Making Relationships Last

IMG_3267

In the personal and business realm, we all seek to make our relationships last. It makes perfect sense. The good relationships we protect, the bad relationships we seek to discard. Reality is found in how challenging it is to manage the in-between.

This past week I was referred to an individual who I hadn’t seen or talked to in over ten years. When I was given his name I didn’t fully remember him. When we finally spoke on the phone it came rushing back. The first and only meeting was brief, and hadn’t shown anything that appeared to be lasting. Fast forward to now, he went out of his way to help me on a number of fronts. He really helped me.

So what’s the point?

Some relationships, like marriage or a client, can be in your daily/weekly. Other relationships come and go. The key to remember is you and I have been given a powerful cement. This cement is given to build and solidify our relationships. Sadly, many don’t realize they have it and many don’t see it as important. The cost of ignorance and stupidity is high. The cement requires action on our part to be effective. It is an on purpose pattern.

I don’t if the gentleman I mentioned above did what he did because I applied the right amount of cement to our brief time together so long ago. One thing is certain, I made the attempt. My gut tells me it made a difference.

The moral of the story is never take any relationship for granted.

Happiness Pursuing You

roses

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the endless skies, my love
To the dark and the endless skies

And the first time ever I kissed your mouth
I felt the earth move in my hands
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command, my love
That was there at my command, my love

And the first time ever I lay with you
I felt your heart so close to mine
And I knew our joy would fill the earth
And last till the end of time, my love
And it will last till the end of time, my love

The first time ever I saw your face, your face
Your face, your face

You may or may not recall the above classic, written by Ewan McColl. The lyrics are moving. I recently purchased George Michael’s Symphonica compilation. He performs a version. It is truly beautiful and it got me thinking.

What if happiness is pursuing us?

There’s no doubt in those lyrics we find someone moved and happy. I can relate. In my mind, happiness calls out saying; “hey Eric, I’m here.” Funny how in a given day we can ignore this quiet voice. We’ve arrived in a time of ignoring. Trading so much for accumulation, power and applause. Yet most say happiness is the thing missing most.

As it has been many times in my life, I’ve decided to go the other way. Tonight, I asked my wife, as the song inspired me, to recall a time when she was happy with me. We recalled times, places and feelings. I’ve been married close to 23 years and it feels like yesterday. What blows my mind, is how I found myself agreeing with George Michael’s voice in the song. I found myself repeating, “he’s right, it did, and does, feel as he describes.”

I’ve missed some things over my span. Some of those things were large and some small, but the dance of life finds me here and I now recognize the voice of happiness. Better yet, I know I need to respond to that voice. Not many things are as important.

Are you willing to let happiness pursue you?

10 Things I’ve Learned from Marriage

File00010922178
It seemed like the right time (just my mood I guess) to right this post about the 10 things I've learned from marriage. This list is could be longer, but I recognize I only have you for so long.

Here we go:

  1. It goes by fast, so I value the now and the memories.
  2. Your not as smart and "together" as you think you are.
  3. When times get tough, there is no greater a friend to have.
  4. Marriage has kept me from drowning in my own blues.
  5. One person can make a difference like no one ever before.
  6. Marriage is not, nor will ever be, a 50/50 proposition. I have needed more than her 50 percent on more occasions than I care to admit.
  7. It's the hardest and most rewarding work I've ever been involved in.
  8. The art of commitment.
  9. Falling in Love can go on and on and on and…
  10. Marriage is the riskest venture I've ever undertaken. It's taught me about the reward and the loss that are inevitable in life.

Thoughts on Marriage-The Winning and the Losing

I don't know if I've ever written a post on marriage. I know I've never written about the winning and the losing side of it. With the exception of my wife, I just haven't. Sorry.

Marriage can be a powerful part of Epic Living.

I happened upon this post while on rel=”youtube” target=”_blank” title=”Google+ Update: Share Your Favorite Circles with Others”>Google + last week. The writer, Kelly Flanagan, is a therapist practicing in Wheaton, Illinois. It is by far, one of the best takes on what makes for a thriving marriage. He does an excellent job of breaking things down in a way that most anyone can unwrap. I think he's onto something that many already know; a life-long relationship is essentially about serving/giving to the person you love. The greatest irony of this is found in the fact that you get so much more back from that serving/giving.

Married or not, you'll gain a lot out of his perspective. I'd love to know if you see applications beyond marriage too. 

The Process, Not the Event

The road of life includes processes and events.  Many prefer the events, and that's a problem.  Events are not the enemy, it's the over-attraction to them that creates the pitfall.  But it's understandable why we prefer that moment of elation, since events gives us immediate stimulation that we want and maybe crave.  Nobody talks a lot about processes because it tends to require faith, imagination and vision.  Did I mention that it can feel like drudgery.

One of the my best experiences in the process and event arena has been my marriage.  It began with a big event, the ceremony.  Great joy and happiness.  The future seemed unbelievably bright.  And then she had to face the reality of living with me(humor is important here).  That event was 20 years-plus ago.  We're still happily together because of the process, and not the event.  Ironic how the thing that feels like work produces the happiness we so desperately desire.

Certainly there is no substitute for knowing what you're doing is a fit.  Be it in your career, your money, your learning, etc.  But once that's been settled, you've got to embrace the process. 

  

It’s Called Falling In Love, Tiger

First, no judgement from me on Tiger Woods.  I'm made of the same stuff.  Temptation and mistakes are a one-out-of-one statistic.

I couldn't help but scratch my head when I heard a sports personality comment on Tiger Woods' situation.  He basically stated that Tiger should have kept himself single because the temptations would be too great for him to handle…considering his fame and fortune.

It's called falling in love.  And everybody wants that whether they know it, want it, hate it, deny it, or find themselves with a broken heart over it.

Unfortunately, most of media is focusing on endorsements, who the women were, website statements, and pure gossip.  A broken heart didn't make the headlines.  This says much about where we're at.

I'm confident only the broken hearted can understand what if means to be…