In most situations in life I believe we react rather than act, at least that’s the way that I’ve experienced the world. One of the more interesting parts of this strategy is that many times our reactions are opposite of the actions that will get us the outcome that we desire. It’s almost like we are put on this planet with the natural instinct to react and our project in life is to stop reacting and start consciously acting, doing things that will get us the desired results that we want, rather reacting and engaging in drama. The funniest part is this is what I’ve been teaching our 17 year old daughter for the past few years, yet I find myself living out the same challenges.
In my personal life these opportunities are easy to spot. How we relate to our children, how we relate to our spouse, how we relate to our parents and siblings and friends. Most of our relationships seem to be on autopilot. We react the way that we are instinctively conditioned from birth until we realize that it’s not really working anymore. The same thing happens with business. We do things that bring us some results yet we think that if something works once than we keep using that strategy. For me, one thing that I did for most of my career is to network like crazy. I was very focused on meeting as many people as possible and pushing relationships at an unnatural speed. If I met someone that I thought I wanted to do business with I didn’t allow the relationship to mature naturally.
Over the past 2 years of starting from scratch here in San Diego, I did a hard court press since I arrived back from our global travels. I met with as many people as possible and told my story and listened to theirs. My story resonated with a handful of people and I continue to be friends with many of those people to this day. I started to filter out who I spent time with and why, the only challenge is that I was pushing. I believed that the more I pushed, the more relationships I looked to establish, the better. It’s now over 2 years since this journey started and the momentum is starting to shift and I’ve slowed down immensely on the pushing and starting to let things come to me and just enjoying the interactions with people more and more. I’m really showing up with a desire to see where things go rather than a set agenda.
This brings me to an interesting story from a recent trip to Mexico. I was staying at a friends trailer down by the beach and the community where I was staying was pretty quiet with only a few people around. I met one couple who have a beautiful little home overlooking the ocean and ended up joining them for dinner. Upon my return I noticed a man sitting by a fire just a few houses away. After parking my car I decided to head over to say hello. It turns out that the gentleman by the fire was living a very parallel life to me in so many ways. Our conversation was effortless and our points of interaction were amazing. We talked for almost 2 hours and it could have lasted so much more. I believe that this can happen all the time, that the people we’re supposed to meet are right in front of us we just need to keep our eyes open and be available.
This has been a phenomenal journey in so many ways, yet not even close to how I expected it to be. I continue to be amazed by people I expected nothing from and continue to see the opportunity in the smallest of places. Letting relationships breath and evolve while looking to be as present as possible with people I meet for the first time and those I’ve known for years. It might sound funny, but it seems to be so much easier to be present with people we meet for the first time. Once we know someone for a while we seem to assume what they’re going to say and start to tune them out. This is definitely something that I know that I need to work on personally.
To a life well lived!
2 thoughts on “The Opposite”
October 5, 2017 at 7:46 am
Great post- you’re so honest. I love that you met someone in Mexico by the fire and connected with them. How YOU! And how awesome!
October 6, 2017 at 8:11 am
This really resonates with me. Especially the ending regarding people we meet for the first time. I would go one step further, at least in my case — people I meet online who are total strangers to me seem to be the most natural ones to confide in and go deep with, rather than typical, everyday meaningless small talk. There’s something about the complete anonymity found on the World Wide Web (and the fresh, clean slate!) that allows more vulnerability. Thanks for posting this!