Think of those people you would miss the most if they left your life.
Maybe it happens suddenly, or maybe it happens over time, You just wake up to realize one day, “Wow, I will never see that person again.”
If you’ve ever had this same thought, watch my video below or read through to below.
Maybe you get a heads-up warning that a relationship with someone you care about is coming to an end. Or, perhaps the amount of time you get to spend with this person it’s going to be significantly reduced.
Sometimes in your professional life, you notice that someone’s going to be leaving your organization. You might think, “Oh man, I’m going to miss that person.” (Or maybe you think, “Gosh, I am glad that person is going,” but that’s another story.)
Let’s talk about this first scenario, when you’re actually going to really miss that person. Maybe you have an opportunity to go to lunch with him or her again, or you stop by the going-away party and tell them, “Hey, I really appreciate you and I have really enjoyed being with you.”
You might tell yourself you will stay in touch or have lunch, but you know from experience you are probably not going to see that person much anymore. But at least you got a heads-up they were leaving your life.
The second scenario is when you do not get a heads up. Sometimes people depart in death. Perhaps you have lost a loved one to cancer or some disease that gives you a warning.
I’ve been through that with my mother and my mother-in-law, both of whom passed at 58. A dear friend of mine passed from cancer at age 49.
That sucks, right? One silver lining of cancer is that you do get opportunities to hopefully have those important conversations.
The flip side of that is when there’s suddenly a complete reduction in your amount of exposure in engagement with someone. Perhaps they’re abruptly fired, quickly moved on in your organization, or there is a sudden death.
When Children Leave The Nest
Here’s the scenario that’s going on for me right now. I have two children who I’m absolutely crazy about. If you’ve been in my audience, most likely you’ve heard me talk about them. Currently they’re a junior and a senior in high school. In six fast months my son is going to be moving out of the house and off to college. Right behind him in a year my daughter is leaving.
Maybe you don’t have kids or maybe you’ve never had a kid in your life that you wanted to be around. Fair enough, but hopefully you can relate to this in some way.
I have not been excited about my children leaving the house. Some parents don’t get that, they’re ready for them to go. But we are really close.
I now realize that this period of us spending a lot of time together day in, day out will soon end. As a matter of fact, there are studies that show that 80 percent of the time you spend with your parents is actually spent together while you’re a kid. Once a child moves out to go on to whatever’s next, that 80 percent of that total time together is done.
In the light of this, here’s the realization I had that I want to share with you. I’ve had a heads-up on how I was feeling about them leaving. Because of that, it’s enabled me to make some shifts and changes. “You know what,” I said to myself, “I’ve got some limited time left. I want to make these last minutes count.”
I am grasping for more moments of time with them. It’s harder, because they are teenagers and busy.
Whether it’s kids in your life or colleagues or a loved one, we’re all busy. So, for whatever the reason, you’re probably not going to be able to magically have all the time you want, which makes all this even more important. Sadly, sometimes we don’t always have a heads-up. When we are caught off guard that can be very painful.
Three Steps To Get On Belay With Your Relationships
Step #1: Be aware
The first step is awareness. Quick, grab a pen or pencil and just write down two, three, four, or five people that come to mind. If you had to spend significantly less time with these people you would say, “Wow, I miss this person.” Start brainstorming this list.
Step #2: Strategize
The second step, once you have the list, is very simple. Strategize how you can take action to connect with these people.
Step #3: Connect
The third step is to take action to connect in a meaningful way in the next week with each of those people. Now how to connect with loved ones?
Maybe it’s lunch if you can do it in person. Maybe it’s a video call, maybe it’s just a phone call, maybe it’s just a text message, or maybe even a letter. Whatever you choose, connect in a meaningful way with them.
We don’t know when we may not see someone again. Not to be depressing, but that is a reality of life. Perhaps you had that experience when someone leaves your life or your time exposure to them is significantly reduced. That can catch you off guard. Sometimes we wish we had done things differently. My message is to get on belay with people you care about.
I hope this insight helps you realize, “Hey, this is an opportunity for me to reach out to other people beyond just spending more time with my kids.”
Be more intentional about the relationships in your life professionally and personally. It starts with you being aware who these people are. Build a little list so that you can be intentional and strategic about it. The third step is simple. Take action to make a meaningful connection with them before it is too late.
Don’t delay to get on belay with the people you would miss the most.
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