Last night at Toastmasters a friend named Sazzadur delivered a speech on active listening, inspired by Julian Treasure. He said most of us hear but do not listen. We must engage our minds on the subject at hand to truly comprehend. Afterward I thanked him and told the story of the ‘Invisible Gorilla’ where a college researcher created a video in which a man wearing a gorilla suit goes before the observer unseen. How? People’s attention is focused elsewhere.
This morning I read a line from Tara Westover‘s memoir “Educated” that struck a similar cord, “the skill I was learning was a crucial one, the patience to read things I could not yet understand.” Tara’s junkyard childhood eyes were opened thanks to her passion and patience to gain understanding through reading. She purposefully stretched her mind to a world beyond.
If you are unable to tame your attention, your body will age but your maturity will stagnate. Where is your focus? Where is your curiosity?
Active curiosity is required for sound investing. This morning I read the claims of a law suit. Last evening I read parts of a SEC regulatory compliance issue. I have Westover’s memoir laying on my chest. An audiobook on investing will play after I drop my children off at school.
Some issues are at hand. Others are pondered. While still others are not yet fully formed. Allocating time to the not-yet-formed region of study requires effort and conscious focus.