An essential skill to freak out a bartender or lead a revolution.
On Sunday morning, I had a seemingly ordinary brunch in New York City. I didn’t think I was doing anything strange until I realized I was freaking out the bartender.
I was just trying to chill.
I’d just left a pretty intense training session. My teacher suggested I keep my mobile phone turned off to help integrate the learning. I did.
At the restaurant, I sat down at the bar in one of 20 or so empty barstools. The bartender chatted me up and took my order.
Then he and the restaurant manager started hustling behind the bar to fill a large drink order for a table of impatient guests.
I just watched.
With no phone to hold, I propped my elbows on the bar and looked around . . . at the displays of liquor on the shelves . . . at the industrial design features of the room . . . at the two people rushing to make the drinks.
I was the oddball.
After a few minutes, the manager walked up to me and said, “Sir, is everything ok? Do you need something? Have we not taken your order yet?”
I responded, “Yep, I’m good.” She looked like she didn’t believe me but got back to work.
Her questions made me wonder, why did she think something was wrong?
Then it hit me.
I was behaving extremely strangely. I was sitting at a bar with no one to talk to and no food to eat . . . and my face WASN’T in my phone.
I was doing nothing—except being present.
When was the last time she’d seen a customer sit alone at her bar and just take everything in?
Clearly, something was wrong.
Why else would someone just sit there, by themselves, looking around the room?
Turning to our phones and other distractions is so common that a person stands out as odd if they’re by themselves and NOT on their phone.
So I asked myself . . .
What’s wrong with this picture? Study after study tells us that people long for authentic, real connections. We don’t need scientists to tell us that’s true!
Yet, in the moments when we could make a connection, we automatically turn to packaged content on a device for a dopamine hit instead of just being with the real live content in front of us?
Does this apply to you?
Is the stuff on the phone that awesome?
Or is it just easier than dealing with what’s real—like being with the people or the place around us? Or heaven forbid, being with our own thoughts and feelings. Those are risky behaviors!
What is your go-to move?
Think back on your last several hours, today. If you had a free moment, what did you do with it? If you were in a meeting, did you stay totally engaged? Were you present with the people who were talking to you? Did you glance at your phone?
It’s easier to distract yourself than to be present.
The easy path is to focus on the packaged content on our phones rather than the real content in front of us. Crazy, right?
Here’s why it matters:
- Do you want to lead a revolution and change the world?
Without exception, the people who are changing their world have definitely mastered one thing: they know how to manage their attention exceptionally well.They’ve learned how to stay present far more often than taking the easier path of distraction, even under high stress. It’s a skill I call having a “mind to win.”
- Can you change the world by yourself?
Or will you need help? The leaders who enroll others in their movement pay attention in a specific way. They stay present at an extreme level with the people who are helping them change the world.Having someone pay full attention to us is such a rare trait that it’s a magnet that draws people to you. You know it for yourself. You raise your game to support leaders who give you their full-on presence.
- You can have the best ideas in the world.
However, until you can stay relentlessly present to who and what is at hand, you squelch your power to deliver them.Presence is the free superpower we rarely cultivate. Also, people notice it—as I was reminded of on Sunday.
What do you care about so much that you’re going to learn to bring your full presence to it?
Is now the time for you to amplify your Presence and Power?
Are you raising the stakes and challenging your world?
Maybe now’s your time for the building a Mind to Win program. You’ll learn why you unconsciously squelch your Presence and Power and how to grow it for the bigger game you’re playing. It’s the last time I’m leading in 2018.