August 2011, Milpitas CA
I walk into a Starbucks neatly attached to the side of a mall to meet Peter.
He patiently waits at one of the few tables in the smaller, cozier environment. After ordering my small coffee, I take a seat across from him. The first thing we talk about is the Beltran trade that the San Francisco Giants executed during that 2011 midseason. In hindsight it didn’t really work out for them but both of us agreed during that moment that it was a reasonable trade. It seemed like they were one trade away from repeating as champions.
His posture holds stoic confidence as he laughs about his own blog. He has a couple of posts about his own dealings with poker and traveling through some shadier areas of a couple of Asian countries.
We stroll the mall to change the scenery as he speaks to me about my newly discovered courage.
“So tell me what gave you the courage to randomly chat up people offline and online because talking to people in broad daylight is something that makes me a bit nervous.”
I told him that, “It actually didn’t come naturally to me but I continued to take my less than stellar experiences and learn from them in order to make future ones feel more natural. As time goes along you can learn to converse with anyone. You do things slowly by taking systematic baby steps to get things going like saying hi then asking ‘how are you?’ then having a real conversation with someone.”
He gladly grins back at me and tells me he would write that in his own blog.
For a naturally social person like him to say, “You’re good. Everyone is a bit nervous at first. You’re talking to me like a natural.” was an important boost to knowing I had the skills.
Almost any skill can be learned if you trust your progress. Peter helped me trust in that progress when it was still in its infancy.
[You can find more about Peter at Peter J Lu.]