A portion of today’s lesson from Brian Tracy

Seven Basic Principles

Relationships can be extremely complicated, but to build and maintain quality relationships requires only a few basic principles. Let me give you seven.

Trust

The first is the principle of trust. All relationships are ultimately based on trust. To build trust, you always keep your word. You remain consistent and dependable in everything you say and do. You become the kind of person who is utterly reliable in every situation. You never do or say anything that can shake this fundamental foundation of trust upon which your relationships are built.

Respect

The second principle is respect. Taking time to deliberately express your respect for the uniqueness of an individual makes him or her feel very valuable and important. By demonstrating that kind of respect, you build and enhance the quality of your relationship.

Communication

The third principle for success in relationships is communication. In communicating well with another person, time is the critical factor. The value of a relationship can increase for both you and the other person depending on the amount of time that you invest.  When you take the time to focus on the important issues of a relationship, you open the channels of communication. And when you listen attentively, calmly, quietly, and with total attention, you demonstrate the respect you have for the other person, and you deepen the level of trust between you.

Courtesy

The fourth principle is courtesy. When you say “please” and “thank you” on a regular basis to the people in your life, you make them feel better about themselves and about what they are doing. You raise their self-esteem. And alas, it is often with the people we care about most that we are the least courteous and polite. Emmet Fox once wrote, “If you must be rude, be rude to strangers. But save your company manners for your family.”

Caring

The fifth principle is caring. The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance. The kindest thing you can do is to refrain from criticizing, condemning or complaining to them or about them.  Think of yourself as a people-builder rather than a people-basher.  Catch them doing something right.  Always look for ways to make people feel more valuable, more respected, and more loved.  The three most powerful words in any relationship are the words, “I love you.”  Repeat them as often as possible and in as many different ways as possible to the most important people in your life.

Praise and Appreciation

The sixth principle is a combination of praise and appreciation for everything that others do for you, both large and small. When you express your appreciation to another person for something they do for you, they feel better about themselves, and they want to do more of it.  And there is a kickback effect that causes your own self-esteem to go up, exactly as if you yourself had been praised.

Helpfulness

The seventh principle for success in relationships is simply helpfulness, especially with those people with whom you live. Your constant willingness to step in and do little things to alleviate the burdens felt by your spouse and children is always appreciated and respected.  This willingness to share, to contribute, to help each other is an important facet of lasting relationships.

Perhaps the most important thing you ever do in life is build and maintain long-term, happy, healthy, fulfilling relationships with other people you love and who love you. When you make everything else secondary to this central purpose, you will find yourself enjoying happiness and rewards in exponential proportion to the efforts you put in.

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