We’ve all heard that the people we hang around with and the books we read will determine where we end up 5 years from now. So look around! How are you doing with your associations (read any good books lately)? In the past couple of weeks, I have had the unique privilege of spending quality time with some outstanding individuals from all across the world. In fact, I caught myself wishing I could magically transport them all back to my home town during a recent dinner! Unfortunately, we cannot pull our friends from all corners of the earth and make them live within our reach. We can, however choose to make the MOST of our various associations!
Check out these key areas in your life and then take the necessary steps to ‘step up’ or ‘upgrade’ your personal associations!
FAMILY: The way we interact with our family members impacts every area of our life! Quality time and energy spent with our families pays huge dividends! We have a staff member who takes each of his girls to breakfast or lunch on their birthday every year. His little ladies are young now but imagine the power of this investment of time when his girls are grown and still take the time to eat lunch with their Dad: powerful family associations begin with an investment of time!
- STEP UP ACTION: Schedule individual time with each member of your family and watch the wonderful returns flow in!
FRIENDS: A good friend can make all the difference and excellent friendships can keep us on target to reach our goals. In his book, The Power of Who, Bob Beaudine states that you already know everyone you need to know in order to accomplish all of your dreams. When you have great friendships, you have people who care enough to tell you the truth, lift you up when you are down and celebrate when you reach those milestones in your life!
- STEP UP ACTION: Do you know what your friends are trying to accomplish in their lives and how are you supporting them? When you invest in your friendships- the rewards can be truly magnificent!
COWORKERS: Often times, we can find ourselves walking through the work day with a mediocre focus. Strong coworker associations help us to maximize our productivity and really make a difference in the lives of those we are called to serve. This group of individuals has the power to make or break your entire day so it makes sense that the relationships at work should be nourished!
- STEP UP ACTION: Work with your immediate supervisor to find out what each member of your work team does in their role with the company and then find little ways to help them achieve their daily tasks in an easier or more efficient manner. When your coworkers are all pulling in the same direction you can go further and have a lot of fun doing it!
CONTRIBUTION: Giving back FEELS good and the associations we develop when we are in the act of doing some good for others can become some of the strongest relationships we have. Being thankful for what we have and finding a way to ‘Pay It Forward’ creates the kind of energy that really makes a community sing.
- STEP UP ACTION: If you already have your pet projects, check in and see how you can play a bigger role in the program. If you have not selected your opportunity to give back, check out your local paper and find a cause that speaks to you then jump in and get ready to experience JOY.
MENTORS: Zig Ziglar told the story of a row of beans he planted back in the Great Depression, his Mother told him that the row was straight enough for MOST boys, but that it wasn’t straight enough for her son. She set the bar HIGH for Zig and it is no secret that he delivered in a big way. Mentors do the same thing for us, they help us set our standards higher and then they provide the kind of honest feedback that helps us reach our ultimate goals.
- STEP UP ACTION: Be sure that you have at least one solid mentor in your life, someone who loves you enough to be REAL and provide you with an honest assessment of your efforts, attitudes and contributions.
You may find yourself seated around a dinner table with great thinkers and doers like I did this past week but the truth is that we can play an active role in making sure our associations are a positive force in our daily lives. When we guard our minds and our lives by managing our associations, our relationships become the true treasures that make every day a new and exciting adventure!