Monthly Challenge #2 (a bit off the schedule)

First off, I want to state that this is the 2nd time I challenge you guys with this specific exercise. But it’s simply too good not to be mentioned again! We humans DO tend to promote our ego’s a lot, and here I will try help the willing people to dismantle that trend.


In our everyday life we tend to chat and converse with people. Normally we don’t notice how the conversation starts, and we don’t notice how we say the things, we tend to talk about. We do, most of the time, however, notice what we say to each other, and often remember it long after the conversation is over – if we want to.

We tend to express our own opinions in a hurry in fear of violation of our beliefs, and exclude the other’s. This results in a forever state of mind called “as long as you don’t agree with me, you are not my friend. As soon as you agree with me I will start listening to you”. Can you hear how idiotic that state of mind sounds? – it is, however, a state where many people choose to be.

In reality the real effort lies in keeping up the barrier that is our ego. Letting go of the ego results in immediate improvements of all fronts of the way we behave.

This is what this exercise is all about.

Today I want to illuminate a fun (if you have what’s called self-irony), exciting and none the less mind-educating little thing about how we tend to talk with each other!

The exercise:

It comes in three states:

  1. To notice every sentence you start with words like “I” and everything else that highlights you.
  2. To try to get rid of these sentences and replace them with sentences that highlights the other.
  3. (For the really hardcore people): To maintain this awareness and make a habit out of it.

What the… Why?

First off, it’s not about making yourself seem less important. Oh wait, it actually is.

But not to an extreme where it is strictly forbidden to mention you. It’s all about embedding your opinions in the other’s response to your statement. I’ll give you an example:

Rather: What do you think of Toyota? – This involves the other’s opinion and most likely will open a discussion (because most people don’t like Toyota’s) ;) Discussion is one of the best ways we humans acquire knowledge.

Than: I hate Toyota. Not a lot of incitement to start a discussion about why tennis sucks in your eyes. This will most likely make the mind of the other stand still, and maybe even get frustrated if he isn’t much of an opinionist who cares to stand by his opinions.

Or rather: How are you today? – Who knows – maybe the asked person needs just you to ask that question in this very moment. Everybody has a need to talk about themselves, but it feels lame to start the subject on your own time and time again. And the more you ask – the more you will eventually be asked. (Don’t expect it to happen overnight, though) Givers gain!

Than: I feel great today! How about you? – It’s not too bad if you stop talking about yourself there. If you don’t, however, you might as well be better off talking to a wall. The other person will either be stuck with your narcissistic tone, or the urge to answer your question. Either way he most likely won’t be listening.


It is “forbidden” to ask another person about how they think, feel or are just to promote your own thoughts on the same subject. The interest should come strictly from the care of the other.

It is, however, extremely hard to feel that way in the beginning, but with practice it will fill your heart with joy. – If it doesn’t work, you are free to complain to me. Give it a few months, though :)

What’s in it for me?


Here a just a few lifequality-improving perks that with hard practice will be yours:


–          The ability to discover other impressions of the world, and thereby gain knowledge.

–          Others will over time be more attracted to your personality, as they will notice how pleasant it is to talk to you – even though they might not know exactly what does the trick. But trust me – others will notice a positive change in your presence.

–          It actually has a physical impact in form of a reduced risk of heart- and system-failure of your vital organs. (It’s mind-blowing how educating the heart – in a mental way – can improve your non-mental you.)

These are, as said, just a few improvements for you to gain. The rest you will have to discover on your own. I hope all this made sense. If not – I encourage you to spam me with questions, as much as you need to!


17 thoughts on “Monthly Challenge #2 (a bit off the schedule)

  1. Great challenge, Andy! Something worth thinking about, becoming more conscious of and actively working toward. It reminds me of a book by Stephen R. Covey called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, which I’m currently reading. Have you heard of it? You may be interested in some of the concepts, such as Think Win/Win and Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. :)

  2. shreejacob says:

    Excellent post!
    “In reality the real effort lies in keeping up the barrier that is our ego. Letting go of the ego results in immediate improvements of all fronts of the way we behave” – says it all!

  3. Michael T. says:

    You are a young man with wisdom beyond your years. The approach you suggest sounds more natural than what previous comments suggest. It’s a way to begin conversation in the hope of real dialogue. If you begin with the other party first, I think you allow a chance for a more mutual discourse, rather than “I need a sounding board and you’re standing in front of me.” I will accept your challenge this week as I head back to school to teach 14 year-olds:)

    • Mind of Andy says:

      I’m honored that a teacher thinks so of me. Very honored! :)
      Thank you for the readtrhough and comment.
      And best of luck with those 14 year-olds ;) They can be quite a challenge, hehe :)
      Thanks again!

      • Michael T. says:

        Andy, I miss your posts!! Please come back to the blogosphere. Recently, I nominated you for a blog award called The Booker Award. You can check out the format for the award on my site at . I hope you accept this award and that you get this message. I also hope you are doing well. Take care.

        • Mind of Andy says:

          Thank you for the loving message, Michael :)
          I was not doing well up until now, with stress and stuff like that ..
          But coming back to a comment like this can cure everything ;)
          By the way – what am I supposed to do when I get an award? There are so many different awards out there, and I have no clue what to do with them :S

  4. ahappylass says:

    This is also a great marketing technique when you have face-to-face encounters. Drawing the focus away from yourself and onto the person you’re talking to and thing you’re promoting.

  5. Margarita says:

    This is an interesting approach. How do you feel about simply listening and formulating your response after you’ve checked in to make sure what you heard is what was said?

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