire to. So ask questions! You can practice in the comments section below. ๐Ÿ˜‰

P.P.S. This post was originally posted (with some slight differences) on the Holy Worlds Christian Fantasy Forum. I honestly believe that community is one of the best in the world. So check it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Oh No! A Disagreement!

What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!

What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!

Laugh. ๐Ÿ™‚

That comic is funny, but it is also very true.

How many times do we get bent out of shape, and spend precious moments of our time (and every moment is precious), trying to convince someone just because they are wrong?

Think about it: there are over six and a half billion people on this planet. That is a lot. But that number pales to insignificance when you consider the amount of knowledge available in the universe. Every detail of every action of all time; every fact of every attribute of every event and every object that ever occurred or existed; every thought of every human in response to every stimulus in history.

That still blows me away.

When you consider the vastness of total knowledge, the amount you think you know becomes a tiny spot, indistinguishable in a lake of ink that spreads as far as the horizon.

And then when you look at what you know, with an honest mind, how much do you really know? How many times have you held something with absolute conviction, yet only to renounce it as complete foolishness a few short years later? Hopefully many, many times. There is very little we can be sure of. I won’t say, like many, that there is nothing that we can be sure of, which is foolishness. But the vast majority of our knowledge is on very shaky ground.

So when you couple these two considerations together, you must realize the self-evident fact that the huge, vast majority of people in the world are just simply wrong about almost everything, including yourself. (By the way, no one is wrong about everything: each person has a certain measure of absolute truth in their keeping.)

This is a humbling, and a daunting prospect. Only God is absolutely right, with absolute knowledge. And it is insufferable arrogance to assume that we are anywhere close to Him in that regard.

So what do we do when we find out that someone * gasp * is wrong?

Well most of the time we can simply pass on. We have other things to do. At least, hopefully we do. There are only a very few, very rare situations in which it is appropriate and helpful to address someone’s perceived error.

And even then, first make sure that you are really in disagreement. The vast, vast majority of perceived disagreements are just that, perceived. It is extremely easy to mistake someone’s point of view. And it is even easier to assume that they believe things that they really don’t: you might be in agreement on everything they say except for one small point.

Then, don’t attack. Being mistaken is never a sin in itself,ย even in matters of doctrine, and it is rarely very bad either. It can be dangerous, though, which should motivate us to be as kind and unselfish as possible in helping the other person.

And above all…

Don’t lose sleep over it. ๐Ÿ˜‰