In any planned first encounter, it can be highly important to spend some amount of time preparing. This can be true on a first date, an interview for a job, a podcast interview, etc.
First impressions are everything as they say. In our world, as it exists today, not preparing is lazy.
Years ago it was perfectly acceptable to take this approach because it might have been uber-difficult to search for any information. The people who went above and beyond and did some reconnaissance work prior often had the upper hand.
There is so much information available that starting at “square one” makes the person receiving our message or question feel like we don’t care as much. Like we didn’t put any work into this relationship. Like we are just treating them like another number.
That doesn’t fly anymore. We know less is more. High-quality conversations with high-quality people are what we are striving for.
Next time, remember that the more we are prepared with knowledge on the person, company, or otherwise, we are getting a head start to help build confidence, connection, and respect on a much deeper level with the person on the other side.
And who knows, maybe they prepared for the conversation with you, too.
There are a few definitions of the word but I’d lean toward what the masses would articulate as weird and that is by using another word; Different.
That’s what kids mean when they say something is weird. They mean they don’t understand it, it’s new, it’s unlike anything they’ve seen before. It’s different.
Kids generally tell it like it is. They speak their mind as the stream of consciousness flows. And that should inform us of something.
Weird isn’t bad, it’s just different.
We should consider our “weirdness” a gift we can share with the world and look upon it as a benefit.
Have you ever watched a Sci-Fi Movie or Show where everyone dresses the exact same and basically looks the same? Can we even imagine how boring and limiting that must be? We can’t express ourselves, we can’t find people who share our values or our interests, we can’t find our tribe to belong to. To me, that seems like a sad way to go about living.
When we truly discover ourselves, find self-love, and detach away from the outside noise we can start to find where we belong. We can do the things that make us feel good, bring us joy, and allow us to express ourselves. We can find belonging with people who accept us for who we are and what we bring to the table. It doesn’t mean someone has to always agree with us or won’t challenge us but it’s someone who is there to be supportive and generous with their time and effort in the relationship.
We should consider changing our perspective on what weird is and why it’s important. The problem we see with the world is that we want everyone to have our weirdness and think like us and if they don’t it must mean there is something wrong with them.
Deep down we really know that’s not true.
Deep down we know it’s an “us” issue and not a “them”.
Deep down we still have work to do.
They may not be the people you connect with or form a strong bond with but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have their own voice. Acceptance of others and gaining perspective on how others may think, feel, and act as the first big step to growth and being comfortable with who you are and knowing it’s okay if others aren’t exactly the same way.
I’m weird and I think being your own kind of weird is really cool.
We might convince ourselves that the next “life hack” or shortcut will get us to the next level quicker or that speeding up and working harder will be the key to our success.
I’m not sure that is entirely true.
Have you ever been driving and seen someone fly by you, weave in and out of cars, and get in what appears to be the fastest lane only to end up right next to you at the next stoplight? Or, even worse, those actions to maneuver cost themselves much more by getting into an accident.
We have to understand ourselves and where our “north star” is pointing us to help set the tone for our daily work and future plans. Just because others appear to be going faster or are more accomplished doesn’t mean we have to be doing the same thing they are.
The quicker that we accept that consistent work over an extended period of time is what ultimately drives us to a happier and more fulfilling life, the sooner we can avoid the pitfalls of cutting corners and trying to make ourselves feel like we are accomplishing things. In reality, it may be holding us back from the generous work we really want to be focusing on and putting out into the world.
Anyone that strives for any sort of happiness or a life of fulfillment, whatever that means for you, has to go through the hard struggle that it never comes easy and it also never comes fast.
We are trained to set goals for ourselves and visions of the future, which can be good in a way. But, if we are not careful, they can also become a detriment to our daily practice and consistency.
We can get so focused on the big picture and feel like we are so far away from it that it can actually discourage us from making progress. We might feel that a small project we are doing today isn’t as important so we put it off. Hours turn into days, days into weeks, weeks into months. We never actually get around to do that thing.
Trying to achieve a big dream is like cutting the grass on a football field with a pair of kids’ scissors. You can grind through a day and not make any headway at all. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t working.
Each obstacle we run into, each moment of despair, each roadblock are all opportunities to get creative and look at the problem in a new way, maybe a different way than we’ve ever considered. This enlightenment could be the very catalyst that creates a new path of learning and propels us forward more quickly than before.
