Last week I found this quote on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Instagram feed:
“Make it happen. Shock every single one of them.”
Think about it. What if we went through our day and thought how am I going to shock someone today? Much of the time we try to just make it through the day, but what if we raised the bar and made things happen? What if we went into each meeting or presentation and were completely focused and wowed folks because we pulled it off? What if we did the impossible? Or maybe it is not even impossible — maybe it is just something that left a wow factor. It could be the smallest, slightest moment that left a mark and was remembered.
The funny thing is the moments that are remembered are often the ones that are actually easy and often free to pull off. You might have made an effort to actually listen and remember key details from someone’s life. You asked about it the next time you see that individual. So easy, and just requires pure listening, and yet it has such an impact. I always notice when someone has taken the time to get to know me and then later (sometimes even months later) remembers a piece of our conversation. I try to do the same to others, but it is hard when you go from meeting to meeting all day. And yet, doing so shows true connection, relationship building, and care.
I am a get-it-done woman. I rarely let anything stand in my way. As Chris would say to me, “There is no changing your mind when you have made a decision you are going to do something.” He is right. I like to approach life with conviction, persistence, and, as I often say, by sucking the life out of each day. I want to bring that same zeal when shocking and wowing others. Think of all the times you have been wowed by amazing customer service, by friends and family who surprise you, or a stranger that does a random act of kindness. The key ingredient: someone showing you they care.
At the end of the day we all just want to be loved. We do. I think you are crazy if you do not agree with me. Wanting to feel loved is the cantankerous colleague that never seems to be happy and wants to stir the pot without realizing it. They just want to be heard. Being heard is a form of love. It is the family member or friend that calls attention to themselves (maybe without realizing it) because deep down they just want attention. They want to feel loved.
Often we do not know how to verbalize the love that we want in our life. We assume that others will know how to love us in the way we want to be loved. And yet, is that even possible? If we do not tell others how we most feel loved, how will they ever know? We have to find a way to tell them (that is if we care to feel their love – we might not think it is worth the effort). Recently I came across this Marianne Williamson quote:
“The meaning of life is to love and be loved. To be the light that casts out all darkness. To replace fear with love and remove the suffering of the world.”
The first line is all that matters. To love and be loved – is the meaning of life. It is so true. When we get into an argument with our spouse or friend and we are angry, often it is because we felt ignored, not heard, and thus not loved. If we feel left out of an adventure with friends we may feel unloved by them. The list goes on, but it always circles back to being loved.
If we all focused more on how we best receive love and share that with others, we might just find that we feel loved. If we focused more on how those we love most feel loved and we respond in that way, they just might feel more loved. When you look at it like that it feels simple. Right?
I love to share good things. It feels wrong to me to keep them to myself. I wrote a blog post in December titled: “How do you fascinate?” that shared ideas from the book: “How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination” by Sally Hogshead. I have now had more time to process and contemplate this book and the personality test that is included in this 400+ page book. Let me share the turn of events. I took the test and shared my interest in this book with a co-worker. They in turn were curious and found a link online to take the test for free. It spread quickly with my team at work. We were intrigued, fascinated (no pun intended), and learned a bit more about ourselves.
You might be thinking, rah, rah, another personality test. It is, and it isn’t. I have read the 400+ page book. I have studied the 49 different results. This is not just a personality test for me. It is a new way of looking at myself and others. Why? Well the premise of her book is that we are 99% boring and 1% fascinating. The results of the test are meant to tell you more about your 1%. That 1% is what the world sees when they see you.
Did you take it? I have more to share, but it might make more sense after you have taken the quiz. I promise it only takes a few minutes. Done? Okay, so here I go. My results took me a while to process. I was shy about it. I thought, really? This is how people see me? Then, I embraced it. You have an archetype that is made up of a first and second advantage, and then a dormant advantage. Your advantages are how you communicate.
My archetype: The Maestro (Ambitious, Focused, Confident, Uncompromising, Formidable) My first advantage: Power – You lead with command (Confident, Goal-Oriented, Decisive) My second advantage: Prestige – You earn respect with higher standards (Ambitious, Results Oriented, Respected) My dormant advantage: Mystique – You communicate with substance (Which means hiding my emotions or opinions drains me.)
While I struggled with my results, or maybe was a bit shocked, I am everything the adjectives describe. Relentless to make things happen, focused on the goal, and all with excellence leading the way (I have a hard time completing anything that does not meet my high expectations).
Did you just learn a lot about me? I am curious what your results are – leave a note in the comments section with your results and how you feel about them.
I am a fan of activity. We sit too much. We watch television, surf the Internet, and generally have become less mobile in recent years. I am not one that is comfortable sitting for long periods of time. I need to move. So when I saw that schools are utilizing standing desks, I thought: “What a great idea.” The article is titled: “Standing Desks Are Coming To Schools, To Cure Obesity And Increase Attention Spans” and it is brilliant that the focus is on obesity and attention spans.
I can remember the strange desks we had a school. Either you had one that had a top that pulled up (and sometimes would easily fall back down on your hand or your head). The base was made of metal, and the top part was made of wood. The other variation we had in my school was also wood + metal, but the desktop did not lift up, rather there was almost a cove/drawer that did not move and was open where you kept all your supplies. I think if I had a choice looking back I would take the more lethal variety of the open top desk. It allowed you to find things more easily, even if it sometimes felt like a hatchet.
In any case, neither desk did anything to help with obesity or attention spans which is why I love the idea of having kids stand. Whether for the attention span aspect of being able to focus more readily or to learn how to sit still, even if it means it is happening while standing. I wonder how many elementary school boys can stand long enough to make it through a class each day? However, if they can pass the test, maybe that is amazing progress for other kids.
Or you can take it to an entirely new level. with this Fast Company article titled: “This School Has Bikes Instead Of Desks–And It Turns Out That’s A Better Way To Learn.” Maybe we can have an amalgamation of both standing desks and bikes to add some variety. Well, actually mostly all for variety. I agree with the article, with physical education and recess being cut either entirely or significantly, maybe these are the new options for maintaining activity at schools?
A more focused and active child, what is not to love? What do you think?
Last night I responded to an email that had been in my inbox for a few weeks. I apologized for not responding for so long, yet I have to say it is normal for me to do that. Am I horrible friend? Maybe. Or I just care about sending a focused, well thought out response? Yes, yes, yes. I feel like when I finally have quiet time to respond, I want to make sure that I truly focus on that individual. Almost as though I am sitting right across from them at a table in a coffee shop, or cozy on a couch (depending on how close you are to said individual).
I want to give their message my undivided attention. I answer their questions, check in on life, and give an update on my world. What is it that makes me do this? I care that much. Maybe it was so many years of emails in my past work life, but I think about the effort I put into a message, and I think about the person on the receiving end, hoping they feel cared for by having contact with me. Now, do not worry, I am not an angel, nor am I trying to paint a picture of goodness. I merely am sharing because I think it is a way to care for someone in this crazy, fast, digital age.
So if you write shorter emails with minimal questions you will probably hear back from me quicker. If we have a more involved conversation via email, and I do not have focused windows of time to get back to you, then you might have to wait for an answer, but you will know that when I respond to you, it will be all about you. Focused. Present.
Do you think about that when you respond to emails? Do you just try to be done and move on to your next task, or do you really focus on the other person?