Aloha Ho‘ohana Community,
If you are newly joining us, Rapid Fire Learning is another way we “take 5” here at Talking Story: It happens on the last weekend of the month. Jump right in! If you’re one who likes learning of the backstory, you can catch up with a fuller explanation of what it’s all about here: Rapid Fire Learning Returns to Talking Story. Click on the tags near the post footer to skim through previous month editions.
My RFLs for Iune ~ June, 2010:
One of the mantras I had adopted for 2010 was “Less will be more.” (Here is the backstory.)
Within the spirit of that mantra, I gave June of 2010 up to an experiment, one of using, and doing, as little as possible in diverse ways. More simplicity. Less complexity. More calm. Less busy-ness. These became guidelines I applied to everything, including my work. One of my reasons was family, for I knew there were graduations, weddings, and some vacation time to be had this month, and I wanted to focus on people and on conversation, and see if I could further wean myself from my digital habits, habits I know to be too hungry in their greediness with my time and attentions. Thus RFL is a bit more focused for me this month, for here are the 5 key learnings I have taken from my Spring-into-Summer, June 2010 Less is More-ness of a month:
1. While my intention was to “see and better hear others” more than usual, I learned to see myself more, and began to watch my own habits as they happened. I have noticed that I dabble a lot as new inputs come my way. It is possible to remain an incessant dabbler without choosing, and without deciding for long stretches of time. On the one hand, I like that I jump into dabbling as I do, and that I do not hesitate, nor stifle my curiosity. On the other hand, this dabbling gives me a wanton restlessness that I do not like very much, and I need to end it at some point, with a choice or a decision of some kind being that ‘ending’ or a finish-with-flourish.
2. When you are family, you take each other for granted way, way, WAY too much. We all know this, but what do we do about it, and how often? We think we know all there is to know about each other, forgetting that family grows and changes just as our friends, co-workers, and other peopled relationships do. This month I taught myself to catch up with family more intensely, asking them better questions, and listening to their whole answers in that I welcomed their going “off topic” whereas that meandering can honestly annoy at other times. Family can be endlessly interesting; I’m the one that gets boring if I’m not careful with curbing my impatience for an answer. Impatience can kill a much more fascinating story.
3. I learned how little I really need my laptop (when traveling) now that I have my iPhone and my Kindle. When home, and in-office, and I force myself to ignore my laptop, I start to initiate phone calls, and connect with people more by voice and conversation, and less by email and text message. Voice is better. Conversing is richer. Both give you a timely, emotional connection that simply cannot be duplicated because there is interplay.
4. Part of June included a totally unintentional radio silence both online and off (I had to cancel a speaking engagement for the first time ever) because of a worrysome family accident that brought everything else to a halt for me. I learned who missed me, and who did not as connected to a business initiative I’d taken on: Decisions previously fraught with emotion became very easily made, teaching me how useful emotional detachment can be if only I can manage to stage it in a less dramatic way!
5. I hate that I have become a skimmer in our world of informational overload, for I crave that old ability I once had, and have lost, to read slowly and deeply. In these June weeks I’ve learned that I can get that ability back if I enforce longer stretches of digital/interweb abstinence on a daily basis. Yes, daily. Turning off once a week or weekend is not enough, not for the habit shift which must be re-cultivated.
This Less is More RFL-ing dished up more time I could give to my hobby-ing on Flickr… the photos I have included as dividers here are a few of my personal favorites, among those which caused me to focus on the natural beauty around me. Click on any photo to get the larger view appearing on my Flickr stream.
So how about you? What did you learn this month?