I was pondering the other day, as I enjoyed a warm breeze on a blue-sky day, that generally at this time of year I walk around with a smile on my face and without weight on my shoulders as I contemplate my day.
Those wandering thoughts take me to mountains, meadows, beaches, and airports.
Wandering too, into far away adventures and exploring local fun times also. And those thoughts mostly involve doing things, familiar things, with people.
My mindset has changed.
Everyone’s mindset has, right?
Whether we remain hunkered down somewhere, isolated and vulnerable – like waiting for the numbness to pass, what can we do?
I’ve been thinking (and doing) what I can do.
What about you?
Are you doing what you want to do?
I find drive-time is a great time to put on my earphones and catch up on calls to people I haven’t talked to in a while. Not about business, not about some things we have doing on – but calling other people who I’ve not spoken with in a long while, just to talk to them.
Not with a strategy or agenda, but to catch up on what is going on in their lives, to hear how they are navigating life’s speedbumps, and what they are thinking about – dreaming about, and often I find out extraordinary things about their work, their family, their dreams, and their fears.
To be clear, I’m not ‘telling someone else’s story without permission,’ I’m using an example of one phone call to make a point, to illustrate my point, how making one call can make a significant difference for two people.
I talked with a friend the other day – someone I’ve not been in contact with for a couple of months. His lack of enthusiasm and negativity was present from the moment he said, “hello.” I wondered if he had call display and wasn’t happy to hear from me. He advised he did not have call display and asked who was calling. I have a reasonably distinctive voice – so that comment made me want to drill deeper. I learned that he has a chronic condition that generates kidney stones and that he was in the process of passing one. Ouch! That explains his pain, numbness, and malaise – but not as much as his story, his malaise at being isolated for medical reasons.
He’s virus-free and wanting to stay that way, but I soon got a different sense of his malaise.
He’s a voracious reader, a great speaker, and an extraordinary writer. I told him about some things I’d recently discovered, and the discussion lit up – in fact, I eventually got to my destination and needed to end the call, but he was on fire with energy.
How did that happen?
Was he needing a call to lift him?
Did he need ‘just the right stimulation,’ or was it that someone called?
If we wait around waiting for someone to call us, we shouldn’t hold our breath.
But if we can intrude for a minute on someone – with a simple call or a short visit – we will be surprised and possibly astonished about what reaction you might get. It’s likely positive, welcoming, and energizing.
And what it does for you – individual as that might be, is incredible in its lifting power. I found the rest of my day got a lift from that, I’ve been thinking about it overnight and still feel buoyed by it.
Your reaction might be less than, or more than, mine.
I guarantee someone will feel better when you are done.
The future is coming whether you are ready or not – it is here. The post-COVID world is coming; we don’t know when. The post-Trump world is coming too, but not soon enough.
But really, new times have arrived – this is not something we are waiting for as much as it is an undefined new reality we are already wading in, knee-deep and some days it feels like our boots are stuck in the muck. We aren’t stuck, it just feels that way some days.