“I believe you can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
Albert Einstein was Time Magazine’s Man of the Century, the genius who forever changed the way we viewed time, space and matter. Yet he once said, “Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men.”
Sounds simple, but when were relationships ever simple? The digital advancement is requiring us to understand and focus on the fundamentals of relationships in a manner never experienced or explored before and simplicity is needed.
We have all heard the KISS adage, “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” Though some like to make the simple complicated, as our Man of the Century well knew “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
How do you explain relationships to a six year old? The older you get, the more complex they seem to be. Or, do they? Are we just taking the simple and making it complex?
When John Naisbitt published “Megatrends” 35 years ago, he mused: “Whenever a new technology is introduced into society, there must be a counterbalancing human response – that is, high touch – or the technology is rejected… We must learn to balance the material wonders of technology with the spiritual demands of our human nature.”
No generation is more sensitive to this reality than millennials, as no other generation has used technology so much to make relational connections more direct. Also they want whatever vocational pursuit they choose to be a meaningful contribution to the rest of society, either directly through what they do or indirectly through the opportunity their jobs facilitate. And, this is the first generation that is globally connected in a very direct and personal way. We have always been connected, but as Thomas Friedman pointed out in the “The World Is Flat,” the age of exploration that began in the 1500s connected the world on a national level and the industrial age connected the world on a corporate level. But the information age is connecting the world on a personal level.
According to statistics presented by CEO Strategic Coach Dan Sullivan, and Peter Diamandis, CEO Singularity University and author of “Abundance and Bold,” currently the world population is just over 7 billion people, with 1.8 billion of those souls connected; but, in five years, over 5.5 billion people will be connected. Give consideration to the impact of global connectivity on relationships and the power it will fuel economically, spiritually and socially.
Consider online dating and matchmaking sites. The speed and scope of interest and connections made through these platforms is remarkable in efficiently moving participants through the selection process. However, a face-to-face meeting is required to advance the relationship to a level of any true or lasting value.
So here is an easy demonstration that magnifies the truth of relationships: Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are work, family, health, friends, and character. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day, you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls — family, health, friends, character — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. Once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you can begin to achieve the balance and importance of relationships.
In closing, I want to offer you a simple principle that will help eliminate unnecessary drama in your life if applied to each form of communication you employ, whether verbal, written, or digital. Pass all your thoughts and words through these considerations:
Is it TRUE? Is it KIND? & Is it NECESSARY?
If what you are trying to communicate does not align with all three of these considerations, you should hold your tongue or hold back your trigger finger from the send button. Now, that is something a sixth grader can be taught.