Want to understand how the economy works? Start by looking at it through the prism of incentives.
Incentives are feedback mechanisms that provide information to someone. They create reasons to do things - they shape how and why choices are made.
Higher prices incentivize more production. Lower tariffs establish incentives for more trade -- and so the theory goes.
Have you ever considered that your communication - the way you choose to talk (words + tone + body language) listen, respond, react - creates powerful incentives? It's absolutely so.
The way you choose to communicate with anyone will dictate how they feel about you. The way you make them feel will determine your level connection, and the things they want to share with you - or not.
I get it all the time - James, how can I get through to someone better? how can I get someone to open up and want to share with me? How do I connect with someone on a more meaningful level?
The answer is simple. Create better incentives with your communication. Ask more questions - listen better - be open -- make the person feel good about sharing, talking, being real. Once you create these positive feelings in people, they will associate them with you.
Think about anyone in your life and the relationship you have - positive or negative. Your perception, the way you feel about them is primarily a function of how well you are able to communicate.
Just as an economy grows and thrives with the proper incentives - so too will your communication. The outcome is better, stronger happier, closer, more meaningful relationships.
Eventually ... The Dots Will Connect
The title of this post was a statement made by the late Steve Jobs. Inherent in its meaning is that, in life - belief is a requirement, things often make sense only in retrospect.
It's human nature to experience frustration when we come up short on something we spend precious resources pursuing. We work so hard and when things don't happen for us the way it "should" the temptation to give up is alluring.
Experience has taught me that instead of giving up, it is far more prudent to give in to the setback and let it guide you beyond your original purpose.
Whether it's a relationship, or a business venture, or a class project. Don't be ruled by the perception of a setback. Own it, Learn from it, grow from it, become better because of it -- let it lead you to do more -- to be more.
Ultimately, persistence is rewarded and success happens because those earlier setbacks paved the way.
Operating from this perspective is fundamental to reaching your potential. This is the winning mindset, the mindset of a Steve Jobs and every other great achiever. So keep going ... and eventually the dots will connect. You'll see.