I’ve written pretty extensively here about the ways we’re engaged, what we’re engaged in, and how we engage throughout our lives. I define engagement as any sustainable connection in our lives, within or around us.
Today I’m going to write about the roots of engagement, or why
we become engaged. Talking recently with a colleague, she asked what to do about the weak spots in our engagements. I explained that there really are no “weak” spots in engagement. I mean, really, when there’s something that I want to be sustainably, richly engaged in, I do that. That is the same with everyone, whether or not we’re conscious of that.
We don’t often think about what we’re engaging in before or while we’re engaged in it. Instead, its often in reflection that we look back and make the connection – “Hey, I was engaged in that!”
I am discovering that engagement largely happens with those things that are deep enough to sink into, as opposed to the immediate choices we simply choose in the moment. If I can choose in an instant, I may not be truly capable of engaging in it.
If the same is true for you, you may not be capable of engaging in sudden things, like a fast food meal, a grocery store aisle conversation, or singing a song around the campfire, especially if those are spur of the moment choices that mean little and have little impact on your longer life. If, however, you feel deeply about those things, consider them with meaning and purpose, and connect them to your longer arch of life, happiness, and purpose, then you may be able to engage in them.
Ultimately, this is the tie-around with the rest of our lives: When we learn to think about it, we often expect ourselves to engage in an instant, in every moment of activity we experience. Understanding what we do with this post though, maybe we should reconsider this: Instead of making every moment engaging, we should allow ourselves to simply live in them. Along then way, we can strive to establish deeper, richer connections through learning, living, loving, and growing, and ultimately can eschew momentary blips of connectivity in order to foster lifelong engagement within ourselves and throughout the world around us.
Learning to release the tension, pressure, or stress of the daily choices we make might help us hold the engagements we do have in longer, wider, and deeper ways more clearly within our hearts and minds and throughout our lives. Maybe.