Updated: May 21, 2020
Part 1 of 4
Learning never goes out of style
Meaningful connection is what we so desperately crave. It is often the hardest gap we face in our lives. We know now from over a decade of research that we are hardwired for connection. The curiosity becomes - if we are hardwired for it, why does it feel so damn hard?
There are many different responses to this depending on who you talk to – it comes down to perspective. This is part one of mine.
It is time to learn. Just like you would master any other craft or skill; tools for connection must be learned, experimented, practiced, and refined with each unique relationship. So, if we are hardwired for connection, I suppose we just need to walk over and turn on the light. But, before you start or continue your travels, let me tell you that there are formulas and strategies for effective connection. I do not have to tell you (but I will anyway) it is not easy. Most things worthwhile aren’t. It is a paradox. It is complex and difficult yes, but it is also one of the most useful learning adventures – and the bravest.
Collect the data. Read books, blogs, magazines, short articles that draw your interest. Make them messy, highlight what resonates with you and take notes. Gather some qualitative data. That is, talk and listen to people about their experiences. This includes family, friends, podcasts, and people who you look up to but (even more importantly) people that you don’t – this is equally valuable. Then journal about it, and process it with people you trust or a mental health professional. You can practice connecting the dots and gather insight. Insight helps you make patterns and connections, string the data together, make sense and meaning to pave the path in applying it to your life.
The primary goal at this stage is to learn about connection. Learning is step 1 toward turning the light on (or at least making it brighter) – and brighter is what the world needs right now.