The Wise Old Owl…🦉

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric ByrnesLeave a Comment

As I mentioned last week, I recently finished listening to a “book on tape” masterpiece called Brain Power, narrated by a trio of people including the author, Tony Buzan. The other two, a man and a woman, let’s call them Fred & Ethel, were entertaining as could be, and as far as I was concerned, they popped straight out of an I Love Lucy episode…

I don’t think it was meant to be a comedy, but for whatever reason, I find humor in weird places… Yup, laughed my way through the entire Friday The 13th collection, but that’s for another Daily Hustle…

Regardless of the unintended comical production and delivery, the content which highlights brain mapping strategies was freaking FANTASTIC.

Possibly the most valuable information that Tony Buzan delivers is simply highlighting the POWER OF LISTENING…

Listening is obviously one of the most important skills in business and life, yet for whatever reason, it’s the least trained…


No F*ING idea. 🤔

Buzan asks that we rate ourselves as listeners with a score between 0 and 100.

He then asks that we rate how we feel our best friend, our boss and our spouse would rate us.

On average, we rated ourselves on the listening scale as a 55/100.

We then believed that our best friends and bosses would rate us higher, and of course, our spouse would rate us lower…

So, let me get this straight… We as a society know we are selective shitty listeners and we still don’t do anything to improve. 🤷‍♂️

As Buzan claims, when we improve our ability to listen, we improve all of our other senses as well as our ability to process information…

So, WTF is the problem with us Tony????

Buzan shared what he felt were the 5 main problems with listening:

  1. Physical – We can’t hear
  2. Distraction – Attention is distracted by other sounds, sights
  3. Boredom – We become disengaged because of the suspect presentation
  4. Forgetfulness – Simply forget what you listened to
  5. Speaker is Indistinct – Mumbling or speaker’s volume too low

Got you Tony… We all know the problems dude, but how do we fix this shit????

Here my Go Hards is Tony’s 20 keys to effective listening:

  1. Keep your hearing apparatus in good health – Sitting next to the amp at a Megadeth concert is prob not a great idea
  2. Listening intently for different sounds in the environment
  3. Overall Physical health – Improved health, including your physical shape, effects listening ability
  4. Listen opportunistically – Positively selfish
  5. Listen longer – Withhold judgement
  6. Listen optimistically – Find the positive
  7. Challenge your brain – Listen to advance material
  8. Work at listening – Get our what you put in
  9. Blend your senses – They all compliment each other
  10. Maintain open mind
  11. Use natural brain speed – We have ability to listen much faster than someone speaks
  12. Judge content not delivery – TOUGH ONE
  13. Listen to the idea – Focus in on central themes not every word
  14. Take notes – Write down key words
  15. Disregard distractions – Take notice then discard
  16. Take breaks – Recharge & refuel is VITAL
  17. Use your imagination – Imagery is key to engaging right side of brain
  18. Active posture – Alert posture = alert listening
  19. Know that u can improve with age – Save the bullshit excuses
  20. Practice speaking – Those who are great speakers are usually great listeners

After I finished the book, I immediately googled Tony Buzan to see if he was still doing his thing. Unfortunately, Tony just passed away in April at 76 years old, but he wrote over 80 books, sold MILLIONS of copies, and with his revolutionary mind mapping techniques inspired by the works of Da Vinci and Einstein, our dude Tony was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

I will leave you guys with a quote in the Brain Power book from author of Thriving On Chaos & business entrepreneur, Tom Peters, that I believe encapsulates the POWER OF LISTENING. 👂

“Become a compulsive listener… Today’s successful leaders will work diligently to engage others and their cause… Oddly enough, the best by far to engage others is by listening, seriously listening to them… If talking and giving orders was the administrative model of the past 50 years, listening to lots of people near the action is the model of the 90’s and beyond.”

Thank you Tom, and of course, thank you Tony… Put quite simply, you dudes fucking NAILED IT. 🔨

Oh yea, one more thing… A great coach and possibly the greatest man I’ve ever met once signed an autograph for me…


“Dear Eric,

A wise old owl sat in the oak,

the more he heard the less he spoke,

the less he spoke the more he heard,

now isn’t that a wise old bird.

-John Wooden”


Caaaaa Caaaaa,