People, Places, & Things – Nouns? Yes. But So Much More.
With whom are you spending time? Where are you going? And what exactly have you been up to again? The answers to these questions impact what I think about, how I process my thoughts, and ways in which I behave as well.
It might sound cliche-ish to suggest that time is precious, but it truly is, and time spent is ever more precious than that. When we spend time with others, in any setting, we create permanent experiences that can never be erased. I often used to tell my children that association brings on assimilation, meaning the more time we spend with the same people, the more likely we are to rub off on them or vice versa. Rubbing off on one another might not be such a bad thing if we’re talking about positive exchanges. But what about when we’re not? Think about how you are affected when you create permanent experiences that don’t offer you positive rewards. Positive rewards might be new ways to think about things, good feelings about self and others, and a sense of calm in life. Being selective in who we spend time, by minimizing relationships that don’t bring positivity to us, is necessary in order for us to thrive in our areas of promise.
The same applies to where we go, and what we do. A native Washingtonian, I know every quadrant of “DC”. I recall a day of under development in most areas, which are not thriving with new people, new places and new things to do. Walkable cities like DC are great. I find the city beautiful and walking it incredibly educational, and yes, entertaining. There’s always a character or two to liven up any city block, but I digress. When out walking, I like to experience it all. The architecture excites me. The people, including tourists are interesting to watch. I always wonder where they are going and for what? I wonder if they’re on vacation. When looking at buildings, I wonder who those people are who work in the buildings, and what types of projects they work on, and what they’re talking about in their meetings. When walking, I might stop for ice-cream or a cool drink to enjoy while I’m checking out the scenes and allowing myself to be part of it. And when I’m done, I’m always so happy and refreshed because I let myself do something that did not require stress – but in fact received any.
How I feel when spending time with others, determines how I feel when I face my daily tasks, and how I feel about what I produce as a result. We can’t always determine who we must spend time with, but we can determine how we’ll counter any time spend with others that does not offer us positive psychological rewards. The more time we seek positive people, places and things, the easier it becomes to balance out interactions that may have once created real angst for us.