A quick thought on People and Purpose

A great  piece, by @TonySchwartz, about “What Gets You Up in the Morning?”, focuses on building our life full of “purpose”. It asks a challenging open question, with a comment:

So why are you doing what you’re doing? Few of us have ever been encouraged to ask that question. Why not make it the new mantra in your life – a question to which you return, over and over, as a compass for making better choices.

“What makes our life full of purpose?” is as good an open question as we can get.

People, not what we do, is my answer. Better, “Invest in connecting with people we like”, is my answer.

The following are just three steps in a journey towards relationships that are most likely to bear fruit:

1. connecting through someone we trust: a good starting point is when we connect with someone through someone else we trust and who likes them. If this is the case, this opens up the possibility of building a new and fruitful relationship which will give excellent results and satisfaction over time;

2. listening to others effectively: this requires us to be able to listen to our counterpart, leaving proper room for them to express their needs and feeling. This is lot more difficult than in the previous case. Our ability to listen can be practised and trained but it requires time, effort and willingness. Not least, we are exposed to the risk of making significant mistakes;

3. listening to ourselves effectively: the whole thing boils down, in the end, to a more general, and much more difficult point: learning how to listen to ourselves and understanding whom we like.

What we need is self-awareness, the ability to look deeply inside ourselves. Identifying fears, emotions, what and whom we love, what and whom we like and what and whom we don’t. This can only be earned individually, through our own introspective work over time.

Tommaso Arenare

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