So much of our lives is transactional.
We queue (of course; we’re British!!), we pay, we leave. We whizz by, we wave hello, we move on. We’re so busy…
Enjoy little moments
So this week, here are 12 ways to enjoy moments, rather than merely transactions:
Make eye contact
Look the barista in the eye; enjoy that moment of connection. Wish her a good day and mean it.
A smile can make a big difference. Smile as you welcome a group, as you enter a meeting, as you pass someone in the corridor. If good manners cost nothing, then a smile costs even less.
Take a minute
See someone, as you pass on the pavement. Don’t just “walk on by” but pause for a moment. Have a brief chat. Enjoy a moment of connection with someone else. Who knows how much that little moment might have meant to them?
What’s the big hurry? Why all the rush? Be mindful as you walk to the grocery store. Look around you. Enjoy the feeling of the sun on your face, or the sound of raindrops on your brolly!
Don’t jam-pack your schedule with task after task. Let there be space to connect with others, add an unexpected activity or simply have time to think. Equally, allow plenty of time to get from a) to b). Who wants to put themselves under unnecessary pressure?
This applies in so many spheres of life: driving, typing, cooking, shopping… You name it, we’d all get there more safely, achieve a ‘right first time’ outcome and avoid missing (or forgetting) something if we’d just slow down.
Say thank you
Express thanks and mean it. The person on the receiving end of your thank you may be delighted – even surprised – so just do it!
Express gratitude not platitudes
Saying thank you matters, but expressing sincere, heartfelt, deeply-felt gratitude to someone who has touched your life can mean so much. When my father retired from a long career in teaching, a former pupil took the time to write and say how much he had appreciated what my dad had taught him. The young man had gone onto a career that had built on those early foundations. Imagine the joy at reading this. Express gratitude whenever you can.
Pay someone a genuine compliment
Don’t compliment the outfit. Tell them they look great. Comment on the way they delivered that session or how much you enjoyed something they had written. Tell them you find their baking delicious! Pay them a compliment today!
Extend an invitation
Invite new friends for a bring-and-share meal. Invite a friend to come and sit on your sofa and share a glass of wine. Ask someone to join you at an event you’re planning to attend. Even if they don’t come along, they’ll appreciate the invitation.
The best conversationalists are said to be those who actually ask the most questions. They make others feel at ease. They ask open questions and are genuinely interested in knowing you better. Practice asking questions, as well as sharing your own story.
You’ll have seen the post that urges us to be kind to others, because we are all facing unseen challenges. When that challenge becomes public, ask that person how they are. How are they feeling? “Tell me about that,” may be a way for the person to open up and share a problem. They might not want to talk, but a caring touch on the shoulder or a wordless hug can also mean a lot.
So, as this week unfolds, when can you turn a transaction into a moment? I’d love to hear from you!
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