Everyone has their own perspective of what it means to connect. To force anyone to adopt a universal view of connecting is like asking everyone to change to one universal personality. It’s impossible, unrealistic, and it destroys the individual uniqueness of each one of us.
When I say the word, “Connect” what comes to your mind? Good, heart to heart conversation? A bunch of friends on facebook? A great data plan with free texting?
Whatever your definition of connecting, if you are in a job where it’s important for you to connect or if in your life you want to make better connections, let me offer this advice. If you want to strengthen old connections or make new connections, make sure you connect with people in the way they want to connect. Seems simple enough but sometimes our idea of connecting may be very different than someone else’s. We may want to e-mail back and forth each week and your connection may prefer talking on the phone. Your close connections may require more or less face to face time than you do. You have to evaluate each relationship to determine the level of commitment you want to have to that connection.
We live in a world where most people are worried that they’re missing out on something so they have to be connected to everything. Being connected to everything can have the opposite effect. It doesn’t allow you to focus on the most important connections of your life. It can actually overwhelm you and give you superficial information into a lot, but nothing deep and meaningful. If you are not in the moment with the most important people in your life or those you’re trying to develop a relationship with, then you really ARE missing out.
Our lives are made up of moments. Moments can be captured in pictures and secured in our memories, but they can never be re-lived. We can’t earn more moments. We can’t make more moments and we can’t manage the moments we have.
So what do we do? We have to deliberately invest our moments. Just like with money, there are bad relationship investments, good relationship investments, and okay relationship investments. Each person gets to be the judge of their own investments because each person has to live with the consequences of their decisions to invest or not to invest.
You get to decide which of your connections are good or bad or okay investments. We all have the same amount of time in a day and once it’s gone, it’s gone. When we were little time never seemed to go fast enough and now it seems to fly by. While we may not like how fast life is moving, it can’t be stopped, but we can make the most of it while it’s here.
The end of life has shown us that many people regret some of the personal connections they made and they mourn over the connections they wish they had made. While we are alive and well, we think we will be that way forever – alive and well. We live for now without always weighing the investments we are or are not making for the future.
If we want the investments we make in our connections with people to tilt more to the good side, we have to make deliberate decisions to make them good. Your investments must line up with your value system. If you say, “I don’t want to work so late every night so I can be home with my family” but you continue to stay late, what kind of investment are you really making? If you say “My friends are important to me” but you rarely spend time with them, are they really that important to you?
These are all decisions you have to make for yourself. Invest it or waste it, it’s up to you. When you waste your non-renewable moments you will look back on moments of regret or remorse knowing those moments can never be retrieved. There are no do-overs with time.
When you deliberately invest your time, connecting in the ways that you think are best and always consider the people you are connecting with in the moment, you will have many good investments. If a relationship is important to you then it should show in how you invest your time moment by moment.