When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling. Try that for practice. When you’re in town stand outside the theatre and see how the people differ in the way they get out of taxis or motor cars. There are a thousand ways to practice. And always think of other people.

Hemingway’s advice to aspiring writers (via explore-blog)

Someone gave this quote to me when I was a teenager. I don’t remember how it was delivered to me. I don’t think I even knew it was Hemingway at the time, but it was really impactful. Developing the skill to be a good listener and observer has helped in every aspect of my life – family relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, business and of course writing. These are skills worth honing.

Young and Brilliant: Wireframes for Thinking

Young and Brilliant: Wireframes for Thinking

When wandering the world, forget your business cards. Don’t look for more contacts. Instead, observe. Say hello to the people you see every day, but don’t make a fetish out of it. Stay interested in others. Be generous in your attentions but not showy. Don’t wink, snap your fingers, high-five, or shout, though laugh with those who do. It bears repeating: Look around. Remember names. Remember where people were born.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
― Mark Twain