Fair Fighting Rules for Relationships

By Dr. Perry, PhD


Man and Woman Hugging Each Other Near Body of Water



“An eye for an eye will only make the world blind” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Arguments and relationships go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. Unfortunately, arguments are not as sweet as jelly and don’t go over as smooth as peanut butter. When we argue with our loved ones, it is important to remember that it’s not necessary to deliver a knock out blow. Think of the argument as a heart to heart conversation and not a bare-knuckle showdown.

Here are some simple steps to remember when arguing:

1. Pause
Before you engage in an argument with your loved one, take a moment to reflect on your feelings. Ask yourself, “Why are you upset?” Are you really upset because he or she was late or could it be your partner has not been giving you enough attention? It is important to know why you are upset so you can communicate this clearly.

2. Discuss one issue at a time 
Once you clarify your feelings you can begin to discuss why you are upset. Many times in the heat of the moment we bring up past digressions and end up arguing about something else entirely except the matter at hand. Try to keep the argument about the current disconnect by remembering to discuss one issue at a time.

3. No degrading language
Discuss the issue, not the person. All attempts must be made to keep the conversation civil. It is important to avoid name calling, swearing or put-downs. Keep in mind that negative words are a manifestation of negative feelings. There is never a good enough reason to call your partner a derogatory name. There are unpardonable words that can leave a partner feeling emotionally scarred making it harder for them to receive your love. Remember, this is someone you love and you really do not want to hurt them.

4. Express yourself
Use words to express how you feel and take responsibility for those feelings. Start your statements with ” I.” I feel angry. I feel hurt. By starting statements with “I” you are able to connect with your words with your emotions. Avoid using statements beginning with “You.” Statements starting with “You” tend to make the other person feel attacked which often leads them to shut down emotionally.

5. Take turns talking 
It is important to take turns speaking. Once you have had your turn, it is important to listen to what your partner has to say. If this is difficult, use a timer and a set amount of time for each person to speak. You can also designate an item to use like a talking stick. Whoever holds the item can speak. Just make sure you remember to pass the item! The talking stick method has been used for hundreds of years by indigenous people. The “Talking stick” can be any object.

6. Knock down the walls
Stonewalling is the refusal to communicate or express emotions. It is very common during conflicts. People often do this when they want to avoid an uncomfortable conversation or prefer not to engage in an emotional discussion that may lead to a fight. Stonewalling can include a refusal to discuss feelings or walking out of a conversation. When you are both in a “sober emotional state,” make a pact with one another that you will not stonewall and will engage in a meaningful discussion no matter how challenging it may be. If one of you feels the issue warrants a discussion, the other person must respect the request by engaging and listening.

7. No Yelling
It may feel great to unleash your frustration on your partner by yelling at them, but many times this only adds fuel to the fire. When a person is yelled at, they tend to yell back in self-defense. This often results in an escalation of self-defensive responses from both parties. Yelling typically results in further alienation and frustration. Sometimes, a partner will not engage in the yelling but will passively accept the treatment. This only leads to fostering resentment by the person being yelled at. Remember, remain calm and use words to make your point, not volume.

8. Take a timeout
In a perfect world, we would all be able to communicate effectively with each other and have no need for rules. You are not expected to print up this page and follow each step while you are arguing. This is not a script for the perfect fight. In the real world, voices will be raised and perhaps a few hurtful words will be used. When you feel that the temperature is rising, take a time out until both parties cool off. Agree on a time to continue the conversation. It is important to agree on another meeting to continue the discussion so one or both parties do not attempt to stonewall.

9. Compromise 
If you reach an impasse in the argument, try to come to a compromise. If you can’t reach a compromise then agree to disagree. Try to understand each other’s point of view. Discussing and attempting to understand will help soothe negative feelings. Communication is one of the strongest pillars of the house of love, so it is important to reinforce and strengthen this skill whenever possible. Good luck! If you found this post helpful please don’t forget to like, comment and share!

The Only Real Way to Acquire Wisdom

School of Athens by Raphael

It’s often been said that wisdom is the art of knowing that you are not wise.

The great philosopher Socrates famously denied being wise more than two thousand years ago, and since then, we have taken him at his word.

There is a truth there, but that definition isn’t very helpful. I mean, I’m all for respecting uncertainty, doubting oneself, and realizing the limitations of my mind, but I think we can do better. Maybe even take a few steps forward.

More importantly, I think we can create our own definition that separates it from just mere intelligence and then use that definition to illustrate why the distinction matters and how we can practically engage it in everyday life.

Intelligence is commonly associated with knowing something. Often, it also means that we can confidently apply what we know in a particular context.

Wisdom, to me, is different. It’s different because it has more dimensions. Wisdom not only knows, but it also understands. And the distinction between knowing and understanding is what makes things interesting.

Knowing is generally factual. You have learned a particular kind of knowledge and you know its truth as it applies to a particular problem.

Understanding, however, is more fluid. You have learned a particular kind of knowledge, but you don’t see it as a fact or a truth applied rigidly to one thing. Rather, you understand that knowledge’s essence and you can see how it relates to everything else, with nuances and contradictions included.

The difference is subtle but potent. While intelligence gives you specific utility, wisdom inspires flexible versatility. It provides a more textured lens for interacting with reality, very much changing how you think.

Building Relational Knowledge

Every time you have a perspective shift, big or small, you gain knowledge.

You learn something new that you maybe didn’t know before, and as a result, your mind then changes itself regarding whatever that knowledge pertains to in the future. Next time, there is an added clarity.

If the acquired knowledge is understood, rather than just known, however, there is another step that occurs every time your mind shifts.

If you’re a student, for example, and you’re writing an exam, and it’s a difficult one, let’s say you decide to cheat. Now, unfortunately, when you cheat, you get caught. It leads to a failing grade in the course.

The thing to learn from this experience that would add to your intelligence would be the fact that cheating on an exam has consequences, and those consequences, while improbable, have a disproportionately negative impact on your life. It’s simply not worth it in the future.

The extra step that would translate the intelligence in that particular scenario into broadly applicable wisdom would be to realize that not only is not worth cheating on an exam due to the harsh consequences, but that most things in the world that carry disproportionately costly risks should be approached cautiously, whether they be financial decisions or personal life choices.

This is, of course, a very simplified scenario, but the point is that knowledge is relational and the understanding of wisdom recognizes that rather than treating it simply as an isolated information point.

Instead of the lesson being that cheating is bad, you combine the essence of the knowledge learned from that experience with your existing latticework of previous knowledge to really hammer home the underlying principle.

This way, you understand how taking shortcuts may harm your personal relationships, how your new understanding of risk may inform your business practices, and how what you say matters beyond why you say it.

Knowledge is always best leveraged when it’s connected to other knowledge.

Creating an Information Network

In network science, there is a now-famous effect called Metcalfe’s law.

It was first used to describe the growth of telecommunication networks, but over time, the application has been extended beyond that. It essentially states that the value of a network rises with the number of connected users.

In any network, each thing of interest is a node and the connection between such things is a link. The number of nodes themselves don’t necessarily reflect the value of a network, but the number of links between those nodes do.

For example, ten independent phones by themselves aren’t really all that useful. What makes them useful is the connection that they have to other phones. And the more they are connected to other phones, the more useful they are because the more access they have to each other.

Metcalfe’s Law

Well, the relationship between different kinds of knowledge in our mind works the same way. The more connected they are to each other, the more valuable the information network that we have in our brain is.

Every time you gain knowledge, you are either isolating it within a narrow context where it’s addressing a particular problem, or you are breaking it down a litter further so that you can connect that knowledge to the already existing information you’ve accumulated so far.

In this scenario, intelligence is found within a pocket of information by itself. Wisdom, however, is accumulated in the process of creating new links.

Each node of knowledge in your mind is a mental model of some aspect of reality, but that mental model isn’t fully complete until it’s been stripped down and re-contextualized in light of the information contained in the other mental models of knowledge around it.

The only way to acquire wisdom is to think in terms of the whole information network rather than the individual nodes that it contains.

That’s where nuance is considered; that’s where the respect for complexity comes in; and that’s how specialized information finds it flexibility.

The strength of your mind depends on the value of your information network.

The Takeaway

The quest for wisdom is an age-old effort. It’s one many have recommended.

It’s been said to be as useful for finding inner contentment as it for fueling external successes. It’s a more prudent way of interacting with reality.

While not everyone’s definition of wisdom is the same, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to distinguish it by a mode of deeper understanding. One that goes beyond just the knowing we commonly associate with intelligence.

When we think of the acquisition of intelligence, we think of new information inspired by a perspective-shift that tells us a truth about one aspect of reality.

Wisdom goes further than that. It strips that same information down to its essence so that it can relate the underlying principle of that knowledge to the existing information network that exists in the mind.

It’s the connectedness of this network that separates it from mere intelligence.

The more links between each pocket of information, the more valuable the whole network will be when tackling any other problem. It adds an extra dimension to each mental model contained in the mind.

Simply knowing this doesn’t make a person more equipped to soak in wisdom, but with awareness and practice, new thinking patterns can be created.

The way you do this shapes everything else. It’s worth working on.

Why Silence is the Think Tank of the Soul

Why Silence is the Think Tank of the Soul

Mental noise is destroying your mind

Silence is an endangered species — Pic by Kalen Emsley

Upon meeting a Zen master at a social event, a psychiatrist decided to ask him a question that had been on his mind for a long time.

“Exactly how do you help people?” — the man inquired.

“I get them where they can’t ask any more questions.” — the master replied.

Mental noise is hurting our minds — we are continually asking questions that create busyness, not knowledge. We are in ‘reacting mode,’ leaving no room for reflection. To regain perspective in life, you need to pause. Silence is fertile ground.

When was the last time you push the pause button in your life?

