Finding purpose. Showing presence. Making progress. When done well, they all look easy. Sometimes so easy that people attribute them only to talent or pure luck. What very few see are the hours, days or years of preparation, the persistence and constant search for meaning and improvement, and the courage to take a leap. It sounds like hard work, doesn’t it? But work that can make a difference.
…exist. This statement struck me when I heard it on a conference call this week. It’s so simple and powerful that it stayed with me since then. I keep on coming back to it in various situations and the more I think about it, the more I’m amazed by its universal relevance.
Communication is what makes us human. It’s not only the sheer existence of some sort of communication that matters. It’s the what (content), the how (way), the when (timing) of our messages that shape human connections. Every piece of communication has the potential to bring us closer to a desired state through building trust, forming perceptions or changing opinions. Or to allow us to avoid misunderstandings or resolve conflicts.
The questions we ask, the answer we give, the time and effort we put into creating our communication – they all influence the outcome of what we do and how we are perceived more than we sometimes imagine. Overthinking each and every word or sentence we say is not the way to go, but we shouldn’t underestimate their importance either. Everyhing we communicate is part of a puzzle, of our life puzzle. You choose how your puzzle will look like. Choose wisely.
I recently moderated a series of enablement sessions for fellow marketers around a topic that I love. A participant in one of the sessions introduced himself with the following sentence: “I’m (name) and I’m passional about doing cool stuff that matters.” It was the most simple, unspecific, yet impactful introduction on that day and it stayed with me in the following weeks. Don’t we all want to do cool things that matter? However, we often feel that the things we do don’t matter (enough) or we don’t consider them cool. Maybe they deserve to be re-evaluated. And we deserve a second look to define what really matters to us. Wouldn’t that help us find more meaning and a higher sense of accomplishment? I don’t know. But it’s probably worth trying. After all, being someone who does cool stuff that matters sounds really cool.
“Paths are made by walking.”
Sometimes the only option you’re left with is to grit your teeth and persevere. To focus on preparing the next small step even if you don’t know how, when or with whom you can take it. Would we call that resilience, determination, patience? Does it matter how we name it?
Today I wish things would be easier. While I’m wishing that, I grit my teeth, remember the why, and look for the next stepping stone.