My dad once told me that reason you don’t sweat the small stuff in is not because it’s all small stuff, but because the longer you’re around, the more big stuff there is, and you need to conserve your energy.
It’s a sobering reminder that the way we talk about big stuff is as important as the stuff itself. Because issues like sexuality, money, politics, faith, addiction, death, fear, health, these things might be heavy, but they’re still worth bringing into the light. They deserve to be talked about in a natural way.
Which reminds me of another helpful piece of advice from my therapist.
Aim for common, calm and casual.
Meaning, whatever you need to discuss with someone, bring it up as a neutral, normal issue. Talk about serious subjects no differently than you would about sports, laundry or grocery shopping.
That way, you can integrate all issues into the rest of your life, not have them split off. That way, the more you allow yourself to regularly and casually engage around these topics, the less you become weighted down by shame.
Compare that to the opposite approach, which is to be grand and formal and dramatic and calculated around serious topics. That was my modus operandi for years. Waiting around for the perfect moment to ambush someone with my heroic intervention.
It feels compassionate and useful and intimate, but most of the time, it’s more of performance for our own ego gratification as opposed to a genuine expression of care.
Back to those three words. Common, calm, casual.
Listening to, and connecting with people, instead of performing for them.
It’s a beautiful way to sweat the big stuff.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What happened to the last person you tried to fix?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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