I remember when I began to hear the phrase, “Life isn’t about what you know, it’s about who you know.” It was when I was in college, learning about life every day, and I had a strong distaste for that statement, as my plan was to outwork anyone I could to achieve success regardless of who I knew. And partly in part to my personal real definition of that statement in my mind had to do with “ladder climbers”, and those types doing everything within their power, with total disregard for most all humans around them to get a better grade, a higher position in some college organization, “brown-nose” a professor or Dean, or simply a person looking to manipulate another person or situation for their gain in an unethical or immoral way. In my mind, my goal was to gain success through hard work, perseverance, and being a positive happy person each day, and let the cards lay how they were to lay. Little did I know at 18 or 19 years of age, those 3 very simple traits would allow some very, very awesome and meaningful relationships.
At the end of the day, life is about relationships, but I prefer to teach my 10-year-old twins about building and growing relationships through very simple, natural, and moral actions and habits or behaviors rather than a forced, manipulative, outwardly noticed, and even awkward attempt by others to form relationships. Those seeking relationships for personal gain as the primary reason for doing so will likely end up with very empty, lifeless, meaningless relationships. People were very kind, creating friendships given common traits and goals, looking to help another person rather than yourself, having true positive “bumps” into others, being a willing listener as well as an ability to talk or have input, and easy to talk with, will likely have more fruitful, fulfilling, full of life, real meaningful relationships.
Fulfilling, real, authentic relationships create an internal happiness for us. They create a contentment with life and who we are. They make everyday life more satisfying and put smiles on more faces. And most importantly they create trust. And that trust can open doors that would have never opened. That trust can create opportunities not realized otherwise. The relationships and level of trust give way to bigger potential and unleashing our full potential is what we should all be after. Be you, be real, be authentic along with looking for opportunities to serve others, creating positive interactions that may end up growing you and others, all while building trust. Remember, life is about real relationships, not who you know, on a superficial, disingenuous level.