I suppose you could say that the older I get, the more nostalgic I become. Not that I think the years that have gone by are any better than they are now. Quite the contrary, I believe with my whole heart that our best days are always in front of us. It’s just that my mind recalls things from youth that seem so relevant to present day circumstances and I sometimes have to laugh.
Recently I was recalling an ad that played years ago on television by a certain telecommunications company whose slogan was simply, “Reach out and touch someone.” Such a simple concept, yet in a world that has become so inundated by technology via social media and other things, we continue daily down a slippery slope toward isolation from reality and relationships.
Our ability to authentically connect to people should not be lost simply because we have easier, faster, and more effective ways of doing it. Technology has always been meant to be a tool that betters our lives. When the telephone was invented, it made our ability to stay in touch easier because it was a time when people generally lived far apart from one another. You often would have to travel miles just to get to your closest neighbor, let alone family.
Phones connected towns and the people within them. But with its creation, people visited one another and less personable. With each passing generation and each evolving technical gadget, it appears we continue to lose touch with one another, despite our proximity to one another. A family can live in the same house, and yet become strangers simply because they are so jacked into their gear that they forget that they aren’t the only one in there.
- Plan: It’s always best to have a plan of action. Reaching out to others doesn’t happen easy if your life is active and busy. Get a plan and work it.
- Listen: Take a moment when time permits to actually listen. You’ll discover that when you do reach out to others that it is most beneficial. Your mood changes and you often get inspired in ways you never thought.
- Engage: It may seem awkward at the start, but when you engage others, it becomes reciprocal. We were made to connect and have contact with one another.
- Arrange: This may appear repetitive, but it isn’t. Arrange your day so that you can have specific and special times for reaching out. It’s not insincere to shuffle your day so that you can be around people that matter. Even when you have a plan, you have to know how to be flexible.
- Select: It’s also okay to be selective. Choose when you’re planning who you want to connect to ahead of time. Ask God to place specific people on your heart. So often we don’t realize how reaching out to someone at a particular time can have a major effect on them and us.
- Elevate: When you do begin to reach out, elevate your game a notch so that there becomes more to the moment than simple easy speak. Go deeper and seek to learn something you never knew. When you do, you’ll be amazed by what comes out of it.
Reaching out to others has a myriad of benefits for both you and others. Don’t allow technology to rule you, rule it. It’s merely a tool meant to improve life, not replace it. The first step may be the hardest, but there is nothing worse than never doing it at all. Try it once and see what changes take place.
QUESTION: When was the last time you had a real encounter through your personal endeavor to reach out to someone?
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