Relationships without Intention
Most of us build relationships based on circumstance.
At school, we meet people that this common circumstance has brought together. We hang out, make buddies, become friends sometimes just from sheer vicinity to each other. We may even stay friends after the circumstance separates us, sometimes because we develop great friendships but other times simply because of force of habit.
Then at work, a similar cycle begins. We spend time with people who share our circumstance, one that we may or may not have created with full intention.
I don’t know about you but I created neither my school nor work circumstances with much of any intention because back then, I did not understand anything as intangible as “intention”. I made decisions because someone told me so or the general “wisdom” pointed me in a certain direction.
It feels like being thrown randomly into a pot and having no choice but to get along with others thrown in as we get churned and stirred …
Are Circumstances Limiting Your Relationships?
See, you are conditioned to build relationships around whatever setting life’s natural circumstances brings us, and sometimes, it brings us the absolute BEST most memorable and invaluable relationships of our lives – I know that my childhood friendships fall in that category – but sometimes, it does not do us any favors.
What do you then? Is your circumstance the only function of the relationships you can have?
I used to believe that it was until I changed my approach. Now it feels as though I’ve uncovered a gold mine and I tell you how I did this simple yet powerful shift in building relationships in my business and life here because relationships can be the foundation for everything you want, and the best investment you can make, but you gotta make the RIGHT relationships, darling!
Ever since this approach, I feel truly connected to the people with whom I spend my time, be it in the real or the virtual world online. No more draining, heavy relationships that drag me down. No more feeling guilty to live up to expectations that trapped me into a relationship I neither wanted nor enjoyed.
The result when you have intentional relationships and meaningful connections: Your Whole Life Changes. And it turns out we really are the average (or above) the five people we hang around with the most. Why not make those 5 the best most inspiring relationships in our lives?
Uncommon Approach to Building the Right Relationships
Here’s my new approach to building relationships in my life and business:
~ Decide on the kind of people you want to surround yourself with. Pick their top 3 qualities. For me, they must be uplifting, ridiculously positive, and determined to do something powerful with their lives. Oh and none of that “victim of circumstance” mindset that I grew up with!
~ Make a (running) list of 80 to 100 people that meet and exceed those top 3 qualities, people that you have heard of, studied, watched, followed, admired, or do not know yet but come to find through search and conversation with your current network. There are no limits. If you want to add Richard Branson, Oprah, Tony Robbins on your list, go for it. Also don’t forget that those qualities are found in small and big people alike and you never know who will end up there so start with the qualities of people first.
~ Must like them first. When you have your list, from what you know about each person, ask yourself: Do I like to hang out with this person regardless of their success? If the answer is no, cross them off your list.
~ Take your list seriously. Don’t call it a dream list, a wish list, and don’t joke about how “unrealistic” this all is. Honor the list. Believe that it is already happening.
~ Set a clear intention to create circumstances that bring you together with at least 3 or 4 of those individuals every month. This can be a conference, a speaking event, a coffee shop, an online conversation, a phone call, a compliment on their work, a helping hand about something that matters to them, an introduction through a mutual acquaintance, or simply a direct approach to express your interest to connect with this person.
~ Be yourself when you go out and meet them at the intentional planned circumstance. Do not hold the person you are meeting up on a pedestal. They may be hugely successful but connect with them as a human being.
~ Ensure the top qualities do exist in them. Make sure that now that you have met them, that you really do like them. If you had different expectations, and those qualities were absent in a clear way, do not pursue the relationship further.
~ Do not let the appearance of success win over the humility of integrity. Once at the World Domination Summit bike tour, I met someone that I held in high regard and midway through what I thought was a conversation, she left, she just rode her bike in the other direction and I was beside myself. She lost my respect and my trust in one instant. To me, integrity comes first and f the person you meet does not respect you as a human being, cross them off your list. There’s others who will.
~ Find something you love and share with them. When you find someone who meets those top 3 qualities and had a chance to meet, first find a common element in your lifestyle, in your likes, in you personality that you can use a connection. Maybe it’s yoga, or mountain-biking or eating hot cocoa when the game is on, it can be the love of writing or speaking Chinese or traveling to Africa. I don’t know – it doesn’t matter – but be human and find a fun element you truly share. No making up nonsense please. Be real.
~ Build the relationship first as a friendship. Use the qualities that you share and that common element as foundation. Become friends, not business buddies. Hang out. Laugh at the absurdity of life. Spend a little time together.
~ Have a little self-confidence. If the person that you meet responds positively to your attempts at the relationship, don’t wonder why and ask “Well I am a nobody why are they interested in me?” Not only is that beyond unattractive, it certainly won’t get you any closer. You are you, unique, special, powerful beyond measure, and worthy of the relationship. If they respond cold, let it go after a few honest attempts. Better people shall come along.
~ Cultivate the relationship over time. Don’t just forget about it after the initial connection and until the time you need something. Find the channel of communication that works best. Maybe the conferences. Maybe Skype on occasion. Maybe social media. Find it. Cultivate it. And if you believe in their aspirations and projects, give them everything you can to support them.
Imagine: What if there was no waiting to see what circumstance will bring and instead you created a proactive, conscious and clear intention on who will be the next person that fills your company?
What if you did that with every single future relationship?
And when you master the art of intentional relationships, what if you examined the old relationships in your life that still take your time and energy just what if, you did something about that to make more room for the RIGHT relationships?