Planning your future
One of the most common advise I give to couples, is to think regarding their relationship in terms of five year segments. Thinking further ahead will enable you to agree your long-term goals and strategise your short-term steps. One of your key challenges as a couple will be based around how you respond to constraints and how you will develop opportunities. When you are in love, it is very easy to become unrealistic and ignore constraints but also it is important that you do not become fearful and ignore the chance to develop opportunities.
1. Long-term goals.
The strongest relationships are those that generally prepare for the future. Taking time to build a strong, home or family is a decision that only you can make. Short-term goals are good in that you become immediately motivated but long-term goals require you to embrace and believe over a longer period. There are times, for the sake of your future, you need to believe in each other, long enough for a goal to be fulfilled. If you are married to someone who is in the performing arts for instance, they may be waiting a few years for their career breakthrough to come. Whilst it would be unwise for your partner to do nothing during this time, it is equally important to your support your partner in their goal when it is clear that the benefits of them achieving the goal will impact your relationship in a positive way. Don't walk away from a goal just because the journey seems long.
2. Having the eyes of the Eagle.
It has been suggested that Eagles have superior eye sight to human beings; possibly 5 times sharper than the average person. But the real advantage in the Eagle's eyesight, is their ability to see 'detail' from a great distance. It is often the 'detail' of a thing that can determine the size of the outcome. Consider that a friend gave you a gift card that enabled you to go on a Caribbean cruise. However, when you made the decision to use the card the date had expired because you did not notice the detail regarding the expiry date. The detail was as important as the prize. I encourage couples not to get lost in the excitement of the prize but to evaluate the cost and the necessary short term steps. I once had an interview for an exciting job.The job was well-paid and was an opportunity to work at a higher level. I was captivated by the prize but did not consider the detail. The detail of the job required me to respond to call outs "from time-to-time". I never explored the details and found that the cost of travelling 150 miles on a call out in the early hours of the morning was too great a cost for me and my marriage. I left the job after 18 months! Before you agree on a major long-term goal, disucss the detail.
It is great to plan but have you considered what your relationship might 'look like' in 5 years time? Everything on this earth changes and we must work towards what we want to see in the future. For example, you might want to live in another country but have you considered how your relationship, family and career might 'look' if you did? I am one of those people that still like to try on clothes I intend to buy. If you buy before you try, then you are relying on envisaging yourself wearing the items. If it is possible, before making a major decision, try and sample what it would be like before you totally commit.
It is possible that in a realtionship, one of you will be a great designer while the other is a great builder but you must both work together. A builder must work with an architect. The architect provides the a visual representation of what something will look like in the future and the builder, works hard to to build what he has seen. In a relationship it is important to agree on the design. You can disagree on the methods of building but you must agree on the concept so that what you envisage meets your expectations.
5. Get up and do something
Your future is not solely decided by what you visualise, it is supported by what you are willing to do. People in relationships are motivated by words and actions. When it comes to planning your future as a couple, remember that you never want to be in a situation where you blame someone else for your future. Learn to decide your future by working hard at your relationship goals. When you are in a loving relationship, it is important to remember that your actions will influence your partner's destiny. Conversely, your inactivity can also negatively impact your relationships.According to Edgar Dales cone of experience, please tend to remember things, learn and maintain a new experience when they 'do it'. Look briefly at this chart.
- 10% Read.
- 20% Hear.
- 30% See.
- 50% See & Hear.
- 70% Say & Write.
- 90% What they do
This chart reminds us that we learn best by doing. So go ahead and begin to think into your future and do what is required to have a successful one!
For more teaching on communication, please listen out for our Power Seminars or contact me for a personal appointment.