Is It Time For A Life Chat?

 
 

Last week I had two unforgettable experiences. The first was the opportunity to spend time with five individuals who I have known for over 30 years. We had not been together as a group for five years, and the chance to reminisce and catch up on what was going on with each of us was just fantastic. That was the first experience.

The second one, while involving this same group, was very different. As we enjoyed a meal together before going our separate ways, one of my friends casually said to the group, "So what's next?" We initially thought he was referring to our next time together, but he clarified his comments with this statement: "We have reached the point in life where we know how to be successful. The question for me now is, 'How do I focus more on significance?'"

A "life chat" ensued. A much deeper conversation where the answers don't come easily, but one where you leave with more clarity about where your time and energy should be focused. In today's hurried world, I find that life chats are not very common, but are so refreshing when they do occur. What makes them so valuable? Here are three reasons:

They break us out of our "check off the list" trap.
Leading up to this encounter, I had been so busy getting stuff done that I hadn't recently stopped to ensure that it I was focusing on more long term goals. Your mind can convince you that you're successful because you are checking off everything on your list, but when you stop for a moment, your heart begs the question, "Are they the things that really fulfill your purpose?"

They force us to look outside our comfort zone.
One of my life quotes is, "When you're green you grow and when you're ripe... you rot." I can recall several points in my life when I got into the most trouble because I became too comfortable with a skill, a relationship, my business, or even my life. When people challenge us to dig deeper into our lives, we see the gap between where we are... and where we want to be.

They serve as a source of much needed encouragement.
As I listened to my friends around the table sharing their thoughts and challenges, I kept finding myself thinking, "Me too!" When we avoid life chats, we deny ourselves the opportunity to learn that others are struggling with the same things we are, and we miss the chance to encourage them to move forward by using examples from our own journey.

I left that conversation with a greater sense of urgency about aligning my work and life to better achieve what I know in my heart is important to me. All from one question that someone wasn't afraid to ask.

How could a life chat help you move forward?

For more on this topic:
Questions For A Lazy Summer Afternoon
When A Lack Of Balance Is Okay