Words create worlds. We can have better lives and make a better world by having different conversations.
Too many habitual conversations involve grumbling, blaming, cynicism or despair. These just make us feel bad and powerless. It does not have to be this way.
Here are some simple examples of conversations that open your eyes and lift your spirits. These are easy and enjoyable.
Conversations to lift your spirits.
Do this at the beginning a meeting. Ask people, in turn, to say “Something nice that’s happened lately”.
You get what you enquire into, so a positive story makes you feel positive.
Conversations that make you happy.
In pairs, or a small group “Tell a story about a time when you were happy and another when you made someone else happy?” Then talk about how you felt sharing and hearing those stories.
This simple exercise makes you happy and you learn how lovely it is to make others happy.
Conversations that give you confidence.
In pairs or a small group “Tell a story about something you did that you are proud about. What one (or two) strengths did you use? What strengths did to other people in the group notice. Which strength do you like the best?
When you accept that your strength is valuable and real it grows.
Conversations that help you create what you hope for together.
Take turns to say “What sort of world would you like our/your great-great grandchildren to inherit? Please answer in just one or two words. When everybody has had a turn, what would it be like to know you had helped to bring about this world?
People tend to want compatible things and it’s good to discover this. Almost all of us want a peaceful, just, healthy and sustainable world. The next step is to work together to get there.
Finally, I have had these conversations with friends and strangers and always found them enjoyable and well-received. It feels scary to take the initiative, but it’s just fear. Nothing but good has ever happened. There has been much learning.
I hope you some of you will try these ideas for yourselves. The results will surprise and inspire you.