It’s like a keystone habit but for moments.
A keystone habit is a term created by Charles Duhigg that was featured in his book The Power of Habit, in Duhiggs words it is ‘small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives’.
But what if that could be applied to moments that we experience.
Sometimes all it takes is a conversation to create a shift in perspective and if you follow that feeling it could end up changing your life for the better.
Imagine you’re pretty frustrated and uninspired by life then one day you meet someone and have a conversation about aspirations that moves you. So much so that you’re driven to make changes like start a project, spend more time with friends, make time for the people you live, go for that promotion at work, volunteer or pick up a hobby you’ve been meaning to try.
Chances are you have at least one conversation everyday so that perspective shifting moment could come at any time. However, it’s also important to not be too reliant on external factors in order to drive change in your life.
If you’re not happy with where you’re at you probably have some idea (no matter how vague) of the way you’d actually things to be.
You don’t need a stranger to prompt change in your life.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, talking helps.
When used correctly it’s an excellent tool for self exploration where you can walk away from conversations and gain insight into aspects of yourself you hadn’t yet uncovered.
The beauty of it is that you don’t have to even need talking about the thing. However, you do have to be open and vulnerable to allow things to rise to the surface.
Yes, it might feel scary or uncomfortable but you don’t have to hold onto those feelings.
Do it, because you believe that by exploring your mind it’ll help you figure some things out and that might lead to a breakthrough.
For some people there are certain conversations they’d rather not have.
It’s the difficult ones that we avoid where we have to be vulnerable. And maybe you get that swirly feeling in your stomach that you take as a sign not to go through those conversations.
But when you avoid them all that stuff just builds up and eventually comes out in unideal ways. It’s like not repairing a crack in a wall and all of a sudden the wall caves in.
In these situations you have to be responsible and admit that you’re the one that avoided the very thing you needed to do.
And that’s okay at least you know for next time. The conversations you’re afraid to have are difficult but necessary but like all life situations.
We can’t go over it.
We can’t go under it.
We’ve got to go through it!
From the 1989 children’s book We’re going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen
When you think of networking what comes to mind?
For me it used to be fancy people in fancy clothing making conversation with the right people.
Everyone would act important even if they didn’t believe it and being the person that everyone wanted to talk to was a signal to the rest of the room that yes you were really a somebody, not just a pretender.
But one morning whilst making my lunch for work, I started thinking about all the people I’ve met over the last 12 months and my growing collection of business cards.
I realised that over the past year or so I’d been networking accidentally. I’ve met people starting businesses, brand owners, fellow bloggers, photographers, Web designers and other creatives.
When you have an idea in your head of how something should look or how it’s supposed to be, chances are you might miss it when it happens.
What do you say when someone totally surprises you with their words and actions?
When they are generous and kind in ways that they don’t need to be, when they go above and beyond what they’re required to do.
I almost overlooked that it would have taken this person effort and care to handle the situation the way that they did.
I was too busy walking around with my hands in my pockets, refusing to be vulnerable despite this person creating the ideal setting for me to do so.
But I later realised that the way I had acted was a little ungrateful and it had tainted the whole interaction.
I really wish I’d had simply said ‘Thank you for trying!’
Have you ever wanted to say something but not known how to put it into words so you ended up saying nothing.
Well I’m learning that in some cases you might as well say it because the alternative is harbouring frustration over words unspoken and that is something that never feels good.
It’s not about giving someone a piece of your mind it’s about being honest with yourself about how you feel and being okay with expressing that.
It’s okay to say ‘I know you may not have had bad intentions, but I don’t like it when you x, y, z.’
Saying that would be major for someone like me who usually takes the I ain’t gonna let nothing bother me stance whilst said thing is bothering me a whole lot.
Something insignificant yet so significant is a conversation between strangers on the train.
It’s mood changing, not from happy to sad or vice versa. But it adds something to your day when you can casually chat to someone you don’t know and will perhaps never see again.
It’s a mutual thing too because despite having never met the person there’s a sense of knowing that you’re both willing to override social norms and just talk to each other.