Hey, how are you?

Good, how you?

Good.

Very productive chat, wasn’t it?

Don’t you feel all the more in tune with that individual because you had such a riveting conversation? The depth of knowledge you gained from those few, short, yet power-packed phrases is nothing short of colossal.

I’m being sarcastic.

As we’re moving towards the end of 2018 another year of growth, triumphs, sadness and failure, I’m in reflective moods.

I’m in “I’m wanting to change myself for the better type moods”.

One of my already declared crusades is a war against the Comfort Zone. It’s a seducingly, growth stunting, lie of an arid desert.

The Comfort Zone: A Dangerous Place

To be true to words of waging war on the comfort zone, I’ve started doing video. For someone who’s not a real extrovert or dashingly handsome, this was a bit of a nerve breaker. But I’ve committed to a video every other day to start with.

One video you can find – here

(Self plug) Go to my full profile and you can find the other one along with more on me.

Another one of my quests, in my own life of course, is to stamp out small talk.

It’s trivial.

It’s banal.

It’s a waste of time.

Worst of all, it’s a lie.

Why ask someone “how are you?” if you don’t really care or have the time to stop and listen and explain, etc..?

This mindless chitchat also keeps us further chained in the comfort zone prison. We feel like we made a connection or bridged a gap. It was all just verbal currency that doesn’t mean anything.

We go to the old small talk crutch because that placates us. Also we don’t truly want to be bother and get “messy” into others’ live. We’re selfish.

I mean, when I go to the checkout line in Food Lion to buy my tofu cubes and Sierra Nevada, and the clerk asks “How are you?”, I want to say, “Why, have you heard something?”

Hopefully by stopping these useless words to proceed from my own lips, I can help others.

Does that mean I don’t want to greet someone? Maybe…sometimes.

I live in the south. It’s almost, as if in the south, people think that if there’s another human in front of me, I must conjure up some form of conversation. Occasionally I miss life in China where the average Zhou didn’t care so much about the person in front of them, handling the basic, daily transaction.

Perhaps people feel a palpable awkwardness if they don’t quote unquote reach out to the other person with that magical 3-worded question.

From now on, I’m going full beat down mode on small talk.

I’m shooting for good questions.

If I cannot take the time to ask good questions and receive proper answers, it’ll have to wait for another day. We need to have patience in some of these things…

For example:  “Hey, that’s the guy I see everyday. We’ve never talked. I’ll see what he’s in to and maybe we can get together and talk business”.

If we’re going to talk, let’s schedule a time and share.

How can we cook something up together in our respective zones of work or influence?

Tell me more about yourself so I know how to help you?

These lead to depth. Seeds grow better deep soil.

All of my “how are you’s?” are changing to….

A smile.

A “good day”

A flat “hello”.

If they ask me that question, I may give them the real answer.

Or do something even worse.

What could be worse?

Talk about the weather.