In this day and age, going wide is easy. We multitask, we spread around, pulled by many distractions and responsibilities. We often get bored. We crave variety, the next new movie, the next new gadget. We jump from one task to the next on an ever-ending quest to be more productive. We never stop and think. There is no time for that. We are living in a fast-paced world, slowing down was easier when we didn’t have internet.
I personally often wish I could live as a Renaissance person, spending my days on hobbies, learning, reflecting and enjoying deep philosophical discussions. But that’s not for today’s world, especially in the big cities like Tokyo. No. It’s go-go-go!!!
Based on our current reality, it’s no surprise that in discussions, we often prefer to jump from one topic to the next. Going deep on one topic can be a slow, boring and painful ride. Slow isn’t synonymous with productive in the 21st century. But what if by going so fast, we were missing out on things that were right in front of our eyes? Is going wide and fast really the best solution? How about trying deep and slow for once? You never know what treasures could be found on the other side…
At Veritas, we encourage our students to go deep. One of our catchphrases could be “Why?” “Why do you think that?”. There are two reasons why we keep asking why.
First, asking why helps you discover more about yourself. Let’s say you like learning English. Many people do. Why do YOU like it? Maybe because it allows you to talk with people from all over the world. Maybe because it makes you feel cool. Maybe because you enjoy growing, learning. Maybe because you are fascinated by the country of Australia and want to live there someday. Maybe you are deeply curious about linguistics and how the English language is constructed. Whatever your reason may be, asking why really allows us to discover more about you.
Second, asking why helps you be more convincing in your opinions. Asking why forces you to come up with logical reasons that will help support your message. Let’s see how we can be more convincing by diving deeper into the following opinion:
“I think we should move to the countryside”
Why? “Because it’s cheaper and we can enjoy more nature”
Nature uh? Why is that important? “By enjoying more nature, we can be more peaceful, eat healthier local food and our children can enjoy themselves more easily and in a healthier way, away from screens by playing in fields, making sandcastles and catching butterflies.”
About what you said about children, why is that important to you? “Because as a child, I loved growing up in the countryside, playing outside with my friends. I want my children to experience the same thing. I also learned important values that can’t be learned if we stay inside in the city and keep playing on our iPads.”
As you can see, not only was it more convincing to ask why, we also got to learn more about the person. As an added bonus, it made them more ENGAGING. We can connect on an emotional level by thinking about our own children and our own childhoods and therefore be persuaded on an emotional level. Logic, rational thought is of course very important to be convincing. But few of us realise the importance of sharing our personal experiences.
Now we could go even deeper about the statement “we can be more peaceful” by asking “how” this time.
We can be more peaceful in nature.
How? First, the silence helps to relax our minds.
Second, we can be mesmerized by the beauty of landscapes and make time stop.
Third, we can experience a calming effect by smelling flowers like lavender.
So, nature helps us cultivate peace.
Going deep is hard. It’s not easy to explain common phrases like “being peaceful in nature”. It doesn’t come straight away. It takes time and practice to nurture our “deep thinking” muscles. But only by choosing to go deep can we become more self-aware and convincing. And these are attributes that I believe we can all strive to have.
Jessica was born and raised in France. Ever since she was a young girl, English has been a passion for her. Along with her personal studies, she went to live in the US for a year as a Rotary exchange student and later moved to the UK, where she spent 5 years. There, she worked in the film industry and on the side built and ran an ice cream business with her former partner. It was during that time in Britain that she started to develop a passion for personal development and coaching. Wanting to follow her passion, she decided to quit her life in the UK and returned to France where she would discover about the rich culture that Japan has to offer thanks to her little brother. She once again decided to follow this new passion and came to Japan on a Working Holiday. There, she discovered Veritas, which not only helped her develop her coaching skills but also share her passion for the English language with Japanese Natives. Now happily settled and married in Japan, and through her career at Veritas, Jessica hopes to grow as a coach and business person while helping to inspire and guide others on their journey to self-development and global leadership.