Saturday Musings – Developing Strong Relationships

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I wanted to continue the series I’ve been writing about on what it means to conduct your life through principles. I hope you appreciate and value the openness of which I’m sharing and that you receive a benefit for your own life from reading these articles.

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The previous articles in the series can be accessed from the following links:
Three Vital Aspects of the Truth
How to Develop Trust
The Power in a Learning Mindset
It’s All About Character

In this article I would like to start exploring the relationships between the three underpinning principles. If you wish to build strong relationships with others, then there is no better way of doing it by conducting yourself under the guidance of the principles of truth and trust.

Strong Relationships

Too many people expect to have great marriages and wonderful relationships with their children while conducting themselves in a manner that is contrary to a positive outcome. The key that unlocks the power of truth and trust is consistency.

I remember many years ago I had a disaster in one of my businesses. I ended up leaving to go to work at 5am and getting home at around 9pm each night. Our son Timothy was around eight years old at the time and one of his chores was to set the table for dinner each night.We’d talk on the phone and he used to ask me if I’d be home for dinner. Of course, I told him, “Yes”. The reality was that I didn’t make it and was inevitably caught up in all the things at work. Eventually he learned and stopped asking me the question.

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Being Thankful at Easter

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Living in a country like Australia, it’s often easy to fall into the trap of a first world mindset. We’ve been blessed with so much compared to other people and yet many of us aren’t happy. I’ve found that often the best way to become happier is to spend some time around Easter each year being grateful for what I have rather than what I don’t have.

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For instance, the fact that I can turn on a tap and have clean running water puts me ahead of about 50% of the worlds population. When I flush the toilet what’s inside goes away rather than towards me is something I will be eternally grateful to the plumbers of this world.

Being able to go to the supermarket and have a huge selection of produce is nothing short of miraculous. It’s not just, do I want to buy an apple but what type of apple do I want to buy. Having food on the shelves to purchase is an incredible feet of logistics that I am so grateful for.

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Saturday Musings – It’s All About Character

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Over the last few weeks I’ve been unpacking the traits of truth, trust and learning and how they’ve helped me in my own personal relationships. A good way of thinking about the principles is as the three points of a triangle. In this article I’m going to explore what is in the centre of all of us…..our character.

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Many people confuse doing good as their character. Doing good is the result of good character and NOT character in itself. What is character? One dictionary defines good character as:

“The stable and distinctive qualities built into an individual’s life which determine his or her response regardless of circumstances.”


A stable person often has a set of values that form the bedrock of their life. These values determine how they interact with others and how they respond to circumstances. Notice, that I haven’t made a judgement call on what the values are.

Some people have a value of selfishness that results in every interaction they have being focused on benefiting them. From their perspective life is all about accumulating more rather than giving out.

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Rawgi
I can't really say when I developed my Character, but it was at an early age. I choose to help others deal with stressful situat... Read More
18 March 2018
mgilmour
As always, I really enjoy reading your comments Rawgi. You'll be happy to hear that we finally have everything back in order and t... Read More
18 March 2018
Rawgi
I don't know about your side of the world, but these guys can pinpoint the leak to within 10 inches or less. I have had them find... Read More
19 March 2018
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The Power in a Learning Mindset

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In my last two “Saturday Musings” I’ve shared about the two life principles of truth and trust. Both these principles are the foundation stones for building strong relationships that stand the test of time. Even though they are vitally important, without the third principle learning, truth and trust can become soul destroying as you berate yourself for, yet again making another mistake.

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A learning mindset means that when you “blow it”, you give yourself the grace to learn from the situation. This provides the liberty to improve yourself if you’re faced with the same issue again. A learning mind focuses not on condemnation but on improvement.

To illustrate this point, let me share with you a story that I read a number of years ago. An IBM salesman received a phone call that meant he’d missed out on a $10 million-dollar deal. He’d put a lot of effort into trying to secure the agreement, but the results clearly showed that he’d cost the company a lot of money.

With a downcast face he packed his personal belongings into a box, stepped out into the hallway and closed his office door for the last behind him. He headed to his boss’s office to say good-bye. “It’s always better to resign rather than be fired,” he said to himself.

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Saturday Musings - How to Develop Trust

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There is nothing stronger than when you trust a person completely and nothing more devastating when trust is broken. So how do you gain someone’s trust and how do you maintain it?

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Both these questions are at the heart of our society as trust is the glue that bonds us all together. Without some level of trust, your relationship with your spouse, children, neighbours, and government would shatter.

From a business perspective, contracts may spell out what each party expects of the other but ultimately, it’s trust that underpins the agreements. Without trust, we won’t have business and society fall into anarchy.

The first thing to realise about trust is like every relationship it’s built upon a solid foundation of truth. I discussed truth in last week’s Saturday musings and you may want to have a read of that article. Assuming you are truthful then how do you build trust?

The fact is, trust takes time to develop. Although it can be instantly lost, it’s rarely, if ever, immediately given. A good way to think about trust is to imagine everyone has a “trust bank account” that you can deposit or withdraw from. The question is, what are you depositing and withdrawing?

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