Most People Never Do This — But They Should

Adrian S. Potter
4 min readDec 24, 2023

Listen completely.

Photo by Tom Jur on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

Ernest Hemingway was a Nobel Prize-winning author who revolutionized 20th-century literature with concise prose and powerful storytelling.

His impact lies in shaping the modern American literary landscape, influencing generations of writers, and exploring themes of war, masculinity, and existentialism in a profound and enduring manner.

Hemingway provided the world with wisdom. My favorite quote of his is timeless advice:

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

This phrase resonates in today’s self-centered society. In an era dominated by constant distractions, incessant digital communication, and a culture that prioritizes individual expression over genuine connection, listening has become a rare and invaluable skill.

In our fast-paced world, people remain preoccupied with their own thoughts, ambitions, and the ever-increasing demands of technology.

Chatter on social media platforms, instant messaging, and the allure of constant connectivity have fostered an echo-chambered environment where self-expression takes precedence, and the subtlety of listening gets overlooked.

This self-absorbed approach to communication has spawned a society in which individuals are more interested in projecting and pimping their ideas, opinions, and experiences than in truly understanding others.

Fully listening involves more than just hearing words; it requires a genuine effort to comprehend the emotions, perspectives, and underlying messages conveyed by the speaker.

Photo by Timur Weber: https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-woman-listening-to-the-man-talking-8560040/

In a world inundated with information, those who can truly listen stand out as compassionate, empathetic, and socially intelligent individuals. They forge deeper connections with others, fostering a sense of community and understanding that is increasingly rare in the digital age.

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Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity · www.adrianspotter.com