People may not do things the way I want them to, but you have to step back and realize that people achieve things in different ways.
People who are negative tend to want to demean people’s ideas. They say what they don’t like, but they don’t really say what they want to do. It’s very hard to have ideas. It’s very hard to put yourself out there. It’s very hard to be vulnerable. But those people who do that are the dreamers, the thinkers and the creators. They’re the magic people of the world. So try to strive to be one of those.
How to Be a Connector
Nine months ago, I shared an article called Forget Networking. How to Be a Connector. Since then, I have developed and offered a class on just that. It’s been a popular class - surprisingly so - and I’ve learned a lot through teaching it. For instance:
- People have a hard time realizing their existing network.
- There’s genuine interest in developing stronger connections with people, but fear of going about it the ‘wrong’ way.
- It’s a tough sell on why you’d want to go out of your way to connect two people with each other, because people want to unveil the hidden agenda.
I’ve also fine-tuned my definition of a Connector, which I think was a huge self-learning for me in 2012. I didn’t previously parse out what exactly makes me a Connector, nor did I think about why it is an asset that I can leverage in my career or otherwise. Here’s how I define it:
A Connector is a person who…
- has lots of great people in their network
- naturally introduces members of their network to one another
- is socially fluent
- is known and respected in their communities
…and who uses that power to bring individuals in their network together constructively and with overall success.
This year, I have embraced this personality trait and run with it, and I’m proud to have connected people over ideas, shared interests, collaborative potential, accountability, research, and resources. I enjoy connecting good people, and am fortunate to have (or to create) many opportunities for doing so. It’s a science, an art, and an energizing delight.
Most exciting to me is that connecting people unleashes unlimited potential. I can’t wait to see what partnerships, conversation, and social change are sparked through catalytic connection; the power never stops!
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Dream great dreams, and then take the practical steps to make them a reality.
The more we love someone, the more that is on the line if that relationship were to fail. The more we let someone in to who we really are, the more fodder they have access to if they were to try to hurt us. The more a parent loves a child, the harder it will be when that child seeks independence. If an addict gives up his drug habit, it means he will be healthier and happier but it also means he may have to face the inner demons he was hiding by using.
Isn’t it enough to appreciate the beauty of a garden without having to believe there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
(And the winner’s e-mail address won’t be disclosed to the listserv — unless they want it to be.)
It is your general decency and intellectual curiosity that is hampering you.
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
This poem is reblogged as shared in the post Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy.
I do tend to be an anxious fellow and I do tend to see the world as a little darker than perhaps it genuinely is, but I also do appreciate much more than a rosy scenario, I appreciate straight news. I appreciate honesty. I appreciate confronting something head on and being given all the details first — and then responding to them in whatever way I might. At best, it simply confirmed who I am to myself. It helps me. For me, it works.
Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
I was combing through old papers tonight, and I found my graduation speech for Tufts. It was awesome on so many levels to read and reflect on right now. Start in the middle(*) if you don’t want to read it all, because that part is the best. Enjoy!
I love Somerville. The people, the places….It’s great. All week, I’ve been trying to capture it in a series of snapshots so that I can take the feeling I get here with me when I move to New York. It’s not so easy.
People-watching is like taking a series of snapshots in the context of the environment as we know it. We make judgments about teeth, clothing, demeanor, skin color…..we can infer a lot. We create stories…it’s fun.
I’ve always created these snap judgments; we all do. We see what we can, and then build what we want out of these creations. But, these assumptions may not be right. That’s dangerous: does that mean we’re misinterpreting the snapshot? It’s the exploration and challenging of these judgments that’s a key part of sociology.
Being an active photographer through people watching makes this possible. In active photography, the photographer might not know the subject, but they’re excited to find out. It’s the interactions, the conversations, the relationships that build a snapshot and give meaning where otherwise we can only guess.
That’s why I love sociology. It has infused in me a passion for people watching and active photography that I can share with others both as art and to tell a story about my environment through my lens.
The community at Tufts is also something I have been trying to capture on camera, and this process honestly only made sense to me at the Champagne Brunch with the senior slide show and posterboards of pictures the other day. Some of the pictures were just pictures, but remembering the context and feeling proud to know the people in others of those pictures makes the snapshot a story.
My Tufts snapshots are an album of my friends, professors, and my family. They have created my stories from both this physical place and this place in my life. These photographs are snippets of my continuing learning and my place in a fabulous community.
* So what profound advice can I leave you? Probably not much; sorry to disappoint. But what I can do is leave you with a picture of the voices of Somerville. Yesterday, I spent some time in davis square figuring out who the people in the background of my davis square photographs are, and i asked them for some advice for post graduation. In this photograph though, it’s not the visual that’s important, but the appreciation for all of the voices in it. I want to share some with you:
They advised about life:
- Have a plan.
- Don’t have a plan.
- Follow politics and debate.
- Don’t be afraid to make a decision, there will be no mistakes.
- Just sit back and have a drink.
They advised about jobs:
- Doing it because you have to isn’t a way to live.
- Don’t stress about the first job, that’s all it is.
- Don’t follow the money, follow the passion
- It’s ok to be a plumber if you wanted to be a doctor.
They advised about relationships:
- The best things aren’t things.
- Don’t forget your parents, they put you through school.
- Good friends are priceless, so go the extra mile to keep in touch, even if it’s tough.
And of course, there were a few funny but great ones:
- Get an HPV vaccine immediately!
- One woman passionately told me don’t wait til you’re 35 to get counseling while another chimed in, hell, get it before you’re 30!
Mike, a 63 year old history teacher, who was sitting on the bench outside of jp licks, asked me if I had ever visited mt. auburn cemetery. I said I hadn’t, and he said that to visit, then, was his best advice. the snapshot of graves there tells the stories of the founders of the schools that all of Boston is graduating from, the people who have written the texts that we have studied and debated, the people whose shoulders we stand on, even though we often forget that we do not stand alone. Mike’s advice to visit the Mt. Auburn cemetery reminds us not only to learn the stories but to expose ourselves to taking the picture and appreciating our context in the first place.
Class of 2008, I wish you the best of luck and hope that you create your own collage of meaningful snapshots wherever you go.
In politics and in life, when you feel most in trouble, count on your opponents to overplay their hands.
It is a happy talent to know how to play.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I was reminded of this quote through a playful blog post reminding us that games and play can be a part of anything we do. It’s a bit cheesy but worth a skim and reflection; the message is spot on.
Are there chores that you’ll do today that you can infuse with a smile?