People matter. At least to me they do. At the end of the day every business, every non-profit, every school, everything has to do with people. Interactions with others help us to learn, help us to grow, help us to receive feedback, help us to vent, help us to feel loved, and on and on.
It is easy to get caught up in school, organizations, making money, etc. And once we do, it becomes extremely hard to make time for the people in our lives. It becomes difficult to make time for interactions with others that can inspire us and lead us to new ideas and fresh perspectives.
Today I got to sit down over coffee with Garrett Gravesen. We had never met in person other than in passing. It was a chance meeting based on a text message I responded to last night to a mutual friend. We didn’t even serve the initially intended purpose by getting together. But we did have a great conversation. And the only reason that was able to happen was because we both made time. We made time for what amounts to sitting down with a stranger to talk about… well, I guess whatever came to mind. We ended up learning alot about one another and finding plenty of common ground between us. All in an hour.
I left the coffee house renewed, refreshed, and with an even clearer vision of what kind of impact I want to have when I leave college.
My point is not that you should have coffee with people that you don’t know on a personal basis every day. My point is this: an opportunity to connect with someone is an opportunity to learn. Whether you learn about them, or you learn about you, or you learn a little about each of you, the time is well-spent. Maybe you could go to work for an hour or nap or go to the gym. But, at the end of the day, I know I will think much more often and fondly about the opportunities for great conversation than almost anything else.
My challenge to you (and to myself): Make time every week to spend time with people that matter to you… And maybe every once in a while to take a chance on spending an hour getting to know someone – as I’ve said before: Everyone has a story.