A few years back I was on a flight to Mumbai from Delhi. I had just received the latest issue of SAEVUS and was reading it on the flight. On the other side of the aisle was a gentleman who started talking to me about SAEVUS and my hobby of wildlife photography. He gave me his visiting card and asked to meet him if he could help SAEVUS some way and our effort to show natures beauty to the world. I called him after couple of weeks and met him. He was working with a large bank which wanted to do something for nature. There were few of his colleagues also in the meeting and they liked what SAEVUS was doing and agreed to sponsor some of our efforts to the tune of 50 Lac rupees to start with.
The reason to share this incident is how opening up to people helps. I have rarely seen strangers talking to each other special on flights. People either will start reading something or open up their laptops and start working. I have rarely found someone in my adjoining seat who starts a conversation. I find it easy to ask people about themselves. It is one of my strengths. My brief encounter with this banker left me wandering about the opportunities I miss. Or to say most of us miss. Most of the time it may not be professionally helpful.It doesn’t matter because there would be one more interesting person in the world who I know. It gives an opportunity to open up network to people who are not like me, ask questions, solicit opinion and explore new possibilities. We really do know less than we think we do, open up and we will learn more.
If we extend ourselves like this we have more chances to have breakthrough ideas. We have to open up to something or someone new instead of that same old thing. That old thing is usually us.
So next time on a flight or somewhere else extend your hand and start interacting. Who knows it can be beginning of something wonderful and fruitful.