I covered relationships and results (RxR) briefly in some of the earlier pieces. Here, I’ll go into more detail as to what they mean to me.
Relationships are about being. It’s about the person (character) you want to be and continuously striving to be the best version of ourselves because there is always room for improvement. It’s also about the relationships we keep with others.
Results are about doing. It’s the contribution you make in the world and the value you add to others’ lives (while fulfilling your own at the same time).
Results is your contribution to the world. What would you like to be known for? What do you want your personal legacy to be? It’s about doing work that matters. It’s the intersection of your interests, skills, and what the world needs. What matters to you? What do you care deeply about? Where would you like to make a contribution? What do you want to leave the world with? Think about the relationships you want to build with others and the results you want to produce that will bring about a positive change in the world. Others are going to remember you long after you’re gone for the person you were and the contributions you made.
Relationships = Character = Love
Results = Contribution = Respect
You need both relationships and results (RxR). Results without relationships gives you respect, relationships without results gives you love, and although you want both, it’s far more important to be respected than to be loved.
Though our parents and family (and others who are closest to us) love us unconditionally, we still need to earn their respect. Results come from doing the work. For instance, when kids leave their homes to go to college, they are spending time away from their homes, families, and relationships, and using that time to be someone in the world. At that time, they’re secure in feeling that they have relationships in the form of their parents (et al.) with them (mentally). They don’t have to worry about not having them.
As young adults, spending time away from our relationships (our family, for instance) is the price we must be willing to pay in order to get the results we want.
Then, when we have become something in the world in our 30s and 40s by forging our own paths and making our own mark, the seesaw balance becomes even again.
Results don’t have to be strictly work-related. They can be personal as well, such as losing weight or learning a new skill.
Relationships are about building character. What do you want people to say about you (your character) from a personal standpoint after you’re gone? How do you want to be remembered? At the end of the day, your greatest success as an individual will be your family. Everything else will fade into insignificance.
Who are the few people who matter to you most and would miss you after you’re gone? What do you want them to say about you? Think about the things they’ll say about you in terms of the person you were and the change you brought about in the world. Figure out what those things are for you, then go do those things over the course of your life.
Relationships and Results should never be at the mercy of each other. You want both. While it’s okay to focus on Results for a limited time, always circle back to Relationships. Focusing on either one for too long can be detrimental to your effectiveness.
So how do you get RxR in your life? Well, you start with the end in mind. Create a personal statement for your life based on your values, and think about what you want others to say about you after you’re gone in terms of relationships (character) and results (contribution). Give this statement a name, and then review it on a regular basis to see if you’re living the life you envisioned.
When thinking about the relationships and results you want, think less but better. You can’t have meaningful relationships with everyone or do everything in terms of providing value. So, choose less but better, both for your results and relationships because only that is sustainable over the course of your life.
How do you sustain this in the long-term? Well, long-term begins in the short-term. It starts with planning out your weeks.
There seems to be an implicit universal agreement of the week as a single, complete unit of time, but that’s just how the world works. Moreover, we think in terms of weeks, not days or months.
When planning your week, think in terms of relationships and results. Think about your closest relationships. Do at least one thing a week for/with them. Find a way to stay in touch with those who matter to you (and live far from you) on a regular basis. Use their birthdays as a way to keep in touch with them. Set it up in your trusted system so you never miss staying connected with them. Trust the process to reach the outcome. I have a short list of those who matter to me, and I call/email them on a regular basis as a way to keep in touch and to stay connected with them.
Next, think about the results you want in a given week. Do a brain dump of what has your attention. Prioritize and schedule your calendar for the week. Do the big things first, and save the small things for later in any given week. Then, review what you’ve accomplished at the end of that week and celebrate your wins.
How will you know you’re doing it right? You always get the essential things done. You know what’s important to you, and you’re doing it. You never find a lack of time for doing things because you’re doing fewer things better rather than “doing it all”.
Life is all about having meaningful relationships, being the best person we can be, and producing results that add value to others’ lives while enriching us at the same time.
All it takes to start working toward meaningful RxR now is to determine your goals and put a system in place that takes you there.