Silence is not just lack of noise. It’s an empty space for your mind to recover clarity. And to protect it from mental noise.

Many people believe silence is isolation. However, it’s busyness what detaches us from reality. You need to take distance and reflect. As Lao-Tzu said: “Just remain in the center, watching. And then forget that you are there.”

Silence is not about the absence of sound — it invites the presence of everything else.

Silence is an endangered species

“I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.” — G.K. Chesterton

Noise keeps us busy.

Our brain is continually exposed to internal and external stimuli. Silence feels impossible, like emptying our spirit.

What creates noise in your life?

Social media notifications, Netflix binging, overthinking, constantly being surrounded by others, and overloading our calendars are just many of the infinite ways to avoid silence. We’ve turned noise into entertainment — it provides a temporary distraction so you can’t pay attention.

Gordon Hempton believes that silence is an endangered species.

He’s an acoustic ecologist — a collector of sound all over the world. For Hempton, real quietness is being present — silence is not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. The Earth is a ‘solar-powered jukebox.’ He believes that we take in the world through its ears.

Noise is contaminating our minds.

The World Health Organization in a 2011 report called noise pollution a “modern plague,” concluding that “there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population.”

Noise is not just a modern disease. It has been hurting our minds since the 19th century. Back then, a British nurse and social activist, Florence Nightingale, wrote that “Unnecessary noise is the cruelest absence of care that can be inflicted on sick or well.” Nightingale argued that needless sounds could cause distress, sleep loss and alarm for recovering patients.

Permanent silence is not always good either. Animals must listen to survive — that’s how we anticipate danger before it happens.

The problem is when noise becomes escapism.

Psychologist Carl Jung noted that we naturally seek out noise because it suggests human company — we used to need the comfort and safety of the group to survive. Nonetheless, our lives are not under constant attack as they were many centuries ago. Detaching from our environment for a couple of hours won’t put your life in danger.

When you step back from an issue, you can spend more time on solving the right problem.

The paradox of sound

“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” — Elbert Hubbard

Silence is not about the absence of sound but the presence of something else. Your mind is like a canvas — if it’s full of noise, you can’t paint anything new on it. When we are in silence, we make room for everything else.

Gordon Hempton wants your help in recovering the value of silence. “Not too long ago it was assumed that clean water’s not important, that seeing the stars is not that important. But now it is. I think we’re realizing quiet is important, and we need silence. That silence is not a luxury, but it’s essential.” — the acoustic ecologist said.

When you remove the noise, the essential speaks up. However, though it’s a magnificent revelatory experience, it can backfire if you don’t prepare adequately. The voices we hear in silence can create worrying noises.

Our constant social connectivity keeps us busy. What’s even worse, we let our social identity to speak louder than our true-self. The fear of missing out keeps you away from your reality — you stop paying attention. Without self-reflection, there’s no understanding. Silence lets your inner voice become present.

If the brain is actively processing noise it can’t turn off — it’s impossible to rest and reset when you are always asking questions or reacting to external stimuli.

Getting rid of the noise is more an aspiration than a reality. That’s the paradox of silence: we wish we could have quiet time, but it’s not easy to pull off. Removing other voices means we need to start listening to our true thoughts and words.

Being in front of white canvas or blank page can be intimidating. That’s why most of us run away from silence.

Silence has many meanings

“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Is silence just the absence of noise? Or is there a deeper reason for you to invite sound into your life?

Silence is cultural. For the Japanese, silence is more positive than it is for other populations.

Japanese people highly value silence as an essential form of non-verbal communication — it conveys information, emotions and it’s a sign of respect and personal distance.

In his 2007 paper “The Cultural Significance of Silence in Japanese Communication,” Takie Sugiyama Lebra identifies four dimensions of silence: Truthfulness, Social Discretion, Embarrassment, and Defiance. The first three dimensions are helpful to maintain positive relations while the last one has a negative connotation.

In the Western world, silence is associated with doubt, loneliness or pain. If you tell your friends that you need silence, they might understand the feeling. But if you don’t answer their messages for 12 hours because you opted to stay silent, they will assume something is wrong with you.

Silence is always ambiguous. It’s difficult to understand its true meaning.

Rather than trying to define silence, think of it as an experience. Silence is the real sound of music. Empty spaces play a meaningful role in building the right atmosphere in architecture and space design. The white space is the most crucial element in visual design.

There are two types of silence: outer and inner. Getting rid of external distractions is not enough; you want to avoid your thoughts from eating you alive.

Why silence is the think tank of the mind

When you pause, you don’t just stop talking. You also choose not to listen to external distractions. Everything is within you.

Silence enables something else to emerge. Perspective, reflection, distance, ideas, and solutions, all show up unexpectedly when you silence the mind. It’s a whole ‘team’ that comes to help you. Gordon Hempton said: “Quiet is a think tank of the soul. We take the world through its ears.”

Lao-Tzu believed that “Silence is the great revelation.” He said that we turn to books for revelation, but their authors found the interlude of silence as their source of inspiration. Silence can bring you directly to the original source of knowledge.

Silence adds intentionality and rhythm to your life.

The same happens with music. Without silence, the various notes would all feel the same. Utilizing silence for very brief — less than a few beats — or for longer periods, creates a different impact on the listener.

Silence is more than a beautiful state of mind; it positively benefits your health:

  • It helps grow new brain cells. A 2013 study found that two hours of silence could create new cells in the hippocampus region, a brain area linked to learning, remembering, and emotions.
  • It decreases stress by lowering blood cortisol levels and adrenaline. A 2006 study in Heart, showed that two minutes of silence relieves tension in the body and brain — it’s more relaxing than listening to music.

How to recover the power of silence

Practicing silence is not easy.

Going for a walk outside in nature, taking a deliberate break or practicing deep breathing exercises are easy ways to get you started.

Try the following exercises and see which works best for you. Start in small doses. Being silent can backfire at the beginning. It takes time to enjoy the benefits of not being distracted by noise.

1. The Silence Exercise

David Swartz, a history professor, uses this exercise as a transition after one of his courses. He invites students to write a short paper on silence. During 90 minutes, everyone focuses on the task without speaking.

Students are instructed to put away their smartphones and leave the presence of other people. The paper is a reflection on the experience and includes a historical perspective too. What does it feel like to be silent? What happens when we don’t have constant access to a smartphone? How is our lifestyle different to premodern times ones?

2. Beyond the word

This exercise is based on an ancient Indian prescription: if you read for one hour, write for two hours and meditate for three hours. The purpose of such proportion is to avoid being blind recorders of other people’s words or ideas. You can stick to the ratio but start with a shorter duration for each part.

The exercise encourages a personal dialogue and self-reflection. It’s a nice transition: from being in the company of someone else’s words to being surrounded by your ideas as you write, and, finally, focusing on silencing your mind.

3. The Silence Game

This Montessori Exercise builds on the concept that, deeper awareness and sensitivity to noise, help us get into a “more refined and subtle world.” Constant noise can create irritability, frustration, confusion, and even sleepiness.

The purpose of this exercise is to make silence collectively. A board with the word “silence” and a picture of a tranquil place, reminds that every child might do its part. The silence is not only a positive outcome but is the byproduct of everyone’s effort.

4. The sound of one hand clapping

Our logic says that we need two hands to clap. “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” is a Zen challenge that has several interpretations. Some say that it’s a way to help you listen to other sounds — your heart, the rhythm of your breathing or the awareness of your mind. Others believe it’s a metaphor how we see life with a dualistic approach: cause and effect.

I use this question when coaching teams to invite them to reflect on the power of silence. Sometimes to inspire creative ways to make sound with just one hand. Other times, simply to challenge logical thinking; by putting our rationality aside, we let the think tank of the mind show up.

5. Meditation: The Silence That is Listening

This guided meditation by Tara Brach emphasizes the anchor of listening; it guides us to relax through our body and let sounds wash our thoughts out. You don’t need any previous meditation experience to benefit from it.

Listening to sounds is powerful to quiet the thinking mind. It will help you connect with the natural openness of awareness. By becoming more receptive, you can welcome your full presence and the peace of quietness.

6. Building a tower with a constraint

Imposing constraints challenges individuals and those who interact with them alike — everyone must adjust their behaviors. A set of teams are challenged to build the tallest tower using Jenga blocks. It seems simple until most team members are assigned a specific constraint: one cannot speak, another is blindfolded, one cannot use the hands, etc.

Not being able to speak reframes the interaction. The person who’s silent pays more attention. The rest of the team becomes more attentive to the quiet person’s feedback. It dramatically increases both collaboration and self-awareness.

7. Become silent for a day

This exercise is about cutting the chord literally and metaphorically without attending a silent retreat. You can define what ‘a day’ means for you. I would suggest that you aim for, at least, 4–6 hours. And then gradually increase it.

Becoming silence is about unplugging from social media, emails, phone calls, and every other form of communication — including face-to-face dialogue. You need to set up some grounding rules to those close to you.

13 Ways to Get Others Financially and Emotionally Invested in Your Goals


“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” — Zig Ziglar

That’s the entire premise of HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE, one of the top-selling business/self-help books of all time.

The idea is simple. The execution of the idea is also simple, but not easy. Nor is it commonly practiced.

If you have a huge goal, the “lone ranger” mentality is a really, really bad idea.

You can absolutely develop a lot of knowledge and skills on your own. But if you want to turn big ideas into “universe denting” realities, you need to get people invested in your goals.

But not just financially invested.

Emotionally invested.

And not just anybody, but highly influential people. People who are far more successful and experienced than you.

