Most of us aren’t thinking big enough when it comes to our goals. We seek to lose 15 lbs. We seek to get a better job. We seek to improve or repair our existing relationships. We seek to save more money. Yet none of these goals will really excite you. You don’t just jump out of bed in the morning, dying to lose those 15 lbs. Losing 15 lbs. isn’t much of a Mission. It doesn’t get the juices flowing and the mind reeling about how to solve this problem. What it does is remind us that we’re overweight and we aren’t eating as well as we should. It reminds us to exercise regularly. It reminds us that we’re not happy with where we are right now with our bodies and we need to change. It focuses inherently on the problem and not on the solution.
Many of us want repaired relationships or enhanced relationships. What are we doing now — today — to make this a reality? We are so quick to dismiss our friends’, even our family’s, events straight out. A quick “Sorry. Can’t make it.” text message and we’re out. We have a hard time sticking to our friend’s invitations. What’s changed? What are we so dang busy with that we don’t make time for our friends any more? Our friends get pushed down to 5th class citizens status when they used to be 1st Class. Yet it is our friends that help us build our confidence. It is our friends who help us with a big career change. It is our friends who are there for us when difficult situations arise. It is our friends who help guide us through family challenges. We need our friends. We cannot go it alone. And why would you want to?
Ironically, we have difficulty going deep with our relationships today. Most of our connections are simply peripheral, scratching the surface of what it means to be human. While we all go forward together (or separate) in this life, we’re missing out on going deep with people we choose to hang around with. Never forget that you are the average of the five people you hang around with the most. You best keep upping your average. Go deep with those people. Get to know them better than they know themselves. Make and keep appointments, lunches, dinners and regular meet ups with them. Yes, live and in-person. It is so much more fulfilling to meet with them live.
Your relationships are one of the Big Three, the others being health and wealth. Interestingly, your relationships build up the other two in a symbiotic relationship. You cannot be truly wealthy without great, solid relationships. You also cannot be truly healthy without great solid relationships. Our health and our wealth depend upon good relationships. A business cannot survive without good relationships with its customers. It is easy to abandon one in favor of the other two. Don’t do this! Try to leverage all three at once because all three of the Big Three comprise the vitals of a healthy, well-lived life.
If you’ve been a little deficient in the health and wealth category, it can be your relationships you’ve invested in that save you and bring you back. What if your health is off and you’re slightly depressed because of it? People tend to hang around themselves when they’re feeling down, not wanting to be around others, friends or family. Yet, this is precisely when we need our friends, our family, to help us pull through the difficult time. We need not push them away. They’re here for us, here to build us up, to help nurture us back to the normal, healthy person we want to be. They don’t want to see us down and out. They want to see us thriving, energized, enthusiastic and happy. The next time you go through a lull or get down on yourself, get around your friends and family often. You’re there for them when their chips are down. Let them be there for you when you need help. And do not be afraid or too proud to ask them for help! Remember that it is a leadership tenant. You cannot do it alone. Enlist and enroll others when you’re feeling down and need some positivity in your life. Get outside with them. Go for long walks or take a hike together. Work-out together. Be out in nature. Reconnect with you, with who you are.
Invest in your relationships. Your net worth largely revolves around your best relationships. Don’t forget that. In fact, your happiness also revolves around investing in relationships. It is one of the ways spending money ups our happiness: by investing in others. Bill Gates always said that he would invest his last dollar in PR. I’d invest my last dollar in relationships. What would you do? A life spent barely getting to know anyone is a life not worth living. There are so many great people out there. People are awesome! Get to know them the way I do by investing in them through dinners, events, meet ups, conferences, trade shows, etc. You can’t beat live and in person. He who can be in front of the most people the most often live and in -person wins. Investing in your relationships is some of the best ROI out there to be gained. So, go grab it. Go grab a friend and take them to dinner. Really listen. Share stories. And laugh. And then, do it again next week with another friend. Always be taking people out.