Lunch time is crunch time. Sometimes, it is tempting to just sneak away to the pantry or to a quiet personal space to just empty your mind from the work and deadlines that are piling up. Granted, sometimes you need that time to just shut off from the din of life – however, do note that this should not happen too often as you may miss out on what life can roll at you through interaction with others during this one-hour duration.
So, what does it mean to never eat alone?
In Keith Ferrazzi’s book, he explains FIVE reasons why community is important for our self-progress but here, we will list down our take on choosing lunch partners or groups (hence not eating alone) and how it can benefit us.
Here is our take on having power-packed lunches:
Having a Community Journey with Us
No man is an island, no matter how introverted we are, we are also free to pick the people we journey our life with – and they can be some of your colleagues at work, your mentors in business, your family members or your girlfriends. Having lunch with the people you love allows us to bounce off what is happening in our day and that in itself can be a stress reliever. Like a little break to cheer each other on before you take on the next half of your workday.
Talking to New People
Food brings people together and somehow, it has the power to break down ice cold barriers. During a meal, take the opportunity to lunch with an acquaintance, or someone you rarely hang out with. Most of the time, it may be casual exchanges of ‘How are things going?’ or ‘What are you currently working on?’ and that is totally fine. For introverts, it is an opportunity to practise being out of your comfort zone – and for extroverts, it is an opportunity to see people beyond face value. Think of it as networking – and you won’t know when this contact will be useful to you in the future.
During lunch time exchanges, always strive to bring something back that you can learn from. Human exchanges contain golden nuggets that should be mined – and one way to do that is to ask questions. Be hungry to learn. For example, if someone is talking about their interest in recycling, ask questions about how they recycle, what is their conviction, who inspires them – the general who, what, why, when and how questions.
Lending Your Ears
Sometimes, lunchtime is not just about you. It’s about the people you meet as well. Is there someone you know who needs a shoulder to cry on? Perhaps someone who needs to vent their frustrations? Here’s when you can train your listening ear, a very important aspect that many in this current day and age do not possess. Listen with empathy, without judgement, without the need to retort or to give advice.
Are you changing your life direction or trying to cultivate a certain good habit? Here, your lunch pals can play an important role. How? By offering accountability. Are you looking to stop picking up that ciggy or to work out a little more often? Let your little lunch community know (of course, do talk to people you trust because you would not want to be the next gossip juice) and let them be the ones keeping you in check!
A casual chat can turn into a power-packed brainstorming session. Great ideas can birth anywhere and at any time. Lunch time is a great time to bounce or develop ideas as people tend to be in a more casual mood and often food for the stomach is also brain food. Just a little note: Jot down boring or even absolutely insane ideas because you might need it in the future even if they do not comply to your needs now.
Before you get too comfortable eating lunch alone, here’s a challenge, look over your shoulder to the person behind you and ask ‘What’s for lunch?’.
Trust us, great things await you.