You get people emotionally invested when your goals BECOME their goals. You get people invested in your goals by first becoming invested in theirs’. When advancing you also advances them. In order to do this, you need to:

  • Become extremely good at what you do
  • Become emotionally invested in “the cause” of what you’re about
  • Understand the “context” better than anyone else (develop your own unique view of the world and how it could be created)
  • Invest yourself in the right relationships (the people who you could clearly create synergistic relationships with)
  • Remove attention from your goals for a time as you develop the best experience and education available — growing someone else’s goal
  • Merge your goals with other people’s goals
  • Ask for help
  • Don’t get derailed as you continue to succeed bigger and bigger
  • Focus on only a few key relationships

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into how to get the right people — those who can actually move the needle in a big way — to do invest themselves into your goals and dreams.

Here’s how:

1. Develop rare and valuable skills

“I have survivor skills.” — Amy Tan

The orientation you have coming into a field matters. If you enter a field solely as a salesman, you’ll remain that.

Selling matters.

But coming in as a “craftsman” (or woman) is much better. If you enter a field because it speaks to you. Because you’ve had transformative or very painful experiences that have led to your curiosity and growth.

The two best ways to solve a problem are by 1) relieving the pain of either yourself or others, or 2) following something that you’re absolutely curious about.

Pain and or curiosity — two things that will compel you forward.

2. Scratch your own it (only do that which you truly care about)

“I do believe in the old saying, ‘What does not kill you makes you stronger.’ Our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are. By overcoming difficulties, we gain strength and maturity.” — Angelina Jolie

It’s much easier to develop expertise at something that actually matters to you. However, when you’re thinking of something worth investing your time, energy, and money into — it’s also important to think about what you believe to be useful.

What is useful according to your value system and beliefs about the world, how it could be, and how it should be?

Most psychologists have enormous psychological baggage. They are perhaps the strangest among us. They studied psychology first and foremost, to figure themselves out. To understand how to help themselves AND OTHERS. They’re scratching their own it — and doing it through helping others.

What experiences have you had that were pivotal?

If you took 20 minutes to make a timeline of the KEY EVENTS that have happened in your life, what would they be?

Chances are, there are less than 10 events you could point to that have had the biggest impact on the person you have become.

What are those 10 events?

What do they mean?

Why did they matter so much?

Have you resolved those experiences yet in your mind?

Or are they still plaguing you?

Are they still suppressed? Or are they guiding you with ferocity?

What gets you emotionally-charged, in both positive and negative ways? Follow that. Because emotion is not only what sells, but emotion is what transforms people. Emotion becomes a story. The story is the formation of your idea, and why it matters to other people.

You don’t need to focus on just one thing. Usually it’s the intersection of several things that becomes the idea. The “connection” between things is the context. That’s what matters. That’s what other people don’t see, and that you can see. That’s why you need to develop curiosity, but also need to become studious. You need to become an expert. You need to let your emotion and story make sense.

3. Become an expert at the “context” of your field (learn the rules so you can strategically break them)

“What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” — Peter Thiel

Who are the big-hitters in the field you want to innovate?

Who are the one’s doing it right?

Who are the one’s doing it wrong?

How are they doing it wrong?

What’s not working?

What’s the history of how things got to where they are?

What angle could make the biggest impact on this field?

What other fields have not been creatively integrated into the thinking and systems?

What are the perceived boundaries and limitations that people in the field have?

What are the norms that should be shattered?

Steve Down, the founder of Even Steven’s restaurants came into the food industry from the finance industry. He loved the idea of Tom’s shoes, who gave away a free pair of shoes with every pair bought.

His idea was to have a quality restaurant do the same thing. For every sandwich bought, a local hungry person would get a sandwich.

When he took this idea to several friends and experts in the food industry, they all scoffed at him. Starting a restaurant is extremely difficult. Even more difficult if you’re also giving away lots of food.

This was good “context” for Steve Down. His background in finance allowed him to see the situation from a different angle. He began punching numbers and making contacts with local non-profits.

After doing all the math, the numbers made sense. However, he’d have to make the restaurant extremely high quality. The idea of being socially conscious was only cool if the restaurant was also cool — and good.

Within a few months of being opened, the first Even Steven’s became profitable. The idea and success made it very easy for Even Steven’s to get invested backers.

4. Surround yourself with people who remind you of your future — not with people who remind you of your past

“Don’t join an easy crowd; you won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high.” — Jim Rohn.

You don’t have to wait until after you get a college degree, or after you become “financially secure” to start living your dreams.

I just met a kid at the gym who wants to start several businesses, but he’s pursuing a degree in nursing. His goal is to work in nursing for 5 years so he can get some financial footing, and then start pursing his entrepreneurial dreams.

Gary Vaynerchuk once said that if you’re under 40, you should be taking big risks.

The younger you are, the more time you have to fail fail fail. Why be conservative in your 20’s and 30’s?

Why be conservative in college?

You are shaped by your environment. The best way to become who you want to be is by surrounding yourself with people who are already there. Not with people who aren’t there. And not with people who aren’t going there.

Immerse yourself in the culture, thinking, and behaviors of those you aspire to be like. Those are the very people who will soon become heavily invested in you, and will take your ideas and help you make them real. But not just real — but real in a very powerful and big way far beyond anything you could imagine or muster on your own.

You want to have people invested in you who have already done what you’ve never done. People who have launched products. Who know marketing. Who have connections. Who have failed a million times and learned a million lessons.

5. Invest in key mentorships

“If you want to be truly successful invest in yourself to get the knowledge you need to find your unique factor. When you find it and focus on it and persevere your success will blossom.”— Sydney Madwed

If you don’t start investing money into relationships, your progress will be slow.

Conventional wisdom suggests that supply is what creates demand. That may or may not be true economically. But psychologically, it’s exactly the opposite or true.

Demand creates supply — both internal and external demand. When the ‘WHY’ is strong enough, you’ll figure out how. When you make a decision, the ‘universe’ conspires to make it happen.

When you MUST do something, you do it. And you can’t rely on your own internal drive. You need to create conditions of necessity that force something out of you that you didn’t even know existed.

You do this by investing money — even small amounts in the beginning — into relationships. As an example, I hired Ryan Holiday in September of 2016 to help me write a book proposal for what became WILLPOWER DOESN’T WORK.

I payed him $3,000 for 3 months of mentoring. That was a 1-hour phone call, once per month, for 3 months. He also gave a quick look at my proposal and told me how to adjust it.

By investing the $3,000, I got help from someone who had been where I wanted to be. I began surrounding myself with someone who reminded me more of my future than my past.

Had I not made that investment, I wouldn’t have changed my proximity to someone I wanted to be like. Had I not made that investment, I wouldn’t have been committed. As a result, I would have procrastinated action — because I had a TON of emotional resistance to writing a book proposal. It seemed like a confusing and daunting task.

My sabotaging beliefs and environment were forcibly stopping me from writing my book proposal and living my dreams.

The financial investment shattered my subconscious beliefs AND my environment. By investing in myself, I began to more fully believe in myself. I had SKIN IN THE GAME. I was invested and committed. I was watching myself do what I wanted to do. And I was getting coaching from someone who was where I wanted to be. I had a timeline to get things done.

Are you invested in key mentorships?

If you don’t believe can afford them, it’s because you haven’t created them.

You don’t need a lot of money to get mentorships. You can start by being an employee. Or by doing free labor for the people you want to learn from.

Necessity is the mother of invention. If the WHY is strong enough, you’ll figure out how to get access.

The next step will show you how to transform the mentorship into something very powerful for yourself and others.

6. Focus all of your energy, money, and skills on your mentor’s goals

“You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” — John Wooden

Small investments lead to huge psychological bursts of improvement. Use every crumb of momentum you can. Small wins boost confidence, which ripple into bigger wins.

Winning is how you gain confidence. You gain confidence by trusting yourself more. You can’t do that with willpower. You need to see things completely different. You need to “convince yourself of the truth in which you wish to see manifest.”

This is resolve.

You can have everything you want in life when you give your life to others. Or, as Christ said, “You find your life by losing it.”

You can’t be manipulative or transaction-based in your relationships. You need to invest in others, and truly INVEST YOURSELF in that relationship.

Quantum leaps and exponential growth are available only in collaboration. You must become emotional about the results your mentor is seeking to get.

You must SEEK FIRST to understand and then be understood. This will require you to be a great listener and observer. What does your mentor want? Why do they want this? How did they get here? Why are they stuck?

What are they not seeing?

How can you bring your ingenuity and skills to the table?

What are you willing to give up to help them win?

Are you willing to put your own dreams on the back-burner for some time? Can you think far enough ahead to realize this is the FASTEST way to become who you want to be? Or are you so short-sighted to only see 2 steps in front of you?

Why not think 50 steps?

This one relationship could take you 50 steps forward in the same amount of time you could take 2 steps by yourself.

But your dopamine dependence and self-absorption just might keep you obsessed with those 2 steps.

If you give of yourself for even 6–12 months of total focus on your mentor’s goals, you’ll gain decades worth of experience in the process. They are working on far bigger and more compelling things than you could do right now (if you’ve got a great mentor).

How do you think Ryan Holiday advanced himself as a writer as quick as he did? Rather than writing mediocre books on his own at age 19, he apprenticed under Robert Greene. He saw the PROCESS of creating an epic and bestselling book.

That experience fast-tracked his skill-set and MIND-SET by decades. It’s how he’s become such a skilled writer.

He took just a little bit of time to develop true relationships. He learned from those relationships. And he was a brilliant student. He was useful and helpful. He asked questions. He worked long hours. He cared immensely about the success of his mentor. The more successful he could help his mentor be, the more successful his mentor would help him become.

The skills he developed were one thing. The CONNECTIONS he gained allowed him ACCESS to get into the big leagues. The better you can position your mentor, the more powerful position you’ll be in.

7. Document AND PUBLISH all of the insights you get along the way

“Writing organizes and clarifies our thoughts. Writing is how we think our way into a subject and make it our own. Writing enables us to find out what we know — and what we don’t know — about whatever we’re trying to learn.” — William Zinsser

As you gain incredible insights being around successful people, you should document your learning.

