Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thought for the Day...

When I first walked through the doors to my new job, I didn't care about anything except that I got that job. The one that made me a writer.

I was at a magazine and I was going to write {eventually}. I started out as low man on the totem pole. I was an administrative assistant to the editor and in the first week I had that man's office reorganized, color coded, and his stack of articles edited and reformatted.

I'm pretty sure he gave me a writing assignment just to get me out of his hair.

So there I was, working for a trade publication about call centers - knowing nothing about the industry -about to do my first official interview for my first official article. And to be honest, I didn't care about the industry at all. Predictive dialers might as well have been calculus for how much I enjoyed reading about them.

But I called my first interviewee and learned something invaluable: It doesn't matter if I know about the subject matter, or if it interests me. I just need to care about the people.

Because that man I interviewed? He was mad about the industry. He was jazzed about predictive dialers. All I had to do was ask him a question and from there on out it was about the conversation. About learning from someone who was thrilled to teach. About adapting my own priorities into caring about his. 

Suddenly it wasn't about trudging through an interview about the most boring subject on earth to me, it was about investing in a man who had a story to tell. And I had the ability to tell it.

In a time when every self help book I read talked about finding groups of like-minded people to further your goals, and being true to who you are over who others may want you to be, I found the opposite to be true. I found that if I went into every situation caring more about what was important to the other person, then who I was grew ten fold.

I learned that it was all about the person, and in order to care about the person I needed to choose to care about what was important to them, and make it important to me.

I was thinking about this because you all saw this photo and said you weren't sure who was more the kid, me or Elias:


And the truth is that I couldn't have cared less about a car zooming off the bed. But I cared that Elias did. His interest became my interest and his excitement became my excitement, and before I knew it I was filled up with contagious joy.

We all do that for children. Imagine if we did that for other adults as well.

Imagine if we cared more about them feeling happy than us feeling right.

Imagine if we cared more about them feeling known than us feeling superior.

Imagine if we cared more about them feeling accepted than us feeling righteous.

Imagine if we cared more about them feeling joy than us feeling envy.

Imagine if we cared more about them feeling abundance than us feeling security.

Maybe sometimes it's not so much about being who we are at all costs. Maybe sometimes it's about letting go of who we are to see who we might become.

Just something to think about.

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