25 Jul Today, Give Yourself the Gift of a Quality Interaction

The Universal Message of Today: “If you want to be successful, you must do more and go faster.”

The Unfortunate Results: Increased loneliness and deadliness. According to a Knowledge Networks Survey, the number of adults reporting loneliness has doubled since the 1980s, from 20 percent to 40 percent. A BYU study confirms that loneliness can be more deadly than smoking 15 cigarettes a day. 

If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all been lonely at different points in our lives. I felt alone when I failed my high school ACT exam, sat on the bench during my last college basketball game and froze on stage while presenting an award. When have you felt lonely?

Why has loneliness increased over the past decade? Likely, new trends in remote working and collaborative technology platforms reduce the opportunities for in-person interaction and relationships.

No matter how far technology advances, our basic human emotional needs will never change. The need to be seen and appreciated. The need to belong. The need for a little love. This is given and received only through intentional, genuine engagement with others. 

In 2011, I was the General Manager of the Wisconsin Athletic Club – Downtown. Through the power of human connection, my friend and former colleague, Kelly Bjornstad, introduced me to a member, Judy Behnke. I learned so much about Judy’s life and career with the Milwaukee Police Department.

While talking to her, I also learned that she lived alone. Five minutes later, Judy went on to say, “The club isn’t like my family… the club is my family.” Fast forward two years. On September 2nd, 2013, we celebrated Judy’s 70th birthday at the club with her club family. Look at how powerful patience and connecting can be. 

Together, let’s bring back the value of interpersonal connection in our day-to-day lives. To do so, we must overcome the biggest barrier — OURSELVES. We get in our own way and tell ourselves the lie that we don’t have enough time to connect with other human beings.  

ACTION: Start simple — spend five minutes a day seeking out person-to-person conversation. Give yourself the gift of a quality interaction. Start by asking where someone is from, what someone’s name is, what someone’s career aspirations are or what someone likes to do for fun. Never underestimate the power of connection.

Sign up for more of Derek’s insights!

Check Derek’s speaking availability for your next event.

Purchase Derek’s book, SHIFT: Move from Frustrated to Fulfilled.

Attend one of Derek’s upcoming events.

Download free resources: SHIFT Workbook, SHIFTability Assessment, and more.