How to Cultivate Transformational Relationships for a (Way) Better Life.
I kicked off my morning (before 7 AM, which often hurts my old body) with 20 minutes of meditation. I holler to the high heavens about the benefits of meditation, but I've let my morning practice fall by the wayside in an effort to get more work done. [Insider tip: you won't get more work done by skipping a morning routine that's scientifically proven to make you more effective, creative, alert and efficient.] I slammed some coffee, dipped out for a quick meeting, and came home to find myself itching to read. I pored over article after article of REALLY good motivational stuff, like, the stuff that inspires a painting or a blog post.
One of the articles I (actually, all-the-way-thru) read this morning included "Want To Become A Multi-Millionaire? Do These 15 Things Immediately" by Benjamin Hardy. Once I got over the gross feeling I get when I succumb to what seems like clickbait, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself nodding and "yass"-ing in heartfelt agreement. Hardy talks about the importance of investing at least 10% of our income in ourselves, 80% of our free-time in learning, and how we should invest in vehicles that will generate more money. I agree with everything he outlined and am encouraged to be more diligent in incorporating these into my daily life.
Hardy also addresses how we should shift our motivation to giving instead of getting when it comes to relationships and stresses the legitimacy of the philosophy that we are only a sum of the people we surround ourselves with.
I've spent a great deal of time over the last year evaluating my relationships, looking for places to "trim the fat" to make space for relationships that are transformative. I can confidently say that without these relationships, I never would have had the courage to start my own business or to push myself creatively.
I've also noticed an undeniable shift in the quality of my relationships.
In some wild cosmic way when two "givers" are in relationship, they become a wellspring of giving. There's an abundance of stuff to give without the fear of depleting your resources. You both continue to find ways to serve the other and as the Bible says, your relationship becomes that in which "iron sharpens iron." It's awesome. And those relationships really exist!
While I'm always a work in progress, I've taken multiple steps - like joining a virtual co-working group - to seek out relationships that cultivate abundance and gratitude. If this is something you'd like to do as well, I recommend giving the following a try:
- Invest in a creative workshop. I started taking a ceramics workshop a few months ago from a potter whose work I've admired for quite some time. I found myself in a room full of other likeminded women with similar aspirations and have made meaningful connections because of it.
- Befriend someone whose work inspires you. See above. But also in time you'll start to pick up on things they do differently. You'll get insight into what makes them successful and how their creative process works.
- Don't bother with acquaintances. You know the "friends" you say you'll do lunch with for 6 months before finally scheduling it? Them. Back in my going out days, I had a massive network of other bar-goers I could call upon. We had fun, but those relationships lacked depth, thoughtfulness, and gratitude. I also slept. A lot.
- Volunteer. When you donate your time to an important cause or meaningful project you are guaranteed to meet other people who share similar values.
- Find ways to surprise and delight your friends. [If this phrase sounds familiar to you, you've probably worked in advertising.] There's nothing that makes me feel more appreciated than a handwritten letter snail mailed to my home. I'm also a really big fan of this-reminded-me-of-you gifts; nothing expensive, just thoughtful.