A few weeks ago I interveiwed Alan Gregerman on The Engaging Brand podcast and we explored his idea that we need strangers in our life for all kinds of reasons. During the interview he made me realise that we often lose touch with ourselves, we often get derailed from our dreams and our passions ....he asked me to write a guest blog post for him and I wanted to share it here..
Discovering Our Inner Strangers
"As humans we are built to evolve, yet as we evolve we can lose touch with aspects of our own personality that can help us later in life. In Alan’s fabulous new book, I was struck by a quote –- not from a successful entrepreneur but his daughter –- which said: “ But if I don’t talk to strangers, how will I ever make new friends?”
The fresh outlook of the child tends to hit you straight between the eyes and it made me think about how as we mature we can lose track of our own “inner” strangers.
Let me explain…
1. We rush through our early years wanting to be more grown up and yet those childlike qualities of being inquisitive, of not being afraid, of constantly asking why…they can be our very own best friends for our personal development. When was the last time you spoke to your inner child and let it play?
2. We spend our adolescence cramming for exams and consuming so much new information, we are constant learners…then we get a job and can find ourselves too busy to learn. When was the last time you got in touch with your learning gene and helped the ‘mature you’ understand more about the world, technology, your customers?
3. We fall in love and start to understand how relationships work, the joy of having that special person in our lives. When was the last time you allowed yourself to fall in love with something – an interest, life, knowledge?
4. When our careers start to take off we look up to our bosses and feel we could do a better job…because they don’t understand the real issues, what makes the team tick, what the real opportunity of not always doing what we have always done truly is. When was the last time you put down your career hat and listened, really listened to the new upstarts! What time do you create to be your own competitor, your own upstart who challenges you to look in the mirror?
5. Often through our lives we can talk ourselves away from what we are truly passionate about because we are told that dreams don’t pay the mortgage. When was the last time you sat down and committed to fulfilling your dream?
6. Time is the one resource that is limited and that is why when you take time to be 100% with someone, truly listening to their concerns and not just hearing the words, it can be the highest return on investment that you can make. We loved it as children, we love it as adults. When was the last time you gave yourself a few minutes to think, to dream, to understand yourself? Don’t you deserve that too…
I agree wholeheartedly with the premise of Alan’s book and the challenge we all face to make the most of this fantastic world that we live in. We have more opportunities to connect both to ideas and people. But let us also be aware that our 6 inner strangers need our attention, because without feeding them our present self may be losing out on their greatest friends of all by not recognizing their inner strangers."
Any thoughts to add?
You can follow Alan's ideas over at his blog