Keep a studious journal filled with experiences, concepts, ideas, and insights. Write it all down. Write the good, the bad, the ugly.

You’re getting a rare education. A “behind-the-curtains” look that very few people have access to.

What are you seeing?

What are you learning?

How are you growing as a product of being a part of something bigger than yourself?

What are you learning about yourself?

How are your views of the world changing?

Based on what you’re learning, if you were in your mentor’s shoes, how would you do things differently?

Why would you do it differently?

How would you do it the same?

How grateful are you for this experience?

How did you get here?

Where are you going next?

What connections and insights have you gotten in the past week working on this project?

What have you learned about people and innovation?

What are most people doing wrong in your space?

Don’t just keep a studious journal. Start publishing your insights and ideas online. The best place to practice is in public. In the process of being apprenticed, you’ll develop your own ideas, voice, angles, and BRAND while getting mentored. All the while, you’ll be blowing up your mentor’s brand by giving them all the praise — and by continually acting as a testimonial of them.

8. Apply everything you’re learning to your own life and business

“To learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.” — Stephen R. Covey

If you’re not being changed by the culture and environment you’re in, then you’re resisting.

You need to immerse yourself fully. That doesn’t mean you lose your foundation. What it means is that you’re adaptive. You learn to apply — not just to fill you head with information.

Wisdom is knowledge properly applied. Very few people have wisdom. Most people are seeking empty information. They don’t advance quickly because they don’t really learn — and they don’t really learn because they don’t apply.

True learning is a shift in patterns. It requires a permanent change in how you see the world, and how you operate in the world. If your behavior and worldview didn’t change, then you didn’t learn.

You need to use everything you’re learning to transform yourself. As you transform yourself, you’ll take everything you’ve brought with you and sharpen and refine it.

Again, this isn’t about losing your identity and individuality. Rather, it’s about allowing your best experiences to shape and reshape you. It’s about being flexible and malleable. About having a growth mindset. About making a habit out of shattering your habits — and continually ACTING.

You get insights and ideas through action.

You transform your personality by changing your behavior.

You upgrade your confidence by living in the world at a higher level.

You upgrade your worldview by investing more and more of yourself into yourself. You’ll be shocked as you see increasing amounts of money and resources come your way.

When the WHY is big enough, the supply will come. It will come in abundance. The universe doesn’t care if you tap into with a teaspoon, a bucket, or a tractor tailor. It’s your choice to what extent you’re going to evolve your state of being and living in the world.

The more you apply, the faster your brain and being will change. If you continue filling your head — even with good information — yet don’t apply, you’ll canker your soul. You’ll see within yourself a fraud and hypocrite. You’ll know what to do, yet not do it. You’ll build a strange pseudo-personality where you’re merely pretending to know something, yet you have no conviction because you have no experience.

You don’t believe it enough to live it. You’re still unsure. And when you’re indefinite, you can’t do anything with power.

In the book, The Alchemist, the crystal merchant who chose for decades not to live his dreams said to the young boy who inspired him:

Today, I understand something I didn’t see before;every blessing ignored becomes a curse. I don’t want anything else in life. But you are forcing me to look at wealth and horizons I have never known. Now I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I’m going to feel worse than I did before you arrived. Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish, and I don’t want to do so.”

9. Give all the credit of your success to others

“Self-made is an illusion. There are many people who played divine roles in you having the life that you have today. Be sure to let them know how grateful you are.” — Michael Fishman

As you succeed big, which you will — you must give all the credit to those who brought you here.

You can pay people in other ways than just giving them money. Perhaps the highest form of payment you can give them is giving them credit for everything you’ve become.

You become the living testimony of your mentor’s teaching. You give them far more credit than they deserve. But in reality, they do deserve it.

If you remain a humble recipient, and never let external accolades cloud your judgement and sense of security, you’ll continue to be relate-able to all people. That’s the essence of transformational leadership. To be someone others LOVE. Someone they want to see succeed, because you are a living embodiment of their greatest desires and highest values.

If you experience the death-sentence shift that happens to most people seeking success — which is to BELIEVE IN YOUR OWN PRESS — you will fall. Your success will become a catalyst for failure. Anything you’ve gained you will soon lose. Because the people you meet on the way up are the same people you meet on the way down.

If you burn all your bridges, you’ll have nothing but a mirage underneath you. Eventually, you’ll come crashing down.

Don’t do this. Give others credit. Pay them more than just money. As you do this, and do it in all sincerity, gratitude, and humility — others will seek to invest more and more into you. Because by making you better, they are also making themselves better and also more successful.

10. After you’ve established the connection and trust, tell your network about your goals

“Both sexes get trapped in the same box for different reasons. If I ask for help… I am not enough. If I ask for help… I’m weak. It’s no wonder so many of us don’t bother to ask, it’s too painful.” — Amanda Palmer

After you’ve clearly established yourself as a giver — and continue to give — ask for help. You’ll be shocked by the swarms and armies of people who will come to help you.

Again, you’ll be stunned and shocked. You’ll be humbled.

Why are people being so generous?

Why do they care so much?

Why do they give so much?

What you didn’t realize — while you were giving and serving and helping for so long — is that people became emotionally invested in you. Emotions change a person. Emotions dictate action far more than reason. Human-beings are not rational actors. They act based on emotion.

When you’ve creating loving and deep connections with people, there becomes a deep emotional bond. Seeing you succeed will become more important than their own success. And that’s the true essence of mentorship and leadership. To want success for those helping you more than you want success for yourself.

You can feel free to ask. Because you’re going to continually give. You won’t stop giving. Your goals have morphed overtime, becoming far more holistic and less selfish. You genuinely want to continue helping those you work with. Their goals have become your goals. You’re emotionally invested in the cause in which you are a part.

And when invested in a cause, you become embedded in the culture. When invested in the culture, you’ve bought into the shared reality that makes that culture — which is a social and living organism.

11. Integrate your goals with their goals (“Mission Matching” — Richie Norton)

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” — Amy Poehler

Overtime, you’ll begin integrating goals with those you work with. And here, you’ll get a 10–20 year leap in success.

Immediately, your projects will seem decades beyond what you were doing just last year. You’ll be working on businesses and other projects with people who have been doing it much longer and bigger than you.

The reason is simple — your ideas and the ideas of those you learn from are highly resonant and synergistic. You bring an enormous amount to the table. They aren’t doing you a favor. You’ve become one of them. They have an enormous respect for you and your work — as do many other people.

Without even realizing it, you’ve fully established yourself as a expert and authority. You did it while helping them, while documenting your findings, while publishing mass amounts of stuff, and while living what you were learning.

Now, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about who you’re working with. You are now part of a much bigger cause. You’ve matched missions with your mentors.

You’ve BECOME what you intended to be because you surrounded yourself with people who reminded you more of your future than your past.

You lived into your future. You time-traveled. You’re a time-traveler. You walked through a worm-hole and found yourself decades into your future in a very short time. And most the people you’re working with have made similar jumps. Now you’re changing the world. You’re dedicated to a cause worth living and dying for.

12. Develop synergistic collaborations (100X thinking is the new 10X thinking)

“When you need to innovate, you need collaboration.” — Marissa Mayer

10X thinking is what happens when someone begins to realize they can go big on their skill-sets and abilities. They do this by forming a team around them, by delegating, deleting, or outsourcing everything from their life but what they want to do.

100X thinking is when two or more people of the above description come together to change the world.

It’s when powerful mission-matching happens. When the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. When transformational relationships happen.

You can only do this if you are an intense learner, and are willing to destroy everything in your life that isn’t optimal — including your limiting and narrow views.

When you mission-match, you can do several different projects at once. And you’ll begin seeing CONNECTIONS between things much faster. All of a sudden, you have idea after idea that becomes business or book or product after product.

Although totally different and serving different niches— they are all clearly connected. And the connection becomes more clear and powerful and transformative.

13. After you succeed big, don’t forget the basics or core values

“The fundamentals of your business are like free throws: emphasize and practice them to perfection.” — Cathy Engelbert

All the while, with every step up the progression — you stay to your WHY and HOW. You don’t forget the basics. You keep things in perspective. Even though you’ve expanded and evolved, you never forget. And you never lose touch with the fundamentals.

The fundamentals include:

  • Your health (food, fitness, sleep)
  • Your mind (continually learning, thinking, journaling, teaching)
  • Your key relationships (God, family, friends)

You give yourself the “self-care” you need. Most people at some point stop investing in themselves. They stop putting themselves and their own health first. They get addicted to the cause or to their goals and they lose the most important parts of their life in the process.

They lose their health. They lose their values. They lose the connection to self, family, and the WHY that started them on this path in the first place.


Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach explains that every entrepreneur needs to take 1/3 of their days as “free days.” It’s only by truly unplugging that you can have the energy to go intensely on “focus days.”

It’s while you rest and recover that your best ideas will come. Thomas Edison took naps all the time. While he slept, his brain and subconscious mind would operate a million times faster and more effectively than what he could do consciously.

When you rest and recovery, you allow your subconscious to take over and solve all your problems for you.

You already know things will work out. You’re not obsessed with the outcome. You just let it happen. And it does, because you’re not forcing it to happen.

The Meaning of Life

Photo by Erii Gutierrez on Unsplash

The Meaning of Life

A tiny answer to a massive question.

God could very well exist. However, the burden of proof is on the believers to produce and provide evidence of her presence. I am not one of those believers. It doesn’t define my life; I don’t think about religion much. I do, however, think about something religion thinks about quite often, which is What It All Means. I found it, curiously, in the slightly-above-average mainstream American comedy City Slickers. Really.

“You’ve got to find that one thing,” says cowboy Curly, played by Jack Palance — who was nominated for a fucking Oscar for that performance! — before riding off into the actual sunset. Billy Crystal asks, “What’s the one thing?”

