A mind all logic is like a knife [that is] all blade.
It makes the hand bleed that uses it.
--- Rabindranath Tagore
Imagine being stuck at a party for half an hour on the living room couch next to someone you don’t find very interesting. Sound enticing? Society has been working in your favor over the last few decades to help you avoid this social trap.
Have you ever noticed that most guests at parties these days prefer to stand and congregate in the kitchen or a large room without chairs? It’s because there’s no commitment involved: they can mingle freely with whoever is around as opposed to getting stuck in a seated conversation with someone who excites them almost as much as a shot of cod oil.
Why has society evolved in this way? Developments in technology have exponentially multiplied both the amount of information we receive every day and our capacity to customize its content.
We are constantly in information-overload mode and have very little patience for any medium—including drawn-out chance encounters—that forces us to listen and receive information we don’t consider relevant to our lives.
Conversations evolve more naturally when you’re standing in that large room. Some sticks rub together and create a fire; others have no mutual traction and create nothing.
You simply start conversations with enough people until you find someone with whom you feel engaged. At this point, you become animated and remain engaged.
This week, step out of your digitally-mediated box and talk with some new people. Trust how your heart feels in these encounters, and expand your effort to befriend those whose company you enjoy.
Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).