Thursday, February 05, 2009

The People You Have Known Are The Ingredients Of Life

I have been pleasantly surprised recently with the number of people from my past who have suddenly crossed my path on Facebook.

I speak and train about networking skills, and one key point I emphasize with audiences is how important it is to keep your friendships alive. If you do not have regular contact with people they will drift away. Out of sight is out of mind. This is not good or bad, it is just the way life happens.

All of us, throughout our very mobile lives, have lost touch with interesting people. Maybe they were not our "best friends", but they are wonderful souls who left a positive impact in the stream of our history.

I believe we are at our core a combination of the people we have known and the experiences we shared with them. Our inner-self is a stew of these ingredients. Alone some of these people and experiences would be spicy, bitter or bland -- but mixed together they become delicious.

Ten years ago (heck two years ago) most people who drifted away would have just been memories. If they were not directly connected to you or one of your close friends you may never see them again (especially if you moved across the country or across town!). They might cross your mind on some winter day as you commuted to work. The thought would trigger a smile, and then you would move on with your own life.

But in our new interconnected online world, our web of contacts is re-energized. As more and more people venture into social media / networking communities, the possibilities of reconnecting with some very cool, but random, old friends becomes very real.

I got the following note last night from a woman I went to college with: "NOW I get what Facebook is all about! So nice to see a friendly face from long ago." She sums it up beautifully and she is right. There are so many people who tell me "I don't do Facebook" or "I don't get it". But it is when you run across that one person whose memory and / or current story inspires you, it suddenly makes sense.

All opportunities in life come from people. Therefore investing your time and effort in others will make your life more rich.

I have read the profiles and blogs of people I had not seen in years and now understand that in my lifetime I have been surrounded by amazing people with hearts of gold, ambition, compassion, talent, character and spirit.

This is making me look closer at those I see everyday, as these traits are not just reserved for those people from the past. I think we get busy and take for granted how amazing people are when we look beyond the surface.

Do not just "friend" people on Facebook (or other communities), but instead communicate with them. Read what they write. Cherish others.

For those whom I have reconnected with lately (you know who you are) - THANK YOU!!! My heart is more full of spice today than it was before. And for those whom have been with me all along - THANK YOU !!! Together you have helped me make a damn good stew.

Have A Great Day.

thom

PS - Have you read about my family's February Fundraiser for Children's Hospital? Please Click Here and read about the story of "The Kate Singer Endowment for Cranio-Facial Research"

2 comments:

Jack Zufelt said...

Enjoyed your posts and often visit your blog. Isn't social media just great for both personal and business purposes.

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

Very well said and true!! They are a wonderful way to recconect with old friends as well as a great avenue to develop new profesional relationships...