So, what is the one thing? What is the meaning of life? I turn back to various cultural institutions and systems of rule, including religion: capitalism, feudalism, socialism, democracy, military, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, sports, communism, imperialism, on and on … We can debate the merits and validity of each of these until we’re blue in the face — but I keep coming back to the one overlapping idea that crops up in everything: Service.

Bob Dylan once sang, “Gotta serve somebody.” And although he was specifically talking about god (or the devil), there are plenty of other definitions for service, largely qualified by exactly whom you are serving. In capitalism, it’s the market. In feudalism, it’s the lord. In democracy, it’s the electorate. In the military, it’s your country. In religion, it’s god. In sports, it’s your team. But, distilled to its essence, life — and the ways in which we attempt to organize it — is largely about serving other people. Where we tend to disagree — liberals, conservatives, Buddhists, Christians, imperialists, liberators — is on the “how.” And the “how” is very important.

Remember that one thing? That’s the how. It’s your own tiny way of impacting the world through the service of others, your own behaviors which ripple across society. If I could lay a few ground rules down for how to serve, I would propose the following:

  1. When possible, err on the side of kindness.
  2. When possible, err on the side of empathy.
  3. When possible, err on the side of justice.
  4. When possible, err on the side of flexibility.

A society that does not openly encourage kindness, empathy, justice and flexibility is a rigid, intolerant one — one that forces servitude upon its people in the name of greater good, while creating miserable lives for most with the exceptions of a select, privileged few. There is a net-increase in suffering.

A person who does not openly embody kindness, empathy, justice or flexibility is a tyrant — an authoritarian who believes others should exist only in service of this select, privileged few or face punitive measures. There is, again, a net-increase in suffering. No matter where you live, you’re probably thinking of someone in particular right now.

You can easily ask yourself if a society, culture, institution, humanity itself or the individuals it’s comprised of serve properly by answering this simple question: Do the people (and the environment!) they touch suffer less today than they did before?

And, couched within that question, is the meaning of life. To ease the burden of suffering of others. That is humanity’s greatest challenge. We address this challenge through service. It’s how we connect, aid, empathize, love, raise a family, save lives, enrich lives, cure disease, cultivate, create and fight. We do it to ease the burden of suffering. To lessen it. To divide it. To, hopefully, vanquish it. All service, no matter the name nor the god it is performed in the name of, must be done with this north star in mind. The meaning of life is to serve others with the purpose of easing the burden of suffering. That’s it. That’s the one thing. Your one thing, well, that’s still something you gotta figure out for yourself.

I — and perhaps you, too — often wrestle with the question of what constitutes “enough?” Namely, enough as it pertains to “how much should I do to ease the suffering of others?” The obvious answer is “as much as you possibly can,” but then the follow-up question is, “how much is that?”

After mulling over, I think we can frame the answer thusly: For as long as there is suffering in the world — and there will always be suffering somewhere — the answer is “it will never be enough.” I think what we were all put here to do, rather, is to gravitate a little closer to what “enough” could be, as long as we recognize that we are all enough in our little way. We all die eventually, often alone and with little fanfare, but what we do within our brief period of time spent as living, breathing humans, will have some measure of impact. I think it is our mission — neigh, our duty — to ensure that impact is kind, empathetic, just and flexible to change, able to bend ever closer to where humanity finds itself tomorrow and long after we’re gone.

Our lives serve something greater, and whether you believe that’s a god, or a country, or a city, or a team, or a business, or whatever, remember this: When you strip all that away, we serve humanity and Earth as a whole. We are cogs in the great universal machine. Where we find our freedom is in the way in which we turn, and in the way we help others find freedom for themselves. That’s What It All Means. Well, it’s one thing it could all mean, anyway.

Best Love Quotations Of All Time

What I have been savoring in the pages of my personal diary!

You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.

— Albert Einstein

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

Quotations, other than being read for pleasure and the ‘this feels so true’ factor, can also help you escalate your relationship!

Just run your eyes down this list, sort out the best one that fits your relationship status and send it to your ‘Special Someone’!

When we come across some quotes that best fits our situation, we often resonate so well that we instantly feel at peace!

So….Get Set Go!

1. The higher you build walls around your heart, the harder you fall when someone tears them down.

— Unknown

2. Nobody is perfect until you fall in love with them.

— Unknown

3. She wasn’t exactly sure when it happened. All she knew for sure was that right here and now, she was falling hard and she could only pray that he was feeling the same way.

— Nicholas Sparks

4. In life, you have to take the pace that love goes. You don’t force falling in love, you don’t force being in love — you just become. I don’t know how to say that in English, but you just feel it.

— Juan Pablo Galavis

5. A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

— Mignon McLaughlin

6. The saddest thing about falling in love is that sooner or later something will go wrong.

— Unknown

“Woman`s hand with a ring on a man`s hand at Nunggalan Beach Nyang Nyang” by Andrew Avdeev on Unsplash

7. Sometimes the person you fall for isn’t ready to catch you.

— Unknown

8. Love does not appear with any warning signs. You fall into it as if pushed from a high diving board. No time to think about what’s happening. A crazy, heart-stopping, roller-coaster ride.

— Jackie Collins

9. Falling for him would be like cliff diving. It would be either the most exhilarating thing that ever happened to me or the stupidest mistake I’d ever make.

— Hussein Nishah

10. The bottom line is that we never fall for the person we’re supposed to.

— Jodi Picoult

11. If you’re afraid of getting hurt and feeling severe pain, then avoid falling in love.

— Unknown

12. I was falling. Falling through time and space and stars and sky and everything in between. I feel for days and weeks and what felt like lifetime across lifetimes. I fell until I forgot I was falling.

— Jess Rothenberg

13. I think falling in love is always a surprise, right?

— Josh Dallas

14. Each day my love grows deeper, deeper than I never thought before.

— Unknown

15. No one ever fell in love gracefully.

— Connie Brockway

16. Love is a feeling, a feeling of happiness. Love is powerful, too powerful to play with. This feeling is strange and hard to describe, but when you fall in love, you will know it inside.

— Unknown

17. It is better to lock up your heart with a merciless padlock, than to fall in love with someone who doesn’t know what they mean to you.

— Michael Bassey Johnson

18. A priceless moment is when the person that you have fallen in love with, looks you right in the eyes to tells you that they have fallen in love with you.

— Unknown

19. Falling in love consists merely in uncorking the imagination and bottling the common sense.

— Helen Rowland

“A white flower called “Love in the mist” blooms against a black background” by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

20. “Falling in love is easy. Falling in love with the same person repeatedly is extraordinary.

— Crystal Woods

21. Love is like a hole; once you fall in, it’s hard to get out.

— Unknown

22. Falling in love doesn’t fall by itself. There is always a desire to take the plunge. Just make sure that love sticks around, to pick you up when you fall.

— Unknown

23. “All I’m saying is that I don’t want to sort of fall in love with fifty different people. I’d rather find one person and fall completely, deeply in over my head.

— Anna White

24. When we’re falling in love or out of it, that’s when we most need a song that says how we feel. Yeah, I write a lot of songs about boys. And I’m very happy to do that.

— Taylor Swift

25. Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves

— Unknown

26. Don’t fall in love; rise with it.

— Amit Abraham

27. We never get enough of falling in love and believing in love.

— Shemar Moore

28. I’m not just falling in love with you, I’m falling into you. You’re an ocean, and I’m falling in, drowning in the depths of who you are.

— Unknown

29. Have you ever watched a leaf leave a tree? It falls upward first, and then it drifts toward the ground, just as I find myself drifting towards you.

— Beth Kephart

“A scene prepared for a wedding with flower bouquets, empty chairs, and an altar” by Shardayyy Photography on Unsplash

30. When two people fall in love, all they can think about is how to build a perfect world around them.

— Unknown

31. There is that awful moment when you realize that you’re falling in love. That should be the most joyful moment, and actually it’s not. It’s always a moment that’s full of fear because you know, as night follows day, the joy is going to rapidly be followed by some pain or other. All the angst of a relationship.

— Helen Mirren

32. The mark of a real man, is a man who can allow himself to fall deeply in love with a woman

— Unknown

33. Isn’t that how falling in love so often works? Some stranger appears out of nowhere and becomes a fixed star in your universe.

— Kate Bolick

34. The greatest wonderful feeling is falling in love.

— Lailah Gifty Akita

35. No one believes in love at first sight until that special person comes along and steals your heart.

— Unknown

36. When you fall head over heels for someone, you’re not falling in love with who they are as a person; you’re falling in love with your idea of love.

— Elisabeth Rohm

37. Don’t try to stop your heart from falling in love, because in the end it may be worth it.

— Fad Ibra

38. She wonders if this is what people call falling in love, the desire to be with someone for every minute of the rest of her life so strong that sometimes she is frightened of herself.

— Yiyun Li

39. Love is like falling down…in the end you’re left hurt, scared, and with a memory of it forever.

— Unknown

40. When you love, you get hurt. When you get hurt, you hate. When you hate, you try to forget. When you try to forget, you start missing. And when you start missing, you’ll eventually fall in love again.

— Vinay Sharma

41. The scary thing about falling for someone is you don’t know whether they will stay or just leave at any given time.

— Emily Tilley

42. When you’re falling in love, you never notice it until you’ve already hit the ground.

— Terry Mark

“Two colorful floral arrangements in tin pails, with cut roses nearby” by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

43. Once you tell someone you love them, you automatically give that person the right to hurt you, and yet you place a trust in them that they won’t tear you apart.

— Abhishek Tiwari

44. Falling in love is a wonderfully terrifying sensation.

— Steve Maraboli

45. If ever you remember me, I will be thankful. If ever yours lips meets mine, I will be grateful. If ever we fall in love, I will be happy. If ever we fall apart, I will be sorry.

