As I was driving back to Encinitas (North County San Diego) from Beverly Hills this past weekend, I saw a familiar sign on the freeway, The "55." I quickly processed the information and decided to let my intuition take me down the 55 freeway to my former college Chapman University. Campus was only a few miles from my route so I figured I'd stop by, mainly to visit the football team that I was an integral part of from 2005 through 2008.
My strong intuition didn't mislead me, I stopped by the coaching offices and connected on a much deeper level with all my former coaches than all the years prior, combined. It was these moments that I've come to cherish more than anything, but why have these deeply connected moments and conversations been happening at an increasing rate...
You can only connect with others as deeply as you have connected with yourself.
These deep connections have always been there, in every moment, I just didn't have the vision to realize it and bring it out. As I was meditating that night, after speaking to 100 current players, coaches and staff, I came to the realization my perception and role in each conversation had shifted from the one giving the answers and waiting from my turn to speak, to the one deeply interested in them and their life's experiences. I am far more fascinated with interviewing others than talking to others about myself.
What are they seeing, feeling, sensing. What does their daily routine consist of, how do they prioritize their events for the day, what books and mentors completely shifted their perception of life, how exactly did this shift occur? How do you handle transitions, whether it's job or relationships...
If we can forget about our own selfish stance in the discussion, and become enamored by their life experiences, we can coax out golden knowledge nuggets that even they weren't aware of. The power of strategic and timely questions can create profound and unforgettable connections that we all deeply yearn for.
Whether it is an upper class-man who is playing your position in football, or a high level CEO that you'd like to emulate, extracting their process and actions that get the results are just a few conscious questions away. Put the other individual in the spotlight and break down their key pivotal moments and approaches to life, by learning from their experiences we can save ourselves a lot of time, energy and unwarranted stress.