>> January 15, 2020
>> Blog Post #11
Went back to school tonight. They were having a small classroom type of workshop on the “Art of Conversation”.
I’m a shy person. Not the kind to break the ice effortlessly when surrounded by a crowd of unknown people. Like a lot of shy people, I’ve often looked at those who make it seem easy with envy. So, I thought the topic might be interesting and I decided to push myself a little.
#1 push yourself out of your comfort zone
Another benefit of doing this is to network. Now “networking” is a word that I have grown to hate. To me it carries, in most contexts, a negative connotation. What was once a perfectly normal word with no positive or negative connotation has become sullied by some sort of utilitarian, “let’s all pretend to be friendly to advance” kind of vibe. Get on Linkedin and network makes me want to….
But I saw just a few years ago the tremendous benefit of going out more and meeting new people with no specific plan in mind. New faces, different conversations, ideas, creativity. It really got me started on my whole research into Bitcoin. And I stayed and met people because I genuinely cared. I wasn’t playing a part or making any effort to impress. In doing so I’ve grown my network.
So, networking and networking are two different things. The difference is about how genuine and true to yourself you are in the process.
#2 be true to yourself
So I went to the event, thinking that a relatively interesting topic, surrounded by people I didn’t know but who were probably in the mindset of looking for something different from their everyday life might lead in to potentially interesting encounters.
As it turns out, it did not.
The event was pretty interesting and at least I wasn’t bored. I pushed myself to go, which is positive. I picked something that was out of my comfort zone, which I think is a good way of me kicking myself in the butt a little – never a bad thing. The last beneficial element was that I introduced some randomness in my life.
I often feel that so many of the good things in my life owe so much to luck, that one of my goals overall is to introduce more randomness in my life. You don’t do that by sitting at home. You do that by meeting people in different places at different times and engaging in conversations. Once in a while magic happens. Whether it’s creativity, a new project, something you learn, odds are it was not purposely planned beforehand.
That tonight did not turn out exceptionally well is the norm. I’m glad I went, as by doing so I feel I’m increasing my odds of good things happening to me in the future.
#3 Randomness is good for you – look for it.
I’ll finish this off by just highlighting one aspect of the event which I thought about a little on my drive home. The woman leading the workshop gave all sorts of advice on how to have better conversations. One of them was to let go of some of your fears, to reveal yourself a little more for who you are. I know I haven’t always done that, but I believe it is probably something I should try to work on a little more.
Good things probably happen more often when you put a little more of your hopes, dreams and values out there.
#4 Fear not
There’s a little swagger about me as I see myself approaching my life with this outlook.