— Unknown

46. How can one fall in love? For me, love can only be uplifting…

— Ashok Kallarakkal

47. No one ever fell in love without being a little bit brave.

— Mario Tomasello

48. How is it that mankind can engineer condoms to prevent pregnancy and STDs and not be able to invent some sort of emotional safeguard? Is it even possible to abstain from falling in love?

— Daria Snadowsky

49. When you fall in love, the natural thing to do is give yourself to it.

— Unknown

50. I loved him desperately, completely, and he wasn’t threatening to consume me anymore. He already had. Everything that was me was him. My heart, mind and soul all were as much a part of him as they were me.

— Cassandra Giovanni

51. Be careful while falling in love, see that the fall doesn’t kill You.

— Steve Relane

52. Then he kissed her so deeply and so completely that she felt like she was falling, floating, spiraling down, down, down, like Alice in Wonderland.

— Liane Moriarty

53. If you fall in a river, There is a Boat, If you fall in well, There is Rope, But if you fall in LOVE, There is no HOPE.

— Unknown

54. You can’t help who you fall in love with.

— E.L. Montes

55. Falling in love is like jumping off a really tall building; your head tells you, ‘Idiot you’re gonna die’ but your heart tells you ‘Don’t worry pretty girl you can fly.’

— Unknown

56. God is such a cruel god
for making you so wonderful,
and for making me so weak.

— Sade Andria Zabala

“Man and woman kissing in a field at La Fresneda, partially obscured by long waving grasses” by Montse Monmo on Unsplash

57. You know you’re falling in love when the feeling of falling actually feels like you’re floating.

— Rashida Rowe

58. Many people do not fall in love; they fall in love with the idea of themselves being in love.

— C. JoyBell

59. To fall in love is very easy, Staying in love is a challenge, Letting go is the hardest part, And moving on is a damn suicide.

— Nishan Panwar

60. There is no greater feeling than falling in love, and no greater pain than when you lose it.

— Unknown

61. When your stomach turns somersaults every time you see your love interest, when you can go without eating for half a day because you can’t think of anything else, and when the sound of her voice blocks out every possible distraction each time you hear it…then logic’s role becomes a very minor one.

— Erik Tomblin

62. I never fall in love, because everything that falls breaks.

— Unknown

63. You know you’re in love the moment you can touch the stars without reaching. -Morgan

— Melisa M. Hamling

64. People should fall in love with their eyes closed.

— Hussein Nishah

65. Today’s problem is that people are quickly falling in love and falling out of it just as quickly.

— Moffat Machingura

67. Love is simple. You just gotta let yourself fall and have faith that someone will be there to catch you.

— Chelsea M. Cameron

68. Only fools fall in love and I guess I’m one of them.

— Unknown

69. Falling in love not only brings excitement and fulfillment; it also creates anxiety and fears of rejection and potential loss.

— Kumar Anupam

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

70. Because before the time when you’re heartbroken, you get to be in love, and that’s worth it.

— Leila Sales

71. I fell in love with you because there was a mischief in your eyes.

— Michka Assayas

72. You can run away from love but it’ll find you and make you fall into it.

— Unknown

73. I loved you before I even knew the name for it. Everyday I’d sit beside you, inhaling your scent, looking at your beautiful face. Every night, dreaming about you. You eclipsed everything else. It was you. Always you.

— Heather Anastasiu

74. Falling in love doesn’t hurt; it’s the sudden STOP that hurts so much.

— Unknown

75. Falling in love doesn’t always lead to heartbreak, honey. With the right man, it can be a one-way ticket to paradise.

— Catherine Anderson

Why Most People Will Never Have Great Relationships

Low-quality relationships = low-quality life.

“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” -Tony Robbins

Relationships are perhaps the most important foundation for your life.

If you have great relationships, there’s virtually nothing that can defeat you, or even discourage you. As prolific author Frank Crane once wrote, having a close friend “doubles every joy and halves every defeat.”

But if most of your relationships are shallow and superficial, it doesn’t matter if you have the most “successful” life imaginable — everything still rings hollow if there’s no one to celebrate with.

As part of a recent study, The National Science Foundation (NSF) asked 1,500 people how many friends they had that they could talk with about their personal troubles or triumphs.

1 in 4 said they had no one to talk with. That number doubled when they took out family members.

Two thirds of Americans say they’ve lost more than 90% of the friends they had 10 years ago. Many Americans can only claim to have 2 close friends — maybe less.

Why do most people have mediocre relationships — or none at all?

Why are most people on track to never have great relationships?

Because they can’t be bothered to learn how.

“In order to get to the next level of whatever you’re doing, you must think and act in a wildly different way than you were before.” -Grant Cardone

Most People Can’t Be Bothered to Learn How to Communicate

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” -Ernest Hemingway

When my wife Kimi and I were in premarital counseling, we read a book called The 5 Love Languages. That little book has made us 1000x closer to each other.

Maybe you’ve read the book before. In a nutshell, the book says every person loves, and wants to be loved, in 5 ways (with 1 or 2 main preferences):

  • Quality time
  • Physical touch
  • Words of affirmation
  • Acts of service
  • Gifts

Everyone loves — and wants to be loved — in these 5 ways. But the reason most people continue to have mediocre relationships is because they just can’t be bothered to learn how the other person wants to be loved.

Not knowing how your loved ones want to be loved is extremely dangerous. This is where the deepest, most profound disconnects can happen, things like:

  • The workaholic father who buys his children anything they want — except all they really wanted was a dad who came to baseball games
  • The husband who never really wants to talk — but is always in the mood for sex
  • The friend who is more attentive to their smartphone than whatever you’re talking about

Most people can’t be bothered to learn how to communicate with and love their friends/partner the way they want.

As long as you never learn how you want to receive love — and learn how those around you want to receive it — you’ll always have mediocre relationships.

Communication is hard. It takes empathy, focus, and conscious effort to give your friend the attention they need.

But isolation and loneliness are far harder.

The reason your relationships are mediocre is because you haven’t learned enough about communication.

“If you keep living like the way you are now, you will continue to produce the same life you already have.” -Jim Rohn

Photo by Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash

Upgrade Your Relationships 10x By Just SAYING It

“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.” -Harriet Beecher Stowe

(I wrote this section recently that ended up being highlighted by hundreds of people):

When my wife and I were in premarital counseling, our counselor gave us a piece of advice that would end up changing our lives:

Always make the first move.

The meaning is simple: if you can help the relationship, then do it. Don’t wait for the other person to act (even if you don’t want to).

Most people have strained and superficial relationships with family and even with friends. This is because most people always wait for the other person to “make the first move;” say hello, organize a hangout, or apologize.

This is a pride thing. It’s one of the main killers of marriages, friendships, and even families.

If you want to have deep, meaningful relationships with your friends, family, and even just the people in your day-to-day life, make the first move — even if it should be them. Be the first to:

  • Initiate the conversation
  • Send the first text
  • Say you miss them
  • Say you love them
  • Apologize and ask for forgiveness
  • Organize a hangout
  • Compliment them
  • Thank them
  • Tell them you appreciate what they did

For a long time, I felt awkward and uncomfortable telling my brothers and sister “I love you.” Three of the people whom I loved most in the entire world, and I couldn’t say it!

Now, I tell them I love them all the time. I say it over text, over casual phone calls, at crises, celebrations, and over the holidays. I tell my friends, too. Every single important person in my life — mentors, family, friends, even coworkers, know how special they are to me.

It feels silly to be afraid to say this to a loved one. Yet, so many people can’t say a few simple words that would galvanize the entire relationship and deeply touch their soul.

Once you can do this, you can begin enjoying a gem most people never will: close, loving, life-giving relationships with many people.

Most People Care About Others, Yes — But They Care About Themselves More

In his book, No One Wants to Read Your Sh*t, New York Times Best-selling author Stephen Pressfield wrote:

“None of us wants to hear your self-centered, ego-driven, unrefined demands for attention. Why should we? It’s boring. There’s nothing in it for us.”

In the same way artists and creatives can only connect with their audience through giving value, you can only truly connect with others when it stops being about you.

If you want deeply fulfilling relationships, you must give from yourself.

Give your time, attention, energy, love, and focus towards building and nurturing that relationship.

The individuals who do this are rare. But anyone who chooses to build their relationships like this are the ones who will have deep, meaningful relationships.

“The world gives to the givers and takes from the takers.” -Adam Grant

Photo by Seth Reese on Unsplash

The Questions Everyone With Incredible Relationships Asks Themselves

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are unwilling to do.” -Darren Hardy

People with several deep, intimate relationships carry themselves differently. They treat their friends differently. They ask themselves specific questions that most people don’t even think of.

From a speech for alcoholics by marriage experts Dave and Polly P.:

“Ask yourself: Do I think of my partner and myself as a unit? Our book says that selfishness and self-centeredness are, we think, the root of our problem.

Are you selfish or self-centered with respect to your marriage or relationship?

Do you think in terms of our house, our cars, our bank account, our dogs, our furniture?

Or do you think in terms of my car, my money, my phone, my stuff?

If you are thinking mostly about yourself, you are not likely to have a relationship with another person that will bring you joy and happiness.”

Most people don’t ask themselves these hard questions. The truth is, if you have mediocre relationships, it’s likely because you’re being selfish, self-absorbed, or self-centered.

Can you say you’ve been more selfless than selfish in the past few months?

Many people can’t.

The good news is, change is readily available.

All that is required is action.

Best-selling author Grant Cardone once wrote:

“Almost every problem people face in their lives are all the result of not taking enough action.”

If you want to upgrade your relationships from mediocre to extraordinary, you must take actions you’ve never taken before. Grant Cardone went on to write, “Success is just one of the byproducts of those who take the most action.”

Want incredible relationships, best friends, and an amazing partner?

