Self Confidence: How to be interesting…

Jyri Engeström quote

Simon Lumb and Aden Davies shared Russell Davis’s post about how to be interesting

He makes two assumptions…

The way to be interesting is to be interested. You’ve got to find what’s interesting in everything, you’ve got to be good at noticing things, you’ve got to be good at listening. If you find people (and things) interesting, they’ll find you interesting.

Interesting people are good at sharing. You can’t be interested in someone who won’t tell you anything. Being good at sharing is not the same as talking and talking and talking. It means you share your ideas, you let people play with them and you’re good at talking about them without having to talk about yourself.

And assuming the above… here’s his recommendations (obviously there quite computer related but they don’t have to be)…

  1. Take at least one picture everyday. Post it to flickr
  2. Start a blog. Write at least one sentence every week
  3. Keep a scrapbook
  4. Every week, read a magazine you’ve never read before
  5. Once a month interview someone for 20 minutes, work out how to make them interesting. Podcast it
  6. Collect something
  7. Once a week sit in a coffee-shop or cafe for an hour and listen to other people’s conversations. Take notes. Blog about it. (Carefully)
  8. Every month write 50 words about one piece of visual art, one piece of writing, one piece of music and one piece of film or TV. Do other art forms if you can. Blog about it
  9. Make something
  10. Read
I like the list quite a lot and it really got me thinking, what would I put in this kind of a list?
So I wrote my own… (please note this is all in my own opinion, you may disagree but that’s what comments are for…)
  1. Tweet at least everyday and make sure its public
    Tweet, microblog, blog, what ever… Being open and public will improve your confidence, interface you with other peoples opinions and ultimately make you a better or more rounded person
  2. Start a blog and update it regularly!
    blogging or sharing your thoughts are still very important and really helps when referring to points in arguments. Its still what I recommend to many people who ask me where to start. Like above, the interchange of ideas with other peoples thoughts will make you a more interesting person. Also make sure its regular, otherwise you will loose the momentum or build it up too big in your mind.
  3. Keep a note of conversations, ideas and dreams in a scrapbook, notebook or just somewhere shareable
    I personally use Evernote to document everything I find interesting. I can later on share it with people and thats been very handy for communicating a idea or whats going on in my brain.
  4. Follow and read articles/retweets from people you follow on twitter
    I only tend to follow people who say interesting things, and every once in a while I just scroll through links and retweets from people I follow. Generally I’ve found them very useful and they usually end up in my readitlater or instapaper. Once again, although not directly
  5. Start or be on a podcast/videocast
    I hate the sound of my voice but forcing myself to do a podcast, has got me use to the sound and how I sound to others. How this helps with being more interesting, I’m not quite sure but its certainly something you can talk about and share with others
  6. Talk to someone new at least every week
    What have you got to loose? Someone new may unlock a whole new lifestyle choice, a new found friend or be your next partner… You just need to hold a conversation for at least 2mins. Generally if your exploiting number 9, this will be very easy…
  7. Once in a week sit in a great tea/coffee shop and just listen without your headphones
    Nothing better than to over hear human concerns. Yes most of them will be mindless stuff to you but it doesn’t matter, listen to the metadata. Passion, tone, etc… They all give a different aspect to the human voice… I already mentioned before about how I tend not to use my lift with headphones on for a similar reason.
  8. Every month, tweet an observation about human life
    I loved Seinfeld because of its observation of human life, and in actual fact someone pointed out to me. That most comedy is a observation of life. Theres two ways you can take this…
    1. Being funny is always great
    2. Having a detailed understanding of life means you can later hack it :)
    And don’t just sit on that knowledge, share it!
  9. Take advantage of your understanding of social objects
    Talking of hacking life… If you don’t understand the concept of social objects and how they enrich our lives, nows the time to learn… I would start Hugh Macleod’s 101 thoughts on Social objects then check out Jyri Enstrom’s post, then more links from Hugh Macleod including Jyri’s video at London Geekdinners a while back. Don’t quite understand this relates to being more interested? A shared experience is a powerful key to being interesting to other people. For example, on the train as I am now, I could turn around the lady across the table and say “nice drawing, how did you learn to draw like that?” The social object would be the drawing… Hugh has better examples
  10. Learn
    Life long learning, what more is there to say? Always be learning…
The general theme is about openness, human contact, sharing and self improvement… Being more interesting isn’t a thing you just throw on, actually its about being confident in your own abilities and the way to do that is to be comfitable in your own skin. The rest will come naturally… As Nic ferrier said “get our of your comfort zone once a week…” Which I think is right but actually its more involved than just once a week, its about a change in the way you look at life.