Are you involved or are you INVOLVED?! There is an event and you are involved in the movement, meanwhile, you are planted in a corner and just observing the charisma of others being Involved. So, are you Involved or are you Involved?
I have been that guy, the guy planted in the corner. For so many times I thought, I was just saving myself from all the crazy and adventure and not get involved while observing from the comfort of a corner and thinking; “I’m good right here!”. Being adventurous is not my thing.
Boy, was I wrong!
After countless times of me, missing out the fun and adventure, I decided to finally come out of my comfort zone “The corner” and actually be involved. For real this time!
And just like they say “you will never know until you try!”, I realized I had been missing out big time.
The adventure and bliss was exactly how I had contemplated it would be. Since then, I have always made it a point to actually be involved in anything good I find myself in.
Hello there, I’m Edmond Dantes Boateng and here I have for you, a few things that I did to enable me to be actually involved. It is my greatest desire that, by the end of this post, you will at least gather 2 or more, if not all, ways and means to enable you to be Involved in anything you find yourself in.
If you are able to make it through to the end of this amazing post without me boring you, then, I encourage you to leave a comment on anything you think I missed or your opinion about involvement and I will be prompt to get back to you and enjoy the read on your thoughts.
Comfort Zone – Breached!
Diving right in, I found out that, for me to be actually involved in the things or events happening all around me, I must first come out of my comfort zone. It was not easy, at least for me!
I will accept invitations and make it to gatherings, ceremonies, activities and all events only to go there and stay in my corner. Seeing others having a great time being involved was okay for me; I thought! Friends would try to push me to partake in the fun and I would be so shy.
Telling them; I’m good here, with a quirky smile and fear. You go and have fun with a shaky voice, I tell them.
The following day after such events and moments, people that actually got involved will be sharing their adventurous moments and having a great time even after the gatherings. Whenever I was asked how such gatherings I went to was, the only thing I remember saying is “I had a good time, it was fun”, end of the conversation.
But then they will ask another person and they are able to talk for a good amount of time. I felt lonely and unsocial.
I said to myself; Enough is enough!
No more staying in the corner and being an observer. I will breach my comforts and be involved from now on. The next i will be invited to an event I’m gonna have an adventure and mingle.
Of course, it was not easy at first. I will go to a gathering and try to talk to at least 5 different people. It was awkward at first but with time I was able to overcome that and have people come to talk to me instead.
I will go crazy and take the spotlight at such events by being the first to volunteer for when someone is needed to commence the event with a speech or prayer or a toast.
Since then, I have always caught the eyes of everyone at such events, taking the stage and leading or being involved in the adventure.
“While it is okay to be in the comfort zone, breaking out of that lies a pool of happiness and adventure. Get out of your zone and live a life full of adventure”
Oh yeah, the “chit-chat”. Though they may be small or short, they are a BIG deal! Unless you are in some European countries such as Norway and Finland. It is considered rude or snobbish in these countries to initiate small talks with strangers.
Here in the United States, it is rather rude to ignore small talks or not acknowledge a person in your immediate surroundings. A simple “hello” can begin a small talk.
I practiced some small talks in the mirror, oh yeah I did. Just like a guy will rehearse his lines to begin a conversation on a date, I did to practice small talks, haha. I would device engaging questions that will spark up an appropriate conversation depending on the particular event.
We can all agree it is weird to begin some conversations at some events. For example, starting a conversation about religion or politic or race at a bar. Or saying something like “do you think he got what he deserves”…at a funeral!
For crying out loud, Never do that!
You are either gonna start a bar fight or make yourself an enemy.
I would practice small talk starters like, did you catch the game last weekend, or what are you having, or the service is really fast today…at the bar mostly. And then questions like, what do you like most about your job, or what do you like about your hometown instead of asking “where are you from”.
The idea is to ask a deep diving question or an open-ended question but not a closed-ended question where they can simply answer with a “yes or no”. You wanna keep the conversation going until you need to make an exit. And be a very good listener as you will not know when you will have to repeat what they said.
