Communication is the most important skill in life. We spend most of our waking hours communicating. But consider this: You’ve spent years learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak. But what about listening? What training or education have you had that enables you to listen so that you really, deeply understand another human being from that individual’s own frame of reference?

Source: Stephen Covey

In my article Anger Fear Awareness I talked about how we spend a lot of our time living in the past, mulling over old wounds, not wanting to forgive, or move on. I also talked about living in fear of the future: what will happen to me, will I have enough money to retire, what if….all the evils of the world descend upon me?

The first step in reclaiming your life from these pernicious, life-wasting habits is the desire for change. Once someone expresses a need for change, then change can begin to happen.

I outlined the natural steps a person can take once that desire manifests.

The first step is to talk to someone about your feelings, about where you want to go and what you want to do.

On the other side of things, if we are the recipients of such a communication our primary desire is to keep that person talking so that they can work through their fears and frustrations.

The actions required to achieve awareness, for that is what we are talking about; how to live more fully in the present, are out lined below.

Talk (about the situation)
Read (Inspirational self help books)
Write (Journal about your feelings)
Listen(Listen to Motivational tapes and lectures)
Meditate(spend some time each day in contemplation)
Consistent Practice.(Set up a daily routine of the above)

Become a Mentor (A new action.)

Today I want to cover the next three actions.

To begin, read, write and listen, are not separate actions but a holistic group of actions that together lead to greater awareness and understanding.

My starting point came about because of an epiphany about the potential inside us all. We are born with infinite potential but life leads us down pathways that begin to limit and compress our potential. I wanted to stretch out again, to feel the amazing joy you experience when you stand looking outward without walls or barriers to obstruct your vision.

I committed, almost four years ago now, to focus on reading everything I could about the self –development field in books, websites, and blogs. That began a magical journey that I continue to follow today.

When you are caught deep in anger at some past event spontaneity will seldom pry you free.

Reading is the first key to the treasure of awareness. Get your hands on as many books about self-development you can find. (See Beautiful Summer Inspirational Books for ideas).

However, what you read about you need some way to digest.

Using a journal to record your feelings and emotions as you read exercises your ability to think and express in concrete terms, what you learn or questions about the journey to greater awareness and a more fulfilling life.

My personal journal is a record of my travels, if you will, filled with insight, questions, ideas, and blind alleys.

One step beyond reading and writing is hearing or listening.

In our modern world we are bless with a plethora of ways to listen to the wisdom of the sages.

Our cars are equipped with CD player while I-pods rule the world while DVD’s increase the power of the experience, by adding the power of sight. Even TV occasionally rises above the fray to bring us insightful programs featuring people like Wayne Dyer.

Mix all those elements together, read, write, listen, and you have a powerful recipe for change in your life and the lives of those around you.

Remember as you grow more aware, and live your life more fully, you will uplift people around you, especially those closes to you; your family and friends.

Your journey to a more fulfilling life creates the potential for others to follow also.

By helping yourself through the power of words, you help others also.

Read, write, listen.

Author's Bio: 

Nick Grimshawe has written hundreds of articles ranging from food and wine to self development and spirituality. He is the editor and publisher of and the Beautiful Summer Morning Newsletter. You can subscribe for free here: He is currently at work on his first book and an e-book about his experiences getting off diabetic medication. He is also developing a course on how to find your life purpose.