I was surfing the net one time and I came across this seminar on ‘relationships’ that was practically attended by mainly successful business men and women who had devoted their life completely to their careers and companies, and in their drive for success they had totally neglected their relationships one after the other, now they’ve reached the top, they’ve made a lot of money and even fame but they have no one to share it with. Thing is, most of them thought they had it all, until they realized it meant nothing without someone to enjoy it with.
But the truth of the matter is, if you approach relationships with an attitude of “I don’t have time for anybody else” one day you’ll probably look up and find that you’re all alone and wondering where all of your friends went. Personally, I found that the most powerful tool for building a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship is a “service attitude”, I mean a relationship where your main drive is to impact and add value to the other person’s life, your ultimate goal should be to add to the quality of the lives of those people who have trusted you with their friendship.
I found that when I meet somebody anew since I learnt to abide these principles I’ve had better relationships, strong and lasting bonds through the quality of conversations we have, I always seek and pick out three basics from new conversations that help me decide whether or not to retain or restrain from that relationship:
1. How positive minded they speak- do they see good and positive in even negative situations, do they see a bright and shiny day filled with joy every morning or they see another hectic Monday packed with excess work and stressful activities.
2. Humor- humor is everything to me, if somebody can contribute a laugh to my life every day, that’s seven times a week, multiplied by the amount of friends I have, then again multiplied by two if they keep it going and maybe three if they are on a role, you might end up having over 10,000 laughs a year, that’s more than enough to keep you happy for the whole year.
3. Ideas- having ideas doesn’t necessarily mean you have the potential to carry them out “just yet”, but when you talk about them it just goes to show that you have a very beautiful and productive mind with interest in developing the world or increasing the standards of living, dreamers are most respected here, you do know that dreamers are thinkers and thinkers end up becoming great innovators, so I always appreciate a good conversation with a dreamer with strong zeal towards realizing goals.
We undermine the meaning of “friendship” nowadays, people believe that so long as they engage in daily conversations, or attend same classes or probably they are friends of friends or are on the same football or basketball team automatically makes them friends, I think the term for that is “acquaintances” that’s all that is, not friends because being friends goes beyond just engaging in regular conversations you know, when you’re truly friends with someone it means you aren’t afraid to stand up for them when others are putting them down or when they’ve fallen out of favor with the rest of the world. It means that you focus on the best that is in them and try to help them express it even when they aren’t focusing on the best in themselves. If you’re able to approach your relationships with this orientation/attitude you’ll always find shelter in the friendship and trust of others. But if you haven’t put substantial effort into developing strong relationships then you should not be surprised to find yourself dealing with loneliness, rejection and or even isolation.
I was conversing with a very good friend of mine on this topic and she said “well Dez I don’t put this much effort you talk about but I still got a lot of friends” true, but are they real/true friends? The key word here is “true”, will they go the extra mile for you? And if yes well you should ask yourself why, but let me tell you why, it’s simply because there is something in you that they want or are benefiting from, and soon as it’s gone they’ll abandon you like an old sack of potato.
Try to play this quick image in your head, say for example you got a lot of money or your parents are pretty rich, bring those people you feel are your true friends, now take out your money and parents wealth, do you still see them flocking around you? Or they done took themselves out?
Let’s take one final bazaar example, say you’re a very pretty young lady with all the right curves, and you were involved in a ghastly motor crash and got badly injured, burnt across the face and maybe permanently inclined to the use of crutches, will these guys still flock around you? Maybe even your girls won’t be caught dead around you because you’ve lost what they were really after, I bet my A-List will still be there for me. So if after all these, your head still reflects somebody that will still be there for you then be happy because that’s your true friend. I rebuke any form of motor crash in your life.
BUILD YOUR A-LIST
Keith Harrell said, the people you allow embrace your life ultimately have the greatest impact on your attitude.
Your A-list should comprise of people you can count on regardless the situation, people that will be with you through thick and thin, support you and give you the necessary motivation and words you require to get up and move on, non critics or seasonal friends. You know some people are seasonal friends, they only show up when it’s convenient for them, like they talk to you every day when you’re in school but soon as you go home its over “no airtime” to call you, so you see I can’t overemphasize the importance of building a strong reliable A-list. It’s critical and important especially during those times when you’re looking for guidance and a shoulder to lean on. You know, when you engage in a conversation with another person you give them the ability to impact you, to slip stuff into you, that’s why when you make friends with someone you best make sure it’s what you want, you best make sure you know who you’re spending time with because you may not always realize what you’re getting out of the relationship until it has already been deposited and start growing in you, it’s sort of like crabgrass, you don’t know it’s there until it’s all grown up you see.
I can count on my A-list to help me keep my attitude positive. They also help me see with a wider range of vision, at every major turning point of my life, there has been someone there to help me find the learning point of my life. I hope it has been same for you, and even though you might not have giving much thought or enough credit to your support team it will be relevant for you to take a time out and review your life till this point and think of those people who have made a difference in it. Go a step further today and create a list of those on your A-list to remind yourself of all the people who have supported you and helped you when your circumstances or attitude took a turn for the worse. Then, the next time you’re tempted to think you’re alone, rid yourself of that negative thought by visualizing all the people who support, motivate and believe in you or just pick up your telephone and call them.
So if ever you find yourself with a lackadaisical attitude, bogged down, unmotivated and looking to get off your “if only’s”,” what if’s” and “what now’s”, I recommend again you put into consideration the effort others have invested in your life and try this self affirmation that was also stated in my previous post on “THE IDEAL FAITH” I can’t let down the people who believe in me and worked for me, it’s time I started believing in me and helping myself.
So whenever I’m alone and on the road or whenever I’m feeling a little lonely or down, lacking motivation to go on or push through I immediately get in touch with one or two, or depending on the depth of my mood, three or four people on my A-list. I call them or start up a chat. I try to catch up on their lives and see how they are doing, I find that’s all I need, just to remind myself that I’m not alone. Of course they call me too, I want them to do that, every time if possible, because I want to contribute to their happiness and security too.
Relationships are built on a two-way-street you see, they have to be mutually beneficial, each side has to bring something of value to the table, otherwise they will not endure. Friendship is more or has got to be more than having a good time when you’re together chilling as it’s called. It’s about time you started weighing the substance of your friendships, examine the things you’re getting in exchange for your time.
It’s time to cut off all unproductive relationships and concentrate on the ones that improve your very being. May God give us wisdom to make the right dedecisions.