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Ready for the Big How-To Secret of Making Life Interesting Again?

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Ready for the Big How-To Secret of Making Life Interesting Again?

We’re having a big party in a few weeks with friends and family in America during one of our annual visits.

For the past 12 months, I’ve been obsessing over the details which are a challenge given that I live roughly 10,500 miles away (16,900 km). This week I finalized one of the hardest parts, the seating chart, and decided to make life interesting.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of putting together an event seating chart, you’ll know that it’s not a fun task.

You’re juggling colleagues, friends, family, and kids and trying to put them with the people who they know and love so they can have a good time. G-d forbid they should sit with someone they’re not related to, work with and haven’t known forever.

What would happen?

Chaos?

Chairs being thrown to the floor as people stomp out the door screaming:

“Next time freaking seat me with people I know!”

I tried to stay within the lines. I did. Then I took a step back and looked at my masterful design.

It worked. Everyone could comfortably stay in their own solar system.

We all love that right?

Trump enthusiasts can’t talk to Clinton supporters.

People who blame the parents for the gorilla who was shot can’t even look at the people who think that the parents are not to blame.

I believe THIS and love people who believe it too.

Anyone who doesn’t believe what I believe is not only wrong but also a moron.

… but how interesting is that?

Imagine:
 

I love the color blue!

Oh my gosh!  I love blue too!

Did you see when blue looks aqua in just the right light?

Totally and when it looks like the darkest ocean depths – amazing.

Right?

Right!

Worse: 
 

I love the color blue!

Oh my gosh! You do? I’m an orange fan.

Orange?

*chirp, chirp* (<< crickets)

Can you please pass the salt?

Oy! Talk about boring. Raise your hand if you want to be seated at either one of those tables. Any takers? What happened to being able to engage and co-exist?

What happened to leading with curiosity instead of righteousness? We all like to run in our circles, but something happens when circles collide- we discover that we’re living more of a Venn diagram and not so alone in the universe.

Ready for the big how-to secret of how to make life interesting again?
 

Intentionally mush things (and people) up. There ya go.

If you aren’t familiar with a Venn diagram, it’s a way to map two different concepts (or sets of beliefs) and find where they overlap and have something in common.

When I stay on my side, and you on yours, it gets kinda stale; predictable. On top of it – we miss out on finding those points of connection.

I decided to do something crazy to my seating chart and put people together who don’t know each other. I wanted to give people a chance to discover their living Venn. No, I didn’t go crazy and seat my parents with my husband’s cousin’s young children but did create pockets of opportunity for new relationships to form.

What about you?

On Facebook does every one of your friends reflect your viewpoints?

At family dinner, are there topics that are off limits because people will start to defend so loudly nothing could be heard or understood above the cacophony?

How do we break up our circles of sameness? There is no master seating chart that someone’s manipulating behind the scenes.

I often see the advice listen more, talk less as a way to build relationships but hard to do – especially when your blood is boiling.

Let’s replace listen more, talk less with the following four words:
 

Be curious, remain open.

Don’t sweat it if you’re worried that means remaining open to being converted, it doesn’t. It’s openness to understanding that transforms who we are and our relationships. As long as the curiosity and openness have respect leading the charge, we’re good.

Here’s the thing – to be curious and remain open that means that you need to put yourself in situations where there’s difference. Constantly confirming mutual brilliance becomes conforming acceptance. The world becomes black and white and the only color is put in after the fact.  Boooorrrrinnnngg.

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We all want to live a life of meaning, to be known. On the flip side, nobody wants others to go running in the opposite direction when they discover how we really feel and what we truly believe.

Open mind, my friends, open mind. 

Not everyone you meet will be your BFF, but you can still be curious about what makes them tick. I’ve recently been shocked that some people I adore support a candidate different from my choice for President of the United States. Does it make me hate them, ignore them or freeze them out? No – it makes me curious.

If you’re coming to our party next month, get ready to mash-up out of your comfort zone. If you’re not coming, I’ll let you know how my seating experiment goes.

When was the last time you sat down to talk with people and took the time to discover who they are and not only who they appear to be?

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