Talking is great but always, always Listen!
Go ahead and draw up a few conversation starters, and be confident when approaching strangers! Most common starters are talking about the weather, latest trend fashion, new model cars, technology and so on. Always make sure they are appropriate for the event.
Knowledge Is Power.
I’m sure by now you are familiar with this famous quote “For Lack Of Knowledge, My People Perish”. Knowledge is power indeed. It is best to know more about something when talking or getting involved in it.
Trust me you don’t want to start a conversation only to find yourself choking halfway through it.
At the same time, you do not want to find yourself repeating yourself over and over again. That will only make your conversation awkward and stale. No one wants that.
Best things that worked for me and still does are reading or listening to audiobooks. Catching up on the latest trend, either movies or shows, fashion, sports, you name it. Thanks to Social Media we can keep up with these ever-growing trends.
Not a day goes by nowadays that there is not something new going on either on the news or social media.
I read and listened to a few books on self-development and other titles or categories that are loaded with helpful knowledge and learnings. Doing so enabled me to brush up on my vocabulary and gained more information to arm me for any conversation and the next.
I got so confident and ready for anything that I was actually looking forward to invites from all over the place, because, now I can get Involved with the knowledge I have acquired and not feel awkward when talking about a particular topic.
After all, we are never than learning. Every day is an opportunity to learn a new thing.
YOU CAN BE STRIPPED OFF ALL THINGS BUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE SOLEY BELONGS TO YOU!
And just like the iconic GI Joe says; Knowing is Half The Battle! Never stop learning, you will never know when you will need it.
Explore Your World.
No, I’m not asking you to go break the bank on travels and tours. If you were like me, you are probably living in a town but have no idea where the cool things or events are. Or probably don’t even know that one place everyone keeps talking about.
I used to get couped up in my home all day all weekend and not even bother to step foot outside.
Yeah, I will step out and get food to eat but that was it. Friends will be doing all kinds of activities and have a time of their life.
My justification was that “My rent is so damn high, so I have to stay and enjoy the home while I’m there“. Every once in a while, I will just go out for fresh air and come right back inside. It was a routine for me.
One day I decided to come out of my brood and just take a walk down the street and see what lies beyond my home. I saw so many people doing things that looked cool and fun. I approached them and found out about their activities.
I was now hyped to take on more walks and get involved with my surroundings. I got a bicycle and started riding every now and then. Down the road on one of my rides, I say a group of people playing soccer. So I went to get soccer cleats the following week and joined their games.
You can also do same. Not exactly soccer haha. Get outside and I’m sure you will find lots of community activities in your neighborhood. Riding bicycle, community marathon runs, community cleaning, fishing groups and so on.
Volunteering for the fire department or as a sub teacher in your community are all activities you can do to explore your world without breaking the bank. In doing so, you get Involved and connect with more people.
Right now, thanks to the internet, you can also search for community activities in your town and you will be amazed to find something that you are interested in waiting for you.
What are you waiting for? Get on exploring your community and get involved. You will be thrilled you did.
Yes, You Can!
If I was able to do it, so can you. Yes, YOU! I was very shy and thought I never fit in anywhere. I felt safe in my bubble and comfort zone for so long that I was fading away. From High school to college, I thought I could never get involved in anything but rather be an observer.
I overcame my fear and was able to become a Hall/House President in my second year of college.
Since then I realized, getting involved can actually take you places you never dreamt of. Agreed it is not easy but at the same time, it should not be difficult to get involved. I do believe if you are able to make it this far then you are ready to get involved in your immediate surroundings.
Do these and you will be on your way to stealing the spotlight wherever you go.
If you enjoyed this to this far, I encourage you to get involved, start by leaving a comment about anything you found useful or not in this post. Your thoughts and opinions are always welcome and I will be blessed to learn from you as well.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to connecting with you.
– Sir Dantes