The conversations each of us chooses to have can change the world. Or destroy it.
Every word we put out into this world, each question we choose not to ask, each conversation we choose not to have, or to have, but carelessly – each of these aggregates into a lifetime’s worth of impact.
Think of the sum average of MLK’s words. Gandhi’s words. Trump’s words. Hitler’s words. Words that created a better future humanity…or words that destroyed millions of human lives. When’s the last time you stopped to weigh the sum aggregate of all the words you’ve chosen to speak or to not speak, and the impact it has on humankind?
That’s why I want to explore how we can be more intentional about the words we choose, the conversations we choose to have, the questions we choose to ask…so that we can look back at the sum total of everything we’ve spoken into reality over our lifetimes, and be aware of whether we chose to change the world for the better, or not.
There are 3 parts to learning how to have conversations that can change the world. I’m calling them parts rather than steps because you don’t necessarily have to do these in order…though I won’t deny, there’s likely a lot less friction if you do them in order. But don’t feel you have to – I didn’t, and still somehow ended up here!
The first part is the conversations you have with yourself, 24 hours a day.
The second part is the conversations you have with your family, friends, and colleagues.
The third part is the conversations you have with humanity writ large.
Let’s start with Part 1 (and I’ll write about Part 2 & 3 in followup articles). The conversations you have with yourself. These are important because your thoughts create your own reality. And then your reality becomes the words you put into the world. And the words you say, shape the world around you.
The problem with our thoughts today is the amount of noise that owns our mindspace. The quality of our thoughts is not measured by the quantity of content we can jam into our minds in the shortest period of time. Consuming endless amounts of content through social, news, podcasts, or even books, without the utmost intention, can lead to an absolute deficit of the most powerful thoughts of all – your own.
There’s been a lot said on meditation (if you’re looking to explore, Thich Nhat Hanh, Deepak Chopra are some of my favorite spiritual teachers). Another is contemplation – the art of curating questions for you to have a conversation with yourself about. This is what I’ve loved most, because for me, one of the most powerful conversations I’ve cultivated has been the conversation I have with myself. As an extrovert, this was by no means something that came naturally to me. But in having a conversation with myself, I discovered that:
First, I had all the answers I was seeking externally, if I took the time to frame the right question to myself.
Second, society conditions us to believe that we are unwhole without a partner, hundreds of friends, and something to keep busy with every hour of the day – when the reality is, we are actually totally whole, in and of ourselves.
Third, the person I most trust in this world is me.
Fourth, the greatest love story of all, is the one that we never hear about – it’s your love story, with you.
And fifth, when you have a replenishable energy source that exists within you, how you approach others completely shifts. You can give from a place of not needing, not seeking, not wanting – but from a place of true intention.
The conversation that starts with YOU is where the conversations to change the world begins.
We know these people, the ones that seek to help others because it’s the right thing to do but they don’t really know why, to make a difference measured by number of lives impacted, to be significant and leave a legacy…all this comes from what happens when we try to change the world without having solid foundations in our core selves. I say this because I was like this ten years ago. There is an absolute night and day difference to the purity and intention we bring to changing the world when our selves are already complete and whole.
So, set a date night with yourself (and grab a contemplative bottle of wine or scotch, why not) to have some deep conversations with yourself. Here’s a tasting menu I’ve designed for you to start:
- What is the transformative conversation I want to have with myself?
- What are my values and am I living in accordance with them?
- What can I do to grow my capacity for love today / tomorrow?
- What can I do to better my health today / tomorrow?
- What can I do to practice courage today / tomorrow?
- What can I do to create a better future for humanity and our planet today / tomorrow?
- What do I want to create and bring into existence?
- What do I believe is a life worth living?
Here are 13 questions to answer before you die.
Here are 36 questions to help you live longer.
As always, message me to share questions & conversations worth having.