Success Pillar 3 - The Gift Of Relationships July 3, 2007Posted by admin in : success university, personal development , trackback
From the desk of Damien Dupont
As a Success University member, every month I receive an audio CD as well as a DVD shipped to me along with SU’s monthly “Success Express” newsletter.
In May 2007, the audio CD included was Jim Rohn’s and Chris Widener’s “Twelve Pillars of Success”.
This is the third of five posts which I am writing, in sequence, as my personal summary and review of the first five pillars of Jim Rohn’s “12 Pillars of Success”. They are set in the same context of Jim and Chris’ story about two fictional characters, Michael and Charlie, whom they use to illustrate the 12 fundamental principles to achieve Success in Life. Their story is also available in novel form.
If you wish to read my review from the first post, just click the following link: Success Pillar 1 was entitled “Work harder on yourself than on your job“.
Now let’s get into Success Pillar 3: The Gift of Relationships…
Our story finds Michael visiting and talking with Charlie as he tends the garden at the Davis estate. Michael has just asked Charlie to share Mr Davis’ third pillar of success with him.
“I’m happy that you asked me about this one Michael, because this garden is the ideal setting for me to share this with you. Mr Davis’ says that the greatest gift that our Creator has given us is the gift of other people”.
Relationships with other people can often be challenging, representing both the breathtaking highs as well as the anguished lows of our lives, but they are also the element that provides joy and meaning to our lives.
As such, Mr Davis third pillar of success is to make the most of the gift of relationships.”
“Relationships are all what we make of them, which is why I said this garden is the best place for us to be discussing this particular pillar.”
“I’m not sure I follow?”, Michael responded.
“Mr Davis says that your family and your love for others must be nurtured as you would tend to a garden. You need to extend time, effort and imagination to keep every relationship that you have with others flourishing and growing”.
“How is your relationship with your wife Amy and the kids?”, Charlie enquired. “Well, when Amy and I were married we were so in love. We had big dreams and were so excited to be creating a life of our own. But I guess as time passed we just fell into life. We got busy trying to make ends meet and raising the kids. We spent less time together and grew distant, and now sometimes I think we wonder who the other person is”.
“Hmm…”, Charlie paused. Momentarily appearing to change the subject, he asked “Michael, how do you like my garden”. “It looks beautiful” Michael replied. “Well thank you Michael. But you know what… it didn’t get that way overnight. I’ve put a lot of work into this garden to remove the weeds and nurture the flowers”.
“The ground that we’re standing on could be one of several things. It could be the beautiful garden you see, or it could be barren dirt, or it could be overgrown with a collection of weeds. Indeed, left to itself, that’s all it would be – a collection of weeds. But because of the ongoing time, effort and creativity that I have put into it, it is the beautiful garden that you see before you today.”
“If you don’t mind me saying so Michael, it sounds as though you might have let some weeds grow in the garden of your relationship with Amy and the kids”. He continued…
“Mr Davis says that relationships are the foundation of our existence. We need to nurture them as best we can. You can achieve any accolade and gather any abundance of wealth and possessions in this life, but if you don’t have real, honest relationships based on integrity with the people in your life, then you won’t ever be truly happy.
Enjoying quality relationships with others who are there when you need them, in good times as in bad, is the true measure of an excellent life.”
“But just like a garden with a few weeds, with a little effort and creativity we can tend to our relationships and turn them into something beautiful and of value. Would you like to regain the closeness and intimacy that you had with Amy back in the early days of your relationship Michael?”.
“Of course I would”, Michael sighed, “I just don’t think it’s as easy as with the analogy you’ve just used Charlie”.
“I’m not saying it’s easy Michael. Life isn’t easy. Success doesn’t come easy. People who follow the easy path in life can do so, but they don’t create much of value in their lives Michael. That which has value is almost always hard to get, that’s why so few people strive for it”.
“Take this garden. It’s beautiful and you said so yourself, but I need to constantly tend to it to keep it that way. But I’m proud of it, it has value for me, and is well worth the small ongoing effort that I need to put in to keep it that way”.
“But if I were to leave it and let it get overgrown and out of hand… then watch out! Then it would really require a heck of a lot of work to get it back into shape. It’s the same thing with relationships”.
“But there is no need to despair. There is a simple plan and three golden principles that you can apply to any relationship to nurture it and get it back in shape, and these are time, effort and creativity”.
“Let’s begin with time. Spend more time with Amy; spend more time with your kids; spend more time with your friends. Life is all about relationships, and the way to build relationships is by giving them time.”
“Sure, but that’s not necessarily easy with my work and other commitments”, Michael retorted.
“Indeed,” Charlie continued, “But it needs to be a priority. That is why effort is required as well. Effort is also required because it’s hard to be around some people at times. I’m sure you can be hard to be around at times, just as I can be hard to be around Michael. None of us are perfect Michael. It’s just a fact of life”.
“It takes effort to set aside the time. It takes effort to deal with other people’s idiosyncrasies and faults. It takes effort – period.”
“You’re not wrong there Charlie”, Michael concurred. “Okay, I got it. So where does creativity fit into this plan?”, Michael asked.
“Creativity means that you need to use your imagination to envision what your relationship with that person could be, and to take the steps that will move you in that direction”.
“One idea could be to take Amy out on a date like you used to when you were still both in college. Or you could decide to plan a vacation for your family so you could all spend some time together. Use your creativity to not only envision a better relationship, but also to come up with activities that you can do together to bring you closer so you can share life’s experiences with each other”.
“Hmm, well yes, I guess I haven’t put too much effort into doing that in recent years. Amy and I kind of take each other for granted”, Michael said.
“And you have the weeds to show for it”, Charlie responded.
“And I think I have a bit of weeding to do just for us to get back on an even keel”, Michael added.
“That’s Ok”, Charlie replied. “Sit down with Amy. Ask her forgiveness and tell her what you want to do. Rout out those weeds and sow some flower seeds and watch them bloom”.
“I sure do appreciate it”, Michael said warmly, looking Charlie in the eye as he extended his hand. “My pleasure”, Charlie responded.
Click the following link to navigate to Jim Rohn’s Fourth Success Pillar: Achieving Your Goals
Postscript: If you wish to read up on all of Jim Rohn’s and Chris Widener’s “Twelve Pillars of Success”, you can get their book. Alternatively, you can join Success University via the following 14 Day $2 Trial offer page.
Jim Rohn is the primary instructor of the Success University Weekly Success Plan. Jim’s comprehensive plan covers personal development, wealth creation, health, leadership, increasing your memory, a speed reading course, and much more.
Jim’s Success Plan also includes the Twelve Pillars of Success, fifty two weekly email trainings, a 500+ page downloadable workbook, as well as 12 monthly conference calls with guests including Zig Ziglar and Loral Langemeier.
Jim Rohn’s Success Plan has a retail value of $1,101, and I cannot recommend it more highly.
I’ll be posting my review of Success Pillar number four shortly.
Whilst this review and excerpt has been relayed in my own words, the Twelve Pillars story is:
Copyright © 2006 by Jim Rohn International and Chris Widener International. All rights reserved worldwide.