This is a story – well, maybe just the start of one – about people like me who don´t always prefer cold, generic, simplified lists over going out into the world and being with people. Sometimes we might come up with a list that allows for a lot of context and meaning. A.k.a. true connection, a.k.a. relationship.
Today, I came up with one of those. It states that this week I am going to:
- say congratulations to these 5 people who I noticed did something worthy: __________, __________, __________, __________ and __________;
- say thank you to these 5 people who have somehow helped me out: __________, __________, __________, __________ and __________;
- ask please to these 5 people who can help me: __________, __________, __________, __________ and __________;
- ask can I help you to these 5 people who I think need a hand at something: __________, __________, __________, __________ and __________;
- invite these 5 people to do something cool (preferably not just the usual coffee meeting talk about business; change that for an ice cream and it becomes different): __________, __________, __________, __________ and __________.
And then I am going to have 25 meaningful conversations with meaningful people. I can do one task from each list everyday so I get a variety and I can make it work really simple by focusing on only 1 of each category. Who cannot come up with names for such lists? And what are the surprises hidden behind each act of connecting? Of course, quality matters more than numbers. Does holding the door for someone or other ordinary things count in that list? That´s up to each one; I think a successful, happy life is a consistent succession of small things that are great together.
If I can pull this off and make it a habit, maybe I don´t ever need to worry about lists again, including to-do lists. This could be good especially for those who are customer discoverers or business developers in general. But more than that: this is just how life goes, I guess. Anyone can be happy when they have 25 meaningful conversations in a week. I think the world would already be a better place for everyone if we could have 5 of these, one of each category. If I do that on purpose. I think it is important to build a world around recognizing good deeds, gratitude, support and fun.
When that becomes an automatic behavior, a modus operandi, I don´t even need to remember the list. It´s not about writing lists or having them checked. This hack is about nudging myself into nudging other people. I decided to share this not because I find it original or breakthrough. I just find it a good perspective about life, a good way to “plan” what you are going to do in a week, how your life is going to be like.
Following this idea for a year would give me 52 weeks of 5 to 25 meaningful moments. These add up to potentially 1,300 very welcome interactions! That is a strong perspective in a world of intrusion and lack of attention! Even if I take 2 weeks off (and don´t have any meaningful connections during those) and only made 5 connections every other week, at least I got 250 of those. Make any of those things everyday and you have meaning 365 days in a year, everyday in your life.
What a week, what year, what a life!