Energy

November 11, 2012

There's an invisible energy that comes from being around people. It's something all of us need. It's not addicting like cigarettes or alcohol. It's more like something we should get, but we don't get enough of, at least most of us. Like sleep. We all know we should get more sleep. It makes us less grumpy, more productive, more energetic.

What does being around people do to you? It stirs something inside you. Something inside your stomach, or your heart, or your head, that whirs and gets words and thoughts outside your head. Or creates new ones. It wakes you up, physically and inside, because how can you be tired if you're talking to someone fascinating? It's a chance to express yourself. Just like your clothes are an expression of yourself, and your good work. You know that high you get after a great conversation?

But more importantly, it's a chance for laughter. Sure you can laugh by yourself if you're reading a funny book, or watching a funny movie, but I think real laughter is shared with someone. Isn't that why funny movies are better in a crowded theater? And nothing beats face to face laughter. Nothing beats nonchalantly coming up with a stupid joke that both of you happen to laugh at. Nothing beats laughing at something unexpected together.

And it's a chance to improve. I think everything worth doing has room for you to improve at it. But how do you improve being around people? By enjoying it more. Take in the moment, and don't linger on it after it's gone. Find more ways to connect. And be the best version of yourself. That's a hard one. Stand up straight, speak clearly, and be interested. Notice I didn't say be interesting. That will come naturally if you're genuine, I think. Open your eyes, be animated, look alive. It's more important for you to enjoy being around others than it is for others to enjoy being around you, although that comes if you enjoy being around yourself.

If on a Friday night you have a choice to go out with friends and read a book, both are amazing things to do. But if you've chosen the latter four weeks in a row, do yourself a favor and jump in to the party. It's like jumping into the beach on a hot day. It's cold as the water seeps up but when you're finally in, there's nothing better. Recharge your people gauge. You might not need much, but we all need at least a little.