Connection can be that momentary ‘zing’ you feel when you’re introduced to someone new.
It can be just a glance, your eyes holding theirs and theirs holding yours. It can be a smile given to a lonely soul at a bus stop. …or to a child waving out of the back window of a car. It’s the hello you get from the barista at your local coffee shop, the nod of recognition as you walk past someone on the beach.
Connection can be light – just a moment – a simple recognition of another human, an acknowledgment that we’re all in this together.
It’s finding common ground …… at some level, I see you….and you see me
And sometimes, the connection has a deeper resonance, like the peal of a temple bell, it stretches out……it ripples. These are the connections we choose to deepen. To invest more time and energy into.
Then, the connection shifts from just a moment to something potentially moment-ous.
A conversation that goes on all night with someone you’ve just met…..and who goes on to become someone you’ve known forever. Something shifts in the energy between you. You begin to make tentative bids to each other – ask questions, offer a perspective, and share something about yourself.
Connection evolves and grows into not just ‘seeing’ someone, but hearing, understanding them and valuing them, too.
These are the connections that change our lives.
YOUR CONNECTIONS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
Our connections – light and deep – remind us that we are one of many, that we are part of something bigger. They keep us connected to our community and to the world around us.
Ultimately, our connections are the key to our quality of life.
So why do some of us seem to be better at connection than others? Are some of us naturals, destined for a life of friendship and fun, while others have to accept that they have just been dealt a ‘bad hand’?
The short answer is no. The longer answer is whatever you believe about yourself, and your ability to connect with others is just that – a belief. Connection is a skill that can be learned, like anything else.
And the first place we learn it is in our families.
IT’S A FAMILY THING
Think about how much you learned from your family, and if you’re a parent, just think about the hours you invest in the development of your child. (I can assure you I never had ‘become a hockey mum’ on my Bucket List, but there I am, every Wednesday and Saturday, happily watching my son play hockey!).
We learn our style of connection from our families. Watching our parents and siblings interact with each other, with us, and with other people, wired our beliefs about connection, our confidence in connecting with others and our competence (or skills).
As a result, we might classify ourselves as an ‘introvert’ or ‘extrovert’. We might talk to strangers in the street (thanks Mum!) or prefer not to.
We might easily trust others, or find it more difficult to trust.
We might believe we’re just not a ‘people person’.
We might believe being lonely is the norm and all that we can expect.
Whatever you BELIEVE, the reality is, connection is a necessity for human happiness and we’re capable of mastering it. Our families may have been our first teachers, but we are our future teachers.
We decide what we prioritise each day, and I urge you to start making connection a priority.
Here’s why. I have coached a lot of people over the past fifteen years, many of them Board Directors, CEO’s and MD’s, at the top of their game – at the top of the food chain – and one of the things they had in common was that they were lonely, and wished they had more people they could trust and depend upon.
We’ve been taught it’s normal to live this way – often isolated- doing it ‘all by ourselves. We’re told that it’s ‘lonely at the top’, that we should compete to ‘get ahead’.
It’s not normal. And it’s definitely not healthy.
We’re wired for connection. It’s what we need to thrive in life. It’s a fundamental human need.
The biggest part of our development, as humans, is what we learn in our relationships with other people.
So, regardless of where you’re starting, and what your current beliefs are about connection; I want to reassure you:
Connection is a skill – it can be taught and it can be learned.
I’ve made it my mission to make sure we all know-how – so you don’t have go it alone!