An important conversation
One of the interesting things about today’s interconnected world is that we can have relationships with people whom we have never met in person. They can be the people in your life who you may talk with on the phone or email at work regularly, perhaps you have developed deeper relationships with people in the online world through the use of forums and chatting websites. Sometimes you don’t even know what these people look like, this can allow your mind to create a vision of them based on the way they communicate through the medium you use.
The other day I got to finally meet one of the ‘people without a face’ in my life. I had a meeting withEwan, my editor from The Press, about an idea for a series we could do around fitness. I walked into the reception area of The Press and after the receptionist called Ewan to let him know I had arrived I waited wondering what he would looked like. As the elevator door opened each time, I tried to pick out the person who I thought was familiar in my mind. It was clear that I got it wrong the first few times as I received some weird looks back from those I looked at, I diverted my eyes to my feet and pretended I was in a day dream but the forth person out of the elevator door wasEwan. I knew it was him as his response to my slightly strange look was a smile.
We headed into a conference room and spent the next hour nutting out what we were trying to achieve by doing this fitness series and discussing the best way to put it together. After that discussion had concluded our conversation changed direction and became more open and free flowing, we seemed to have a mutual respect for each other’s work and what we both had to offer in our own areas of expertise.
Ewan is a newspaper man, he has spent his whole career surrounded by the written word and it’s obvious that he cares about his work and the magic that well written words possess. While I do a little bit of writing, I don’t really see myself as a writer so I wanted to use this opportunity to gain some insight from him. I’m always interested in high level people in any area, people who have looked at their chosen area of expertise from every angle and have gained insights that only come from this depth of knowledge. I’m curious to know who these people see as the expert’s in their field, who they think are the leaders and the ‘guru’s’ are so I asked Ewan who he thought were the great writers. His eyes lit up as he started to share his insights about great writers. He was projecting admiration, understanding, ambition and love just by sharing something he cared so much about. I sat there just soaking it all up, I was inspired.
Ewan did a very important thing for me in that moment, he planted a seed in my mind for my own writing, he helped me understand what I should be aiming for when I sit down at my computer every Monday afternoon to write my weekly pieces. Will I ever get to that high level place he talked about? who knows, but the insight he shared with me helped me have a deeper understanding of where I’m heading with my writing.
So many of the conversations we have in our lives are about mindless stuff, gossip or irrelevant to our progression in life and while this is not always a bad thing, a great conversation can be one of the most powerful things in this world, you leave them having gained so much.
Think about the great conversations with impressive people that you have had in your life, what did you get from them? What I think is most interesting is that just about everyone we enter into a conversation with has this layer if we are willing to look for it. Remind yourself to be open to these types of conversations, to ask questions that open these doors, to gain as much as you can from those around you and maybe, like my conversation with Ewan, you will gain insights that will help you gain clarity in some very powerful ways.
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