Connection and Conversation: The Questions Worth Asking
A few months ago, I stopped going out. I don’t mean out of the house, I mean out socially. Of course I still see my friends regularly, usually in a more intimate setting, but I don’t go to bars or clubs anymore. Why? Because I got bored. Not of meeting new people, or being sociable, or drinking, but of the inane conversations that tend to dominate in social settings, and the lack of real connection between people.
What happened to intellectuals hanging out in bars, discussing the state of the world, lofty philosophical ideas, technological advancements and current trends in literature whilst knocking back the odd shot of absinthe? Is it that the intellectuals of today are all specialists and can only discuss their particular field? That no one reads newspapers anymore (although they’re full of crap nowadays anyway)? Is it simply that the MTV generation doesn’t possess the intellectual capacity to lead meaningful, diverse conversations?
The quality of communication is also an issue. Speaking with someone who is very conscious is a totally different experience to speaking with someone who operates at a lower level of consciousness - I don’t mean in an esoteric way but simply how awake, curious, alive they are. A conversation with someone who is very conscious is characterised by depth, authenticity, focus and deep listening, which makes it highly productive and equally satisfying for both parties.
James Redfield says “We all have a truth inside of us that we must tell. The synchronicity of life is all about becoming clear, knowing what that truth is, watching and taking advantage of the opportunity to express that truth, and knowing how to present it”. In his massively popular book “The Celestine Prophecy”, he maintains that when we meet someone (randomly, not when you go and chat up the hot guy at the bar), there is part of this person’s “truth” which we need to hear at precisely that moment in time. Superficial chitchat will not reveal this.
What happens when you have a highly conscious conversation with someone is that you get to that person’s “truth” very quickly, which means that connection, interaction, integration and synthesis can all happen at much faster pace than during a regular exchange. Imagine if all our conversations were like that? Our individual and collective evolution would be massively accelerated and our connections to others would have a much deeper quality.
Recently I’ve started to feel the pull to get out and mingle again (days getting longer, spring in the air and all that), so I’ve been wondering what I can do to try to have more meaningful encounters with people. I’ve never been good at small talk, mainly because I just don’t see the point – life’s too short and I don’t care what you do, I want to know who you are. So I started making a list of questions with the aim of getting to someone’s core as quickly as possible. Here’s what I’ve got so far:
- What are you passionate about?
- What are your three most important values?
- What drives you in life?
- What are the three things that interest you the most?
- What is the most important thing to you right now?
- If you could do anything, what would you do?
I figured I should probably be the guinea pig for this experiment so here are my answers:
- Every single facet of the current paradigm shift (social and individual)
- Honesty, humility, gratitude
- The knowledge that we can do better
- Consciousness, Social Potential, Cocreative Evolution
- Defining my purpose and working at becoming financially independent doing work I enjoy
- Not sleep. Ever.
I would love to hear your ideas and input!