You know those moments where something hits you…like a new idea or when you finally get something or solve something?
I don’t know about you but those moments effing rock (I like using the F word but I feel I should curb it a little bit), as good as sex in my mind. Bizarre? Possibly, but think about it; remember how excited you got when you finally grasped something that you had been working your ass off toward understanding? Have you ever watched a toddler or young kid figure something out and watch them get crazy excited?
Those moments are miraculous, but the problem is that as we get older we don’t care about those moments unless they’re related to making more money. Most people do not go through life trying to become better human beings, instead we do all we can to maintain our consistently humdrum lives and points of view. We’re not necessarily afraid of the light bulb being turned on but we also don’t seem to seek it out.
My light bulb turned on!
I was thinking about a certain aspect of how we are with other people and how we interact and communicate with them. So often when you and I sit in a room and discuss a topic my only goal is to have you understand me, and more often than not that is your same goal too…so the conversation is literally dead before it starts. We are so dead set on getting our point across that we don’t even bother to think about listening to and actually attempting to understand what the other person is trying to say.
When my wife and I are disagreeing over something we end up explaining what the other person is doing wrong and the things that irritate us about the other. What’s the point? My light bulb went on when I realized that it doesn’t matter what she does, it’s how I react to and perceive what she does. It’s okay if she does Thing A that drives me nuts, I shouldn’t be trying to change her; I should instead be trying to change myself and how I deal with Thing A especially when Thing A is “no big deal”.
Each of these types of situations are similar in that they have to do with communicating and how we get it so wrong so much of the time. This has been a recent light bulb moment for me…if we can get our point across respectfully and then focus on what the other person is saying and understand it we will get so much more out of it. Part of good communication is understanding that you don’t know everything, that you aren’t the center of attention, and that the other person’s point is just as important as yours.
Words like domineering and close minded come to mind in scenarios in which we care more about getting our point across than we do about understanding someone else’s point. What if someone else was right but we’re to pig headed to hear it or realize it? What if someone else other than you has an informed opinion about something? Even in matters of communication we have choices and we can own those situations by how we make others feel and how we interact with them.
So goes life eh?
So I guess the morale of this story is that I’m glad my light bulb still turns on, it still excites me to not only want to learn but actually follow through and learn. This light bulb was all about focusing on me…who I am and how I am in different situations and circumstances while interacting with others. I don’t always need to have a point and I don’t always need to beat my point into someone else’s brain. The goal is to focus on what I can do to make myself a better communicator rather than point out the flaws of other people…I don’t remember a time in my life where telling someone all about their flaws got me anywhere positive.
Rather than spending time trying to change and convert others, focus on changing and converting yourself into something that people will respect and want to be around…that is what changes the playing field.