What do you think of when you hear the word connection? Do think of things that are similarly linked or the links between mechanical or electrical components? Or do you think of work associates and family? How about communication? Like me, do you think about how we communicate with our coworkers or our loved ones, the ones we are connected with day in and day out? How about those who live far from us and who we long to visit more often?
How important do you think connections are? Do you take the people in your life for granted? Or do you take time to appreciate them, to thank them for being in your life, for being who they are? Do you pray for them and their needs? Do you give those you don’t see on a regular basis a call? Or do you neglect those who mean the most to you because there isn’t enough time in your day?
Here’s something to ponder. When was the last time you considered counting your connections? All of them. How many friends do you have? How many work associates do you know? How many family members do you have? Are your connections ones that you would invite to a big function? Do you have a small knit group? Or is your herd more massive and so many to count that you might miss including everyone on your list?
These are questions I ask myself all the time. I care about every person I meet, and I wonder if I will ever see them again. I berate myself for missing a loved one’s birthday or special event. While I am a sensitive, caring individual, I am also a realist though. I remind myself that I can’t do it all, that in today’s busy life it is difficult to remember everyone and impossible not to keep with up with each person as I would like to.
So, how about you? Do you worry that your nieces or nephews won’t know who you are one day, if you do not keep better connected? Or do you push the thought from your mind as you prepare for the next work day? Do you wonder if that fellow down the street will mind you calling him soon to network about that job possibility? Or do you hesitate because you are sure he is just as busy as you.
So, back to one of my favorite things to do: list-making. When doubts and second-guessing start to creep in, I make a list of all the pros and cons on why it wouldn’t be good idea to reach out to someone. Often, I find that my doubts are unfounded and my initial gut reaction is to go ahead and reach out, stop hesitating and just do it. Call Aunt Mary. Call that lead. What’s the worst that can happen? Voicemail? Well, then leave a message. They will call back.
People will call back. They will reach out to you. Why? Because they are just as caring as we are. And, maybe even curious. They, too, want to connect with us. For as many ways to connect today, we are all guilty of not staying connected like we could. We let stress, jobs, other commitments keep us from reaching out to our loved ones. We decide later, rather than now, is a better time to hook up with that possible new sales lead.
The biggest killer of connections I have found is the idea that we do not have enough time. But have you tried jogging in place for five minutes? Trust me, that is a good way to gauge just how much you can get done in a short amount of time. In fact, I have been getting a lot more accomplished from figuring out that five minutes really is a lot longer than I used to imagine. Now, I get dishes done in five minutes. I can clean one room in five minutes. And, I can call my mom or one of my sisters in five minutes.
If I go over by a few minutes, no big deal. The important thing is I have made a connection which I wouldn’t otherwise have made had I not figured out that five minutes really is a very long time. I have always believed that connections are important, but now I can act on that knowledge knowing my connections are important enough to me to invest just five minutes.
So, how important are your connections? Can you invest five minutes in reaching out to a long lost friend? A potential colleague? To check on your parents? It’s something worth considering. Just five minutes, not ten or fifteen minutes, to feel better about your connections, to build your network, to value your friends and family. Maybe five minutes won’t be your magic number, maybe it will be four or eight. Just do it. You won’t regret the time invested. Trust me.
If you would like further reading on how to connect to others, as well as your own self, consider reading my book, “HONOR ONE ANOTHER: The ABCs to Embracing Our Spirit Within.” It’s chocked full of 26+ ways to learn more about ourselves, become better connected to ourselves, and thereby be more effective in our day to day life. Get your copy at www.amazon.com by typing in my full name, Virginia Alice Crawford.