Relationships are meaningful to the degree to which both parties contribute. If one person is receiving only, then the relationship is neutralized and ultimately meaningless. If both parties are contributing, the relationship becomes intensely meaningful and worthwhile. The coach and the athlete who both give their all to the relationship results in a better athlete and a better coach. A coach who does not care for their athlete, but the athlete desperately tries to improve, results in an apathetic coach and a frustrated athlete. The opposite is true as well.
When two parties work together, and both perform as best they can for themselves and the other, the relationship is successful and everyone benefits. The productivity of the entire world increases exponentially when the relationship between employer and employee was increased. An early example of this is Ford’s assembly line. Ford wanted to pay his employee’s more and lower the production cost of cars so that the people making the vehicles could afford one.
In America, Ford’s intervention resulted in the unimaginable. Millions of people started to drive, everyone had a means of transportation that was impossibly out of reach merely decades ago. It turned out that Ford struck on the gold mine of human potential via social connection. We are most productive when relationships are put first, above the individual. The whole slave-master dynamic turned out to only be slowing us down. The ruthless tyrant ends up completely destroying the real potential for growth, which is vastly greater than the growth experienced in zero-sum relationships.
The question for maximum productivity and meaning is, how can I contribute to the relationship? How can I serve the other in hopes that they will serve me? This is the most important question. Creating successful relationships, not just with other people, but with everything we interact with, is the key to a successful life. That might sound crazy, but we are social creatures that literally think about everything socially. We even talk to ourselves as if we are another person.
Think about the relationship we have with our bodies. It is obvious when someone has a good relationship with their body. They don’t ask too much of it, and they give their body what it needs, food, exercise, rest. People who don’t have a successful relationship with their bodies are equally obvious, they may demand too much, they want all the work to be done, faster gains in fitness, lower body fat percentage, and they end up constantly tired and frustrated.
The trick to having a successful relationship with your body is paying attention to what it needs and asking of it as much as you are giving. If you want your body to run a marathon, you better feed it properly, train it, and rest it. Just try running a marathon ill-prepared and demand your body to perform, it’s going to hate you for weeks. But what do you expect? It’s kind of like asking your spouse to do all the chores, take care of the kids, work, while you go on vacation.
The relationship requires effort from both parties, and if both parties are up for the struggle, then our potential increases exponentially.
Hustle it up!