If you don’t know, for this year I’ve set myself 12 challenges – one each month.
This month challenge was about approaching strangers and listening to their stories. And I’ve decided to fail it. Why? I got bored, but hear me out.
I Did It Only For 3 Days
The first day I went outside, excited about meeting someone new and asking him or her a few questions about optimism.
I met a guy, around 35 years old, and he shared with me some puzzle pieces of his life related to sport and his obstacles.
The most valuable thing he told me was that being a pessimist didn’t help him at all – instead, pessimism kept him in a comfort zone, struggling to achieve things.
The second day and the third day wasn’t that great, regarding the stories I’ve discovered. Both people (a 65 years old guy and a 23 years old gal) were not satisfied with their lifestyle and looked like they were more present in their pasts.
The Fourth Day I Stopped
There are a few reasons I did it.
#1 It wasn’t challenging anymore
I was expected to feel discomfort while approaching people and considered it difficult. Instead, I was able to go directly to someone right after I spotted him or her.
#2 I was getting bored
The story from the first day was really nice to hear. But the other two were kind of depressing. Right there I figured out that I don’t enjoy spending time with whining people, so I wasn’t able to pay enough attention to their stories.
#3 I’ve found another challenge
Being conscious of the facts that I’m getting bored and I don’t find anything challenging anymore, I had to decide.
Either I go on with the challenge and keep struggling with the fact that I’m getting bored. Or I can start dancing and force myself to do it every day.
I guess I had a little bit of luck.
After a long time of just having the desire of learning to dance, I’ve decided to take action and join some latino dance courses – salsa and bachata.
I’ve started the dancing classes on the same day I’ve started this month challenge. I didn’t think of it as a daily thing. I was thinking about it more like a 2 or 3 days a week thing.
And then it hit me.
I want to learn how to dance for so long. Why don’t I do it daily for at least one month?
So, I went almost every day. Actually, the day I missed the dancing classes were days I was away from town.
Four days for my little trip to Valencia in Spain and another 3 days for other trips to Targu Jiu, Timisoara, and Bucharest in Romania.
What Results Did I Have?
I danced around 27-30 hours and I know the basics steps of salsa and bachata. Moreover, this new activity got into me so hard, I’m going to do it for many more months from now on.
That’s all of it.
I don’t have anything else to share. Just that I really enjoy dancing and I encourage you to try it too.
Things I’ve Learned About Talking With Strangers
When I was around 17 years old, I was an introvert and a shy person.
Right now, I don’t find any difficulty in approaching strangers. Why’s that?
Well, talking to strangers could be something you may fear, but that’s just because you haven’t done it yet or you don’t have a structure of it.
When I usually approach someone I don’t know, in the middle of a street or a bar, I have a few things in my mind.
#1 I know what I want to talk about
This time I was talking about optimism.
Last year, when I did the 21 daily push-ups for 21 days, I was talking about that challenge.
Having a specific topic in mind, to discuss with the person you want to approach, will make things easier for you.
#2 I mention that it won’t take long
The less you bother someone, the better chances you’ll have to get a positive response.
Right now, I was telling them it won’t take more than 5 minutes. Even if it takes longer, don’t let them know. Just anchor them into the vibe of the conversation.
#3 I read people and try my best to approach the open-minded ones
You’ll find difficult to approach people if you can’t read them.
When I look at people, I’m capable of knowing who’s willing to talk with me and share some information. I’ve accomplished this skill by creating patterns.
#4 Don’t scare them away
I had to record the conversation. But, at the same time, I didn’t just go for it.
Instead, I was asking for their approval and tried to explain how recording the conversation is going to help my project and add value to it. If you’re giving logic and concrete arguments, most of the will understand.
What’s The Next Month Challenge?
Well, hopefully I won’t quit this one too.
Most likely, I won’t.
I’ll have to bike 50 km every day, for 31 days. Except for the last 7 days, when I’ll double the challenge and bike 100 km every day.
If you want to check my day-to-day results for the next month, you can follow me on Instagram. That’s where I’ll post some daily screenshots from my biking app.
If you’ve found this article helpful, please share it with your friends on social media platforms. As well, if you have any question or thoughts that you want to share with me, please do it in the comments section below.
Keep learning and growing,