Jonathan Hood
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Whenever I set out to go to a speaking event, I try my best to know who my audience is. What might they be interested in? How can I relate to them? And ultimately, how can I make a positive impact in their lives?

By putting myself in varying positions, I’m able to get a sense of their thought processes. This makes it easier for me to come to conclusion on how I can deliver a meaningful, resonating speech.

I learned this from my mother.

Call it innate motherly instinct (or superior psychic ability), but mothers have a way of just knowing what to ask and when to ask it. I usually end up sharing with her whatever it is that is going on in my life, whether she can help me or not. And it feels good to have someone in my corner that is able to give me feedback.

She knows me very well. She knows if I’m taking a situation too hard, or if I need to put more effort into it. Most importantly, our difference in perspectives (being that she is a woman and I am a man) gives me deeper insight into certain situations. And I’m always interested to learn more about where she is coming from and grow based on that insight.

Her “check-ins” and her feedback help take me to another level. They show me that she cares, which once more builds trust and credibility in our relationship.

Our difference in perspectives also gives me the information I need to improve as a whole. I’m able to think outside of my own bubble: how might the things I do or say be interpreted from a woman’s perspective? What about someone of a different racial background? Or those from a different social class? Asking simple questions like these give me a better understanding of how to connect with others and helps me to improve.

It’s important to note that constant growth – that slow, persevering tortoise – is a constant journey that cannot be rushed. We all want to grow. We all want to be better today than we were yesterday. Better this week than the last. Better this year than a lifetime. Whether it’s with relating to people, communicating with others, or being more open in our relationships, we should be aiming to enjoy a better quality of life in all areas. And sometimes we need others there to remind us of how we can achieve that once by helping us change our perspective. Only then will we be able to make a lasting impact on those we come in contact with.



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