What We Do for Others

Once upon a time, when someone wished to limit interaction with others, there was a wide and vast frontier which they could disappear into. When our nation was younger, those seeking the solitary life could live and hunt and fish and rarely see others. As our nation has grown, we find it harder and harder to find such an alternative viable.

Today it is hard to do anything without having some effect on someone else. This is true whether it was talking to your neighbors, working at a job, or blogging on the Internet. Today, it is difficult to even get to anything left of that frontier without having to stop for either gas or electricity.

The question then is what do I do for others? I try to keep to the rule of doing for others as I would like someone to do for me. There is a lot of good in this, and yet sometimes there is some wrong and it also. Why? Because others aren’t me. And sometimes, what is right for me would be entirely wrong for someone else.

To better interact with all those around us, we should really get to know them. We take time to learn how to use a TV set so we can get the TV to give us the channels we want. If we get a new vehicle, take a drive to understand how it handles. We bond with our pets and talk to our plants (sometimes.)  Why should we do less for the people in our lives?

We don’t start out meaning to be rude or ignorant of others. Quite often this happens when we are trying to do bigger things, and between stress and over-focus on a few wrong things, we forget to be kind to those around us. We are so focused on a goal that we ignore everyone else’s desires and concerns.

As humans, we are not really individuals. We are an amalgam of those around us and all the actions within our lives which affect us. The secret is, the better we treat others, the better we treat ourselves. Want to live long, be happy, feel satisfied? Treat yourself (and those around you) well.

Thank you for reading this today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.




Break Your Wall

Have you ever felt alone in the middle of a crowded room? You have something useful to share and no one to share it with. And, you feel stuck. You are stuck in a rut. That’s okay, I’ve been there, and I do know a way out.

Look around you. You have an opportunity for chance encounters everywhere. And yet, it’s hard. We do not know who’s who. We probably don’t know who could use what we have to share with them. We probably think that others are in their own world and we are right.

For protection, we build an invisible wall around ourselves, something to keep people out of our personal zone. We do this because we fear what they may think and we worry about what they may find if they come within it. I’m not saying you have to invite people into your deepest darkest secrets. Yet, people need to know those they are going to work with at a business casual level.

How do you do that? I would suggest a little remodeling. In other words, lessen the walls between you and the other person. Before you get the hard hat in the sledgehammer out, let’s set up a plan.

People like to be complimented. People also want to hear positive words. If you start off negative, this is what others could remember about you. You can start off by saying something nice about their tie, or you like their glasses, or someone is wearing a beautiful pendant. Or you can say something nice about the location or that so many people came to the event. Introduce yourself and shake their hand. Asked them a question about themselves. What do they do? Have they been to something like this before? Or some other topic. Keep everything positive. Stay casual, and don’t appear too pushy.

Not everyone will want to share, yet more people than you think will be happy to talk and are grateful to speak to someone for a few minutes. Why? You have just helped them to ease the restrictions on their invisible wall. If you have not done this before, just be casual, do not try to sell them anything. If asked, tell them about the things you’re working on, keeping it brief and positive.

If they seem interested, invite them out for a cup of coffee at a convenient coffee shop sometime in the next week. You want to buy the person a cup of something to drink and talk with them. One thought to remember, is that if you have something good, you want to share with your friends. What you doing here is making friends. Also, you are showing generosity which is an essential trait in friendship.

I have seen this done on an airplane jetway, in a room with 250 business people, and a small gathering of eight or 10 people, at a coworking center and many other places. Slightly modified you can do the same thing on a blog. You can do it on a social media site. The whole idea is, there are 7 billion of us. People are everywhere. All we have to do is remove the invisible walls.