First off take a quick moment to watch this video on TED.com it is really a video that holds much truth. Julian Treasure says that listening has declined and is declining, and that we have lost our ability to listen to the subtle and understated things. He believes that we need to improve our conscious listening skills. He throws out a very interesting statistic in the beginning of this cast. Julian Treasure says that 60% of our communication time is listening and we only retain 25% of what we are listening to. With so many different noises in today’s world we get over stimulated and lose our ability to hear the little sounds. This is tragic because hearing the little things enhances many of our other senses. In fact we can tell how big or small a room is by just listening.
I tried one of the listening exercises that Julian recommended. The exercise that I did is 3 minutes of silence a day. It proved to be harder that I thought to get 3 minutes of silence a day. In many of our busy lives we are nonstop and never really have a moment of silence and I certainly found that to be true for myself. In making time for 3 minutes of silence a day I realized how peaceful it was to sit in silence. Having a break from the constant audio stimulation of life allowed me to listen in a more pure way when I went back to the noisy sound filled world. My state of pure listening may not have lasted long after only 3 minutes of silence but I do feel that if I continue to work on this I will develop a skill for listening to the little things and retaining more than the statistical average 25% of what I hear!