The *OTHER* $10,000/hour skill

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My friend Greg Timms runs a church in Chicago. Asked me to preach. Topic:
“What’s the highest value skill you can cultivate?”

I don’t get asked to speak on Sunday mornings terribly often. I think I’m too
‘Wolverine’ for most churches…. But this was my answer:

How to Listen to God’s Voice Exercise (which was edited out of the video):

It’s pretty simple. You find a story in the scriptures about someone – could be just about any story anywhere. You read it, and you write on a piece of paper:

“OK God, tell me about me.”

or:

“OK God, tell me about them.”

And then you GO.

Do not think, do not edit, do not question, whatever comes into your head just write.

Think of it maybe even like a house that’s been empty for six months and you turn on the water. Rust and gunk may come out and it might have burbles and bubbles but eventually will start flowing.

I find this works a little easier in a group worship environment than by yourself, but either is OK.

A commenter asked these questions – here they are with some answers:

My experience was one of uncertainty. Was I doing this right or just wasting time? I know you said to keep going so I’ll do that.

From watching you, I believe that helping people hear from God is part of your ministry. If that’s right, there’s more for you to do.

For me and others like me, we’re not practiced at hearing from God. So it’s uncomfortable and uncertain. Below is the list of all the questions I had:

* “Find a story in the scriptures …” How do you pick a story? Where do you go to even find a suitable story?

"So many options for growing my business, but what should I do NOW?" Tell me your most pressing business problems and I'll show you your BEST next step.

There are books that are mostly stories. The gospels, the book of Acts. Genesis, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. Just about any of those stories will do.

* “OK God, tell me about me.” “Or, tell me about them.” How do you decide between these two questions?

Flip a coin.

* Don’t think, edit, question. Write whatever comes into your head. What if nothing comes? A total blank? How long do you wait?

There is no such thing as “nothing comes.” You are always thinking something. Just write it. Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” defines this very very well.

Especially at first, you do not worry whether you’re listening to yourself or God. As strange (and even blasphemous) as it may sound, it almost doesn’t matter. THE IMPORTANT PART IS THAT YOU LEARN TO LISTEN and especially smart intellectual types have a very hard time even listening to themselves. I spent the first 30 years of my life training myself to not listen to myself and just obey the rules of whoever was giving me orders. I had to unravel that.

The way you do that is you learn to listen to the inner voice within but you direct your intent towards listening to the Outside voice as well and slowly you begin to discern the difference. You just let it flow. You suspend judgment.

LATER you can go back (as many times as you like) and begin to discern what’s just your internal chatter and what’s Wisdom from the outside. There is a definite difference between those voices (!!!) and one of the key reasons for reading the scriptures is that voice is behind them and you gradually learn to recognize it.

Eventually you realize, that voice has been talking to your whole life and you just didn’t realize it.

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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

15 Comments on “The *OTHER* $10,000/hour skill”

  1. Perry! I loved your presentation! You really spoke to me! I needed to hear your message RIGHT NOW! Thank you, and please keep spreading the Good Word!

  2. Hey Perry,

    I am a free-thinker, which scripture will you recommend to start with and do we get it from a bible? Thanks!

  3. This was so good! My most amazing breakthroughs happened after I took time aside to just listen to God’s voice and realign my purpose with His for my life.
    This video reminded me to go back and make this a daily routine again.
    Thank you!

  4. By the way, my other values that come 3rd and after these are things like contribution, growth, adaptability, fun, celebration, gratitude, joy, passion, achievement, love, etc., ALL come after the values of being guided and healthy/healing (largely through forgiveness) So yeah, I think you’ve totally nailed it.

  5. FINALLY, someone in business who understands the importance of these things!!! Thank you for sharing this forgiveness exercise and I completely agree that 1) listening to our divine guidance is THE most important skill we can cultivate (in fact that’s the #1 value on my values list and I have several daily incantations tailored to being receptive and surrendering to my guidance) and 2) that forgiveness is probably the 2nd most important skill (my 2nd value is about healing, including forgiveness as well as an incantation that helps me forgive quickly and easily).

    Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mindvalley has said that his business skyrocketed after he had undergone a few days long special forgiveness+biofeedback program.

  6. Perry, your video convinced me to work on hearing from God, so I tried the exercise this morning.

    One thing I heard was to write to you. So, here it is …

    I know the “exercise” you discussed got edited out, and that you added a comment to the post explaining what to do.

    Still, my experience was one of uncertainty. Was I doing this right or just wasting time? I know you said to keep going so I’ll do that.

    From watching you, I believe that helping people hear from God is part of your ministry. If that’s right, there’s more for you to do.

