What is an Engaged Life?

Angela Chaney
Angela Chaney

When I started writing Engagement Equity: Earn the Ask, I thought of engagement mostly in terms of social media. When your followers comment, share, or react to your posts, you are getting engagement; and one of the best ways to increase engagement on social media is to stop selling and start providing value.

This concept naturally expanded to other areas of business and life. When you give value to anyone you have a relationship with, whether it’s a professional or personal one, you increase engagement and deepen the relationship. It works for parents, friends, business partners, and significant others. When you take the focus off “I” and put it towards doing the things for others that mean the most to them, your life transforms.

I’ve done my best to practice the strategies of Engagement Equity in the past few years…to mixed results! As anyone knows who has tried to adopt a new mindset, the journey can often be one of three steps forward and two steps back. Okay, sometimes it’s more like one step forward and three steps back! But I truly believe this is a worthy endeavor and it has undoubtedly improved my life.

Of course, now that I have one book out and I have begun talking about my concepts of Engagement Equity in classes, on the radio, and in my podcast, I’ve started thinking about the next steps. What will the next book be? How can I continue to expand these concepts and keep the information fresh?

This led me to the title of what I want my next book to be: Living the Engaged Life. And I knew I wanted to start writing the book as a blog so I could share my journey as it developed. But the title begs the question: What exactly is an engaged life? And how do I know if I’m living one?

An engaged life is one where I am present.

When I’m playing Phase 10 with my daughter or watching hockey with my husband, I want to be there. I tend to always be thinking of something else no matter what I’m doing: what’s for dinner, what I need to do at work the next day, what time I can finally admit I’m tired and go to bed! My mind goes 100 miles a minute and I don’t feel I’m ever completely present in the moment. I want that to change.

An engaged life is one where I give value.

Yes, the concepts from Engagement Equity: Earn the Ask still apply. An engaged life to me is one where I am striving to constantly help those who I have relationships with. “Help” could mean just bringing a smile to their face. It could mean bringing them a coffee when they’re having one of those Mondays (you know the ones I’m talking about.) Or it could mean giving my husband that compliment I know he desperately needs but that I’ve been withholding for whatever reason. If I can keep adding value to the lives of others, I not only earn an ask…I also feel fulfilled.

An engaged life is one where I’m generous.

One of my words for 2021 is “generous”. I don’t just mean that I’ll pay for my friends’ drinks or give the homeless man on the corner a five-dollar bill (though I want to do more of that, too.) Being generous also means more giving of my time, my complements, my expertise, and the benefit of the doubt. It means not jumping to conclusions or taking things personally. No matter what happens, it’s having the thought that other people are basically good, doing the best they can with the tools they have, and that I can always be a little kinder. To everyone. All the time.

An engaged life is one filled with joy.

I’m generally a pretty happy person. I’m one of those types who gets excited when I think about going to the library or grocery shopping. But I often rob myself of the joy I could be experiencing with worry or by letting my mind wander. There are so many opportunities for joyful moments and an engaged life is one where I experience them more fully.

This is what an engaged life looks like for me. And the first step toward achieving it is defining it. I hope you join me on this journey as I find more ways to engage with the people I love, with our clients, with my colleagues, and with life in general. I would love to hear what an engaged life means to you. Please connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and let me know how you plan to live a more engaged life in 2021.

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