“The great enemy of communication, we find, is the illusion of it. We have talked enough; but we have not listened.” – William H. Whyte
I could end this post there, these words reverberating with such clarity that it is worthy of both the beginning and the end. Fortunately, I hope for you and me being a purveyor of words, I wish to expound on it.
If I were to ask you who knows you best or who you always confide in, who would you name? Would it be your significant other? Perhaps your best friend or a parent? It could be a certain four-legged member of your family with the largest listening ears. I know my mutt has heard many of my own monologues. Whoever came to mind, I can say it is incorrect.
We confide the most in the one person who we’re stuck with. Ourselves. Mostly left unsaid, our self-talk can dictate our mood and confidence and repeated self-talk, over time, becomes not just inner ramblings but how we generally view ourselves. Said differently, what our self-worth is.
For what it’s worth, pun intended, we’re all indispensable. In the physical sense, you are made of matter and therefore you matter in the metaphorical sense. Being told you matter can give us a shot of confidence for a time but for the feeling to be perpetual, you need to wholly believe it so much that when you’re on the precipice of a downward spiral, you can pull yourself back with your own self-talk.
I’m on the younger end of the millennial generation so I feel that I have a right to speak freely about my own people. There’s no denying that we are the generation of technology. From Windows ’95 and its eerie theme song of dial up to Google, an infinite encyclopedia at our fingertips to Apple’s release of the iPhone. With these society shifting innovations, we’re mere taps from anything we want within seconds forcing a belief that we can DO anything we want within seconds. Millennials quickly became self-proclaimed experts at multi-tasking. Unfortunately, I’ve only witnessed one singular output from it all – distraction.
I spent a couple days last week not enjoying them. I contracted the common cold and I, being a man, turned into a snot-nosed, drawly zombie who’s thirst is quenched only by at least 64oz of orange juice. Three days later I returned to being human. Women seem to have this resilience to work through colds or for them, more aptly named inconveniences. They somehow shrug them off while the germs slowly decay over time all while maintaining their fullest dignity. Conversely my dignity is reduced to carrying a tissue box as an accessory. This isn’t however, a comparison between sexes. It’s about another affliction entirely that befell me during those two arduous days. Time Warp.
I’ve previously discussed the importance of keeping wants in parallel with needs. With a constant barrage of needs in our lives, it might be difficult to perceive how one could bring our wants up to par. Instead, what if we could reduce our needs? What if, to one thing today, you had said no?
What No is and What it Should be
Most of us shrink when reading that last sentence. We’ve been conformed to believe the word is negative, forbidden, and frowned upon. I want to change it to be empowering, taking back control, and committing to your well-being. When you tell someone no you’re prohibiting an action or call to action. Yet, when a request comes to us, despite our internal desires to say no we say yes. Later confiding to others that “This is dumb, I don’t have the time and I don’t want to do it.” What then, drives our almost immediate inclination to agree?