How do you get motivated to reach out and connect with people? What gets you to overcome inertia? What makes you want to risk rejection? Is it worth it to keep sifting through so many mismatches and partial matches? What makes you exert the effort to engage with people socially? What’s your why?

I brainstormed the following list in Conscious Growth Club yesterday in a discussion thread about the motivation for doing anything of a social nature – like connecting with people online or offline, joining groups, maintaining friendships, and doing shared activities. I thought it would be worthwhile to share it here too.

Here’s a personal list of motivations for being social. See if any of these strike a chord with you.

  • because I think it will be fun and interesting
  • because the people in that group have abilities or understandings that I lack, and I’d like to learn from them
  • because I like the people (or think I might like the people) and want to spend more time with them
  • because I can often advance faster in a new direction with more social support (I’ll take more action)
  • because I want to keep in good practice with my social skills
  • because I enjoy the activities
  • because I often create more interesting memories with people than without
  • because I grew up shy and introverted, and I love stretching myself to explore extrovert mode
  • because I find great benefit in following the “embrace the new” heuristic, and connecting with new people is one way to do that
  • because even when I don’t connect so well with a group, I’ve processed that energy that made me wonder about them, and I can let it go and invite something more aligned, so I gain clarity either way
  • because there are a lot of interesting people in the world, and it’s a fun gamble to take a risk that I could meet someone who changes the course of my life
  • because I sometimes enjoy the experience of “hiding” in a new group and seeing how long it takes for someone to recognize me and call out something like, “Hey, wait a minute… you’re that blogger guy, aren’t you? I remember reading about that polywhatsit sleep experiment you did back in the day.”
  • because it will stretch me if I choose the right groups, and it’s not a big loss if I temporarily choose a mismatch
  • because women will be there, and they’re fun creatures to connect with
  • because I’ve noticed that I’m generally happier after hanging out with growth-oriented people, even if I don’t always feel motivated to do it beforehand
  • because I keep getting better at finding quality matches, like learning that paid groups are usually vastly better than free ones (free Facebook groups are mostly dreadful compared to their paid equivalents)
  • because socializing in positive ways is better for my health and the health of others, adding years to our lives and reducing many risks (COVID times are different though)
  • because I like the positive surprises, interesting invitations, and variety that friendships add to my life (such as going to Costa Rica for a week of ayahuasca ceremonies with about 15 friends)
  • because I like seeing my friends learn and grow, especially over 10+ years
  • because I tried the opposite, and that ran its course for me and became boring
  • because I want to enjoy rich and meaningful friendships during my later years as I get older
  • because I enjoy and appreciate my alone time even more when it’s balanced with social time
  • because I’m not the jealous or envious type, and I take pleasure in other people’s successes (compersion)
  • because I get to wear clothes from the other side of the closet
  • because interacting with people helps me sculpt my character
  • because I struggled in business for years before I reached out and got involved with a nonprofit association, and that decision really transformed my life and business for the better
  • because I went bankrupt trying to figure everything out on my own
  • because I learned from someone else how to quickly recover from bankruptcy (his advice worked)
  • because humans don’t thrive in isolation
  • because I wouldn’t have met either of my wives if I didn’t reach out socially (I met Erin on an online forum and Rachelle at the first Conscious Growth Workshop)
  • because I wouldn’t have gotten a book published by a major publisher so easily if I hadn’t stretched myself socially
  • because I would have far fewer hugs and cuddles in my life if I held back
  • because I wouldn’t have seen the opportunity to get into blogging as early as I did (I learned about it from a game developer friend that I connected with online and at in-person conferences – Thanks, Tom!)
  • because other people frequently challenge me to stretch in different ways, and I wouldn’t grow nearly as much without them
  • because this life journey is fun and rewarding to share
  • because investing in people has made me feel less fearful and more at home here
  • because interacting with people helps me explore, deepen, and improve my relationship with life
  • because I used to avoid and mistrust people a lot, and I like that I developed the ability to feel a lot more comfortable around them (it’s lovely to enjoy the fruits of this transformation)
  • because compassion and caring are strong motivators for me
  • because I’d much rather spend 30 days at Disneyland with my best friend, lover, and life partner than alone
  • because many experiences are so much richer and more memorable when shared with one or more people
  • because it’s wonderful to be married to a woman whose cooking skills greatly exceed my own (and who likes to cook, including making yummy raw food)
  • because this is a part of my reality that isn’t going away anytime soon, and if I didn’t accept the invitation to explore it, I’d always wonder if I should have invested in a deeper social explorations
  • because the influence of other people got me traveling internationally, which has enriched my life tremendously
  • because I wouldn’t have otherwise discovered that I really like Canadians
  • because I wouldn’t have otherwise discovered independent theater (I’ve see 200+ plays from independent performers)
  • because most of the value that I give and receive in life flows through people
  • because Conscious Growth Club wouldn’t exist otherwise
  • because I’d never have done any live events otherwise
  • because I’d still otherwise be wondering “What if I had invested in this?” during every remaining year of my life
  • because game developers still keep cranking out the same drivel, and people remain more interesting for now… except Zelda: Breath of the Wild… that game is a bit better than most human interactions, but at least it ends
  • because a common regret of the dying was that they let their friendships fade away
  • because this life and all of our lives are temporary experiences
  • because I like being in love, and I want to spend most of my years that way
  • because The Princess Bride was a labor of love, created by people who enjoyed working together and who had a lot of fun along the way (listen to Cary Elwes’ As You Wish audiobook for some delightful stories about the making of the movie)
  • because if I don’t let myself engage with people, despite the risks, I’ll regret it
  • because many people are socially scared or anxious, and a lot of them secretly appreciate when someone takes the initiative and reaches out to connect
  • because many people feel socially awkward, and it benefits them when someone reaches out to help them practice while accepting them as they are (they still want and need to connect)
  • because socializing teaches patience like nothing else does
  • because social risks add spice to life
  • because rejection isn’t such a big deal once you get used to it
  • because one juicy connection makes it all so worthwhile
  • because we can help each other
  • because the world is facing many problems we cannot solve individually but we can solve collectively
  • because it took me many years to learn how to get in touch with the part of myself that cares, and I’ve invested way too much in that to turn my back on it (it lights me up inside)
  • because I want a life rich in emotional depth, and dealing with growth-oriented people sure stirs up plenty of emotion
  • because if I didn’t invest in this part of life, I’d be living out my days in a much smaller reality without realizing just how small it was
  • and dozens more reasons if I want to keep writing…

Instead of looking for one big why, you could consider the totality of many different whys. See how those stack up against your objections.