It’s rarely the accomplishments that advance us the most. We need to get comfortable with riding on the struggle bus and relish all of the opportunities of learning that come with that process.
Remember, it’s not the destination but the path that got us there that ends up being the most rewarding.
Blocking out the noise and going to do what we feel compelled to do sounds easier said than done at times. We often hear the opinions of others and let that in some way give us a false start and second guess the endeavors or ideas we want to go tackle.
Think about all the times people told us “You can’t do that” and then we proved them right. In those moments, trusting what we believe is best for us might have been the better decision.
How come we took their thoughts as gospel and we neglected our own?
You rarely see this with kids and I think we should all strive to be like nine-year-olds again where we listen to what other people are telling us we should do and then we go do the thing we want to do instead.
We are going to gain some valuable lessons and experiences anyways, they might as well be on our own terms.
What is the most important thing on your to-do list that you want to complete today?
Shut everything else down and put some focused effort to get it off your list as soon as you can. The longer you wait into the day the more distractions appear that prevent you from finishing this critical work. Urgent items that tend to not even be important will creep up. Time will be robbed from your day.
Once that critical task is complete you’ll feel energized and that a huge weight was taken off your shoulders. This will improve your attitude and motivate you to tackle other important tasks.
Don’t let “Tomorrow” become your crutch as to why something never got completed today.
When it comes to productivity, there isn’t much better than time blocking. This technique can help keep us on track to complete the work we know we’d like to get done.
Resistance to these types of activities can help us become distracted, or worse yet, drop the task altogether for a less meaningful but more urgent one.
We have to be prepared that these things will happen regularly and combat them with specific documentation of when we will get our project done. If it’s not scheduled it almost certainly won’t get done on time. Whatever it might be, chances are it is important to an idea or plan we’ve developed to help us at an unforeseen time in the future.
Help that future self out by recognizing the important work we must get done today and schedule it out on the calendar in advance.
Then, we must hold ourselves accountable. Turn off the phones, limit the noise, and get focused on the task at hand.
If we don’t, we’ll get down the road and be filled with regret for not finishing and low confidence in our ability to get things done that are important to us.
By building a great habit of time blocking, we’ll be much more prepared for the road ahead. We’ll be grateful that we stuck through the resistance to complete the project, no matter how small, because we had the foresight that this small step was going to lead us to a grander outcome in the long run.
If It’s Not Scheduled It Won’t Get DoneBrian Ondrako2021-08-08T11:33:48-04:00
Lonely and Alone. These are two completely different things yet they often get confused with one another.
Lonely can be a state of depression and can come about when we need others to make us feel complete and validate our worth. We can get depressed if we feel we are not being included and often will conjure up unjustified ideas of why or how we are being mistreated by being left out.
Being alone can be serene. It can be a time we use to break away from the noise and look inward. Where we reflect on the present moment and level set. Where we practice self-love and put ourselves top of mind over others.
The bridge getting us from being lonely to loving being alone is paved with a lot of heartaches. There are a lot of self-limiting beliefs and childhood ideals that we often have to acknowledge and overcome. If we are willing to do the work of self-reflection we’ll find we get to a place where we are comfortable being alone and start to seek these moments out more frequently.
They become happy places for us where they used to cause pain.
They become our getaway from a noisy and frantic world.
They become an island we want to visit more often.
Kids learn repeatable patterns through practice and experiences. Their characteristics, habits, skill development, and values are shaped by these experiences.
It’s done through reading and imagining, through play, through creating, through testing.
One of the neat things as you observe this is there are minimal to no instructions. Kids correct course most of the time and in some cases learn the hard way when they don’t. Those life lessons stick with us forever and sometimes we even have the scars to remind us.
But rarely, if ever, do they learn by being told something. When it comes to deep learning, we need to let them experience it themselves, think openly, and be challenged.
The best teachers in the world do this not by giving the answers but by asking the right questions.
The next time your child asks a question you know the answer to don’t be in such a hurry to answer it. Instead, return serve with a simple question like “What do you think?” or “Why do you think it’s like that?” or anything around this questioning.
Although it may be simple to you, watch their brain rev up as they try to come up with an answer.
You’ll be amazed by the imagination they have through the answers they come up with and they might shock you with their perspective.
Who knows, It might open up additional questions and dialogue that might fuel their passion and spark their curiosity to explore more.
In the end, that’s the fun part of learning anyways.