30 Second Networking Tip #67
Making sure your conversations match your environment will help you to keep people interested… and not running for the door.
I’m not just talking about your physical environment, but also your social environment. The key is to surround yourself with things that are not just positive but inspiring. That goes for the people you bring into your circle of influence too. Your environment does matter. A study by Dr. Nicholas Christakis and Dr. James Fowler found that people who are surrounded by happy people are more likely to be happy themselves.
Happy people are more productive… even you. The people and situations you surround yourself with can have a positive and profound impact on how you perceive the world, and therefore how you live in it. So be intentional about who and what you keep nearby.
Another way to impact your success is to grow yourself, not just your business. Emotional and intellectual growth both help you stretch yourself in good ways. Read books. Not just business books, but not just non-business books either. Listen to podcasts or interviews about things you don’t know much about. Watch documentaries and shows on new ways of thinking. Stretch your understanding of your business and industry by reading articles that may contain new ideas or new approaches you hadn’t thought of. Allowing yourself to be pushed a bit outside your comfort zone will help you be more flexible and better at spotting solutions you may have missed in the past.
Here are a couple of books I’ve read recently that I enjoyed. Feel free to try one of them out and watch your perspective open up. Both were eye opening looks at leadership that gave me some relevant insights.
Challenge yourself but also leave room to be uplifted. Make sure to surround yourself with things that inspire you. Whatever form that takes. Inspiration comes from many places and can also spark the creative process more effectively when you’re doing mundane tasks too. Paintings, graphic art, music, furniture or even the color of your office walls can help you feel surrounded by possibilities, or stuck in a beige business grind. Add some color to your day and you’ll find yourself smiling at odd times… and just possibly thinking more clearly too.
One of the things I do every morning is to start the day with music. I vary it by my mood, however I like to create mixes that I can play that puts me in a positive mood. In his book “This is Your Brain on Music”, Daniel Levity explains that “music involves nearly every every region of the brain we know about, and nearly every neural subsystem”. Maybe that’s why I like to listen to my mix so much when I’m getting ready for the day.
Listening to music activates the same pleasure areas in your brain that eating does. Areas that have evolved to reward productive behavior that keeps us alive. Perhaps this is where the idea that music nourishes the soul comes from. Below is a song that I like to listen to when I’m feeling overwhelmed or struggling to keep perspective when things aren’t going my way.
It is on several of my music mixes, especially the one I titled “Morning Coffee”. It has many songs that make me smile, tap my feet or want to move around. That musical energy is great for morning (I’m not a morning person by nature)… and it can pull me out of a slump to get me on track to have a great meeting, be more productive, or just make my day a bit brighter.
Business isn’t all making plans and executing them. Sometimes it takes extra effort or a boost of inspiration to get us over the hump. Use the tools you have but also learn to get more tools by exposing yourself to new ideas and ways of doing things. Surround yourself by people and things and experiences that motivate you to move forward, not just look backward. Life moves forward, time moves forward. Growing and stretching is natural. Learn from the past, live in the present and look forward to a wonderful future.
What do you use to inspire or motivate yourself during the day? Leave a comment below and tell me, I’d love to know.
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