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Melli O'Brien



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Impress or Connect? You Can’t Do Both

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today, we're going to explore

our underlying intentions when

we're communicating with others.

Specifically, we're going to look at

noticing whether we're trying to impress

others or truly connect with them.

So really often, as we go about daily

life, a lot of our behavior is actually

compelled by a deep desire to be admired,

to be seen as good, to be seen as special.

I think if we admit it to

ourselves, we often want to be

a little bit better than others.

We want to be prettier,

smarter, more successful,

better at some particular thing.

We want that kind of feeling of

being special or standing out.

But what it all comes down to

underneath all of that is that we want

to be accepted, we want to be loved.

Now, it's very tempting to be attached to

the opinions of other people and really

define our self-worth through them.

But the problem with this is that

then we live so much of our lives

driven by an urge to impress.

We strive hard to prove our worth, we

try to be somebody special in the eyes of

the world, and we can end up spending our

time, in the words of David Ramsey, buying

things we don't need with money we don't

have to impress people we don't know.

Now women are often conditioned

to compete with each other for

men's attention and desire.

Men are often taught to

compete to get to the top.

We see all these images and

advertisements showing us what we

should have and what we should be like.

And it's like, nobody wants

to be average anymore.

As long as we're caught up in this cycle

where we're trying to impress, we're

actually in a very, very fragile position

in life because our sense of self-worth

is all wrapped up in extrinsic factors,

that is, conditions outside ourselves.

What other people think of us, whether

we have the possessions that the ads

tell us we should have, whether we look

like the pictures in the magazines.

It's not only that, but we

end up competing with others

instead of connecting with them.

And when we do that, the tendency

is, we actually end up feeling more

and more lonely and disconnected.

There's no genuine kind of connection

between us and other people.

So it's worth pausing to ponder every

now and then what is it that you

truly want most to impress or connect?

Because you really can't

have both at the same time.

To truly connect with another human

being you have to lay aside your desire

to be better than them, lay aside desire

to have them see you in any particular

way and just be present with them.

Look into their eyes, listen

to their stories, see past your

judgments and agendas to the

heart of who that person is.

If we're able to truly connect with

others, we build friendships, we

build trust, we build authenticity

and love, we break down barriers, take

off our masks together and we lead

more fulfilling and meaningful lives.

So my invitation for you is to simply

notice when you're interacting with

others, what your underlying intention is.

Is it to impress or is

it to truly connect?

And as much as possible, seeing what

it's like to let go of everything

else and truly be present to connect.

So as always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here with us.

And inviting you to settle

in for today's meditation.

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