Six decades ago while a student at Villanova University I learned a profound lesson from my undergraduate economics professor that has stayed with me to this day. The professor expressed to the class “Nothing in life is of any value unless you can share it with someone.” I have lived my life relentlessly focusing on implementing that powerful truth in my daily living.
It is my considered opinion that two of the most important human skills a person must possess and master to be successful in any endeavor are relationships and listening. Relationship masters are very gifted listeners, and master listeners are very talented relationship partners.
If I were given the choice of one hundred shares of Apple Inc. stock (AAPL) or one hundred authentic relationships, I would choose the one hundred authentic relationships. In my opinion, the authentic relationships would enrich my life far more significant and longer than the shares of stock.
I wish to share with you lessons I have acquired along my journey that have been most valuable in the building, developing, and maintaining sustainable, authentic relationships.
- The most important relationship you will ever have is the relationship you have with yourself.
- Relationships are about investing in others. Relationships are all about helping people become their best selves.
- Do not burn bridges behind you, sometimes you have to retreat.
- Every relationship whether brief or lasting helps determine who you are, who you will become, success or failure. So choose wisely!
- Sometimes in life, you have to be wrong so someone else can be right.
- Always plant a lot of flowers on the way up, because you will have to pick them on the way down.
- The best relationships find their roots in mutual love, care, share and respect with space to agree and disagree.
- Add value to everything you do.
- Do not be a taker, be a giver.
- Extraordinary and creative people are made, not born.
- Listen to what people do, not what they say.
- It does not matter how much money you have in your pocket, it only matters what you have in your mind and heart.
- Seek the wisdom of as many different minds, visionaries, and mentors as possible.
- Be kind to everyone you meet. Everyone is fighting some battle you know absolutely nothing about.
- The minute you think you have won, you have already lost. Keep growing, improving, and bringing immense value to the opportunity at hand.
- Spend less time worrying about who is right and more time deciding what is right.
- You do not have to have all the answers, just the right questions.
- All negative talk must have a definite purpose.
- You are the sum of what you tolerate and who you associate with.
- The most important conversations you have in life are the ones you have with yourself.
- One of the most common mistakes people make is taking no to mean never. Be persistent until no becomes yes.
- Most relationships come with an expiration date.
- Power and money are fruits of life that we desire, but family and friends are roots of life.