In the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament part of the Bible, there is a prayer, called the Shema, that the Jewish people have prayed to every morning and evening for over 6,000 years.  Interestingly, the word Shema in Hebrew actually means to Listen.  However, further study of the word shows that it means much more than just listening.  Shema actually indicates that the person hearing is not just to listen – they are also to receive the spoken or written word and respond to it.

Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Life Today

What does this mean for us today?  In my coaching work, I find many people who are active readers, podcast listeners, and seminar attendees.  Some of them read three or four personal or business development books every month and listen to podcasts daily.  Yet when I ask them how all this has changed their lives and their businesses, they often cannot express any significant benefits from the massive amounts of reading and listening they have done.

Why does this happen?  It happens because people equate activity with progress.—and that, of course, simply is not true.

We need to follow through with our reading or listening – hence, the three-word title of this article.  Consider the following:

  1. Hear: To do this requires that we actively listen or seek to read with understanding.  Reading to check off an activity on your task list is a waste of time.
  2. Receive: Receiving involves pondering what you read and asking yourself questions about what it means to you and how any learning might be applied to improve your situation.
  3. Respond: Anything you read or learn from your reading will have no value or impact until it is applied.  Applying the knowledge and understanding you’ve acquired is your response.

Practicing hearing, receiving, and responding can completely turn things around and take your life in a much more positive direction.