What relationships are important to you?
Your spouse, children, friends, colleagues?
Every one of those relationships are important and each have their own “bank” account. That is to say just because you are fantastic and invested into your relationship with your closest friend, doesn’t mean that your children feel the same investment into the relationship you have with them.
Let me repeat that, because this is an important point. Each relationship has a completely different account and the funds are non-transferable.
The mistake I make is that I get a false sense of security in the relationship with my family based upon the value I bring to my job. I don’t know how many times I’ve walked into my house at night and the only thing I talk about for the first hour is how much I accomplished at work, as if this had something to do with the relationship with my wife and kids.
Silly but I think many of us do the same thing. Now, let’s flip that around. The next time you want to ask for a raise, consider taking this approach with your boss. Explain to him how much you’ve accomplished at home, by mowing the lawn, doing dishes, folding laundry and fixing the leak under the sink. Do you think your boss would see the value and justification to provide you a raise?
To further this analogy, some of our relationship accounts are interest bearing while others have diminishing return. So invest wisely. Some relationships drain your energy and leave with nothing left to give to others. While investing time with positive, outgoing people will actually give you energy and enthusiasm for life. Find these relationships and spend as much time as you can with them as they will add significantly more value to you over time.
The point is this: be present and strategically build each relationship one at a time and seek out and spend time with those individuals that add value to you and you to them.