When we are consumed with our own thoughts, we fail to draw out the concerns or insights of others. (John Piper, author)

Author Dale Carnegie wrote that to influence others you need to put yourself in their place and try to think their thoughts. How is that possible when, as Piper suggests, our minds are focused on ourselves? It may be difficult, but if we are to be of help and encouragement to anyone else, we must learn to listen carefully and try to “walk in their shoes.” 

 [God] comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (2 Corinthians 1:4)