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Building A Circle
I got relationships wrong for 20 years.
Gradually I got it right.
The book is an operating manual for all types of relationships. There is a section called “The People Your Mother Told You To Avoid.”1 When I run into one of these folks, I don’t engage and look for an exit.
What if “The People” are me? I started by replacing my disordered personality traits with virtues & better habits.
It sounds daunting and, I guess, it is. Ultimately, I had to change my life, my career, my job and my body.
Here’s the thing: we have the rest of our lives to get it right.
Pick one thing, start from there.
I started with myself.
In Part One, I asked, “What do you want, exactly?”
My answer, for as long as I can remember, has been… Less Drama
Drama is feedback - important feedback. Drama points to our state of being.
What’s my role in all this hassle that’s appearing in my life?
My own choices were my greatest source of drama. I needed to choose differently.
The Courage To Change
A fresh start…
In 2000, I left everything - career, country, hemisphere, peers.
20 years later, I did not need to leave anything. I’d built a wonderful life around myself. It was my mindset that needed to change.
Both times, I made a choice to begin a radical transformation.
Taking feedback from the people closest to me
Making time to reflect on where I want to take my life
Committing to the work required to improve
Swapping my negative influences for positive ones
Deciding to not engage with drama
Building relentless positivity
As a young man, I created a habit in taking pride in my shortcomings. This made the process of transformation tougher than it needed to be.
A modest amount of self-improvement can motivate others to help you achieve your goals.
Stop feeding disordered personality traits. Get some help with this.
A strong drive is a useful thing to have. Use that drive to build a team around yourself.
“Building A Team” means choosing relationships with intent.
Whether you’re focused on:
Achieving financial independence
Creating a wonderful marriage
Building an enduring family system
Reaching the highest level in sport
…or any challenging goal
A limited number of relationships are the difference between success and failure.
Create a team who help you work smarter.2 Here’s my roster:
Someone who’s done it, at least three times - the wise sage
Someone who knows your blindspots - make fewer errors
An intimate relationship - a source of love, energy and acceptance
Peers - with whom to share the journey - my closest peers have always shared my outcome goals
Students/Observers3 - to motivate the best version of ourselves - build in public
All of the above… able to communicate to us…
In a way we hear
In a way that motivates positive change
In a way that helps us weather low points and, inevitable, setbacks
The filter I use here:
Keep people on the team who offer me advice that I action.
Generally speaking, we know what we ought to do. Some people have a knack for getting us to do it.
Notice those people.
Keep them on the team.
Support their goals.
Next time, lessons from building a strong marriage. My marriage enables me to avoid a world of drama. It’s my greatest asset.
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From the review: “…a list of those we should not expect to endure a mature and long-lasting relationship: those who are self absorbed, narcissists, borderliners, and sociopaths. Others who do not wear well over time include those who are overly anxious, depressed, bored, addicted, or unable to listen.”
If you deconstruct my public-facing life then you’ll these key players in my social media feed. What about you? Take a piece of paper. Write what you are seeking to achieve across the top of it. Down the left hand side… Sage, Coach, Confidant, Peers, Students. That’s your team - take care of them, have fun with them, do work with them.
My children are always watching. They are a meaningful source of motivation to try harder.