To endure the hardships along your journey in life, you need a safe vessel to travel in. Steer in the right direction with each vessel and you will enjoy smoother sailing along your journey. Steer in the wrong direction and you may sink fast. The route is as important as the vessel.
Of course, the vessel in question is a ship, not just any ship, but a Relationship.
If you are looking for more fulfillment in your life, look no further than your relationships. Relationships are an extremely valuable part of life. In Robert Waldinger’s Ted Talk: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness, he describes a 75 year Harvard study tracking 724 men over their lifetime. During the study, each participant was asked about different aspects of their lives each year. Based on the participants in the study, Robert was able to conclude that happiness and health weren’t determined by wealth or fame. Instead, happiness and health were determined by the quality of an individual’s relationships.
In order to maximize our experience of life, we need to choose the right relationships and head in our desired path.
There exist five relationships that will determine the course of our lives depending on how we develop them. They include family, romantic, children, friends, and co-workers. We need to choose the right people for these relationships. We must also cultivate healthy relationships because or life depends on it. Let’s take a closer look into each relationship to understand their importance.
- Family Relationships These relationships are important because most of our morals, ethics, beliefs are derived from these relationships. Proper nurturing in these relationships encourages individuals to take life head on with confidence, Unfortunately, we are also aware of the pain caused by these relationships, leading to self-esteem issues and other psychological issues. These issues can cause individuals to spiral out of control, sending their life down an undesirable path. If individuals have healthy family relationships they can enjoy a head start in life, on the other hand, unhealthy family relationships will create a hole that can only be filled by other relationships. Family relationship can drastically alter the course of an individual’s life.
- Romantic Relationships These relationships are important because of their unmatched physical, spiritual, and mental intimacy as compared to other relationships. Our romantic relationships often affect our daily attitude and emotion. We all know that our attitude often determines our altitude in life and that our emotions play a huge role in dictating our behavior. Choosing the right partner either creates an enjoyable experience during an individual’s long journey of life, makes them want to abandon ship, or creates a bumpy ride in rough seas.
- Relationships with Children These relationships are important because they remind us of the purpose of our journey in life. We are meant to enjoy our life. If you watch children before they are corrupted by the stresses of our world, they are always joyful, creative, and adventurous. As adults, we become so overwhelmed with life that we don’t live, we just exist. We become stressed, boring, and fearful. If we are not careful our attitudes rub off on our children or the children around us. We must look to children to learn how to be present and refresh our spirit for life, otherwise, we will spread our diseased attitudes to our children causing them to organize a mutiny later on in our lives.
- Friends These relationships can be the healthiest relationship because they are chosen. A popular quote says: “friends are the family we choose”. Fortunately, we usually get more enjoyment and less of the pain in these relationships as compared to our family relationships. These relationships help to fill in any voids and rectify frustrations created by our other relationships. These relationships help support us although they often lack the intimacy of our family relationships, romantic relationships, and relationships with children. Many individuals encounter unhealthy friendships because they use them to replace the needs of other relationships, Choosing the right friends can either steer us drastically off course in life or send us full speed ahead into a blissful journey.
- Co-Workers Although extremely important, the importance of relationships with co-workers is often overlooked. These relationships are important because we spend the majority of our conscious daily life around our co-workers. We spend more time with our co-workers than our family, romantic partner, children, and friends combined. A normal day (best case scenario) consist of 8 hours of sleep; 4 hours grooming, eating, and commuting; 4 hours free time spent with family, children, and or friends; and 8 hours of work (usually more). That means we spend the majority of our time working and that our co-workers have a major influence on our attitude because we experience the majority of our greatest asset (time) with them. Your coworkers will either throw you overboard, keep you imprisoned, or help you maintain an efficient pristine vessel to endure your journey.
Life is a great adventure full of glory and adversity. Although we cannot eliminate adversity in life, we can choose whether we are drowned, sunk, or saved by our choice of RELATIONSHIPS!!!