Sunday, February 12, 2017

Age Responsibly

I love helping people and wish I knew five years ago what I know now. It took me years to get to where I am today. As I come across challenges, I want to help people grow faster than I did. 

And I recognize it will take me years to get to where I want to be. My intentions come with humility but my actions may not always display that. 

I was always taught to share what I knew and ask questions when I didn't know.  There is nothing worse than assuming. 

Well, one thing: being mistaken as an arrogant know it all. 

After receiving a negative response when providing insight to someone, it got me thinking: what did I say? I was just trying to help. Or maybe I should ask myself: how did I say it? 

The timing and tone of my input was off, thus leading to the perception that I was better at this particular action and that I was a "know-it-all."  How can I be better in the future? How I can truly demonstrate care, support and humility without bringing someone down in the process? 

It comes with experience. Experience can sometimes relate to age. 

I've been in denial that I am entering my 30s this week. Trying to make it the new 20s, my brother (who is 12 years senior to me) reminded me how I made a dentures joke in his 30th birthday card. Ouch, Tima. 

What I've come to realize is that age isn't all bad. As each year progresses, we can either improve or stay where we are. I started out by saying how I'm a different person than who I was at 25 and I can only hope to be a different and better person at 35. 

To demonstrate care, support and humility it starts with being human. We have flaws in our communication styles and get trapped in our own bubble from time to time. The key to being better is to always be more personable. 

When we call our insurance company or credit card service, we have an urge to speak to a person, not an automated service. So why is it so hard to be personable in day-to-day conversations? 

There's a way to point to the process and a way to be blunt but in all those cases you can easily acknowledge the person you're talking to. Acknowledge their presence. Their state of mind. Their challenge. When we're empathic, it becomes easier to communicate. 

Being personable can take you a long way. I'm hoping to mature in how I communicate and connect. I'm hoping to grow and how I grow will be based on each and every decision I make.

I want to look back five, ten or twenty years and smile at the path I've crossed; the path I created. 

But with that smile comes a sense of humanity. So the next time I hit a major birthday milestone, I need to be reminded that I got there with experience. Hopefully people can vouch that with my age and growth, I arrived through care, support and humility. 

A superhero's uncle once said: "with great power comes great responsibility."  I'm becoming convinced that with greater age comes greater responsibility and greater consequences. 

Don't discount your age. Instead, make every year count for the best.