Archives for posts with tag: isolation

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We all live in bubbles, no matter where you work and live.

Your department might be a bubble, never really engaging with the other departments and understanding their challenges.

Your company might be a bubble, rolling along nicely, respected by the market, the analysts, and the business community. Until the day you have to declare bankruptcy. Just ask Blockbuster.

You might live in a bubble within your community. Not knowing the neighbors, not interested to improve the overall community, not caring about anything but your own family. Until the day you need help and nobody cares about you.

It’s easy to live in a bubble, quietly getting on with your own life in comfortable semi-isolation.

You need to get off your butt and leave the bubble.

Find ways to have as many professional conversations with anyone outside of your department. Have as many chats about something with anyone. It doesn’t have to be about work, it can be about sports, the last book you read, the latest song you love.

Talk with competitors. Make contacts at conferences and invite them to lunch. Have a chat about the competitive landscape, be open about your problems and concerns. This is not about spying, this is about learning from each other.

Meet your neighbors. I’ve lived in apartment buildings where I never talked to my neighbors. And I regret that. I’m grateful to know people that go to sleep close to my own bed. A brief chat can make the day brighter. Someone to ask for a favor makes life easier. Feeling a sense of community is an important part of the human experience.

Never stop doing this.

People don’t get old by default. People get old when they lose touch with the outside world. They don’t get challenged anymore, they don’t talk to enough people to learn things they didn’t know. They get scared of the world, just experience it through their self-constructed bubble.

Leave the bubble as often as you can. Or, one day, you won’t find the way out.


I watched this Ted video by Brene Brown when I was on my whirlwind business trip to Europe and Asia.

She starts the talk by saying:

“Connection is why we’re here. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

She goes on to talk about the vulnerability of those who feel disconnected and the reasons for this. (Please watch the whole talk, it’s very engaging and entertaining.)

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I grew up here. And I felt quite disconnected for the first 18 years of my life. I felt the same when I first moved to Los Angeles. The first few years  could easily be categorized as disconnected and vulnerable.

You have a microcosmos of that feeling when you go on a long trip by yourself. There’s a certain level of isolation (and therefore vulnerability) that you might never experience in your normal environment and it gives you an opportunity to thrive. Change.

This feeling of being an outsider enables you to really get to know yourself. Who you are. Your place in the world.

Isolation in itself is not bad.

Turns out, being out of place gives you the space to be.