    For me and others like me, we’re not practiced at hearing from God. So it’s uncomfortable and uncertain. Below is the list of all the questions I had:

    * “Find a story in the scriptures …” How do you pick a story? Where do you go to even find a suitable story?

    * “OK God, tell me about me.” “Or, tell me about them.” How do you decide between these two questions?

    * Don’t think, edit, question. Write whatever comes into your head. What if nothing comes? A total blank? How long do you wait?

    Jordan Peterson tells a story about getting a 3 year old to clean his room. The secret is to break down the tasks in a way that a 3 year old can understand.

    When it comes to hearing God, I guess I’m a 3 year old.

    One more Peterson reference. He has this self-authoring program that’s all about writing, and he coaches you to do it badly! Perhaps that’s the key here.

    What do you think?

    1. * “Find a story in the scriptures …” How do you pick a story? Where do you go to even find a suitable story?

      There are books that are mostly stories. The gospels, the book of Acts. Genesis, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. Just about any of those stories will do.

      * “OK God, tell me about me.” “Or, tell me about them.” How do you decide between these two questions?

      Flip a coin.

      * Don’t think, edit, question. Write whatever comes into your head. What if nothing comes? A total blank? How long do you wait?

      There is no such thing as “nothing comes.” You are always thinking something. Just write it. Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” defines this very very well.

      Especially at first, you do not worry whether you’re listening to yourself or God. As strange (and even blasphemous) as it may sound, it almost doesn’t matter. THE IMPORTANT PART IS THAT YOU LEARN TO LISTEN and especially smart intellectual types have a very hard time even listening to themselves. I spent the first 30 years of my life training myself to not listen to myself and just obey the rules of whoever was giving me orders. I had to unravel that.

      The way you do that is you learn to listen to the inner voice within but you direct your intent towards listening to the Outside voice as well and slowly you begin to discern the difference. You just let it flow. You suspend judgment.

      LATER you can go back (as many times as you like) and begin to discern what’s just your internal chatter and what’s Wisdom from the outside. There is a difference between those voices and one of the key reasons for reading the scriptures is that voice is behind them and you learn to recognize it.

      As for Jordan Peterson I think he’s the most valuable public intellectual since CS Lewis and I love what he is doing.

  7. Hi Perry,

    This is an interesting video.

    But this is not the whole version of your talk I presume.

    I think it’s on minute 24:10. Seems like you gave an exercise on how to hear from God or something to that effect. (Again, I presume)

    Will you please give the link to the whole talk?

    I listened to this video twice but you have not told in exact terms how to hear from God. Or may be you can explain how to do the renaissance time.

    This is a request, and please give the whole talk so that all can indeed develop the $10000 hour skill of hearing from God.

    I know that for a God’s child nothing happens by accident. I know that your video is sent to me from God at the crucial time in my life.

    My son was diagnosed as type 1 diabetic when he was 18 months old and we live in India. We are born again, spirit baptised Christians. We were devastated. We rode the whole guilt trip, crying and begging God for healing my son.

    Our church could not help us. Our relatives blamed me and my wife for my son’s sickness. We were totally desperate.

    God met me again. He spoke to me of what He accomplished for me and my son on the cross and I started praising God. That God healed my son. That He made my son a living testimony. That I don’t have to live in fear anymore.

    Now, I made it the mission in my life to teach people just like me how they too can lead a fear free life. I have launched facebook campaigns and that it’s not working is a story for another day.

    Can you please help me?

    thanks,
    Edward

    PS: My son is still on insulin shots but God delivered me from the fear of the disease and it’s aftermath. But soon, I know that he will not need his shots. I’m praising God for that day.

    1. Edward,

      Sorry the exercise was edited it out. It’s pretty simple. You find a story in the scriptures about someone – could be just about any story anywhere. You read it, and you write on a piece of paper:

      “OK God, tell me about me.”

      or:

      “OK God, tell me about them.”

      And then you GO.

      Do not think, do not edit, do not question, whatever comes into your head just right.

      Think of it maybe even like a house that’s been empty for six months and you turn on the water. Rust and gunk may come out and it might have burbles and bubbles but eventually will start flowing.

      I find this works a little easier in a group worship environment than by yourself, but either is OK.

      Thanks for telling a bit of your story.

  8. This message is *exactly* what I needed to hear, at this moment in my life. Thank you for posting this for me to see.

  9. WOW… what a powerful message Perry! I’ve done a version of your 20-minute morning routine at different points in my life, but not in the way you outlined it, and not with regularity.

    Thanks so much for the insight because I’m going to be much more intentional about this.

    When you asked about the moment when we felt closest to God, I immediately thought of when my son Brock was born in 2008.

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