I heard the statement above on a podcast recently and, being the 3R’s of Success guy, it really resonated with me. After all, look at the three R’s… I love it! Beyond that alliteration, however, it highlighted some issues we all battle in our family life, career life, church life, any aspect of life, really. It highlights two truths central to whether or not we will enjoy Success:
Truth #1 – Relationships Take Quality Time!
This is a tough pill to swallow in our microwave culture, but the reality is that without investing quality time in your relationships, they will be weak. Relationships are fragile. When they are new, they must be tenderly nurtured, like an infant. When they are in their prime they must be fought for and courted like a lover. When they are mature they must be savored for the true gift they are, because we never know how much longer we will have them.
This is true for our relationships with our spouses, or kids, our co-workers, God and those we seek to serve. Relationships have a life of their own. When two people have a relationship it is almost as though they have created a unique third entity that only they have the power to make strong, or to kill. Their choices to pour into it, starve it, kill or maim it have consequences for the relationship, and the loss of these entities can cause grief and sorrow as much as the death of family member.
Truth #2 – Relationships are the MOST Important Things in Life!
If you believe Truth #1 and you want to have joy, peace, success and happiness in life, you have to put time and effort into the relationships that are the most important to you. Zig Ziglar often said: “You can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
What is it you want?
Fame? You cannot be admired without relationships.
Fortune? Without relationships what is fortune? If you have no one to share the things you have and the amazing experiences wealth can afford, would it bring you joy? To answer that question, picture a man who has every material luxury money could buy or that one could imagine, but they were all on a deserted continent without another living being… Would the wealth still have meaning?
Purpose? We already have our answer to this in the book of Genesis. Adam had been created by God with a purpose, and he was fulfilling that purpose, tending to the Garden of Eden, and he had fellowship with God, but yet God concluded, “It is not good for man to be alone.” and He created Eve. Clearly we are designed to have relationships with other humans.
Whatever it is that you define as success will only happen if you invest time and energy into the relationships that matter most to that success. If you want to succeed in you career, pour into your team, and support the mission of your employer for the good of your customers. If family is important to you, spend quality time with them, love them well, put their needs above your wants. If serving your community is important, know that you cannot just go through the motions. Life is messy, and you will have to get dirty to help others dig out of their problems.
Lastly, know that you cannot do everything. You are not God! You are finite and your time is finite, so you will have to prioritize what it is you are meant to do, and put it first on the list. How do you know what your priorities should be? My advice would be found in Matthew 6:33. If that does not ring true for you, I probably am the wrong person for you to ask…