When I first decided to start writing a blog, I questioned exactly how to go about doing that.
I carried out some research and discovered that I should be funny, creative and informative; I should have a hook as well as a business link, an emotional connection and in addition I need to ensure that the words I use maximise search engine optimisation (SEO). Pressure building I then started searching and reading a variety of blogs. I found myself experiencing several different emotions, some I felt I’d been totally preached at, I felt told off for not having the intellect and understanding to change the macro challenges of life, then there was the occasional one that truly made me self evaluate and examine my thoughts and feelings, to which I responded with a heart felt comment – I posted my response to hyperspace and to this day I have no idea if anyone even saw never mind acknowledged.
So I’ve been mulling over the question do I or don’t I start to blog on a regular basis – What’s the purpose? I want to engage and share, I want to build my networks and develop relationships – I don’t however want it to be contrived, part of a sales strategy or inauthentic. It all started to seem like hard work.
Then 3 months into pondering, something happened… I had a ‘cosmic’ experience, one that outweighed all elements above. Quite simply a moment where the stars aligned, the angels sang and all the interconnectedness of life all came together at once. This is a memory that will be stored for a lifetime and one that has inspired me to blog because it’s my only way of sharing.
So here’s what happened…
I was travelling with work, in the beautiful country of Singapore. I was immersed in the culture, the heritage and history. I had been on a few city tours and was well and truly in ‘tourist’ mode. On one of the days I had time to fill in between tours, so I headed off to find one of the old Buddhist temples. I managed to find one of the oldest in the city; I entered and started to take photographs of the scrolls and scriptures. The whole place was overwhelmingly spiritual, calming and peaceful. I’ve had this feeling before, growing up and being schooled a Roman Catholic, however, I’d not had for many years. The feeling experienced was so unusual it actually made me stop, stand still and pause to reflect. The sense I had at the time was so powerful I attempted to capture and retain by favouriting the images on my phone. This would mean they would display on my watch face on daily basis as this photo gallery changes every time I lift my wrist. As I was about to leave the temple I felt my arm being tugged, I looked to my left to find a monk holding on to my hand. He enquired about my watch and was curious as to why I’d chosen the images displayed (which now included his temple), he invited me to sit and talk whilst we enjoyed a pot of tea.
It’s difficult to describe what happened fully, we sat and talked for a couple of hours – we talked about technology, religion, the new generation, global warming, politics, the economy (including Brexit) and then we moved on to discuss values, appreciation and respect. It was a heady, healthy conversation, one I felt able to fully contribute to, one that stirred my passions and ignited my energy. It made me brave enough to ask questions, seek understanding to learn more about Buddhism as a faith. I found out how the buildings were constructed to naturally encourage respect on entry (stepping over the threshold means your head dips), I learnt a little more about ‘Feng Shui’ and that the more joss-stick smoke that’s created the quicker your message is meant to be with the gods! This last one caused plenty of humour as my new friend then proceeded to provide me with a joss stick that was approximately 1 inch wide – stating that “I might need extra help” later when I sent up my thoughts and prayers…
It was a conversation that cost NOTHING other than time; and these two hours will be one of the greatest investments I’ve ever made.
In true ‘blog’ style I could tell you what that the text books say, what theories and models will enable communication to happen more often and more effectively, and what hashtag to use. However, I don’t want to do that.
Instead, what I can do is make the connection as to how a simple image on a screen encouraged an interaction, how the differences between cultures and life experiences is at least worthy of a conversation. I can talk about how if we did this on a regular basis not just as managers and leaders but as ‘human beings’ the world would be a greater place. I wanted to share this experience and trust that those how read it will recognise that the true art of communication can happen everyday and through a basic conversation.
Now that’s worth blogging about!