I’ve heard of the term ‘2nd nature’ all my life and never understood what is was or why it mattered until the last few years.

Here’s what I think:

First, instinct is how we’re hard-wired. An example would be breathing.

Next, first nature is something we have to think about, practice, and fail at like learning to tie our shoelaces. To develop a habit, you think about something, practice it until you succeed, and continue practicing until it becomes second nature.

Second nature is something you learn that becomes instinctive or automatic i.e. like learning to connect with others before launching into what you want to talk about or do (I’m not talking about in a salesy or manipulative way like many of us were taught).

You can feel connection or a lack thereof. Here are some rhetorical questions to think about: 1. Are you more successful with someone when you invest time making a connection? 2. do you stop talking and work on reconnecting when you feel a disconnect or just plow-through the discomfort? 3. Do you spend any time asking/thinking about how others like to be connected with?

Your good character, temperament and talents go a lot farther when the connection is strong first.

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