You know that feeling when you’re considering buying something. You know what it’s like to be aware of the desire to get that Thing, whatever it is.
Say it’s a very particular car, in a certain color, year model and style.
All of a sudden, you start seeing that exact car. You start looking for it, in fact, perhaps even subconsciously. You see it out and about, in publications and wherever you go that car seems to have a reference to it.
About 2 years ago I started noticing that the word ‘connect’ started showing up a lot. As in, conference titles and talk titles and in marketing and promotion pieces. Connect, connected, connecting, connections.
In this moment, we’re using the word connect more than I ever recall.
Maybe because when I decided to dive deep into Human Connection I started noticing it more. Maybe because as we advance our electronic technology, we mistakenly correlate that those tools connect us, so we use the word more. Maybe it’s all in my head.
Yet, I don’t think so.
This mailer from the USPS is one example. They’re using the word in their marketing to help us feel like we’re not alone. Telling us they have the solution to be in touch with the ones we love.
Here’s the deal with connection:
- It takes intention and attention.
- It’s always been important, starting with the earliest humans.
- Electronic technology isn’t the same as human connection.
While we no longer necessarily directly rely on each other for the basics of food and shelter, human connection is only replaceable with human connection.
It’s grand to see the word and all its variations showing up. It’s also forehead slapping. Life as a human has always been about connection and always will be. Instead of slapping your forehead (like I’m done doing), do this:
- Get connected with those who matter to you by first getting clear who is important to you. Holidays or no, decide who makes your life better. Maintain and make space for them. Clear out people who are subtractive (read: they deplete you rather than fuel you).
- Invest the necessary energy, time and attention meaningful relationships require to exist and grow. Make the commitment to maintaining these valuable connections with a groove of regularity you see fits. Put in the effort.
- Express gratitude and appreciation for those who you do invest in, who invest in return. Make sure there’s no score keeping; those aren’t relationships – those are contests. If it’s lopsided, if the give is one way, then bow out.
- Be active in your efforts. We have the power to reverse the epidemic of loneliness and disconnect, one intentional personal connection at a time. See people. Reach out. Check up on people. Invest, love and connect.
One of the very best aspects of connecting is the wonderful return it provides when you invest in the Right People. Your Right People are the ones you very intentionally choose to build purposeful relationships with. It’s an investment because you’re putting in the effort, in order to enjoy the benefits.
Give yourself the gift of intentional connection this year. Start by examining your relationships, keep and foster those that are healthy, productive, and positive; weed out those that are negative, destructive and unhealthy.