Adults trying new things are a lot like babies learning to walk…stand up, fall down, reach for something to lean on, fall down again…sometimes your legs just wave in the air because you can’t even roll over to try again.
But, you do. They do. Roll over, stand up, fall down…
Some can essentially do a push up before they stand up. How cool is that?
Eventually, most babies get moving, on their feet.
What’s your method?
So, there is probably a really good way to do the thing that you need to do. Others have done it before, I’m sure, and you can get a lot from their experience.
You can research the best way to do this thing, you can rely on your own experience or you can ask a friend.
In my experience, I find that relying on my own best practices, for that thing or other similar things I’ve done before, is the best way to get a satisfactory result.
If I think about the way I like to do things, the way the best things have worked out for me, I find that there aren’t really an unlimited way to do things…
So, do something, see how it feels when it’s done, redo it, and go from there.
The best way to practice, is to practice.
I live in the Northeastern part of the US and operate in the Eastern Time Zone, usually. This year I’ve spent a lot of time outside of that zone.
The travel is great fun for the most part and meeting people from diverse backgrounds and with really different life experiences from mine is a great opportunity to learn and be learned from.
As I travel, and when I’m home and talking to someone far away, almost always the first question asked or answered is, “what time is it there?” We have a need to know what the other person is experiencing.
Or, is it something else?
If we look to get an idea of where our friend is in the world, physically, then why does it seem so challenging to get people to see another’s perspective emotionally, or see things through their eyes?
“What time is it there?” is not the same as “How are you?”. But, is it more like: “I want to be sure I have all of the facts before I say anything stupid,” or “I care about you and want to know what your day is like?”
It’s probably both. Think about it the next time you ask.
It’s not in most of us to first think of others.
Should we actually put others before ourselves?
What if we simply thought of others’ interests in the same way we think of our own…if we valued interests, opinions and perspectives that didn’t mirror ours exactly?
This being outside ourselves takes practice. And, a good practice requires willingness to fail, to test limits and clean up edges.
Instead of starting with, “I/we need to be more empathetic,” how about, I’m going to take a deep breath and see if I can consider another’s perspective one time today.