Today I helped out my cousins with fixing some of their bikes, and while I was repairing flats, and adjusting derailleurs, brakes, and other basic parts, my little cousins were asking me all kinds of questions. Not just questions about what I was doing, but also about skiing, and mountain bike racing. It reminded me of the importance of being genuinely curious about people.
I believe that each person is incredibly interesting in their own way, and if we simply take the time to truly get to know them, it becomes so easy to love people. Children have a natural curiosity of others and the world around them. They ask any question that comes to their mind, and what I was realizing today, is that it seems that more questions come into he mind of children. Well, not just children, also those who are meek.
Like my brother in law, Noah. He’s always so good about asking good questions that get people talking about the things they’re interested in. And he isn’t doing it to make people feel good, he’s doing it because he’s genuinely interested. He’s always learning from those around him.
What I learned about myself today, is that ever since I’ve gotten into mountain biking and skiing and done fairly well with it, I’ve had less questions come into my head about other people. My hope moving forward is to change that by being intentional about being genuinely interested in other people. Whether it’s a random stranger on the corner, or my brother. There is always something we can learn from the people around us.
I believe that a few things will happen when I anxiously engage in being genuinely interested:
- I’ll learn more, and the rate at which I learn will accelerate.
- I’ll be happier because I’ll be less focused on myself, and my level of connectedness to others will increase.
- I’ll see more opportunities to help others, and for others to help me.
- I also think I’ll perform better, and here’s why:
When I talk to people at the start line and genuinely get to know them in the best way possible before the race, it allows me to see them as people, which is important for high performance. The problem as seeing them as a racer is that I more easily categorize them. For example, oh he’s insane no chance I beat him, or oh this will be no problem. But when I really talk to people and remind myself that they’re also people, it allows me to race others who are prone to good days and bad days, who just like me occasionally race out of their minds, or in the dumps. This helps me to race without strong expectations, allowing me to perform more consistently, and more enjoyably.
I hope you’ll join with me in making an effort to be like a child, and be genuinely interested in everyone around you, even those who you think you may already know really well. I think we’ll both be surprised in the things we’ll learn.