The Invisible Toddler

I think more people should live out loud. Talking about what you’re doing publicly is a good way to learn things, meet people, and generally improve your situation. It’s a productive way to use social media, or it’s a viable strategy for a blog or YouTube channel or whatever. But a lot of people struggle with how they should go about it. “What should I write?”

I don’t have this problem, because I have been trained exceedingly well by a series of toddlers.

All you have to do is imagine that no matter what you’re doing, you’re being shadowed by a three-year-old. This invisible toddler asks you “what are you doing?” You’ve got to answer, and you’ve got to answer simply enough that a three year old can mostly get it.

Then they’ll ask “why?” You’ve got to answer that, too.

Then a few dozen more times.

It’s great training in patience, but it’s even better training in communication. Because contrary to the popular narrative, I’ve discovered that kids don’t just ask “why” endlessly. They ask until they understand. The better you get at communicating for understanding – even to people with very little background knowledge – the more clear your own understanding will become.

As a side effect, all of that becomes visible to others. You’ve lowered the walls. Keep lowering them until they’re gone. Or at least low enough that a toddler could get over them.

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