If you’re not living consciously, you’re living unconsciously – and zombie-walking through the world is hardly the best way to live. It can be all too easy, however, to disengage with the world around us as we move through the routine of our day-to-day lives. For a more fulfilled, engaging existence, and a happier personal and professional life, try these tips for connected, conscious living.
Expressing gratitude is an important habit to cultivate. It’s the easiest way to make people feel appreciated – and it shows that you’re respectful of others’ time. Being mindful of all the things you have to be grateful for quickly leads to more conscious living- and it strengthens your relationships by letting others know you don’t take them for granted. It only takes a few minutes to take pen to paper or craft a quick e-mail to say thanks, and it has a huge effect for such a simple but often neglected act. Job interviews, simple favors, trouble-shooting assistance – it all warrants a show of gratitude. Don’t forget that small treats work wonders too…
Build Relationships – Not Transactions
Networking expert Porter Gale says that quality networking is all about seeing your interactions as relationships, not transactions. Stop thinking about what people can do for you, and start getting to know them for you they are – and what you can do for them. Cultivating relationships leads to a far more full, joyful existence. Plus, when you build your interaction on a basis of mutual respect and equal give-and-take, you create a support system you can call on whenever you get in over your head – not just temporary aid.
Be Ready to Listen
The quickest way to honestly engage with others – and by extension, the world – is to listen. Pay attention. Treat everyone as if what they have to say has value. You may quickly find that people are incredibly interesting, sometimes when you least expect it. Often, people have just been waiting for someone to express honest interest before they share their unique knowledge or fascinating experience. When its time to share, avoid the superficial. You don’t have to tell everyone you meet all your secrets, but its okay to be human and skip the small talk for deeper conversation. It’ll give people permission to open up – and you’ll find yourself connecting like never before.