Lessons Learned

I’m at a point in my life where all the fortune cookie sayings, as clichéd as they may sound, have hit me in a way where I’m nodding vigorously and all I want to do is live, breathe, and feel. Feel all sorts of emotion so that I can practice redirecting my insecurities of self-doubt, shame, frustration into something positive. To fail and get up after a failure is beginning to look a lot more enticing than just settling for something “stable”.

…Because, when you settle for something less, you get less than what you settled for…

I came up with this saying to try to sum up how I feel about this matter

“Life is like riding a bicycle; that once we learn how to balance, we never forget. Although we might, every so often, still fall off.  The easiest way to fall over is when we stop moving so just move, one little step at a time.

My sister had just recently attended the Educo Seminar in the Bahamas. Her company sponsored her to go on this 2 week “life transformation” class so she could bring back some takeaways to share. A free 2 week trip to the Bahamas? MAN, what an opportunity right?

Opportunities like this shouldn’t be viewed as “random”. As outlandish as it sounds, I believe when you pour energy into something, the world has a way of presenting you with these thin sliver bits of opportunity. You just really have to go for it…with an open mind and positive thinking. That part is entirely up to you.

I view my sister as a happy medium. I have spent enough time with her to be influenced by her emotions and see how she carries herself. When she smiles, you smile. When she’s upset, you get upset, and wonder how in the world can I make her smile again. I learn from her by example and have always as a little kid sister aspired to have that sort of infectious charisma. I’m pretty positive that growing up I was a tool and tried too hard “to fit in.” I’ve learned…and am continuing to learn…to “just do me” Nothing else really matters because in the end nobody really cares what you do.

These are the lessons I’ve learned in the past year.

Living life in a blur is not living.

I’ve always been the type of person to try to do everything all at once. To cram every sort of activity in one day. I would literally bike from one end of Manhattan to another and time myself during the process as a personal challenge. Clap yourself on the back and feel a sense of acknowledgement. I just biked a 4.45 min/mile. NOBODY CARES. I’d feel a sense of triumph for “exploring” NYC despite the fact that I never stopped to smell the roses at a park or stopped to chat with the local street performer and thank him for his time.

I think I realized this when I got hit by a taxi recently. Haste makes waste. Life isn’t a competition even if its with yourself. Personal development and achieving goals is one thing..but is shaving one minute off your daily commute really going to make a difference?

SO…take it from me…once in a while, just stop whatever you’re doing and think of where you are at this present moment. When you are rushing to catch the train and have spilled coffee all over your pants in the process of running across the train tracks…just stop. Catch the next one and fix yourself. This again happened to me a couple of days ago. I took the bus instead and it all worked out.

Oh, and if a street performer/artist makes you stop in your tracks, even for 30 seconds (big deal in NYC), you owe him a dollar. Or at least a thank you.

We’re all Connected. Empathy > Apathy

During one of my philosophical conversations with a fellow couchsurfer, we touched upon human emotion and the difference between “people who do good” and people who are evil” The Swede said empathy. Apathy or ignorance are reasons why there is so much hate in the world. It makes sense right? If a mass murderer couldn’t relate to human emotion, how are they to understand that the significance of a bomb and what it could mean to a family, a community, a town, a state, a country. It’s empathy or the feeling of human connection that enables people to have a stronger connection to themselves and the world around them.

Small example: Being ignorant is equivalent to someone thinking that throwing one piece of trash out into the streets wouldn’t make a difference. Tragedy of the commons dude. We’re all connected. This is my park just as much as it’s yours…and this squirrels…and this wandering toddler who will probably pick up your dog’s shit and play with it (I would have as a kid..).

Another thing. If someone chooses to be vegetarian, respect their decision. Instead of saying “why”, ask yourself “why not”

Learn to respect and empathize with peoples beliefs.

Which leads me to…

How to Build Rapport with People

I’m an extrovert. I used to shout at introverts and say things like “You’re going home already? We just got here!” Read this Thought Catalog article about things you should stop saying to introverts.

It used to frustrate me. Knowing that people have the power to live such astonishing lives if they just got up from their couch and left their apartment. But preaching and or blackout yelling at them in the bar to “live a little and take a shot” isn’t the right approach I’ve come to realize…

To build rapport, you need to again empathize. Build trust and create an atmosphere in which people feel free to respond freely. By allowing yourself to be a nonjudging/open-minded individual, you are allowing someone to feel comfortable in their own skin.

Try mirroring someone to build rapport with someone more quickly. If you meet someone who is shy, match their shy state and then move them towards a more excited state. Use gestures, eye contact, tempo of speech, posture. If they follow you into this new position, you know they are in a state where they are comfortable to respond to you. It’s at this point when you can try to influence someone’s decisions.

Also, replace “But” with “And.” The word “But” can destroy any sort of rapport. When you use “and” it implies you have acknowledged what they have said but you have a few insights they might be interested to hear as well. Again, empathize. You’ll get farther along that way. Nobody likes to get preached to.

I’m going to stop here for today.

This is my attempt to share the power of influence and how to build “rapport” with the people around you. After all, you are the product of your environment. We live in a world where we engage with so many people around us. Coworkers, family, friends, neighbors, your barista…By living a more powerful life, one in which you can fully control, start by controlling your emotions by stopping/being present with yourself and then focusing on how to channel your energy onto others.

For my next braindump “these are my life lessons take it or leave it”, I’d like to look into representational systems and how to read people through understanding if someone is more visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. You can do this easily by seeing how they shift their eyes when you’re talking to someone. My sister taught me about this…

Practice this exercise! Ask someone how their weekend went or better yet how their last date went. When they are speaking, focus on how they shift their eyes.

Visual people shift their eyes up.  They are more visually expressive and might start their response by talking about the atmosphere of where the date was “the restaurant had really great décor! We totes have to go next time!” Visual people speak faster and generally maintain more eye contact.

Kinesthetic people talk more about emotions. They remember an action or feeling and might say something like “Well, he was nice but I felt like he just didn’t listen at all to what I was saying…” They tend to speak more slowly and/or repeat themselves. They look down much more when speaking.

If their eyes shift left to right, they are most likely doubting something or are insecure…or maybe embellishing/lying.

These all seem like generalizations I know but hey you can’t deny that  the eyes are the windows to the soul.

It was brought to my attention by my sister that I’m more kinesthetic. I talk slow and look down as I’m feeling a lot of pent up emotion towards a significant event. I also tend to avoid eye contact when it comes to a conversation or anything that involves intimacy. Haha. Well at least I’m cognizant of it! Acceptance and acknowledgement is the first step…

TL: DR

By identifying these different representational systems, it would be easier to understand people and better guide them into a positive state of mind. When you are around positive people, you in turn will be a more positive person. Energy flows where attention goes.

PEACE OUT.

–          Always learning, living, loving          

<3. TIFFLIN 3> — haha it’s a butt on an ice cream cone

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About tifflin123

Adventurer. Traveler. Explorer. Living. Loving. Learning.

Posted on May 8, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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