Accountability. Failure. Truth.
I spend much of my day in communication, whether that is with clients, colleagues, friends or family. In thinking about these times, I often come to the conclusion that I could do much more with them. You see, while I do a lot of talking, I am pretty bad at actually communicating.
My mind often wonders, I get preoccupied with other “more pressing issues” and then I lack the empathy in yet other situations. I realise that this is something that I need to work on, but this is not why I am writing this post.
I am writing this post, because while thinking about my lack of true communication, I am reminded about conversations I have had with my mentor. He would give me great advice on listening, taking on board what others have to say. He would take the time to listen to me, hear what I had to say and then perfectly reflect my struggle. In truth, when I actively sought to apply what we discussed, I would find myself experiencing periods of true communication.
The feeling I received in return from others, experiencing my attention, my genuine conversation, was electrifying, it made me want to do it more.
Despite this electrifying feeling, I find that I often return to the place where the bad communication style returns, I am distracted in communication, I lack the empathy in conversation, I am preoccupied….distant. I feel like a failure and this in turn feeds the cycle. This cycle can culminate in escapism, as many of you know, this typically results in me gaming, or consuming vast amounts of television.
It is a bad space, a space that sometimes I don’t even realise I have arrived at.
The truth is that when I do realise I am there, typically at the prompting of a loved one, it dawns on me that I have failed to stay the course. I have become comfortable in myself, just like any other addict, I think I have managed to kick it. There can be nothing further from the truth, then the assumption that you have completely walked free of a bad habit. It needs to remain an active commitment, to take off the bad, more importantly to put on the good.
For me it takes the form of subtle interventions, the choice to drive around the block and clear my head, before arriving home. This way when I walk through the door I am happy to be home. Some of you are saying “What – how can you not be happy to get home” Of course I am happy, but when I don’t reflect this, then I am not sending the correct message. My loved ones, in this case, don’t feel loved.
Active commitment and action go hand-in-hand. Making the right choices, means to do the practical stuff too. Maybe this resonates with you, maybe you are actively putting on the bad instead of actively putting on the good?