I finally figured out something that took me 51 years: No one gives a damn about what you think and know. People only care about what they think and know. As you can see, I am slow learner. As one wise man once said, you are never too old to learn, and I hope I never stop learning about myself and my world every day.
I recently noticed that I seemed to waste a lot of time, resource and energy talking to people about ideas on various topics. We, curious types, like to do this because it makes us feel good sharing something that we have spent a lot of time focusing on. In addition, we also like to engage in a conversation to get some valuable feedback from others to enhance our understanding of those topics. We are curious so we are constantly learning and then come up with our perspectives on different ideas and then discuss them with others. Unfortunately, we are often disappointed and frustrated when the conversations don't go well. You can tell this by one of two things: Either the other person will go quiet on you or say something that is not supported by any facts that just drive you crazy. This results in the conversation veering of course or, worse, get into an argument that leaves both of you upset. Having a fun conversation suddenly became very unpleasant.
Before you blame people, it is really not their fault. People just can't process your ideas the way you came to understand and internalized them and then able to communicated them easily with others. We have to learn to bring these ideas to others slowly and carefully; and this can be time consuming. When we take this approach, it creates another problem: The other person will feel that we are dumbing down the conversation and likely get offended. The other person will quickly lose patience with you since you are taking too long to get to your point. Though frustrated, the other person will politely listen to you, but end up thinking of you as being smart but not that interesting to look forward to having another conversation like that.
To avoid this, most people, when talking ideas, resort to talking in sound bites that doesn't require a lot of explaining and convey to a person that you are someone who knows a lot and have given some thought to various topics. Because we are so busy with our lives today that, for many, this is all they can do to get by in our fast moving world. We just don't have time to think deeply about issues and topics any more, i.e, something that requires one to focus on an issue or a topic for a long time.
What are you supposed to do?
Stop talking to people ? No.
Stop thinking? No
Be careful with whom and how you talk ideas? Yes.
This advice is nothing new, but I think today you have to blog for your own sanity, otherwise you may stop thinking altogether since you are not likely to get any feedback, or worse, get negative feedback when you are discussing ideas with someone face-to-face. The unintended consequence of this is that you may stop spending time thinking which would be counterproductive and make you unhappy for not thinking. You need to come up with ideas to make your life worthwhile.
Here is what I do.
I write all my thoughts or record them and turn few of them into blogs once I think they are well developed like this one (you be the judge). I do not wait till they are perfect since these are my thoughts and I have only myself to satisfy and I am not going to be too critical of my thoughts no matter how crazy they may appear at the time. Unless I get constructive feedback (positive or negative), I am not going to re-think my ideas that I have shared in my blogs. Though they are my thoughts, I am not wedded to them. I am open to seek other people's thoughts and see if I can be persuaded. If I don't do it then I am not learning. I want to be challenged.
I am not saying that you should not talk to people about ideas, but if you want to have good to great conversations then you have to make sure that others have read your blogs. Without that, it is going to be a waste of time since you can't have a decent conversation without that person having some understanding of how you came up with the idea you are positing. The other person does not have to agree with you but at least you want to know what their thoughts are about the ideas that you have blogged.
For conversations with people, I am going to follow what I blogged about in the post titled, "Be a Hundred Percent Conversationalist."
This is not easy but I started doing this starting this year (2014) and I plan to document on quarterly basis on how this experiment is going so we can both learn from it.
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