Archives for posts with tag: Connection

I’ve written before about how powerful our sense of smell can be for evoking feelings, memories and so on.

Some things obviously have a recognisable smell to them, like a chocolate factory for example – d’oh! – that immediately connects. I get the ‘recognisable smell’ feeling whenever I walk into a health food store.

What is that smell? Is it the supplements? It smells strong, other worldly and hard to identify, but it’s unmistakeable nonetheless. All health food stores have this smell. It seems impossible to counteract, even if you wanted to diminish or alter it.

For me it’s not a particularly nice smell. It feels artificial, chemical almost. But it is recognisable, identifiable, connecting, which is a good thing if you have such a store.

In this post I want to talk about the other IoT. Not the Internet of Things, but the Interconnectedness of Things. Almost the same thing, but actually quite different as well.

Recently I participated in a 10K run. It was the latest version of the run I serialised 12 months ago. I warmed up the week before with a 10K run, and did something to my right Achilles tendon which made it very sore. No harm, I’d got the distance ‘in the bank’ so I focused for the next week on stretches to fix the pesky tendon in time for the race.

3K into the actual race, after a very careful and studious warm-up on the big day, my historically troublesome right calf muscle started aching. After 4K it was properly pulled and I had to stop and hobble back to the car. I limped around for about 4 days and then felt my back go, a muscular groan between my shoulder blades. Two days later, my lower back twanged, and so I had to put up with more periods of extreme soreness where I was in too much discomfort to start rehab. Bending down to pick something up off the floor was agony, and soon my right knee started complaining.

This for me illustrates the interconnectedness of the body’s moving parts, all stemming from the spine and the core. The Achilles, affecting the calf, impacting the spine (which is probably the root cause), which then refers pain down the legs. A good strong core and spine, and all the stuff that hangs off them tends to be pretty good too.

This is what I mean by the interconnectedness of things.It’s also a handy parallel for business, work and life. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, as Mr Newton said. Everything’s connected…

Short term memory. Lots of people complain that they have short term memory, fear that they’re losing their marbles.

Nothing of the sort. I forget things I heard in the recent past, but it’s not because I have short term memory issues. It’s because I haven’t engaged my brain properly.

There are plenty of self-help books to improve people’s recollection of names, people, events. The key thing to do is to listen – actively. There is of course a difference between hearing someone and listening to them, between seeing someone and looking at them, watching them. When you actively listen, when you put something small on the line that makes you establish a connection and fire a few more synapses than normal, you remember something, for a long time.

I can remember the names of attractive women I might have met only briefly at a party three decades ago. I can do the same with telephone numbers and car registration plates. Why? Because I had an interest in making the connection, so it elevated the information to a different part of my mental filing system.

So, if you want to get better at retaining information, concentrate more. Concentrate on actively listening and watching and making the right connection.