If someone were to approach a lamp post and talk to it, for 10 minutes, it might be one of the most productive conversations of their life.
Yes, you read that correctly, and no I’m not running out of oxygen “up here”.
If someone were to walk up to a lamp post and talk, unencumbered for 10 minutes about:
- What they were working on
- What excites them
- Their relationship
- What they were struggling with
- How they were feeling
- A belief they have
- A belief they don’t agree with
- Jenny at work and that thing she said (ZOMG, can you believe she said that?!)
They’d feel light, energised and relieved.
They’d feel thankful that the lamp post was generous enough to shut up and let them thrash for just 10 minutes.
The lesson here is twofold.
Find a lamp post and talk
To be clear, I don’t mean this literally, unless you fancy looking like a freak in your local neighbourhood.
It could be a mirror, a hairbrush or a shower screen.
It could be a blog, a podcast or a video camera.
It could be a coach, mentor or boss.
It could be a friend, family member or colleague.
It doesn’t matter who, or what, just talk for 10 minutes (or type, in the case of a blog).
What you’ll find is clarity in your thoughts. You’ll get better at making assertions. You’ll start to make yourself laugh.
You’ll realise you’re not really stuck. You’ll see that things aren’t as bad as they sound in your noggin. And slowly but surely you’ll literally feel better.
Be a lamp post for others.
Here’s the tricky part.
Instead of leaving your friend to talk to a hairbrush, be the lamp post for them.
Hold space, listen actively and stay calm.
Ask them how they’re feeling and just shut up for 10 minutes.
Don’t look away, don’t interrupt and don’t get out your phone to check the time.
Don’t offer advice, don’t look over their shoulder and don’t start problem-solving in your head.
Be as lamp post-ish as you can muster. Make them feel seen. Make them feel heard.
It might just be the most generous thing you can do.