The Power of Relationships

"True success is when those who are closest to you, love you the most." - John Maxwell

Happy Valentine's Week! As a single male in my mid-20's, I wouldn't immediately put myself in the same category as Hitch... but I do have 24 years of experience with putting relationships as one of my highest priorities in life. I have always had a large number of acquaintances, but it was only until recently that I discovered the power of putting your closest friends at the top of the list. When you decide to emphasize the "power of relationships," you begin to develop more accountability, motivation, positive influence, and an overall sense of well-being in your life.

In today's age of technology, it is becoming easier to find a sense of validation through likes and followers on social media. In 1950, the average person in the United States had at least 5 people that they knew they could call upon if there was an emergency. Today, the average person barely has a single person that they can call upon in case of an emergency. Many of us have a large number of acquaintances, but how many of us have a CORE GROUP of tight knit friends that will be there for us in our darkest times? Hopefully you can think of at least one or two people that you can call if needed.

It is important to treat everyone that you encounter with love and equal-respect, but that does not mean that all of your energy is worthy of being spent on everyone. I recently started to put an emphasis on friends who would give me advice in life, hold me accountable for personal actions, and genuinely ask me about my well-being. Over this period, I have learned a few key takeaways that I hope you can benefit from:

1. "True success is when those who are closest to you, love you the most." - John Maxwell

2. Lose the convenient relationship - Would you ever marry someone just because they conveniently showed up in your life? I hope not! Put more energy into the friends that will call to ask about your family, rather than others who will gladly go to brunch with you and conveniently "forget to bring their wallet."

3. The art of listening is not dead - If you really want to "do life" with others in your circle of influence, be sure to listen more than you are talking. When you are holding your friends accountable, always look at their situation from all angles and respond in their best interest. Sometimes the best response is listening more. You can spot a true friend from a mile away if they have this trait, so be that friend.

4. Become a wizard in the art of "Relational Math."

- Subtractors - Friends who take away life with negative influences, actions, and intentions

- Dividers - friends who are only dividing you from others for selfish gain.

- Adders - friends who are giving life with positive influences, actions, and intentions.

- Multipliers - friends who are expanding both your dreams and theirs at the same time. The ULTIMATE friends are the ones who can recognize that both your success and their success is amplified when you are together.

I always want to be an adder or multiplier, and will always avoid being a divider or subtractor. This is a harsh statement, and it might hurt, but it is crucial to your mental-health, well-being, and success in life.

I want to thank all of my closest friends who have been there for me; the friends who have given me advice in business and life, the friends who have asked my about my heart, the friends who have held me accountable. You know who you are.

​I hope this article has helped you grow your "naturally high" lifestyle. Please let me know if you have any feedback or need some insight on how to let go of bad relationships.

The Chicagoan

"The Chicagoan" is the perfect long sleeve for training in the Windy City during the spring and winter months! It is a 100% polyester quarter-zip shirt, which makes it the ideal article of clothing for runners. Not only is it perfect for running, but its sleek black design stands in any urban area to match most of your daily clothes. 10% of the profits are donated to my partner charity, Natural High.

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