Her book title may SCREAM “self-help book” but at the end of the day, is that such a bad thing? If you actually change how you do things for the better, there’s value no matter what it’s wrapped in. Mel Robbins’ book, “Stop Saying You Are Fine: Discover a More Powerful You,” doesn’t really reinvent the wheel when it comes to kick-starting your life but it does breakdown a way for you to stop, think, reassess and push a little tough love on yourself.
And from the book, I pulled out three steps in her Seven Day Stamina Challenge that really resonated with me from a how-we-can-connect-better point of view:
1) Make eye contact and smile at 5 strangers each day – it’s such a simple thing. Match their gaze, curl the sides of your mouth in an upward motion, hold, hold, hold, smile returned, release. Mel suggests that by adding this to your daily interactions with complete strangers, you’ll feel amazing AND add to their day as well. Win, win. When you make your way to work, by car, bike, bus, train or foot, how many opportunities do you have to do this? In the course of the day? What stops you from doing it? No, really I’m asking. I get that you might have had a crap day…but it’s not every day. And think about what that eye contact/smile combo could do for you on such a day. It might not turn your frown upside down but it certainly would fill those cracks of anger or frustration you might feel. Pile a few more on through out the day and you’re dealing with something pretty great.
2) Connect with others – or as I affectionately refer to it as “shut up and listen, it’s not all about you”. There’s a reason this word is in the title of this blog, it’s all about having real, meaningful connection. We are connected, sure, but is there meaning or value in that connection? When’s the last time you had four friends over? Three? Hell, I’ll let you squeak by with two. But you really have to be open to putting down your phone, closing your computer, picking up a glass of wine, turning on the cooking skills. You have to be open to getting old school. To just let the conversation flow. Mel makes a point to centre it around dinner, and I never argue with a women pushing food.
3) Break your routine – stop doing the same thing every day and embrace variance. Take a shortcut. Walk a new block. Try a different coffee spot. Eat lunch somewhere else. It’s amazing how just the slightest change can force us to get a little tingly. A little excited. You might find yourself saying things like, “Hey, I didn’t notice that before.” “Damn, it’s sunnier over here.” “This place looks different.” It’s very cool to see the every day differently. And it really doesn’t take much to get out of your rut. And what a great way to rediscover your city, even if it’s one street at a time. So, turn left, when you usually turn right. Sure you have a little further to go but it’s suddenly an adventure, not just a thing you do.
To recap: smile at people you don’t know, listen to your friends, mix up your regular routine.
Of all my friends and acquaintances, I can’t think of a single person that can’t do these. But it’s a matter of making it a priority.
So, what’s a simple thing you do to help you connect?