Then take more action than you ever have before.

If You Don’t Value Your Healing, You Don’t Value Your Relationships

“We can never flee the misery that is within us.” -Arthur Golden

Most people carry severe baggage with them all day.

We’ve all been hurt. We’ve all been laughed at, excluded, beat up, put down, and forgotten.

A main difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people bring this garbage out in the open to heal it.

  • When I was 7, I was bullied constantly for a severe speech impediment.
  • When I was 10, my best friend Donald convinced the rest of our friends to kick me out of our group and throw rocks at me.
  • When I was 15, my high school girlfriend told my entire school was a porn-addict after telling her I struggled with porn.

I could go on. I’m sure you could, too.

The reason people with successful, amazing relationships have them is because they’ve chosen to address their own emotional garbage that prevents them from connecting.

If you want amazing relationships, you need to work on yourself first.

I saw my own life going down the toilet — I was addicted to porn, had terrible unresolved family issues, and virtually nonexistent self-worth.

I made the choice to go to therapy, 12-step programs, and get all this crap out in the open.

It sucked. It required more of me than I’ve ever had to give.

But my marriage with my wife is incomprehensibly amazing. I haven’t looked at porn in years. My wife teased me the other day that I have a million “bro-mances.” She’s right — I have a dozen guys that I know intimately, and they know me the same way.

If you want to upgrade your relationships from mediocre to extraordinary, then spend a lot of time, focus, and energy on making yourself better.

Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

In Conclusion

“The measure we gave was the measure we got back.” -Alcoholics Anonymous

The amount of energy, focus, and care you put into making yourself better is proportionate to the level of relationships you’ll have.

If you don’t invest in yourself…

If you don’t bother to learn how to communicate…

If you don’t care enough to learn how your loved ones want to be loved…

You’ll always have mediocre relationships.

If you want amazing, high-quality relationships that will last for decades, you need to take action to learn how to do that. Take care of yourself, and heal what’s preventing you from connecting.

The Hard Lesson I Learned Being Betrayed By My Closest Friends

Nicolas Cole Instagram

When I was in 8th grade, my 6 best friends kicked me out of our friend group.

I had shared my entire adolescence with these guys.

Every Friday night after school, we would all meet at the blue statue in the courtyard and walk three blocks to John’s house. John’s dad we were pretty sure was in the mafia and was never around, and John’s mom sat in the living room smoking cigarettes while she played Pokemon on Gameboy. We would go up to John’s room, which was tucked away in the attic under this awesome slanted ceiling, and play video games until two in the morning. Under the tiny television was a graveyard of gaming cartridges and wires. The room was small, so three of us would sit on the floor and the other three would sit on the leopard couch behind us. The rule was you had to give up your controller if you lost.

Every Halloween, we would meet at Kyle’s house to plan our routes.

We’d bring our empty pillow cases to school and start promptly at 3:30 p.m. First, we’d walk up and down the main streets, and then slowly make our way to the Woodlands — where the houses were bigger and the driveways were longer and the candy was King Size. In 7th grade, John’s sister started throwing parties on Halloween night, right down the street. When we were done trick-or-treating, we’d end at John’s house and walk into a kitchen full of 8th graders. Since it was John’s house, they were nice to us. They’d offer us beer, to stay and hang out, but we never did. We carried our heavy pillow cases up to John’s room in the attic, eating Reese’s peanut butter cups and Skittles while we played Phantasy Star Online.

We did everything together.

And went through everything together. When Kyle’s family decided to move to Mexico for a year, I became better friends with Nick and the other John — since our groups had merged in 5th grade, with me, Kyle, Turner, and the other Cole in one group, and both Johns and Nick in the other. Of everyone in that group though, Kyle was my best friend.

When Kyle’s parents moved out of their rental and into their first big, big house, I slept over before he even had furniture in his room. When Kyle got into paintballing, I got into paintballing too. When Kyle accidentally threw a shinny hockey stick at my head in his basement and I started gushing blood all over my heads, he and his mom took me to the hospital — and he played Gamecube with me while my stitches healed. And when Kyle got a really bad ear infection and had to get surgery, I was the one who stood up for him at school when kids called him deaf.

But by the end of 8th grade, suddenly we weren’t friends.

Kyle and John and Nick didn’t want to play video games anymore. They wanted to smoke cigarettes, and pour vodka into water bottles they could carry around — things I didn’t want to take part in. Kyle made some new friends that wore hemp necklaces with little glass mushrooms hanging in the middle. John and Nick made some new friends with guys who played computer games, not console games.

One day, I showed up to our lunch room table and my seat was taken. When I asked if anyone could move over, their elbows extended to fill the space between them.

“There’s no room for you. Sorry,” said Nick.

Kyle kept his eyes on his red lunchroom tray. He wouldn’t look at me.

Just a few weeks before summer, and a few months before going into high school, this was one of the saddest moments of my adolescence. I felt betrayed. I felt abandoned. I remember walking into high school, everyone immediately having some sense of “belonging.”

I had no one. And every group I tried to insert myself into, everywhere I tried to fit in, seemed to sing the same song.

“There’s no room for you. Sorry.”

For four years, I didn’t have a single friend at my high school. I had kids I sat next to in the lunch room, loners just like me, a long table we all shared to save ourselves the embarrassment of sitting alone. But the truth is, we were alone. We were all alone together.

I played two years of high school hockey, only talking to the guys on my team while we were on the ice. Off the ice, they had their own groups, and pretended I didn’t exist. In gym class, I was always last pick. In math, I partnered up with the Asian exchange student who didn’t speak very good english and have any friends either. In French, there was an odd number of students, I was the only guy, and since none of the girls really wanted to be my partner, I often did exercises with my teacher. I didn’t go to a single school event, or attend a school dance until my prom senior year, and I brought a girl from another school — my girlfriend.

How I coped with my feelings of betrayal and abandonment was by spending thousands of hours in the World of Warcraft.

I devoted my entire life to that game — and found friendship on the Internet instead.

I didn’t spend Saturday nights in someone’s basement, shotgunning beers and watching movies. I spent Saturday nights in Molten Core, listening to my guild leader give all 40 of us our assignments for that night’s raid.

I didn’t spend school nights asking my parents if I could go to a girl’s house to “study.” I spent school nights pretending to go to sleep at 10:00 p.m., only to crawl back out of bed at 10:42 p.m. to lead a 10-man Warsong Gulch group until 2:30 in the morning.

I didn’t spend Fridays downtown, grabbing pizza and seeing a movie with friends. I spent it ordering Chinese food or Domino’s Pizza, grinding honor points until I was face down on my keyboard and the sun was coming up.

I coped by focusing myself on my goals.

When I was 17 years old, I became one of the highest ranked World of Warcraft players in North America.

Experiencing betrayal, abandonment, and loneliness isn’t always a bad thing. It’s painful, but it’s not deadly. Looking back, my high school experience would have been incredibly different had I stayed friends with those guys. I probably wouldn’t have had the same determination and drive to achieve my goals in the World of Warcraft — because the game would have been a hobby, not an escape.

Often times, it’s the pain we go through that makes us great at what we do. This is the duality of “success.” However, in order to cope in a productive way, you have to be aware of the pain you’re experiencing — and why.

Then it becomes a simple question of how you want to cope.

Do you want to be self destructive?

Or do you want to be self motivated?


The expression “naked truth” comes from a fable in which Truth and Falsehood went bathing.

Falsehood went and dressed in Truth’s clothes, and Truth, refusing to take another’s clothes, went naked.

When there’s conflict in your life, you don’t make good decisions.

You don’t sleep well, and you end up stressed. You obsessively check your phone waiting for a response. Your mind isn’t in whatever it is you’re doing because you’re too busy weighing pros and cons, playing “what if.”

Relationships have a far greater impact on our pursuits and responsibilities than we might want to comfortably admit. We like to pretend that we can consolidate and separate, but the truth is that’s very, very hard. The best leaders know how to manage their emotions and push through, but that doesn’t mean they are still operating at peak performance. And with that, even the best leaders can only go so long without needing to either take a step back or make a drastic change.

Relationships, whether they be intimate or friendly, can be draining if not nurtured and taken care of properly.

1. Your Relationship Affects Your Mood

Bad mood, bad productivity.

If you’re upset, you are going to be upset with your work. If you’re anxious, you’re going to have trouble focusing. If you’re sad, you are going to struggle to be energetic with your pursuits. That’s just how it goes.

So it’s your responsibility to take care of the relationships in your life, and be diligent about resolving issues that arise in the moment — instead of letting them linger.

2. Clear Expectations Need To Be Set

Relationships tend to falter because of one fundamental issue: unmet expectations.

If you set the bar low, and you deliver on that expectation, you still win. If you set the bar high and don’t deliver, you are far worse off. Part of maintaining a positive relationship (with anyone) is setting clear expectations — especially with intimate partners. Do not make it seem like they are the center of your world when you are trying to launch a startup and working 18 hour days.

Make that clear from the beginning.

3. Deception Never Lasts

Who you are is who you attract.

And if you are attracting people into your life by being your false self, then at some point the jig is going to be up. You can only maintain that “alter ego” for so long — and when it crumbles, it’s going to hurt you far worse than if you had just been honest from the beginning. (This can apply to any number of things. Apply as you see fit.)

4. A Relationship Can Be A Support System

A relationship as an entrepreneur, business owner, or just plain driven individual can be one of the most helpful things you could possibly have.

They are someone you can confide in, with no connection to your otherwise complicated and logical pursuits. However, the thing to be wary of is to not make the other person feel like an “object” you use to vocalize all your stress and challenges.

There has to be some give and take.

5. An Outsider’s Perspective

When your friends, family, and significant other all live outside your direct realm of business or interest, they inherently provide an outsider’s perspective that many times can be helpful.

