Over the past two years since starting @thinkgrowprosper, I’ve received countless emails and messages about relationships. And not just about the romantic kind, but all types of relationships, including with friends, family and even strangers.
This interest isn't surprising—relationships are an extremely important area of our lives. The impact relationships have on most, if not all areas of our lives is far-reaching and profound.
NOTE: I'm certainly not claiming to be an expert. In fact, the most true thing I've learned about relationships is that you always have more to learn about them.
That being said, the health and quality of our relationships make up a huge chunk of our life experience. If we have low quality or unhealthy relationships, our quality of life will likely be much lower than if we had good quality, healthy relationships.
In this blog post, I will attempt to give brief but helpful answers to the three of the most common types of relationship questions I receive.
1. How do I find the right partner?
In light of Valentine's day, let's talk about romantic relationships for a moment.
First, it's important to realize that your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.
It's a mindset shift: Instead of trying to find "that special someone," realize that you are already someone special. This may sound corny, but it's true. Instead of trying to find someone to make you happy, focus on being happy with and by yourself.
When you work on becoming the best version of yourself and pursue the things you are excited about, you have a more attractive energy. This energy tends to attract the right kind of people into your life at the right time, both romantically and otherwise.
I was hung up on finding the right romantic relationships for years. I got to a point where I became so frustrated I "gave up" looking. At least that's how I framed it in my mind.
But what I actually did was redirect my energy from impatiently looking for a companion to simply doing things that I was excited about. I moved to a different place in my city, got a different job that I had been wanting, and started reading more.
I eventually found (or rather, stumbled upon) an amazing woman at the new job I took and we've been together ever since. Obviously, there are more details to this story and this isn't an exact recipe. But the point is this: Don't make your happiness dependent on finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. If you do, you will always be disappointed.
The truth is, sometimes you just have to learn to let go.
Andy Warhol made a very keen and honest observation when he said: "As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it."
They way I apply this idea to my own life is that after I get clear on what I want and why I want it, I stop worrying about it or needing it to happen at all. I let go of the outcome and enjoy the process.
It may seem counterproductive but believe it or not, it usually works wonderfully.
Have you noticed that many times, the things you achieve most effortlessly are the things you aren't really worried about?
Get into a state where you're enjoying the ride and just having fun. In other words, stop worrying how it's going to happen and start trusting that it will. Learn to trust the timing of your life.
And, as psychologist Robert Holden warns:
"Beware of destination addiction: the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job or with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are."
2. How do I distance myself from negative relationships?
This one is pretty simple. Like most things, it's easier said than done.
Learning to walk away from people and that disrupt your peace of mind, self-respect, values, morals or self-worth is challenging, for sure.
But by simply recognizing how detrimental these negative relationships can be to your happiness and progress can sometimes be the mindset shift you need to help you let go.
In my life, I've rarely had to completely sever ties with someone in a dramatic way. In my experience, it happens naturally once I make it a point to focus on bettering myself. Those who aren't in my life to support me seem to just...fall away.
Make it a point to surround yourself with people who inspire you and encourage your growth. This is such a vital component of creating a life you love.
So how do you go about finding these kind of people? I'm glad you asked...
3. How do I find people that will encourage my growth?
We tend to become like the people we associate with most often. It’s human nature to adopt the mentality, character traits and habits of the people we most frequently interact with. As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the people you spend the most time with.”
That's why it is so important to get around the right kind of people. In fact, it is one of the biggest "success hacks" in the world.
So how do you find these kind of people? There are three tips I can give you.
The first is to realize that you probably already have at least one of these people in your life, if not more. Don't go searching for something that may already be right under your nose. As author Russell Conwell said, "Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them."
Identify and embrace the relationships you currently have in your life that are productive, healthy and help you grow. These could be friends, relatives or even a co-workers. Make it a point to get around these people more often and do everything you can to nourish these relationships.
The second tip is much like finding a partner. When your only focus is finding people to befriend or learn from because you think they will improve your life in some way, people can usually sense this "needy" energy and keep their distance.
Instead, focus your energy on improving yourself or your craft in some way and you will be much more likely to draw people to you who want to work with you and help you.
Keep in mind that the people who are several years ahead of you in your field will be far more likely to give their time to someone who is working diligently on something worthwhile and creating value versus someone who is just starting out and has no value to bring to the relationship.
When I first started building an online business, I had zero connections. I also did not personally know anyone who had built a business like I wanted to build.
After about a year of hard work and and consistently creating valuable, viral content, I eventually built my @thinkgrowprosper Instagram page to an audience of around 200k people.
Around this time, not only did I start rubbing elbows with influencers who were doing amazing things in my field but most of them reached out to me! It was easy to start mutually beneficial relationships because I had already built something of value.
Even more amazing is that recently, several of the people I looked up to and learned from at the beginning of my journey have contacted me to help them with their social media marketing. It's a humble and surreal experience. And it started with me focusing on improving myself first.
The third tip is to realize that your mentors and friends don't always need to be in person for them to positively influence your life. In fact, you don't even need to personally know each other.
Before I was able to directly associate with people who were at the level I wanted to be, I spent many hours online watching interviews, documentaries and lectures of people who I admired. This helped me gain a better understanding of their thought processes and behavior that led to their success.
Another effective way to gain access to the minds of these kinds of people is by reading books they’ve written. Many of my most important mental breakthroughs and life-changing epiphanies have come to me while reading. It’s a habit that I’ve made an integral part of my life and I strongly encourage you to make it part of yours.
The truth is that you are an amalgamation of the books you read, the movies you watch, the music you listen to, the people you spend time with and the conversations you engage in.
Choose wisely what you feed your mind.