For the first time in years, I screwed up my monthly theme. But the outcome is going to be worth it.
Let me explain.
I recently went on a three-week journey in the Philippines. I saw some amazing scenery, took in as much of the beautiful country as I could, and spent time with incredible people. This trip took up 23 days of the month. With it in the rearview mirror now, I realize that I should have left this month “themeless” instead of giving it the overarching focus of “Relationships.”
You see, while I spent part of the trip working on relationships, I didn’t give it my overarching focus. At least not all of my relationships. Instead, I focused on a scant few – and one in particular.
This month was pretty much all about connecting deeper with my wife, Anne.
We’d spent almost every moment over those three weeks together. Many of those moments were expected, but some were not.
Anne embraced the event we were at in Cebu. She was a shining star at Tropical Think Tank, making friends with entrepreneurs in a way I’d never seen before. She’s never really gone to any of the events I’ve spoken at (or attended), so I didn’t know what to expect. If anything, I thought she’d steer clear of everyone and sunbathe most of the time. That was not the case at all.
I have a deeper respect for my wife than when we started on this journey. There was an aspect of me who felt as if she didn’t “get me” with the work that I do. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I learned a lot by spending all of that time with her.
The best part? I want to spend even more time with her now.
But that wasn’t why I screwed up my monthly theme. Clearly, I focused on only one relationship, but there was a greater lesson in choosing this month’s theme and not living up to its demands.
Relationships deserve far more than just one month of overarching focus. Relationships deserve focus every single day.
Sure, you can’t be expected to foster every relationship every day, but you can reach out and foster them on an ongoing basis. Whether it’s your family, your friends, your customers, or other relationships in your life, you can (and should) focus on relationship every day because ultimately they are what matter in life.
In fact, that was my greatest takeaway from Tropical Think Tank.
I’m going to make a conscious effort to redesign, rebuild, and reclaim relationships going forward. This goes for everyone in my life – those close to me and those who I’ve barely crossed paths with before. If you’ve emailed me, I’ll email you back (and sooner than before). If you’ve asked me to do something, I’m going to take my deliverables up a notch (or several). If you want my help, just ask. I’ll be there to lend it.
I don’t consider this month to be a failure. I consider it to be a teaching moment. And I’m going to learn from it.