They ask simple questions, they provide you an opportunity to explain what you’re working on in its most basic form, and they can often point things out you aren’t able to see yourself (because you’re “in it”).

6. Relationships Are Mirrors

This is often one of the hardest things for people to admit.

Whatever you dislike in someone else, you struggle with yourself. Whatever irks you the most, that’s your issue — not theirs. Whatever frustrates you, or pushes your buttons, or makes you flare up in anger, that is a trigger of something inside you. If it wasn’t, then their actions wouldn’t affect you at all. Period.

When something triggers you, it’s your responsibility to take the time to figure out what that issue is and move past it.

This article originally appeared on Inc. Magazine.

How to Create Rare And Life-Changing Relationships

The secret of getting others to help you… because they want to. And for no other reason. Not because they were manipulated to help you. And not because they feel compelled to.

There are two types of relationships:

  • Transactional
  • Transformational

Transactional relationships are economic and functional. They’re based on exchange of money, goods, or services. They serve a very clear point. And when that point no longer makes sense or has been fulfilled, the relationship ends.

Transactional relationships are important. They’re how you got the groceries in your fridge, the place you live, the clothes you wear, and most of the things you enjoy in your life.

However, when it comes to creating the deepest and most important connections, transactional mentalities won’t work.

The problem is, most people are transactional in their relationships. By very nature, transactional relationships are about getting the most you possibly can in exchange for as little as possible on your part. They’re all about you, and what you can get. Not about what you can give.

And all though it seems brutally obvious — this isn’t how you develop powerful relationships with anyone. Let alone relationships with key collaborators or mentors who can take you to “the next level” and help you grow 100X or more.

Transformational relationships, on the hand, can start out as transactions. But they go far far beyond the exchange of money, goods, or services. By very nature, transformational relationships are about giving the most you possibly can in attempts of helping others. They’re about advancing other people’s goals in a synergistic and win-win way — because clearly, you could do far more together than alone- Per Helen Keller.

But transformational relationships go much, much further than that.

Your relationship isn’t transformational if it doesn’t change you. If you’re not getting better. And if there aren’t generous gifts given without compulsion.

Your relationship isn’t transformational if it’s primarily about you.

Your relationship isn’t transformational if you’re not creating a bigger pie — both for the relationship and all involved. But beyond that, your relationship isn’t trasnformational if you aren’t making the world a better place.

Your relationships aren’t trasnformational if you don’t truly love the people you’re with. If you aren’t genuine. If you’re not thoughtful.

Relationships are the key to life. Actually, from a “relational perspective” — relations between entities are ontologically more fundamental than the entities themselves.

Ontology is a fancy world for “reality” or “nature of being.” What this means is that the relationship BETWEEN things is more REAL than the things themselves.

Your computer isn’t objectively a computer. It’s a computer TO YOU. To your dog, that computer is a strange thing that makes an odd sound and has cool lights.

It’s the relationship BETWEEN you and your computer that IS THE REALITY.

Context = king.

Relationships = THE ONLY REALITY.

Sadly, most Western thinkers believe things in and of themselves ARE THE REALITY. Which is why we are such an isolated culture at this time.

When relationships are the reality, you prize people far more deeply. You value the deep meaning you get from the relationship. You’re far more intimate, honest, and caring. You’re far more likely to express gratitude, and to share your voice. And to stand up for those you love. Because the relationship is everything. It’s not something you just cast aside. It’s not merely a means to an end.

Do you view your people as objects or people?

If objects, the relationship is a transaction. A means to an end. Not THE REALITY.

If you view people as people, then the relationship is the reality. The end. And in such a case, true transformation can occur.

Here’s more:

They Are Based On Giving And Grace

Recently, I almost got kicked-out of my PhD program at Clemson University. I’m a non-traditional graduate student with non-traditional goals. Sometimes, it’s been scary to be open and honest about my goals.

Over a few years of bad communication on my part, as well as incongruence with key relationships — I almost got kicked out. I’d gotten transactional in my relationship with my key adviser, a relationship that for a time was transformational. Once things became transactional, molehills became mountains. Small problems became catastrophic.

The relationship died. And understandably so.

Failures and mistakes are one of the fastest ways to determine if a relationship is transactional or transformational. If transactional — there isn’t much room for conflict, messiness, mistakes, etc. because the relationship doesn’t have a foundation of loyalty, trust, and protection. Communication is held back.

Given my situation, for the past few months I didn’t know what my future held in my PhD program. I’d sunk 4 years into something that might no longer happen.

Then Bob Sinclair, a professor in my department, decided to step in and help me finish. He didn’t have to do that. He had no obligation to help me. And I’ve done nothing to “earn” his help.

But he helped me anyways. And that gift he gave me transformed me. I was humbled deeply by a generous gift that I absolutely didn’t deserve. I was forced to look in the mirror, face my faults, and become better. Become transformational and make it about what I could give, not what I could get.

It took me immediately back to my WHY for studying psychology in the first place. It brought me back to the “beginner’s mind.” It gave me motivation beyond myself to succeed. I now wanted to succeed for Bob. Because he went out of his way and out on a limb to serve me.

Those gifts of grace — the ones you could never earn — are the one’s that should transform and teach you the most.

There Is No Score Keeping

In transactional relationships — everything is tracked and measured. The store clerk isn’t going to give you a few bucks off because you’re a good person.

No. You’re going to pay full price, or you don’t get the item you want from the store.

Transactional relationships destroy intimacy. It’s total business. The relationship IS AN ITEM. The MEANING is the transaction. Nothing deeper. Nothing more.

In transactional relationships, there are always constant reminders of what’s been sacrificed for this relationship. There are reminders about all the missteps the other person has made.

Nothing is simply given just because. Every “gift” is remembered and there’s an expectation of quick reciprocity or else.

One of my mentors, Joel Weldon, is brilliant at helping people clarify their messages and deliver them in the most powerful and simple way possible. He told me that every single one of his clients has a yellow envelope-style folder with notes on the inside. On the outside of the envelop are notes — specifically stating how much time he’s spent on the phone with each of them.

However, with his clients that he TRULY LOVES working with… the transformational ones, there aren’t such notes. He’s not keeping track of the time being spent on the relationships that are transformational. Because he gets so much out of those relationships. He’s not keeping track of the time spent. He’s willing to spend a few extra minutes, or more. Because the relationship really matters.

Many relationships start as transactions. For example, I hired Joel to help me with my communication skills. But that relationship stopped being transactional very quickly. We connected deeply. We started serving and helping each other. And he’s helped me in ways I could never help myself. In fact, he changed my life.

Because he genuinely cares.

And he only genuinely cares because we created a genuine and generous relationship. I’m not just trying to get my money’s worth. It goes so much deeper.

Everyone Feels Protected

NBA All-Star, Mark Eaton, recently wrote an important book called THE FOUR COMMITMENTS OF A WINNING TEAM. The fourth commitment is that every person on the team or in the relationship needs to feel protected.

When people feel protected, they’re willing to share what’s on their mind. They’re willing to fail. Because they know that the other people in the relationship has their back.

When a person doesn’t feel protected in a relationship, they don’t speak up. They don’t share what’s on their mind. They don’t take risks. Instead, they pander to the relationship. They don’t act in their power. They act as a victim.

Transactional relationships won’t protect you. If you don’t show up how you’re supposed to show up, you’re not protected. Instead, you’re rejected.

In transformational relationships, you have lots of protection.

Who do you protect?

Whose protecting you?

Do you feel safe being yourself? Or, are your relationships on a thin sheet of ice? And if you make a wrong move, a huge crack will shatter your foundation and you’re going down?

According to Eaton, feeling protected is the key to doing invaluable work. Because you can’t do your best work without the love, help, and support of others.

Similarly, you become invaluable in your relationships when others feel protected by you. When they feel they can be honest. Where they know you’ll be there for them to pick them up if they fail. That level of trust allows them to go big in their lives. What a gift you’ve given them.

What a gift they’ve given you.

Others Are Given Credit For Your Success

“Self-made is an illusion. There are many people who played divine roles in you having the life that you have today. Be sure to let them know how grateful you are. Example: the person who introduced you to the person who introduced you to your spouse or business partner or client. Go back that far.” — Michael Fishman

Tim Poulson is a brilliant strategist. He once told me, “You can pay people in other ways than money.” One of the best ways you can pay them is by giving them credit.

Credit for the connection.

Credit for the idea.

Credit for helping you when you couldn’t help yourself.

Adam Grant says there are “Givers” and “Takers.” Some people give credit. Others take credit. The ones who take credit are transactional.

They Say “I Love You” To Each Other

“You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” — John Wooden

This may be strange, but if you tell your friends and family you love them, they’ll be blown away. I once knew a Polynesian missionary who told everyone he loved them. It was clear he was sincere.

I asked him why he did it. What he told me changed my life. “When I tell people I love them, it not only changes them, but it changes me. Simply by saying the words, I feel more love for that person. I’ve been telling people all around me I love them. They feel treasured by me. Those who know me have come to expect it. When I forget to say it, they miss it.”

Said author Harriet Beecher Stowe, “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”

In all of my deepest relationships — especially “business relationships” — I tell them I love them. They respond the same way. And it’s mutually felt. And the relationship is so much better. We actually love each other.

Our language enhances our convictions to the relationship. It’s not cheap talk. It’s commitment. It’s love. And it leads to greater connection and intimacy and success.


How many of your relationships are transformational?

How transformed are you by those relationships?

How transformed is the world?

It’s only through transformational relationships that the synergistic power of 100X can happen. Collaboration between two or more people who REALLY CARE about the others. Who protect them. Who pick them up.

Who do you have that you could call at at 2AM if you were having an emergency?

Do you have someone you could call at 2AM if you were in trouble?

How would they respond?

That’s a good way of measuring the quality of your relationships.