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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.

This experience broke my heart as I realised that I’d been untruthful to my son and I’d not only disappointed him I’d also damaged our relationship. He didn’t stop asking me the question immediately, but as I sowed untruthfulness over time the trust in that area of our relationship was eventually broken.

It was at this point that I made some very profound decisions. I decided that I needed to lead my life through a set of principles that would help me along the journey and help ensure that I didn’t make the same mistakes again and again.

The experience with Timothy is when truth, trust and learning became the central tenants of my life. It was when the rubber really hit the road and I took stock of what was really important versus what appeared to be important.

The end result of this introspection caused me to close the struggling business and do something that meant I would be home for dinner each and every night. Above all else, I wanted strong relationships with Roselyn and the kids….and this meant I would need to really deposit into their “trust” accounts to help make up for the time where I was completely focused on work.

Many years after the events I’ve just related, Roselyn and I were away in the Italian alps to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary. We were walking around a beautiful lake with soaring mountains all around us when my phone rang.

I was a bit grumpy at the interruption at first until I realised it was Timothy. After a bit of preamble, he asked, “Dad, I’m thinking of asking my girlfriend to marry me. What do you think?”

We were obviously overjoyed and excited by the news. I was so happy that my relationship with Timothy was now so close that he was asking me such an important question. It meant that all those years since the table setting incident where I was there depositing into our mutual trust account had really paid off. What more could a Dad wish for? Absolutely nothing.

You could be in the process of pouring yourself into your work but never lose site of who you are doing it all for. Too many people end up climbing the ladder of success only to discover there’s no one there to share it with. Sometimes, they find the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.

The story I shared here is one of many that I’ve been blessed with and I hope that if you’re going through some rocky patches in your own relationships that you consider the principles of truth and trust. They are the foundation stones of any relationship. Stop trying to change the other person and come to a realisation that the only thing that you can change is your behaviour towards that estranged loved one.

Have a great weekend.
Michael
 

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Tuesday, 18 September 2018
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