We all have stress. A life without stress isn’t an option – it means you’re dead. Stress can be healthy, though, as long as three things are in balance: control, challenge, and support. Our lifelong battle, then, is to develop enough support to stay encouraged in life and leadership.
Supportive Relationships are Crucial to Success
Having healthy, supportive relationships in your life is huge. Research shows that meaningful friendships benefit us in these four ways:
- Lifespan – Lonely people live shorter lives.
- Health – A lack of friendship can be as big a health risk as obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure.
- Marriage – The strongest marriages are those where each partner is supported by a network of other relationships
- Success – 85% of your financial success comes down to your skills with people.
Having a variety of rich, supportive relationships in your life is beneficial in so many ways, but here’s the thing:
Not All Relationships are Created Equal
Different relationships add support in different ways. There are five types of key relationships that help shape us into the people we can become. How many of these people are in your life?
- Vision Casters: Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Our chief want in life is, somebody who shall make us do what we can.” We all need people who can give us a vision of what our lives could be. Most often, these visions go far beyond anything we could imagine ourselves.
- Soul Sharpeners: Some people help you develop spiritually, and some just don’t. When you have a Soul Sharpener in your life, they won’t let you settle for second best. They’ll keep daring you on to be all you can be in the spiritual arena.
- Models and Mentors: The only way to make yourself better than you are is to have someone to model yourself after. Building relationships with people who have the traits you wish you have enriches every area of your life.
- Heart Healers: Your heart’s condition is one of your life’s determining factors. No matter how much hope you have in your life, there will always be a time when your heart is broken or full of discouragement and despair. Heart Healers gently return your heart to its best shape.
- Tail Kickers: Heart Healers comfort the afflicted. Tail Kickers afflict the comfortable. They tell us the truth, keep us moving forward, refuse to let us settle, and remind us to keep getting back up when we fall.
You Won’t Find Friends Like These
Friendships are built, not found. There is no “tree of friends” you can visit to find more support. Friendship is an investment. Put in the work to build these types of relationships: both you and your friends will be glad you did.
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