You may be thinking this doesn’t exactly seem like a post that’s related to success and achieving your goals but you are wrong. We can get no where in life without our support systems. Some people choose to use these people instead of working with them. They “climb the ladder” by leaving broken and battered bodies in their wake and I, personally, feel that there can be no true satisfaction in this. I’m not saying you should be a doormat and you shouldn’t be strong and fight for yourself and believe that you deserve a promotion over someone else, what I am saying is make friends, develop teams and partnerships and have fun with who you are. These qualities give you leadership skills and show your superiors that you “play well with others” 😘. You are ahead of the pack here.
But this post is about those people in your life that aren’t directly related to your business or career success. You are not your job or business, those are a reflection of you not you of them, which means you have to have an identity outside of the office. There are a number of people that contribute to your successes in life that have nothing to do with your goals. There’s your spouse, your children, your friends, your extended family, your acquaintances, etc. you get the idea. You need to maintain a connection with these people and build them up, be there for them and they’ll be there for you, otherwise when the sh*t hits the fan (and it will, it always does, that’s how we get stronger) you’re going to be left there alone picking up the pieces of your shattered confidences.
These people, also, contribute to your sanity, your confidence, and your general mental health. You get to relax, vent, brainstorm, and, just plain, unwind. And, they will love you, support your ideas, give you more ideas, be honest, sometimes tell you the hard truths, hang out with you, listen to you, act as a sounding board, and sometimes tell you to shut up and have fun. This sounds one-sided and selfish, like you’re doing this only to get something for yourself but, ultimately, our nature, as humans, is self-oriented so don’t feel bad for being human, we all are 💋. There is nothing more fulfilling than doing something for someone else and if it feels good we continue doing it. Don’t worry though, you’re not the only one benefiting from these interactions, your loved ones are getting boosted too, because you are returning the favour and doing those things for them too.
There are a lot of things you can do to acknowledge and invest in these people, you need to know what works best for you because this CANNOT be fake, you must, absolutely and completely, be authentic 😇. This is being a true friend and showing love in different ways. Here are a few ideas.
Go for a coffee or shopping date. Just chat about life and all that’s going on. The conversation will flow naturally so don’t force the subjects, the purpose of these get togethers is not to focus on you, but just being social. If the topic comes around to your current goals, that’s great, but if you try to make it happen you aren’t, really, being a good friend. I’ve had many of these over the years and I always feel fantastic and have a pep in my step for days to come.
Do random acts of kindness. Send a positive note to someone you know, praising or thanking them just for being them. You can drop off a plate of baked goods with a note to say you’re thinking of them. Offer to babysit their kids. Send them a gift card for their favourite store or a little gift that you know they’ll love. Pay attention to their likes, dislikes, and needs, when you talk to people listen on a level deeper than, just enough so that when you have something to say it connects to the subject matter. Listen with the only intention of listening and connecting to the person you’re talking to. Don’t worry if they don’t respond or reciprocate, that isn’t the point, you are doing this to build up and encourage the people in your life. Today, I put a bunch of post-it notes in a place I knew my husband would see them when he got home from work. They were a love note to him telling him a bunch of reasons why I love him. I felt amazing doing this, my kids even got excited.
Get active. Go bowling or on a hike, take a yoga or a spinning class, if you can’t chat while you’re doing it, perhaps because you can’t breathe 😘, you can chat afterwards while you’re changing or travelling. Carpooling chit chat is great because there’s always someone driving who has to concentrate, so you can’t really go deep and it covers all the surface subjects so you’re able to move into the real stuff later, more easily.
Pick up the phone and just chat. Call up Grandma and catch up on what’s happening in her life. There is happiness to be found in connecting with your roots and your past. Never underestimate the value of the people in your life who have lived more than you have. They may not have the same technological understandings or anything like that but they have lived and learned and have so much to offer. Every time I talk to one of my grandma’s they teach me something new about life.
Find your true self and be that person, those that accept you like that are the people truly worth investing your resources in. Love on yourself and all the amazing people surrounding you, whether you have something to gain or not. ❤️