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“It’s Time to Talk.”

As is often the case this week, many tend to reflect on what the last year has brought them and what they are looking to accomplish in the New Year.   The idea of focusing our energies on one prevailing idea, concept or thought has been with us for some time and yet, I feel at this moment, an opportunity to not just identify one big idea to carry me through another year, but an entire decade!

I reflected on some of my previous “one word” commitments, like Resilience, Transformation, Perseverance, and realized that these pronouncements seemed to focus on me, not the people I seek to serve. While not a bad thing, I thought, maybe if I tweak my perspective just a bit, I could make my one word commitment more meaningful.   More meaningful not only as a parent but  as my work as a business owner, author, speaker, announcer, perspective challenger and advocate for today’s students and young adults.   This came to me during a personal conversation I recently shared when I was enlightened that my answers to a specific question were nice, yet only serving of myself.

As some of you know I have indeed lived a few one-word commitments over the past decade.  Yes, I’ve been resilient and transformed my life 9 years after divorce delivered me a gut punch and a few smacks to the chin; I have persevered through choppy waters but again that’s about me.  (Although I did those one-word commitments for the sake of my boys and myself)

As I’ve made the move to create and launch Talk Shop in 2019, I thought to myself, “Hey, wouldn’t it be great to have one concept that really got at the essence of what I am trying to accomplish.” Well, as it sometimes happens, my ideas come to me while exercising, which is nice…but I don’t carry a notepad and pen and purposefully put my phone away while I work out.  Thankfully I was able to recall it.

Born from an early winter’s workout “It’s Time To Talk” entered my frontal lobe and has become this decade’s focus for me.

Are we making a difference that matters? Are we seeing positive outcomes occur due to the decisions we make?  Are answers we provide leading to improvement in the actual development of our children?  Are the strategies we employ as parents, coaches, educators and anyone else working with today’s youth effective?  Are they being evaluated with objectivity, and demonstrating with confidence that they are the correct strategies?  Is the instruction we are supporting and implementing, developing the most meaningful and relevant education that is actually targeted on improving specific issues, or at least in readying today’s youth for new skill sets that matter?

Are we all modeling and supporting real and authentic relationships for our children?

Now more than ever the world needs more conversations….and it’s time to talk!

But its more than just having the courage to have a difficult conversation with someone, its also about displaying patience and actually listening to one another.  It’s absolutely amazing what can happen when we listen, when we actually pause and actively listen to truly understand someone else.  I state this clearly multiple times in my workshops; “be careful when you listen, you may actually learn something.”

Today’s youth face a barrage of challenges vastly different than what I was exposed to in my youth….dare I say the words, screen time?   It’s created a whole new existence but the fact remains, “Its time To Talk!”

Whether it’s at home, in our relationships, at work, with coaches, with teachers, with college admissions officers…we all need to get back to sharing more conversations.  And oh yeah, did I mention getting our children life ready?  As in, the need to have more clear, confident face-to-face conversations, such as a job interview?

I end each and every one of my workshops and public speaking engagements with a quote.  It’s from the legendary Vince Lombardi.  “In life you don’t get to decide your future, you get to decide your habits.  It’s your habits that decide your future.”

“It’s Time to Talk!” Is my framework for the decade, I hope you will do the same and adjust your habits if need be.

We need to connect and interact socially now more than ever.  And when its safe to connect face to face, that’s even better!  So many are scrambling to adjust and how to fill their days in positive and productive ways.

– It’s never a bad time to improve communication habits

-There are numerous cancellations all around us…CONVERSATIONS should never be cancelled!

-CONVERSATIONS are pivotal in our day to day relationships at home, at school, and in the real work world.

I encourage you to give yourself an opportunity to adjust your habits not just next year but to make a bigger commitment to those in your world. You deserve it, they deserve it, and those that you aim to serve, surely deserve it.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2021!

-Matt

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