Saturday, May 09, 2009

How We See

We see things through our own perceptions rather than looking at life through an unfiltered lens. We miss so much when we only look through our own stories.

This past week at the Conversation Among Masters conference, that was cemented through so many realizations...

One was that a friend and colleague of mine was perceived to be loud and boisterous because she looked like she should be...yet she speaks quietly and thoughtfully and if you would watch her in her work you would instantly see how she centers the people she interviews and brings a sense of calm to any conversation.

Another was to bring to mind something that is always said to me "Your brother is busy. He doesn't have time for...." a usual excuse for him getting lost in his own self and ego. He's brilliant in what he does but by virtue of being a surgeon and a male, whether or not he works longer hours than others doesn't matter. He's busy. "We are not."

Some ask me how in the world I can do all I do in a day. I'm not necessarily busier than others, I just do things differently and have a different focus than others perhaps. Another perception...some people have more time than others. No. Time is finite and we all have the same available to us.

After dinner one night, one of my friends told me about a woman she shared a table with who had some fascinating stories. I knew of her but hadn't had any in depth conversations with her. I asked her if she would have time to meet the next afternoon during break so I could get to know her. She happily accepted my invitation and as we sat outside in a quiet corner she shared with me that she had known about me forever, about my work but never in her wildest dreams thought she would ever have face time with me. I was taken aback and asked why. She said "Because you're so well known, famous for your work, I just never thought it would happen."

I've met the most amazing people because I approached them through their humanity, not their role, title or position. I don't bow to people who say they're busy because of their status. I honour those who give of themselves despite how busy they are, based on humanness, not title or position. I never want to be too busy that I forget the important people in my life. I never want to be too busy to take time to meet new people and learn from them. Because if I do, if we do, then what is the point of being so busy? To what end? For a better life? To mean something?

Donna Karlin

***A book to take note of...

I was so blown away by the insights this book generated that I just bought 10 of them to give away to the special people in my life. That is how strongly I recommend it.

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