If you’re lucky, there are people in your life who matter to you—people with whom you’d like to develop a strong relationship of trust. Our interactions with others are the essence of life. Relationships are so powerful and important that they become an entity in themselves. That’s what synergy is all about—one plus one equals three: you, our relationship, and me.
Relationships are like trees—they need tending in order to grow. If you have a healthy tree in your yard today, chances are it will still be growing well tomorrow. You won’t wake up in the morning, look out the window and discover that the tree has simply vanished. Trees die slowly. If you’re paying attention you’ll notice the symptoms of stress—lack of water, too much water, iron deficiency, or insect damage. When you see these symptoms you can often take action to strengthen and save the tree. An even better philosophy would be to give the tree what it needs early to ensure it never has to deal with those stressors.
With consistent planning, you can do the same with relationships. As you’re setting your goals, take time to consider your relationships with others—your spouse, your children, your co-workers, your friends, your neighbors, and your parents. We each wear several different hats and perform varied roles every day. Strengthening the ties that bind us in each of our roles takes concentrated effort. But tending our relationships yields huge benefits.
Take some time to list all the people who matter most to you in your life. Consider the relationship you have with each of those people and determine what you’d like to do to strengthen it. Set aside time each week to ensure those relationships are well tended. Get to know each of them. Learn what makes them tick. Schedule time with them. Make them a priority in your daily life. Schedule family vacations and activities with each family member in mind.
A Weekly Compass® Card is an ideal way to track your goals for each of your roles. It includes space for you to list several roles and the goals you have for each. The card fits perfectly inside a Pouch Pagefinder, so you can easily keep it in front of you every day of the week as a reminder.
Developing strong ties with your spouse, children, siblings, friends, extended family, and co-workers leads to peace and security. To be trusted and to be surrounded by those you trust is like resting in the shade of a giant oak on a hot afternoon—an oak tree that you planted and nourished to maturity. Grow a whole forest of shade trees by planning one-on-one time with those you love today.