When we think about our lives or the lives of those we know and admire, there are usually qualities or aspects of that person that we appreciate or treasure. It could be they helped us out when times were economically tough or sat quietly next to us at the passing of a loved one. They might be a parent or guardian that built into you values that now in your “ripe ol’ age” you can appreciate. They likely disciplined you severely or had a very tough and timely conversation with you to get you straightened out. Maybe forgiveness and a kind word when it seemed undeserved.

With so much of our life spent in career and work, often it may be the boss that gave you a chance or talked straight with you when it really mattered. The coworker that helped you finish a project in addition to their work load. A customer that showed appreciation for your help. A leader that made it very clear about expectations and goals. The company that held everyone to the same standard of behavior.

In reviewing just the few short sentences I just wrote; we could come up with adjective qualities like the following:

Helpful, Supportive, Generous, Committed, Loyal, Unselfish, Thankful, Consistent, Appreciative, Visionary, Compassionate, and Focused.

You may find more. However, if any one of us would take one of these qualities and aspire to have someone in our life assess us as being any single one of them…with them, well it would be a great achievement. Just one could move us from our current status in our life/work and open up new possibilities.

There is one unseen or at least less spoken critical element. The clue is in the title of this post. Relationship. I think that it could be a quality, but it is certainly a way of being and acting on values that I see in well-centered and integrated people.  I hesitate to use the term “successful people” because we may all have some different concept of what success means to us. Success is measured in so many ways and none being necessarily wrong, but its for each individual to define what that is.

Even though we all define success differently, I do know this to be true. We can’t be successful, well grounded people without being in relationship with someone (or something). It is through relationship(s) that we accomplish what we need and want for ourselves and others. The delivery of the water, food, and fuel you use everyday is all done through some form of relationship. We get on planes and depend on complete strangers flying them. We blindly trust them to be relating well with others to fly and land our plane safely. We take many relationships for granted.

AND when relationships break down we suffer. We can experience loss financially, mentally, physically, and spiritually…even death. Even those that think they are “going it alone” are fooling themselves. We depend on the Sun and Earth to coordinate so precisely that we don’t burn up or freeze out. We are in relationship whether we know it, want it, or practice it. We ARE relationship. Essential to all we do and all we will become. It is the critical element and it is nothing new and nothing old. It always has been and will be our biggest asset and greatest opportunity.

Sun through the trees