Relationships…what do they mean to you?
Relationships to me are a lifestyle. We can either build a life off of relationships, or build a life on relationships. Now you might be asking what the difference is. What I believe the difference is related to building a life off of relationship is to take advantage thereof, only to serve you and your sphere of influence. To build a life on is to serve the other person by your sphere of influence as well as to receive.
I strive to stay connected to people that have been introduced to me with no agenda other than to merely stay connected and just see what happens. I am a firm believer that life (our creator) takes you down paths for a reason, ie: meeting new people for a purpose. We sometimes don’t know why we’ve met someone and may never. However, I love staying connected if not for the sole purpose of seeing someone’s life grow and mature. However, sometimes the other part of the relationship can tend to serve me in a different way by learning from their successes and/or their failures. I think that’s how we all learn from other people. I also believe that we should be willing to share our our failures just as much, if not more than our successes.
Lately I’ve had something strongly weighing on me regarding relationship though. I know that when you meet someone for the first time, most can immediately snif out what I call “a fake.” A “fake” is someone who generally calls themself a “networker.” People can see right through someone like this. Now I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with networking, as our professional careers sometimes depend on this, but if it is for the sole reason of taking advantage of another person and/or potential relationship I personally don’t believe in that. This is called a one-sided relationship. If one person is always the giver and the other is the reciever, then the relationship will eventually disintegrate. I believe that we meet people for a reason, but not at the expense of a persons feelings or needs in order to advance our own. I will say that this is my own personal conviction, but I try my best to stand by it and honor the people that I know or have met as we never know truly who we have just shaken hands with and how they may affect our lives and how we may affect theirs.
Just keep an open mind and remember, people are people just like you and me. There is nothing more important that should cause you to walk over someone elses needs to attain your own. We need to remember to invest in the relationships around us. Invest, invest, invest. It will pay off way more than your IRA or 401k ever will!
– John C. Maxwell, Relationships 101