When I finally came to the conclusion that my life was my responsibility, I decided on a process of personal-transformation. As a first step in that journey, I engaged a personal coach. One of the first questions that coach asked me was “How many intimate relationships do you have in your life?” My immediate response was “7” (my wife, two children, my siblings and my best friend). After I had answered him I wasn’t sure if I should be proud or ashamed of that answer.
I decided that relationships are power, relationships are meaning, relationships are the fulfillment of life. So, over the next year or so, I began to consciously get closer to more and more people. I chose to use the IMP process of values based living, to begin to care about people in a new way and demonstrate that care. This resulted in dramatically stronger relationships, with far more people, in a dramatically more fulfilling day to day life. After a year, my IMP Coach asked me how many intimate relationships I now had in my life. As I recall, I told him “about 40”.
I’m not sure how many intimate relationships I have today as this all happened many years ago. But I am certain that it is a multiple of that number. And my life is more fulfilling on a multiple as we because of it. My life is reflecting that through more personal purpose and joy.
So why do I share all of this with you? I share it for this reason – in my opinion the relationship with others is “The Secret of a Fulfilled Life”. We become closer to others by contributing to others and the closer we become to others the more fulfilled our own life becomes. The ironic secret in growing closer to others is to seek what we can Give to others, rather than what we can Get from others. This takes a commitment to operate from an intention of values rather than ego. We can only approach this from Values and from absolute honesty and vulnerability, which in turn creates the highest level of connectedness and true freedom.
This may seem counte intuitive, to be a giver rather than a taker, to “give” rather than “receive” to develop intimate relationships. However, think of your children.
Many times in the midst of difficulty, we believe we need to regain our strength through solitude. Often, the ego thinks that in order to be strong one must be assertive. We do this in pursuit of personal security and validation.
Ironically, to be secure and fulfilled, we must take the risk of vulnerability and selflessness. This creates connection with other people in a very authentic way. And it is only in such connection that we can experience true Relationship Mastery.
Relationship Mastery is one of the key tools to a fulfilled life. I have decided to spend the rest of my life growing Relationship Mastery. That’s my decision, what is yours?
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