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Morning Mindset with Paul G. Markel


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May 14, 2018

If all you want to hear is you own opinion repeated back to you, talk to a mirror. If you ask a question, be ready to hear an answer that you did not expect or don’t like. Often questions will force us to think or come up with a better way to explain our positions.


Episode Transcription

[INTRO]

♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫

*Alex*

Welcome to Morning Mindset. A daily dose of practical wit and wisdom with a professional educator & trainer, Amazon best selling author, United States Marine, Television and Radio host, Paul G. Markel. Each episode will focus on positive and productive ways to strengthen your mindset, and help you improve your relationships, career goals, and overall well-being. Please welcome your host; Paul G. Markel.


*Professor Paul*

Hello and welcome back to Morning Mindset, I hope everyone took that week, next week, to catch up! If you are a new listener, I know a lot of you folks out there in the audience may have come in half way, episode 50-60 and wanted to catch up. In fact over the last week I talked to some people who do listen to the Morning Mindset podcast and they told me that after they started, they felt like they needed to start from the beginning. So they hadn’t gotten caught up yet.

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So I’m hoping that you guys used last week to catch up. But here we are, a brand new week of Morning Mindset, so perk up your ears and take a listen. We’re gonna talk about “Talking to the Mirror”, and you ask what does that mean? If you talk to a mirror, all you get is your own opinion.  You get your own words back to you. You say “Okay Paul, I get that. What’s your point? My point is if you ask a question, in public, whether it’s on a public forum or in a classroom setting, if you ask a question you need to be ready to hear an answer that you did not expect or did not want.

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*Gasp* I know. Often people will ask questions, they will put something out there or make a statement in the form of a rhetorical question, and they’re not doing it to gain information or get people’s opinions, see how they feel on a certain subject. People will make statements or ask a rhetorical question, and when they get an answer or someone doesn’t agree with their opinion, they get a little offended. I say “Well, if you don’t want to hear an answer, don’t ask a question. If all you want is to hear your own opinion repeated back to you, go talk to a mirror, because that’s the best way to do it.

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*Laughs* Now I have found in my professional life, I have written things and designed certain things, I’ve written many books & articles, and I have strong opinions on Things.  I have these strong opinions based off of 3 decades of education and experience, and the more experience and education you get, the stronger your opinions become. Sometimes I find myself in a position, where I know my decision is the right one. Just because in my gut I know it’s right, based off what? 3 decades of experience.

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I don’t even take the time to articulate it, at least not to myself. I know in my heart that decision is right, and I accept it. But, not everyone is going to do that and not everyone is going to understand, and I have experienced this with my peers and mentors. I have mentioned before about my mentors in the professional world. I wrote my first book and asked him to review it, and he said he would but he asked me, “Paul, why should anyone read anything that you have written? Why should they read this book?” Now in my heart I felt that I had produced a valuable product, but I never thought about why people should read this book.

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I had to think about it, I had to articulate it, I had to come up with a good reason. So I wrote down that reason and shared it with him and he said “Yeah, that’s a good reason.” Now he wasn’t saying that to be cruel or a smart ass, but he was being genuinely serious and he wanted me to articulate that, he wanted me to stop and think, it’s not good enough for me to think “This is great, everyone should read it. You need to tell them why.” Recently I designed and released a new product in conjunction with a manufacturer, and I knew based upon my testing and everything that I know, that it’s a good, valuable product and everyone should use it.

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A good friend of mine asked me “Why? Why did you decide to do it that way?” I thought hmm, he’s a good friend and he should know that I wouldn’t just do something on a lark, but what I had to do was think about it and say okay, it’s not enough for me to tell this guy that my decision was correct, I had to be able to articulate it and tell him why. So before you throw out an opinion, a rhetorical question and expect that no one is going to question it or they’re just going to accept it on the face, you may want to be ready to have your opinion challenged.

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Now that doesn’t mean your opinion is wrong, it doesn’t mean your decision is wrong, it could be 100% right! But just because someone challenges you on it, doesn’t mean that you’re wrong. But they may genuinely not understand. So the moral of the story ladies and gentlemen is this; if all you want is to hear your opinion repeated back to you, go talk to a mirror. But every once and a while your opinion will be challenged, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Now my wife is going to listen to this and she’s going to laugh, she’s gonna be like “Ha, you hate it when people challenge you”, I didn’t say I liked it. It’s not fun for me, but I’ve learned over the years and I’ve acknowledged it many times.

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But, I’ll go ahead and put a caveat here in case my wife’s listening. Those people I mentioned before, who said “I don’t understand why you did this” or something like that, those are people whose opinions I do respect and value. Obviously I’m going to give those more weight than the stranger off the street. But if you’re going to ask questions, you have to be ready to get an answer you didn’t expect, or that you don’t like. Doesn’t mean you have to change your opinion or the way you think, but it may give you the opportunity to articulate that, and that articulation, the reason that you gave your opinion, that may reinforce and strengthen it. It may be a good thing.

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By the way the mentor I mentioned before who read my book, he liked it and recommended it and gave me a very nice jacket quote. Not just because he’s my friend, but because he was a mentor & peer in the industry. Alright that’s it for today, thank you for listening, and if you would like to listen to any of the books written by yours truly, Paul Markel, well it’s quite easy. Go to Amazon.com, type in Paul Markel, and there you go. I am your host Paul Markel, and I’ll talk to you again, real soon.


[OUTRO]

♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫

*Alex*

Thank you for spending time with us today. To get show notes, submit a topic request, for more from your host Paul G. Markel, visit MorningMindsetPodcast.com. That’s MorningMindsetPodcast.com. Please leave a review of this podcast on your favorite podcast player, we appreciate your time & effort, and we look forward to reading your honest feedback.