“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.
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.
No impactful decision comes without contemplation, evaluation of opportunity costs, and weighing pros and cons. It consumes even more energy when it’s for the first time. I think of these as thresholds – like through a door. The physical doors in our life can play tricks on us. We’ve all walked into a room and immediately forgotten our thoughts or why we walked in there the first place. Just the same, the metaphorical doors can have the same effect. You can scheme up a hundred possibilities but no matter how many practice rounds you take, it never goes exactly like you’d imagine after you stepped through. Once you’re in the arena, emotions take over rationale and you’ve forgotten it all. Luckily, understanding this truth is an amazing first step.
I separate these types of situations into two different terms. Experience thresholds, physically participating in an event for the first time, and relationship thresholds, the first few conversations with someone new. You can only do something new once while each relationship is unique.
Gratitude. As cliché as this word can be, especially around holidays, very few practice it regularly. Yet, taking time to reflect on what’s going well allows us to be in the present and combats the negativity so prevalent in our news and social media. However, expressing gratitude can feel awkward and uncomfortable in the workplace.