5 Steps to Deep and Connecting Conversations.

What does small talk feel like, where you discuss the weather, food, or television shows. What about in comparison to conversations where you get to know what the other person truly desires, and what their deepest fears are. What about talking about your goals and visions, and sharing by empathizing and encouraging others to do their best. These are the kinds of experiences that leave you feeling inspired and ready to face the world again. These refreshing conversations could potentially be had with anyone, but depth is lacking in most conversations that people have. Talking to the checkout clerk while thinking about the other things on our to-do list, with coworkers about gossip and trivial matters, and going home to watch television with your family. Having such shallow conversations and connections will result in a shallow and meaningless life. What can we do to incorporate some more depth and meaning into our relationships and conversations?

1. Spend time with journaling and introspection, to create visions for your life, to ponder what you truly desire, and to search for deeper meaning within yourself.

This is the most important step. If you don’t connect deeply with yourself, learning what your passions in life are, how can you develop deeper connections with others? Ask yourself how do you want to spend your days? What do you want to accomplish? What is most important to you, and what’s the next book you should read, or the next step you can take on that project. Once you understand what you truly desire, you’ll be ready to talk with people who have similar interests, and will be more interesting to those people, because you will speak with passion and enthusiasm.

2. Reduce time spent with people who drain you, and increase time with people who excite and invigorate you.

People who complain, are pessimistic, and fill their days with meaningless activities aren’t worth being around. They will influence you to give up on your goals, and to join their pity parties, where they complain and feel sorry for themselves. These people will tell you why you can’t do something, and why you won’t succeed. It is much better for you, and everyone involved in your life to disconnect from these friends/coworkers as much as possible, and to find people who are passionate, and a positive influence on your life. People who give you resources about subjects that you’ve been talking to them about, who are successful with discovering peace, gratitude and joy in their lives, and who will bring you to a higher level of consciousness.

3. Talk to strangers and find their deepest fears and passions in life.

Talk to the checkout lady, ask her what her greatest passion is and be present to truly listen to her answer. This will catch her by surprise, and will enlighten her day as you are asking her to share something more personal than the normal work routine she goes through everyday. Some strangers will find your reaching out to connect a breach of their personal space, and will answer with one word answers. These people have some type of fear around talking to strangers, and it’s best to leave them alone if they don’t want to be bothered. I’ve been practicing talking to strangers this last year, and more people than I thought are open to talking to me, and expressing themselves. You realize that all the people that you pass by at the airport, or the store, or on the street have a life and different perspective that you can learn from.

4. Do engaging activities with your loved ones, significant other, and/or family.

Instead of watching television, or doing separate activities, see what you can enjoy together. Try starting a weekly family meeting where you gather at the table, and discuss family and individual matters. You could each share about an experience that you are grateful for this week, or an area of your life you’ve had difficulty with, or talk about family trips that you are excited to take. Instead of allowing your child to play video games, or watch TV, work with him/her on a project to plan the next family vacation. Showing him/her how to book plane tickets, vacation home rentals, and activities that the whole family could enjoy together. I enjoy taking my parents for hikes, cooking a meal and sharing it with them, and teaching them Yoga and Qi Gong exercises.

5. Find ways to make your career about connecting with people.

With many jobs you can be disconnected from the people you are helping. Whether that is filing paperwork, creating invoices, or other office work. I am very lucky with a career in massage, because most of my work is connecting one on one with a client, feeling for tension in their body, and working with them directly to release that physical, mental, and emotional tension that is held in the body. See if you can find a way to create connections with your clients/customers. If you are a bartender, or coffee barista, truly listen to your customers, and learn more about repeat customers, so that you can ask follow up questions about their latest vacation, or dog that they adopted, or something else that shows that you care. If you can’t connect directly with who you are helping in your work, it may be time to find a new career. Unless of course you enjoy the work so much that the human connection doesn’t matter as much. In that case, try and learn more about the customer/clients desires, and what you can do in your job to provide more value for them.

With these five steps, you will be able to increase the amount of connection, enthusiasm and passion that you have in all areas of your life.

Looking within to discover what you truly desire Discovering the type of friends you want to keep, and which ones you need to pay less attention to Talking to strangers, and deepening connections quickly Engaging in activities with loved ones that leave you feeling closer and more understanding of each other Finding ways to connect with people in your career

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