A week ago I was reading the ‘Sunday Secrets’ on one of my favorite blogs, PostSecret. (PSA, if you’re not familiar with PostSecret, I highly recommend you check it out). Anyways, one secret in particular struck a nerve with me and I haven’t been able to shake it this entire week, the postcard read…
7 billion people experienced this day in a different way.
This simple, ten word sentence captured empathy in a way that I’ve never witnessed before. Empathy is something that I’ll be writing about often on my blog – I think it is wonderful and fascinating and so important to recognize that humans have the ability to empathize. The power of grieving, celebrating, laughing, crying, etc. with others, even when we aren’t in the same situation as them is amazing.
I believe empathy is essential to finding success in personal relationships, leadership roles and the business world. First of all, learning how to empathize with those around you will shape anyone into a more thoughtful, conscious person. As a leader, learning empathy will allow you to see a challenge from all sides – taking into account how your team feels and understanding the why behind their unique approaches.
This article from The New York Times explains some of the science behind our brains’ ability to feel real emotions from experiences we haven’t actually had. The human brain has a system of neurons dubbed ‘mirror neurons’ that directly simulate others experiences through feelings. These neurons play a huge part in our day to day experiences, contributing to how we learn via observation, react to certain songs, movies, etc.
We are literally designed to practice empathy! Our brains are already hardwired to give us a leg up in this area. This week I encourage you to be extra conscious of those 7 billion people around you. I promise it’ll make a difference.
Closing thought: In light of practicing empathy… listen to this song, you won’t regret it