Don’t cheat yourself

Throughout my work, I’ve looked for ways to help professionals find their edge.

I enjoy creating opportunities for people to connect, and I like disrupting things. I carefully consider the talents, skills, and work of individuals to see how strangers might enter a room and leave as friends. I ask questions with the intent of changing the way someone considers another, helping people talk about challenges they might be afraid to admit. I like watching industries share ideas in ways they hadn’t before imagined. I call it curated networking, and no two experiences are alike.

The point is, I’m looking to change people’s lives through relationships.

We’ve somehow arrived at the juncture where we avoid connection.

We guard carefully against who we allow into our circles. We avoid eye contact walking down the street. We limit the time we devote to leisurely interact with others. Some even argue our ability to make new friends after a certain age. We fear strangers and write them off for having no value to our busy lives. We’ll connect — if it’s easy and convenient and there’s an easy out.

However you do it, refuse to be complacent.

You can find a connected, outside observer who has a fresh perspective and can introduce you to personalities you might not otherwise meet. You can set goals to meet fellow travelers and instigators who will push you to find that next level. You can promise yourself that you’ll place yourself in new situations, demanding more out of your life and others than what the people around you expect of themselves.

Find people who can challenge you, make you uncomfortable, surprise you, inspire you.

Find others who share your same belief in greater work, greater conversation, deeper meaning. Put yourself in situations to remind yourself of the power of serendipity. There are people out there waiting to meet you. Don’t cheat them by holding yourself back.

Don’t cheat yourself.