When I got married in August 2017, I didn’t just get a wife in the process; I got a son, too.
See, my wife already had a son from before we met, and so seemingly overnight I went from being a single dude to becoming a husband and father of an 8-year-old!
And it’s been amazing 🙂
While I’d be lying if I said that suddenly being a parent didn’t freak me out at least a little, the truth is it’s taught me just as much as I strive to teach him.
One of the biggest lessons of all has been the need to be more present in the moment with my son and putting all my attention on him as far as possible.
I’m by no means perfect, but on a good day that looks like me keeping my phone away when we’re interacting and leaving my laptop in my home office.
Side note: it’s also a fun experiment in creating constraints to get things done Parkinson’s Law style.
Indeed, if there’s one skill I’d want everyone to learn, it’s to be more present with whoever or whatever is in front of you.
If as a society we could be more present and less distracted, I think we’d see far fewer cases of unfulfillment, unhappiness, and disconnection between people and their work, lives, and relationships.
I was chatting with a mentor of mine, Jason Goldberg, about this recently and he mentioned a strategy he developed known as the 3B’s which helps him to be more present with his coaching clients and less attached to any personal motives for the conversation.
With further ado, let’s take a look at what the 3B strategy is and how to use it.
The 3B Strategy to Be More Present
Blank. The first B is for Blank. Blank implies coming into the conversation with no agenda or preconceived ideas about the person in front of you. The conversation (and the person him-/herself) is a blank canvas.
Booked. The second B is for Booked. Booked implies speaking to the person as if you have no more room to take on new clients. As a result, you’re completely unattached to whatever happens as a result. If you don’t run a service-based business that requires sales conversations, you can still embody this spirit of non-attachment by listening instead of just hearing and preparing your answer before the other person has even finished (you’d be surprised by how often we do this!).
Bus. The third B is for Bus. A little more graphic than the others, bus implies imagining that this is the last conversation this person is ever going to have before they walk out the door and get hit by a bus (I told you it wasn’t pretty). How would you show up differently for the person in front of you, be it a friend, family member or complete stranger, if you were the last person they ever spoke to?
Of course, this 3B framework doesn’t just apply to being present or even require other people. You can use this same strategy when visualizing your ideal life, the impact you want to make and how you want to be remembered (eulogy exercise).
Blank, Booked, and Bus. Three little B’s to help you be more present. Put away your phone and try them out the next time you find yourself in a conversation.
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