Here’s a paradox.
While we believe that technology is increasing individual interconnectedness and bringing us closer, at the same time, we’re actually becoming an ever more self-centred society.
From taking countless ‘selfies’ to posting streams of trivial information on Facebook, we are so focused on our own self-importance, that we are slowly losing our ability to truly connect with others and understand others’ needs.
So as technology becomes more ‘human’, we humans are becoming more ‘robotic’ and isolated from the world … and often without even realising it. How many of us have emailed someone sitting next to us in the office rather than making the effort to speak to them?
However, as we begin to live in a bubble of our own making, we are also limiting our ability to reach our true potential. Why?
Because unless what you do makes a difference, your life will seem meaningless. It’s only by making a contribution that you have the opportunity to develop, grow and evolve, so enabling you to lead a richer and more fulfilled life.
So how can you connect better with others? Here are few ideas:
1. Actively reach out to those around you.
Don’t wait for others to make the first move. No one is a winner when you remain isolated. Make an effort to connect, or reconnect, with friends, colleagues and business associates, and to create new connections and friendships with people in all areas of your life.
2. Be curious about the wider world.
When you are interested in a wide range of different subjects you become a more rounded and creative person who is much better equipped to see the connections between things. Learning brings with it passion and flexibility of thinking, qualities that will make you an asset in any walk of life.
3. Get out of your comfort zone.
Explore contrary views and different ideas that you may not immediately be drawn to. Pushing your thinking like this will automatically take you out of your comfort zone and so awaken you to seeing the world with fresh eyes. No longer will living life in a small box be your default setting.
4. Sometimes more is better.
While it’s tempting to try and do everything yourself, particularly if you are of an independent nature, often you can achieve more with others. So, even if you’re a lone wolf, you can still get in some good natured ‘competitive co-operation’ with your peers, pushing each other to achieve your best.
5. Legacy matters.
What each of us does has an impact on the wider ‘ecosystem’ around us, including those who you know and often many more who you don’t. That impact can be a positive one if you consciously set about living a legacy by building something that is greater than just yourself.
Reaching out to others doesn’t mean suppressing your own individuality. Far from it. I believe that as individuals, being more than just ‘me’ empowers us and others, while bringing greater vitality and motivation into our own lives too. As Gandhi said: ‘Be the difference you want to see in the world’.
Try and watch what happens.
Maite Barón is a multi-award winning author passionate about courageous leadership, happiness and wellbeing. She is a co-founder of The Corporate Escape™, which specialises in helping professionals rekindle their passion for life and reinvent themselves as business owners. She’s an international speaker and a regular contributor to the influential Huffington Post, Global Banking and Finance Review (GBFR) and Entrepreneur.