Stoking the Stoke: Beginner's Guide

Do you struggle with thinking you're the s&^$? Have a hard time giving people the floor? Always waiting for your chance to talk rather than trying to listen? Seek out differences in others instead of trying to find a connection through shared similarities? Fill the silence with stuff about you?

Then this here is for you!

Contrary to popular belief, the world is full of lots of cool stuff. And not everything may suit your fancy. In fact, chances are, every person you meet may have an incredibly unique - perhaps even weird - set of interests, hobbies and things that generally "get them stoked". And with a little practice, you too can master the art of stoking the stoke instead of stealing the thunder or raining on the parade!

Remy is stoked. (see face)

Remy is stoked. (see face)

What is stoke? 

/stōk/ - to encourage or incite (a strong emotion or tendency) 

Who uses the term?

People who are genuinely excited about life or something that happened tend to say this phrase. This term and others like it akin to having a zeal for life are available to anyone. If you like enthusiasm and charisma, this is for you.

Why is it relevant?

Too many people are going through life with not enough stoke. Stoke is for everyone of all ages and stages.

Break it down. How does one stoke the stoke?

1) If someone has a high energy, a smile and a tangible sense of wonder about them, give them the floor.

2) Recognize that this person is going out of their way to eagerly share something with you.

3) Realize that you came to mind when this person decided to speak to you.

4) Listen to what they say.

5) Ask questions to learn more about their story instead of changing the subject.

6) Find common threads in your life. Where do your paths or passions cross?

7) Encourage them to keep with it and thank them for sharing the great or fun news with you.

8) Circle back on the topic a few days later to show your investment in their progress or the pursuit.

9) Salvage that positive energy and put it towards something that you're stoked on.

10) Spread the word on stoking the stoke.

Give us an example

Here are a few:

Example 1)

"How was your trip, son?"

"Ah, dad, it was great. We met some climbers who really opened my eyes up to what a human is capable of if they set their mind to it. I was stoked one of them was friendly enough to tell me a bit about how he got started and where I might learn more."

"That's great, son. I've never been climbing, but I remember meeting one of my favorite artists when I was your age, and he made a similar impression on me. I'm stoked for you and can't wait to hear more about it. Maybe we can find a gym around here to give it a shot."

Versus

"How was your trip, son?"

"Ah, dad, it was great. We met some climbers who..."

"Climbers, huh, bunch of no good hippies..."

"Dad, they really opened my eyes to..."

"There will be no opening of any eyes to that world, all they do is waste time and scrounge off of others..."

"Dad, they took some time to explai...."

"Let me open your puppy eyes to a little something about hard work..."

Example 2)

"Hey, Dave, how was your weekend?"

"Ah, Ben, it was excellent. Took the wife to this concert she wanted to see. I had never heard of the band before, but they were great and it inspired my wife to pick up her guitar again on Sunday. How about you?!"

"I remember you said she played way back when. That's really cool. We just sat at home and binged on Game of Thrones, but now that you say it, I might just see who's coming to town and score some tickets for a surprise date night with the wife. You guys always inspire me to put a little extra into my marriage. Any suggestions?

Versus

"Hey, Dave, how was your weekend?"

"Ah, Ben, it was excellent..."

"Must be nice. All I wanted to do was watch Game of Thrones, but my wife kept going on and on about this series she likes. I'd never even heard of it, so I shot that down right away. No way am I going to waste my time on some garbage show when there are white walkers to be slain. You like Thrones, right?"

"Actually, we didn't see this week's episode, because we went to a really great conce..."

"Ah, Dave, I won't spoil it, but let's just say - Snow, he's a goner. Never stood a chance. Hey, I'll see you at the 3pm. If your wife has any pointers for mine, let me know."

Example 3)

"Hey, mom, can I show you a song? It's this new one I heard from Kelly that I think you'll like."

"Sure, do your worst. I can't hang with a lot of the stuff on the radio these days, but let's give it a shot."

"I've been super stoked on the lyrics and I think you'll appreciate them."

"No way! There...that chorus right there! That's a sample from one of my favorite songs that came out when I was in middle school. I always knew it'd come around again. Good songs have a way of lasting through the ages. Can I show you the original after this?"

"That's crazy! And yes!

Versus

"Hey, mom, can I show you a song? It's this new one I heard from Kelly that I think you'll like."

" I can't hang with a lot of the stuff on the radio these days, so you've got 30 seconds or we switch back to my stuff."

"I've been super stoked on the lyrics and I think you'll appreciate...."

"I don't know if we'll even get to the lyrics as this rate, it's already so loud."

"Just wait, it's coming up right..."

"This is too fast for me, I'm out. Your generation wouldn't know good music if it walked up and smacked them in the face. They just don't make it like they used to."

Stoked for starters?

Wondering what to be stoked for in your life? Here's a little food for thought: