The Quality of the Inner Voice.

If all you have in your hand is a hammer, then everything around you will seem nails.”

Abraham Maslow

When it comes to speed reading, the emphasis is rightly placed on the speed of the inner voice. The faster someone succeeds in reading silently, the closer (s)he is to the freedom to read faster than thought. The speed of 800-1000 words per minute is just around the corner, waiting for us all, provided we diligently strive in this direction.

However, in this article, I will write about the QUALITY of the inner voice, not about its quantity or speed. The article starts with an objection I received from a client as an excuse for delaying a consulting session we had set up. He sent me a text message saying, “if I haven’t implemented so far what we discussed last time, then there’s no point in meeting for you to give me other things to do.”

To a certain extent, this attitude seems responsible. Sometimes, I give “homework” to my clients with whom I regularly work during consulting sessions. These are implementations, strategies, techniques, solutions, exercises, training sessions, letters, and lists, depending on each concern’s specificity (efficient learning, public speaking, copywriting, or something else), that we both agreed upon. However, it sometimes happens that, under the pretext of “I didn’t do my homework”, clients are inclined to postpone their sessions for hours, days, weeks, or even months, as if a sword of shame hangs over Damocles’ homework!

I need to meet each individual’s needs and be flexible depending on the situation, not just the person. Therefore, sometimes I intransigently insist that a specific exercise or task be done before the consulting session. Other times, we have meetings and work together on what could be done privately. However, this was not the case here, and I will explain why. But before that, I’ll tell you a story.

I know many people who are used to listening to audiobooks and audio training sessions electronically, formerly on a computer or mp3 player, now on smartphones and in the car. At one point, a friend of mine got into a romantic relationship with a demanding girlfriend, who reproached him that it was no use in his listening to a lot of stuff if he didn’t put it into practice. To some extent, her opinion seems fair, and probably many people think that way. However, my friend became demoralized and agreed with his girlfriend, so he gave up listening to audiobooks! I asked him: “If you were to practice what you heard in those audiobooks, what changes would occur in your life?”. He replied: “Well, if I had put into practice what I heard there, then I would have come out of this relationship. In fact, I would not have chosen my girlfriend in the first place”. Interesting. After his girlfriend left him, he still preferred not to listen to audio materials. What do you think happened? This friend of mine had replaced his inner dialogue and all the voices and ideas in the audio materials with his girlfriend’s voice. She was no longer in his life, but her voice was still ringing in his head. Has anything like this ever happened to you? We can think of such a situation, whether it’s parents, grandparents, romantic partners, friends, colleagues, mentors, or close relatives.

Well, the answer I gave to my penitent client was something like: “Maybe what I proposed to you last time was not right, or you are not yet ready to apply. How about I give you another starting point?”. Then, indeed, he changed his perception, we had the session and worked on something else that was useful to him, and it still is nowadays, when he earns more from his work.

So, because speed-reading consultants and trainers wish to increase the speed at which someone reads in their mind or asks questions to reach and exceed the rate at which all their inner dialogue is running, we may sometimes overlook that there could also be a short circuit for failure: the client comes to punish himself faster, because of the wrong questions he asks himself, because of the limiting beliefs, because of the parasitic voices that have been left in his mind further to all sorts of experiences.

Therefore, there is a secondary benefit that someone has even if (s)he does not put into practice all the information received: (s)he becomes exposed to messages that can change the way he thinks. Moreover, you never know what might be the idea that triggers a wave of needed changes, in which the person can use all the other things he has learned so far. Has it ever happened to you to find in a book or an audio material precisely the piece of a puzzle you were missing to understand a whole mechanism from which you only had disparate elements so far?

In conclusion, I don’t think there is any shame in reading/listening without applying. But, on the other hand, there is no merit, either. It is an activity that is not called development and is not necessarily called learning. Still, it is certainly not a waste of time if you consider your choice’s appropriate quality and usefulness. So, what questions do you ask yourself next time you listen to an audiobook? What about when you read something interesting for your potential development?

Thank you!

Happy, efficient learning!

Marcus Victor Grant

Speed-reading specialist (speed reading, memorization, concentration, productivity, NLP modeling)

Text Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2016-present Translation by Cristiana Brezeanu of the article “Calitatea vocii interioare “previously published by Marcus Victor Grant in Romanian on May 18th, 2021, on Discerne. Initially written in 2016. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved. 

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.

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