Homepage Resume Book Recommendations Blog

1 Thing

I usually enjoy very much asking people for suggestions - on books, TV shows and movies, music, food, places to visit, anything really. But it wasn't always this way. I used to be very annoyed at people for suggesting too much of everything and then a little angry at myself for not being very serious about following through with their suggestions - because, if someone recommends you something, it's most likely because this person is very excited about it and wants you to share the experience. By not following through with the suggestions I always felt as if I'm invalidating their preferences.

But that changed when I adopted the "1 Thing" rule. I think when it comes to sharing things we like, most of us, me including, have very little self control so we just keep on attacking people with our preferences as if we want them to adopt our taste completely and validate us. So what I do now is, I ask people to recommend me 1 thing: 1 movie I should watch, 1 song I should listen to, 1 food I should try, 1 place I should visit etc. This does a number of things:

  1. It forces the other person to value your time - no one has time to watch all 9 seasons of 5 of your favorite TV shows.
  2. It forces the other person to think hard about what you would personally like and not just pour whatever comes to mind first on you.
  3. It also allows you to keep the promise and actually follow through. If you don't like it, you can honestly say so and then ask for another recommendation.
  4. It helps you to actually learn about the person a little more, because by prioritizing things people show you what's more important to them (and you can even ask, why did they pick this particular thing out of all!)

I obviously try to follow the "1 Thing" rule myself when suggesting things to others. But a more generic idea from which, I suppose, this rule is derived, is that it's very pleasurable to have focus in a conversation because as the song goes:

When you get to where you wanna go,
and you know the things you wanna know,
you're sm-ah-ah-i-ling.