Doodle Card #152 – Listen To Others As If They Were Their Last Words

Listen to others as if they were their last words.


Listen to others as if they were their last words.


It may be a miracle if people understand each other in words.

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools.” What did he mean to say?

One word has three meanings. Literal, figurative and emotional. What is an emotional meaning? It’s the meaning that each person applies to a word with a certain emotional experience. We don’t understand this meaning unless we get to know the opponent very well.

We understand Napoleon’s word in a figurative sense. If we would stick to a literal meaning, we would never know what he meant to say because in the real world there is no such thing as the dictionary of fools. But we never know what kind of feeling the word ‘impossible’ would give to him — so we might have misinterpreted his word for years.

Quite often, the emotional meaning causes misunderstanding between people. Your boss may get upset or irritated when someone say a certain word, although the word itself means nothing to you. Or your significant other or family members may not like hearing a certain word or phrase on TV or radio. That’s because the emotional meaning of word is in play.

Understanding each other is not an easy task because we need to understand the emotional meaning of their words. Some people have only a few, some people have a lot. We have to start from listening to what the opponent says — without applying our own emotional meaning to their words. In order to distinguish our own emotional meaning from the one of others, we have to be self-aware.

Mindfulness plays a significant role even in communicating each other.


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