What kind of return on investment are you getting on the relationships you invest your time and your life force in?
At first this might sound a little selfish. Maybe you like to think of what you can give in life, not what you can get out of it. That’s great, and I understand that. But in all of our relationships, there needs to be both giving and receiving if we want things to be good and to keep improving in the long run.
In life there are certain relationships we don’t have a choice about participating in. Maybe as a kid, there might be a teacher you don’t like. As an adult, you might have a boss that you don't get along with, but you have to make the relationship work as well as possible. This is normal and totally understandable.
But when you're on your own free time, when you have time to live life on your terms, are you investing your time with people and with groups of people that you most enjoy?
Are you spending time with the people that do activities that you like? Maybe you have some friends that are into hiking or biking. Maybe another group is into personal growth or exercise or something like that. Or are you spending your time with people who just complain or put you down?
Overall, if you want to work a 4-Day Work Week and have the lifestyle to go along with it, you first have to figure out how to make the most of the free time you already have.
There’s always going to be a certain amount of time that you have to spend working. But separate from that and after chores and so on, you have a certain amount of free time that you get to do what you like with. And if you're not investing the time you already have in the way you like, chances are you're not going to be able to focus on making more time available.
It’s no different from the way that if you’re making a certain amount of money, but you're constantly wasting it, you're probably not going to be as motivated to make more money. You know you're going to waste it anyway and you're not going to get to your goals, so you lack motivation.
Now I want you to think about very specifically the types of relationships you have, and ask yourself the following questions about them:
What do they have in common?
Are they with a certain group of people?
Do they center around a certain activity that you enjoy?
Do these people have a certain mindset?
Are they happy people?
Are they focused on growth?
What are they about?
How do they speak to other people?
Are they kind?
Next, try to notice any patterns that you have in forming relationships, and see what types of people you like to hang out with, or be with, or learn from.
Write down the names of a few of those people and start thinking about where you’ll be able to meet more people like them. Of course, if your favorite person is your wife or husband, you don't need to try and meet another wife or another husband! This exercise relates to your friends and they people you meet outside of romantic relationships.
Finally, write down the characteristics of the relationships that are not as fun for you. Now, I want to be clear here: I'm not looking to put people down. Everybody's at a certain point on their path or their journey. There are certainly people who are nicer or happier than I am, and there are certainly people who are less fulfilled, and less happy than me.
The main message here is: Try to surround yourself with people who are aiming towards the same things you’re aiming for. It's not a case of better or worse ambitions, it’s just different directions.
Take notice of the trends and the patterns of the people who you surround yourself with. Are they happy? Do they value the things you value? Are they kind, and do they treat people in a way that you believe people should be treated?
I’m not asking you to make a list of names of people who you want to be around. It’s more important to make a list of the characteristics they have in common. We're definitely not looking to single people out, or become judgmental. But we do want to be able to look at where do we want to put our most precious asset: our time. Where do we want to invest that?
The more we think about where we’re investing our time, the more we're going to find a better return on our investments in the relationships we have.
I hope you find this episode helpful. If you want to go deeper into this conversation, visit 4dayworkweek.com and check out the 4-Day Apprentice program. This is a program where we focus on helping you make the most out of what you already have: your relationships, your time investments, your money investments, and the material possessions you own.
This is the first step to getting clear about how you want your life to be by shaping your life outside of work to be as similar as possible to somebody who works a 4-Day Work Week. Once you have this down, you can then move deeper into what it means to create your own 4-Day Work Week.
The 4-Day Apprentice program is good for you, whether you are an entrepreneur already, or if you're aspiring to be one in the future.
As always, I look forward to helping you make more money, in less time, doing what you do best.
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