By Kenneth Stepp
Have you ever made a list of what really matters to you? A list of the most important things in your life? I’m betting that when you do, those things aren’t things at all. They are people, traits, or things to be accomplished.
Let’s unwrap these. People, because the most important things in life are other people. They may be kids, friends, or people you admire. Traits, because things like integrity, kindness, and valor, are important to you and affect how you interact with the important people in your life. Things to accomplish, these are goals and they will be things you actually do that will deepen your relationships with the people mentioned earlier.
I was in a leadership meeting years ago and was told a quote by a very wise person. The urgent screams, but the important whispers. There is so much truth in this. I use to help people start businesses back a few years ago. I always told them to decide who they were before starting because once you start and things go wrong, you will be reactionary rather than methodical.
For example. You wake up one day and you’re short on funds, the fire is hot. Instead of doubling down and making profit happen, explain to whoever you can’t pay that you will soon, you simply pull money out of the cash flow. For this fire you pour lies, deceit, and maybe other people’s money on it. The easy thing to do puts the fire out, but taking the easy way actually builds a problem that will eventually put you out of business and will damage anyone who does business with you.
So why am I talking about doing business when I write a relationship column? Because all relationships are stitched together with the same dynamics. If you run your business with low integrity, it will fail and damage everyone involved. If you are in a relationship with someone romantically, it will be the same as a business relationship. It will fail and hurt everyone in it.
I spoke of traits earlier. All relationships require certain traits or they are based on nothing. Honesty, transparency, loyalty, and mutual benefit. If you are doing business with my company, there are important things beyond convenience to look at. I believe the main things are these traits. If you are in a romantic relationship, these same traits are what helped you decide to be in it. For me, these must exist in any relationship, business or romantic.
Have you ever stopped and thought of what is important to you? What are your deal breakers? I believe much of what I am speaking of today will come to mind. Relationships are fragile until they are challenged enough for loyalty to become one of the ingredients in them. Lust, desire, etc. These may be instant but won’t last. I believe loyalty is the glue that holds all types of relationships together. And loyalty takes time to develop.
Honesty… That’s such a simple word. But it’s a trait that one has to decide will be their default no matter what or in the moment of urgency, it will not be available. Honesty is a decision made in silence and alone. To be honest means doing and saying truth, not doing and saying what is easy or momentarily beneficial. Being honest is in fact, a life style. I take some ribbing from friends when I say this. But I believe it 100%.
Being kind is a thing… I believe life is tough enough for everyone. I know few who just float from wonderful to wonderful, win to win. Most, if not all, toil through life. Life is a lot of work. Life is hard work. Being kind to one another should be another default we all have. It isn’t, of course, but I try to make it mine. In the singles community, I wish it was everybody’s default. Being single is not always easy.
Today I wanted to talk about what is important to me. I could have gone through much more, individuals, things that matter more than others, and what might matter in the future. I believe if I embrace these few traits, live my life with as much integrity as I can, and treat everyone the way I want to be treated, that my life and theirs will be better because of it.
Think of others when making choices. Be kind, be honest, and be thoughtful. By following these principles being single will be more enjoyable for everyone. The world can be a very dark place. Choose to be the light… Choose the important over the urgent.