When time gets tight, we stop calling our friends. When our work gets busy, we stop doing those things that please us. When the world gets hectic, we shut big chunks of it out at a time. When our energy drops, so goes our courtesy.
(Elie Wiesel, a wonderful writer and thinker used to say that “and yet” was his favorite phrase.)
And yet, that’s what we need most. What we need most is what we let slip away. We need a robust network of friends and business colleagues, and yet we don’t do enough to keep them warm and close to us. We need to prospect for more work or more sales or more clients, and yet we buckle down on our work of the moment, forgetting (though we know it’s true) that it’s only temporary and that we’ll be hungry if we don’t plan for tomorrow.
I need to stay mindful to friends and get back in the habit of communicating with as many as I can manage. I need to reach out to the people doing great work (I’ve been thinking a lot about how great the work of Chris Guillebeau is recently, and realizing that I haven’t paid enough attention to him). I need to keep my eyes on my future, but still nurture the people who have brought me to my present.
To stay mindful:
- List your goals clearly, and include your relationship goals.
- Use reminders. Write lists. You aren’t expected to keep everyone in your head.
- Make it a habit. If you’re not doing it daily, it’s going to fall out of practice.
- Set up reviews. If you don’t schedule these, you’ll risk losing habits.
- Make new goals and lists. Remember that living in the past doesn’t do anyone any good.
I’m grateful for you
If I don’t always tell you individually what I feel about you, please know that you’re still in my head. I remember that laugh we had. I remember that great idea you shared with me. I remember how far you’ve come, and I know about those times when we both lamented. I’m grateful for you. And I don’t get enough opportunity to tell you that specifically, and yet it’s true.
Please, stick with me, and we’ll figure it out together. But I can tell you this. I refuse to let it slip away. Relationships are gold, and even if I can’t devote the same amount of time, I can place the same level of value on my relationship with you.
What can you do to keep your relationships growing? How can you build your networks and develop them into even more value? Do you still see your networks as the most important asset you’re developing?