One of the key components of life is relationships. There is credible evidence that powerful relationships contribute to a healthy and joyous life.

The world defines relationships with a narrow perspective where we only associate it to our immediate family and close friends. However, truthfully our life consists of a series of relationships – be it with our loved ones, colleagues/employers, the tasks we handle at work, and most importantly the relationship we have with ourselves. To lead a holistic life all these need to be in harmony and synchronicity. Even though they might not appear to be connected with each other, friction in one would invariably affect the others.

For example, a person is facing stress at work because of a bad relationship with his colleagues or employers. This negativity affects his performance. He no longer feels motivated and fails to live up to self-imposed as well as organizational standards. Owing to this, his self-esteem drops and he becomes a victim to self-loathing. Every day he goes home mentally exhausted and fails to spend quality time with his family, which makes them feel neglected. Therefore, turmoil in one relationship can change the course of your life.

It is proven that the health risks that arise from unpleasant relationships are the same as those associated with blood pressure, cigarette smoking and obesity. A conclusive review of 148 studies stated that people with strong relationships are 50% less likely to face premature death.

Important Relationships:

  • Family and Friends

Aptly described as the most valuable asset, these are people from your family and close knit circle of friends. In simple words, they are people who know you for who you are and not the civilized mask you put on in front the world. It is the family members who have known you at your worst, the friends who have seen you fail and loved you regardless.

As special as these people are to us, we often tend to take them for granted. Subconsciously we know that no matter how little we invest in them, they will not leave. Give it a thought, if you are not investing in your most treasured asset, do you think you stand a chance at a holistic life?

In a study, over a 100 people were assigned a stressful task and researchers found that they experienced a speedy recovery on being reminded about people they have strong relationships with.

 Question to ask yourself daily:

How would I like my loved ones to treat me? Whatever your answer is, ask yourself if you are treating them the same way?

  • Colleagues and Employers

 Most of us spend 9 hours a day at work and 2 hours travelling to and back from work. So if we spend 6 hours sleeping and do the calculation thereafter, we are spending the maximum portion of our day at work. Imagine what an extraordinary life we could live if this major component of our day went well?

However, most people are caught complaining about politics and competition at work. Our colleagues and employers should be treated like an extended family because technically we spend more time with them than we do with our blood relatives. A level of transparency, effective communication and an understanding of each other’s needs is all it takes to master this relationship.

A survey conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that doubling your circle of friends and harnessing more relationships has the same effect on your well-being as a 50% raise in income.

Question to ask yourself daily:

Do my actions at work revolve around improving my worth or competing with others?

  • Work

We leave our mark with the things we do. Do it well and it is perceived as art else it’s a scar. The only way to create art is by taking pride in your work. Regardless of what your profession involves, you can make your work your masterpiece simply by adding passion to it.

Too many people use work as a means of sustenance and treat it like a daily chore. While it is true that we all work to make financial ends meet, if you love what you do, your life will transform itself.

A research conducted by Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, proves that passion and mastery of skill sets serves as a top motivation in both professional as well as our personal life.

Question to ask yourself daily:

If the world functioned without money, would I still do what I am doing?

If your answer is yes, then ask yourself if you are treating it like your first born child? If your answer is no, then ask yourself if finances are more important than happiness?

  • Self

If there is one thing in this world that does not lie, it is the mirror. Aptly said by Matthew Hussey, “Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship in your life.” Most people focus only on the external factors and forget to internalize. Your beliefs about yourself dictate your life. We are constantly beating ourselves up for past mistakes and not being as good as we think should be. Growth only comes with acceptance. By accepting who we are, we can change who we are. So if your relationship with yourself isn’t ideal, you cannot have a great relationship with others. People and situations are only a reflection of our inner state of mind.

According to Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology, basic beliefs about personality contribute in whether people recover from, or remain glued to the pain of rejection.

 Question to ask yourself daily:

Am I still holding on to past baggage and punishing myself? Am I looking after myself the way I would look after someone I truly loved?

To-Do List For Great Relationships

  • Figure out a way that makes your loved ones feel special and love them the way they want to be loved and not how you want to love them.

For example, your way of expressing love to your daughter could be giving her money to go shopping, but her way of feeling loved involves you taking her shopping and helping her make a pick.

  • Always give first. If you want respect, give it first. If you want to be helped with a task, offer help first. Giving freely without an agenda makes you a giver. People find it easier to reciprocate than to initiate a gesture.
  • Make serious tasks playful. As children our parents made us complete daily duties by including an element of fun in them. While we all do this as kids, we take life too seriously as adults. Always find a way to make work feel like a game. This way you will enjoy the journey and stop stressing about the final outcome.
  • In order to love yourself, you have to understand yourself. Spend time alone- go for a walk, take yourself out for lunch, travel. When you deeply understand yourself, what others think of you becomes less important. Find peace within yourself and you will start reflecting it.

Robin Sharma wisely said, “The quality of your life comes down to the quality of your relationships. With your customers, with your suppliers, with your loved ones, with yourself. Commit to insanely great relationships and you will have an insanely great life. And being a great human connector is easier than you think. Remember, success is all about a precise consistency around fundamentals.”