How to connect with people

In Cuba the people really feel.
They really connect.
They dance together.
They chat in the street and in the parks with their friends.
There’s live music at almost every restaurant & bar every single night. 
It’s a beautiful way of life… but what makes it so unique? How is it different to elsewhere? What is their secret?

They basically don’t have the internet.

When we were there in 2016, if you wanted wifi as a local in Havana, first, you’d have to be one of the few people who own a laptop or smart phone.

Second, you’d go get a prepaid card with a code on it (the line up is ridiculous because you’re in line with everyone else who needs to see that ONE telecommunications company – to pay bills, to get their phone-line serviced etc etc.

Then, you you need to take your laptop/smartphone (or your brother’s/friend’s/cousin’s/aunty’s) to a spot near one particular hotel in the old town.

Because the drinks and food in that hotel are really expensive for a local, you get yourself a nice spot somewhere along the curb (it is actually a nice clean stone street, not just some filthy gutter) and from here, you’d log on and start using the time you’d paid for on your card, and wait for the extremely slow connection to allow you to do what you want to online.

For most, it’s a luxury.

It means that people do have the kind of face-to-face interactions that we are no longer used to.

Imagine talking to a friend and them actually having no idea what you’ve been up to lately (because your life updates aren’t broadcast across Facebook).
Imagine not settling an argument/debate by Googling.
Imagine connecting with friends for real conversation, and doing things like walking together, cooking together or dancing.
Imagine having an amazing time dancing with strangers without being drunk
Imagine dancing with passion with a member of the opposite sex just because it’s fun dancing, NOT because you’re trying to pick up.

Are there advantages to the tech that we use and enjoy?
Yes, but are there also major implications and problems within our health, communication & well-being? In my opinion, yes.

Today I’m on day 2 of a 4 day event where we are encouraged to dance just to feel good, where we share our thoughts, dreams and struggles with strangers and we are embraced and supported in doing so.

I believe the world needs more of this. How can you connect more deeply today?

Challenge yourself to:

  • smile at (and if you’re up for it – even start a conversation with) a stranger
  • ask your partner something more meaningful than “How was your day?”
  • chat to a friend as if you haven’t seen on Insta that they just bought a puppy and went to their brother’s wedding. Let them tell you!
  • dance with someone just because you want to dance.

  

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