Be Interested Rather Than Invested?

In some of our previous podcasts, you might have noticed the theme of “be interested rather than invested” when it comes to communication, however not specifically in those words. This is a bit more overt – ‘cause it just happened.

I woke up and immediately noticed that something was different.  As I re-entered consciousness from the fog of dream-state, I turned off my clock radio and went about my morning routine.  Yes, I still have a clock-radio.  As I was sipping my first cup of coffee, I took some time to reflect on why things felt different today – more hopeful and uplifting.  My thoughts went back to the commentators’ conversation on the radio when I first awoke.  It was December 1, and they were discussing Santa’s Anonymous and the start of their fundraising drive.

So What?

No big deal, you might say, that happens every year.  So, what made this different? 

Each day for many months prior, the conversation on the radio was pandemic-focussed.  On November 30, the commentators were having a very heated discussion about who was doing the right thing vs who was doing the wrong thing over the weekend regarding new restrictions.

How can a conversation that someone else was having, even before I was fully awake, impact how I was feeling?  As I continued to sip my coffee and reflect, a quote from a friend came to mind.

“Be interested rather than invested.”

Example:

In a conversation, I can be interested in the conversation and the people who are having it.  I can choose to be curious about aspects of the topic, without judgement. 

I become invested when I feel I need to argue a point or defend something or, conversely, when I feel uplifted and excited about what is being said, because I am in agreement.  When I become emotionally attached to my way is when I become invested.

What’s the significance?

I recognize that I have been invested in the pandemic and the conversations about it, not just on my clock radio, but on any newscast that happens to be on the air.  I have been, even if it was just in my own mind, thinking about who is right and who is wrong.  I have even sought to defend certain actions and feel justified in what I, or others, have done or said. 

Invested?  Hmmmm…

But on December 1, the conversation was about people offering support to one another.  There was a sense of humanity at its best and feelings of hope, abundance, and generosity.  The tone in the radio voices was different, and I felt emotionally different as a result.

Santa's Anonymous

Oooh, that’s deep enough for another cup of coffee, don’t you think?

The BIG questions for you and me:

  • How do I want to feel each day? 
  • Who do I want to BE in every moment?
  • With what thoughts do I want to start and end my day?

I recognize that Life gives me what I put my energy into.  In other words, when I focus on kindness, love and cooperation, people who are kind, loving and cooperative just seem to ‘show up’.  Conversely, when I allow myself to focus on anger, judgement and unkindness, people and situations reflect those qualities back to me.

This is not just my experience.  Lots of research shows the receptiveness of our brain to stimuli, especially in those moments before falling asleep and as awakening occurs. 

The bigger question is what am I going to DO now?

With this awareness, I made a decision.  Tonight, I will unplug my clock radio and instead, use my phone to awaken me tomorrow.  I’ll put it in airplane mode so those distracting notifications are silent. I will choose some music that allows me to gently enter my day.  I am also committed to choosing my thoughts, words, and actions, to ensure I am focusing on who I intend to be and the feelings I intend to have.

We’ve just entered the Christmas Season.  Regardless of the other things happening on our planet, I can choose Peace and Goodwill toward All!  I can and I will.  That’s definitely interest, and it may even be investment, yet I’m doing it consciously, on purpose, and I like the results.

I’m curious, what do you choose? Is it to be interested rather than invested? 

Let’s have a conversation about it. I promise not to be invested in your answer!

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