Thursday, September 4, 2014

Quality over Quantity.

I've been spending time this week trying to sort out what is going on with me and my bad attitude. I don't feel comfortable in my own skin and I'm bothered by so many things that normally wouldn't even make my radar, and I need to work out a solution.

And then, just like that, a single post on Facebook smacks me in the head and helps me reframe everything.

The post itself is simple enough. A man changed his behavior on Facebook, choosing to no longer click the LIKE button on anything. Instead, he either scrolled right by or took the time to leave a comment. And he shared how that simple step changed his Facebook experience for the better.

That seems straightforward enough and I'm going to try doing the same. In the first two minutes of using Facebook after reading the article, I could already see a difference. Instead of clicking LIKE for the 10-15 things I read, I had to be selective and respond to the two that I felt most drawn to.

And it was immediately better. In one instance where I know I would have just clicked LIKE, I took a moment to articulate exactly what it was about my friend's comment that I appreciated and how I saw the same situation. And a dialog started that would not have if I had done my normal click-and-go.

Instead of clicking LIKE for everything and moving on, I'm choosing one or two opportunities to truly engage with people. Quality over quantity.

And here's the bigger wake-up call for me. This idea can work for me outside of Facebook, too. 

For example, when it comes to social events, I go with the "more is better" attitude. If we're meeting friends for brunch, my norm is to invite lots of people and create a big event. But I realize that, while fun, it's difficult for me to engage in any meaningful way with all those people at the same time. It's just not possible to have that many significant conversations in so short a time and with such a large group.

Instead of inviting everyone all the time, I'm going to be more selective about the people I ask to join me when I am planning a social event. With fewer friends present, I can give more of my attention to each person. Quality over quantity.

And this is a rather timely shift in behavior. All summer, I have been planning to run the Venture Marathon on Sunday, September 7th. But recently, my running buddy and I decided that we are going to switch events and run the Ventura Half Marathon, instead.

Why? Because while we both know we could run the full 26.2 miles, we also know that neither of us has trained sufficiently to run a strong marathon. We would struggle through the long miles, end up exhausted and possibly injured, and feel bad about the entire event.

A better idea? We run a stronger half marathon, enjoy the miles and the experience, and then set up a new training plan as we look ahead to the Phoenix Marathon next February.

Run fewer miles but do them stronger and happier. Quality over quantity.

I'm making choices that are good for me, and hopefully, will also help improve my relationships with my friends. And friends... true, good friends that support me as I try to make better choices... are definitely proof of quality over quantity.