Written January 8th, 2023 – Published January 17, 2023
What does a relationship look like to you?
A relationship to me is something I give time to / invest in. A relationship is connection. What is important to know about relationships is you and I get to choose our relationships. We don’t choose family, yet those are relationships, as well. Dr. Maxwell tells us we need to make the decision: I will initiate and make an investment in relationships with others.
We need to make the decision to intentionally give attention to our relationships. Relationships just don’t happen or just stay alive. Relationships need to be so important that they need to be on our “to do list.” Dr. Maxwell gives us several ways to help make our relationships intentional – Place a High Value on People, Learn to Understand People, Give Respect Freely but Expect to Earn It from Others, Commit Yourself to Adding Value to Others. As with previous articles, I will focus on one, Commit Yourself to Adding Value to Others.
How would your day look if you made it a goal to add value to others? Answer: Fulfilled. There is nothing better than giving a person a reason to smile. That reason of course needs to be centered on love for the person. And again, love has four words (storge, philia, eros, agape). I actually make it a point to tell my wife, “I love you” – EVERYDAY! I am super intentional about the relationship with my wife. I call my childhood friend Danny every Monday, Chaplain John every Friday morning, and Scott every Friday afternoon and if I am unable to call them, I let them know. I do not expect the same from any of them. Do they call me? Yes. Does Diana say, “I love you” to me? Yes. But I don’t expect it. For you to add value to others, you give freely! Dr. Maxwell in his book MAKE TODAY COUNT has a great quote from Leo Buscaglia, “Always start a relationship by asking: Do I have ulterior motives for wanting to relate to this person? Is my caring conditional? Am I trying to escape something? Am I planning to change the person? Do I need this person to help me make up for a deficiency in myself? If your answer to any of these questions is ‘yes,’ leave the person alone. He or she is better off without you.”
We take relationships for granted. Don’t we? If you are married, aren’t there days, weeks when your marriage is on “cruise control?” Relationships need energy! You get to decide what is the “energy.” You need to make the commitment: Every day I make the conscious effort to deposit goodwill into my relationships with others. Dr. Maxwell gives us several ways to improve our relationships: Put Others First, Don’t Carry Emotional Baggage, Give Time to Your Most Valuable Relationships, Serve Others Gladly. Express Love and Appreciation Often.
Give Time to Your Most Valuable Relationships
You need to decide what are your most valuable relationships. Then, you need to literally place that relationship on your schedule. This year, I returned to using the Franklin Planner. In this Franklin Planner, there is a “bookmark” used to mark the day-of-the-week. In the “bookmark,” there is a blank slip of paper. On that paper, I write my “roles.” Well, my roles are relationships! I then place an action for each role. I want to give to my relationships. My relationships give me a sense of purpose and purpose is so important for human beings. Be intentional in your relationships!
While writing this article, I was reminded of the importance of relationships and how they are the roles in my life. I cannot be a husband without a wife. I cannot be a father without having children. I cannot be a grandfather without having grandchildren. I cannot be a teacher without having students. I cannot be a friend without having friends. We have roles that need our attention. If we do not give attention to our roles, they fade away and then what do we become? I suggest you “begin with the end in mind.” With your roles / relationships, how do you want to be remembered? By your choices, you have the power to be remembered in very positive ways or yes, very negative ways. I hope you will do what you can to add energy to your relationships. How about this? Make those relationships ones where when you are “gone” you will be missed because you had the ability to let people know how special they are!
Again, this is an outline of a chapter from the book MAKE TODAY COUNT. Please buy the book! It is a wonderful book.
I would love to support you and/or others very close to you become better people. I consider it a “win-win.” The material you and I go through is incredible. If you want to learn more about how to become a better person, contact me: email@example.com Look forward to hearing from you. Hope this article helps you.