It’s an unnatural thing for me, and hopefully some people will empathise with me. But in my experience, there have been many wonderful moments where I simply get opportunities to meet truly amazing people. Some of these people are thought leaders in their industries and what not. Some of them have led me on to other more interesting people.
Here’s what I’ve learnt through these:
1) Just be genuine. There’s nothing to be gained from going out there and trying to ‘meet’ people so that you can ‘use’ them someday down the track. The best relationships are with people whom you simply connect with, and are able to be genuinely find their life story interesting.
2) Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s common for people to ‘steal’ each other in the middle of conversations during a ‘networking event’. It’s OKAY. Just move on and treat it as an opportunity to talk to someone else, and to meet other people that you otherwise wouldn’t meet if you had been comfortable talking to just the few. And when you don’t understand something, or don’t ‘get’ a joke, don’t be afraid to ask at the expense of looking silly. The only stupid questions are the ones that never got asked.
3) Be present. The best thing you can do for someone when you’re with them is to be there. Like actually just be present to the moment. You can’t hide this. Our body language, which does 80% of the talking, is dictated mostly by things we are not even aware of, like whether we are being present to someone or not.
4) Be generous. I believe in an attitude and a lifestyle of abundance. There is more than enough resources, information and money out there in this world for everyone. There’s no need to want to just hoard more and more. There is a certain joy that comes out from being able to share and believe in people through the sharing of words, good food and funny stories.
5) Have fun! There’s nothing like good laughter, genuine smiles and a merry heart that does wonders for building genuine friendships. It’s like they say, if you can’t play together, you can’t work together. So yeah, play, tell jokes, share your most embarrassing moments and simply have a good time together!
As a result of the conversation with T today, I realised that a lot of the stresses I’ve been holding in tension in this season of my life, do not justify the amount of attention that I have given them. Let me explain.
The typical Gen Y part of me carries a burden for the injustices of this world and a need to want to be part of the change. As such, my most recent thoughts revolve around the quest for goodness, and the seeds of grace, truth and hope that have yet to be sown in the communities we live in.
How do these fit in within the framework of the work that we do here at OZHut? How do we as a business living amidst our community, serve our people and our nation in a manner that outworks all these ambitions that our entire Generation longs for. Social Justice, Environmental Sustainability and Community Development roughly summarize the main issues that we crave to see addressed by our leaders and those in power.
So the natural thing to do is to look at what’s in your hands right? To count your blessings, and the things that you have been given stewardship over. And as much as possible, allow these passions to outwork themselves through the things you have ownership of. I think the challenge for me has been to identify as clearly as possible the questions of: What is OZHut good for? What are our limitations as a business? What are the spin offs that occur as a result of us being present that DO represent goodness, bring about positive change and cultivate healthy communities?
I think for a good number of months, I was asking the wrong questions. I found myself caught in this cycle of wrestling out the inabilities of the company to solve all the problems and issues that my heart resonate with. The tensions between holding out hope for true positive change in the world in multiple areas and the role that the company can/will play in all of that. As noble as it may sound, these were merely distracting thoughts that were not helping me at all. In fact, they were the ones that discouraged and despaired me consistently.
The truth that finally set me free is realising that the right question to ask is a simple one : What is this vehicle called OZHut good for? I strongly believe in the principle that everything on this earth, from stone to leaf, SME to large corporation, street sweeper to President, every darn thing, is good for something. In that light, it is imperative that I also ask this same question of OZhut to determine its fundamental limitations as a vehicle, but also its potential to carry and share some of the goodness that I believe we are all called to sow in our personal lives, the lives of those around us, and the communities we live in. As this vehicle drives through our neighbourhoods, my hope is that we’d be able to see with utmost clarity our mission, and to celebrate what goodness we are called to bring about, and to forgive our limitations. Besides, all we really need is enough passionate and fully alive people all over the world doing what they believe is their little good and the world will indeed be a Good-er place 🙂
Warning: This post is a rant of the mind, without form or purpose, and best read with a pinch of salt.
There are certain times in our lives where we feel we are caught in a valley.
It’s usually characterized by the inability to see beyond the hill in front of us, simply because of the constantly elevating terrain that blocks our vision.
In many ways, this is where I feel I’m at with my life at the moment. At work, things are moving so fast, but at the same time, the ability to see past the next 3 years is a struggle. In my life, having made some significant choices and working through some difficult seasons, I’m now at a place where I feel everything I know about myself has been pulled apart.
I’ll try to explain this part.
Typically, we draw our sense of identities from the things we do, our work, our education, our accomplishments, what sports we play, how much money we have in our bank account, the people we know etc. But what happens when all these things start to crumble, when education completes itself, our accomplishments fade to black, we grow older and are not able to compete at the same level as we were able before(not to mention younger people taking over). Gradually but surely, it’s very likely that we’ll all come to a place where we come face to face with what I’d call a Valley. A place where our ability to attach a sense of identity or worth to a particular ‘thing’ is lost, and all we are left with is our unsure, insecure little self, that is then forced to choose, where to next?
But it is here, in this place, that we find ourselves most able and most graced with the opportunity to work out our character. That innermost place which is usually covered and shaded by layers upon layers of the images and facets that we wear, our Dr so and so, CEO so and so, Pastor So and so. All now finally stripped bare, the chance to make choices from this place of incredible weakness is a very important one that we should embrace.
So how do we take hold of a season like this?
We do so I think, by laying before us, the choices that life presents to us, and having considered with as much wisdom and clarity we have, we choose. We put our trust in the choice that we believe is the best for us, and we stick to it. Possibly, in the area of relationships, the choice to hold on, to enter into a season of singleness, or to start afresh. Or in the area of work, the choice to sell out, to hire someone else to take your place, or to stay and nurture and see it grow.
And out of our unsure, insecure selves, we nudge ahead, and we take a step forward, with a certain kind of trust that’s only found in weakness, in Valleys. I use “our” or “us” a lot in this post, when I really meant “me” more often than not. It’s really a season of finding clarity. A vision for my own life is what I really seek. As such, I will be nudging my weak self in this Valley a little bit further in this season. And I’ll trust that whatever I choose, it will be Good.
Every now and then, we enter into a season of our life where certain memories, or feelings, or thoughts cause us to almost resent the very breathe that we draw, the very life that is the gift of the creator becomes a curse. It feels like this is the current season for me. The senseless reruns. The momentary swings between happy and sad. The broken images, fading in fading out, like a slideshow gone wrong, infected by the virus of being double minded about whether to keep the memory or to forget it. I’ve wished for it to go away many times. But somehow it stays. Someone once told me that everything is good for something. Oh really… I’d think to myself often, what the heck is this good for.
Yet I know for certain, that truth is truth no matter how little of it is relevant to our situations. Gravity will cause us to fall whether or not we’re on the ground or 10,000 feet up in the air, getting ready to jump off a plane. Could there really be something more?
Then there was that conversation with T. He suggested that this season and with it the ability to feel, and hurt and cry, is temporal. It will not last. But while it does, it’s worthwhile cherishing it, immersing in it. Letting it write poetry, songs, and prose. Because one day, these thoughts and memories will not evoke the same emotions anymore. And we might just miss feeling these feelings. So let it be.