In our society today, “connections” is a huge buzz word. If you are connected, you are someone who has access to and influence with the “right” people. The “right” people will vary depending on certain situations that arise. At times, we may desire connections in the school systems, with financiers, with health professionals or connections with business people and friends. We may also require spiritual connections, love connections and connections with individuals of like-minds. It is the connections you have and the amount of influence you have with them, along with your belief in yourself that will provide strength, security, and the means for creating abundance in your life.
Real and meaningful connections are those which you can call on at a moment’s notice. Examples of real connections are the family-member you know will be there for you unconditionally; the business associate who has an answer, or will find one for you, simply because you asked for it; or the friend who listens and provides a safe space for you to be yourself. These vital connections provide non-judgmental support, assistance, creativity and knowledge.
Being connected in business connotes power. If you are well-connected, you wield power when decisions need to be made or support garnered for a cause. If you are well-connected, you command respect from others, because it is well-recognized that people who are connected and those who use their connections to get things done are a valuable asset. It is known in business circles that connections are more important and more valuable than money. In business, being connected and having influence with people who have money, provides even more power, because it is true that money is an undeniable component in business transactions; especially where financial leverage is needed.
It may be said that connections equal power. It may also be said that connections equal life.
As we know from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, one of the six basic needs is the need for socialization – love, friendship and comradeship. This is a need for love and belonging. This is a need for basic human contact. In fact, this is a need for connections. There is a vast difference between basic human contact and real connections.
Contacts may be fleeting and superficial in nature. A contact may provide a link to a desired person or thing for a certain period of time, but a contact does not necessarily have staying power or influence. Making a first contact, though, is the perfect starting point for making real connections.
Unlike a contact, a connection is solid, usable, constant and undeniable. A connection may be called upon for any number of things. A real connection is lasting and usually unquestioning. Connections may exist for specific or general purposes. For example, you may have certain connections in business, others for your family life and others still within your circle of friends. Some of these connections may never know each other. You are the cog, the link, the glue. It is your choice when and if it is valuable for these individuals to meet. As you can see, there is power and responsibility in being a connector.
The beauty of real connections is the way they make you feel. Connections may provide security, freedom, opportunity, friendship and grace. Real connections make you feel capable, unstoppable and perhaps “larger” than you might otherwise feel as an individual. Connections make you feel expansive.
Here are 7 tips for making real connections in life that are lasting, beneficial, enjoyable and will serve you:
1. Be yourself. Be real. Pretense in any situation can be dangerous. When you meet someone, simply be yourself. You may choose to put your best foot forward and be “your best self” and that is perfect. People who resonate with your personality and energy will be drawn to you. You will find that being yourself at all times, makes for a life filled with ease, grace and less stress.
2. Be likeable. You know there is a part of you that is truly likeable and engaging and attractive. There is a part of you that people are drawn to and want to be around. If you take stock of how you are “being”, you will know when you are being charming or uninviting. Always “check your attitude” at the door and choose to be the likeable you!
3. Express gratitude freely. It is said that you learn much about an individual’s character by how she speaks of others. Know that words have power. Any thanks or praise therefore, that you can give about another person gives power to everyone in the transaction. Power is heightened for the individual you share it with, the individual you share it about and also for you. It is always appropriate to express gratitude.
4. Be present. No matter where you are or what you are doing, give yourself freely to the people that surround you, the task at hand and the individuals who will be effected by your actions, words and presence. Put aside the chatter of your mind, clear your plate and simply be present. Being present is a gift for you and everyone else touched in the moment.
5. Make new connections at every opportunity. Even if you think you don’t have time for another person in your life, think again. There is always room for someone with good energy, an open spirit and the “right” connections. When you choose to expand the circles of your life, you are choosing to expand yourself. Expansion is exciting, empowering, exhilarating and fun. You never know where a connection will lead, because you never know who or what anyone knows until you open up to them. The next person you meet may be holding the answer to your questions. She may be the perfect connection for you. Get connected.
6. Reach out and touch someone. The human touch contains more energy than any word, thought or material item. Touching someone makes an instant connection. They will pay closer attention to you, they will feel more a part of the conversation and they will feel that you care about them. A touch can be a small gesture like a handshake or a hand placed on their arm or shoulder. A touch can also be a bigger gesture like a hug, a kiss or holding hands. No matter the length or intensity, a touch commits your energy to the other person and creates an immediate physical bond. This will create, enhance and strengthen your intellectual and emotional bond and supply meaning to the conversation, the topic and your relationship. Perhaps above all, touching feels good.
7. Use wisely your power of choice. We all have the same 86,400 seconds in each day. How do you use yours? Are you honoring yourself and your time? If you do not have a big, huge “why” for how you are spending your time and who you are sharing it with, and if you are not enjoying yourself ~ do something else. Seriously, find other people to hang around with, do business with and live with. Move if you have to… physically move from your space, whether this is taking two steps back or moving to another community. The connections of your life matter. Find something and someone you completely love. Find something and someone who makes your heart sing. Find something and someone who inspires you. When you do, you will know the beauty and joy of real connections. Today is not a dress rehearsal.
It’s your life. These are your connections. You get to choose. Choose to have a blast!
Now, that’s Powerful!