What will you miss?
"What will you miss?"
It's such a simple, sweet, innocent question. And it's so effective.
I've wrapping up a video project with the good folks at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. A few weeks ago, we captured a series of interviews with current students, with the goal of crafting a collection of short videos to use in fundraising and recruitment.
And these students are in the thick of it. They'd come to the gorgeous Chicago location for three days of intensive study with peers in their own cohorts, as well as the unique opportunity to learn with those in other programs.
So, the challenge in the interviews was: how do we get these folks focused for the 20 minutes or so we had them between classes in order to capture their stories?
Turns out pre-emptive nostalgia was a pretty effective tactic.
There's a wonderful quote attributed to John Dewey. "We don't learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience." Whether he actually said exactly this isn't the point - it's indicative of how we really learn, especially in the digital age when the future is barreling at us at an ever-quickening pace.
The experience itself is overwhelming. The reflection is where we can take a breath and suss out what we've really gained from that experience.
I think that's why the question "what will you miss?" was so powerful in crafting interviews like this one with Ariella Yedwab, and this one with Matt Kramer-Morning. It forced them out of "experience" and into "reflection" mode.
Interviewees' answers to this question prompted great storytelling. They would begin with, "I think I'll miss..." and name something general, but then naturally shift and give a very specific example. It animated them. It made them more conscious and appreciative of the fact that this opportunity, this learning, this community, is bound to the present moment and won't last forever. It got them thinking about what they would savor.
What will you miss? What about your beneficiaries, your supporters? The answer can help you focus your work in the present, and be more strategic in the stories you tell and the decisions you make from here on out.