Our lives flick from one conversation to another. Chats with friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances – it all matters. After all, the right conversation with the right person could be the difference between success and failure.
The thing is, when our goals change, we sometimes forget to start new conversations as well. Worse, when many people discuss their future goals, they do it with a passive aggressive or complaining tone. They gloomily imply that life is unfair, or they lack opportunities, and that’s why they’re unsuccessful. By comparison, listening to successful people can be intoxicating because they talk with a tone of empowerment and personal responsibility. The only complaint they have is that they didn’t act sooner.
When I was 20, I decided to go to USC. I wanted to meet people and have experiences. Burdened by my disabilities, I knew this was a big risk and my rationale sounded a bit foolish at the time. But it turned out my brain was screwed on correctly. USC was full of empowering discussions and razor-sharp mindsets. I was surrounded by amazing professors and ambitious peers who encouraged me to create an amazing mindset.
When I entered the personal development sector, I went to events, read books, watched online classes and I began the conversations that led me to where I am today. I learned that the conversations I listen to can be just as important as conversations I have with people. But consistency is key. Hearing or talking about a concept once or twice is not enough. It takes repetition for good ideas to sink in.
Bouncing those ideas off others also helps uncover any bumps you might have missed. Humans enjoy sharing experiences, both good and bad, since those lessons can offer incredible insight for others. However, sharing our experiences can elicit a range of reactions ranging from, “oh my goodness, the world is going to end,” to, “here’s what you need to do next.” The way other people react to these conversations will have a major impact on your mindset and, if done right, can be wonderfully empowering. But you do need to be brave and start the conversation.
A bad conversation is when people validate or encourage our victimhood. Those conversations aren’t empowering at all. When I share my disability challenges with others, many times they ask, “doesn’t that suck?” To be honest, it’s not ideal. But it is my life. I’ve learned to channel these conversations to more empowering topics about how to achieve amazing success.
Too many people would rather hear sympathy for their present situation than hear a plan outlining how to improve their lives. Instead of investing the time to learn from other people’s experiences, they default to being a victim and blame the world for their own failures because that’s much easier than changing their life direction.
But that’s a dark road to travel. Our lives aren’t long enough to make all the mistakes on our own. We need to learn from others’ experiences and conversations about the right things with the right people are a great way to do that.
After all, dreams are a team sport, not a solo endeavor.