Good relationships are the foundation for success in all areas of your life.
This begins with your relationship with yourself. If you do not love yourself entirely and actively ensure your own needs are met, you will find it difficult to do the same for others.
Know this: however you treat yourself is how you will treat others. This is why, ironically, the most selfless thing you can do is to be self-centered (albiet not selfish).
Once you love and accept all aspects of yourself completely and treat yourself that way, once you become grounded and centered in your being, serving and empowering others will come naturally.
Imagining and looking back it yourself from the end of your life, ask yourself right now,“How well did I love myself? Was I my own best friend? Was I completely honest with myself?”
You see, it is easy — without realizing it — to neglect the one person in your life who is your partner in everything that you do and are: you.
Practicing self love not only involves making sure your needs are met; it also means not subjecting yourself to environments, perspectives, relationships, and other commitments that disempower you.
Don’t worry so much about being rude. It is more detrimental to both yourself and the other person to keep commitments that you are unable to uphold, then it is to cut the tie and be free, if you feel you’re being anchored down.
Ask yourself: “What kinds of people did I surround myself with? Who supported me in fulfilling my destiny, and how did I support others in realizing theirs?”
In life, you can either unconditionally accept the relationships that are handed to you, or you can create connections that you find mutually fulfilling.
Ask yourself: “If I could do it over again, what values what I look for in a friend, life partner, mentor, and business partner? What kind of brother, sister, son, husband, wife, father, mother, friend, teacher, and student what I have been?”
Which relationships suit you best? Are you a man or woman who enjoys acommitted relationship, or do you prefer to “play the field”? Do you want to get married, have kids, and start a family? Or would you rather become a monk?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions.
If we are not deliberate about answering, we tend to repeat the relationship-based habits that we have inherited subconsciously from our parents.
For instance, our parents were a certain way with us, and so, if we are blind to it, we will treat our own children that way. Your mother was a certain way with your father, and so you will be that way with your spouse, if you don’t shed conscious light on it.
But those of us who create visions for our life can avoid that trap by deciding specifically the type of relationships we would like to foster: romantically, familially, with friends, with teachers, and of course, with yourself.
Based on your answers to these questions, you can design your perfect day, this time focusing on your relationships.
For instance, set aside certain times of the day for yourself, for spending time with your wife, as well as with her children, your friends, and what have you.
You will also want to adopt a strong set of values to support your relationships. The ones I have chosen our: generosity, assertiveness, discernment, and forgiveness.
There is no such thing as a stingy lover. It is good to give freely — with no strings attached. You will find that by being generous, others tend to respond favorably to you. What you give comes back to you in different ways. Generosity is one of the greatest virtues a person can embody, in my opinion.
It is also crucial that you assert yourself in your relationship with others. Ask yourself, “Does the person with whom I am in a relationship with share my vision for our relationship, whether it become romance, friendship, or business? Do you have the strength to set up boundaries and say “no” in your relationships? What are those boundaries? Are you honest and transparent with yourself and others, and are you able to assert your wishes clearly and respectfully?
Don’t allow people to trade on you, bring you down, or take from you without your permission. Knowing how to say “no” in relationships is as important as understanding how to say “yes.”
Discernment is the ability to take a step back and assess whether your current relationships are resourceful to you or not.
Looking somewhat objectively at your life, you will realize which relationships are not resourceful for your greater vision. Maybe those friends who play video games every waking hour or not your crowd. Perhaps that woman, as beautiful as she is, might not be the best one for you to marry.
Whatever the case may be, you have to be discerning enough to examine your relationships.
Are the people in your life those whom you want to be surrounding yourself with, and are they supporting you on your mission?
The people with whom you associate have tremendous impact on your character and on your legend. As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” That is to say, if the five people you associate with are lazy, then you yourself may adopt that tendency.
And finally, forgiveness is key.
Don’t throw stones, because we all live in glass houses. The understanding that you yourself are imperfect — just like everyone else — is a prerequisite for being able to forgive. Give people the benefit of the doubt, without being naïve.
Often times, forgiving the other person is better than “winning” an argument. It does not mean that they are justified in their error, but reprimanding them for their actions usually does not accomplish anything.
Forgiving someone else is as much for you, if not more, then it is for the other person.
Your relationship with yourself is the first and foremost most important thing that you could cultivate if you want to improve your outside relationships in general. It is the foundation of your character and how you interact with the world.