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If You Find These Moments Familiar, Your Relationship Is Going To Last

If You Find These Moments Familiar, Your Relationship Is Going To Last

How many people do you know that enjoyed a wonderful relationship for a period of time and then things fell apart? Maybe that’s you. In fact, you may be wondering if the relationship you are in right now will go the distance. I’m here to tell you how long a relationship lasts is not a mystery. Relationships are built in moments, not years.

I married my amazing wife nearly 25 years ago. Our relationship is crazy happy and we love spending time together. Our happiness comes from what we do throughout the day — every day. Perhaps our experience can help you live in daily love just like us.

Here are moments to look for (or create) to make sure your relationship lasts.

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Moments of Joyful Service

Earlier this evening, my wife was working on dinner. When I said, “Thank you for cooking dinner,” she turned and replied with a smile, “Thank YOU for cooking dinner.” You see, we were making dinner together. I wanted to show my appreciation for her effort. Neither of us especially enjoys cooking. However, we are happy to cook for the other. We do this mundane task with joy. Why? Because the task must be done anyway. Doing it as a joyful service keeps out the poison of resentment. Completing a task in this manner gives it special meaning. Look at it like, I’m not just making dinner, I’m making dinner for the one I love. Look for moments to serve with joy.

Moments Filled with Words of Endearment

I almost never call my wife by her given name. I use terms such as “my love”, “pretty girl”, and “love of my life”. Such terms remind her of how much I care for her, but more importantly they are a reminder for me. It’s hard to be upset with someone you call “my love” multiple times a day. Every time I call her by those terms of endearment it burrows into my subconscious, constantly reinforcing the bond between us.

A note to the opposition, referring to your spouse as “the old ball and chain” or “my old lady” has a reinforcing negative effect in your subconscious and is an insult to her. Always refer to your loved one in a positive manner. Use your speech to create moments filled with words of endearment.

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Moments of Compliments

What do your friends think of your loved one? Their opinions of your special person come from two places: interactions your friends have with him or her, and what you say about your loved one. When I am speaking speaking with someone and the topic of marriage comes up I am unfailingly complimentary to my wife. Don’t put me on a pedestal here. I just know how blessed I am to be married to her – and I want it to stay that way. Telling her in person is great, but if she hears it from a third party then it is even more powerful.

How many times have you heard someone complain about their spouse? I’ll bet you quickly decided either the speaker was a jerk or they had married a terrible person. Now, what do you think when someone praises their spouse… when the spouse is not even around? Or better yet, in a situation where their spouse is likely to never to know about it? I speak in front of a lot of groups, often about relationships. My wife isn’t in the audience, but I talk her up anyway. Like the previous point, complimenting her whether she is around or not reminds me just how special and precious she is to me. Be careful to frequently create moments of compliments.

Moments of Love

I realize this one seems obvious, but stay with me here. One thing we learned very early in our marriage is that not everyone feels love in the same way. In his wonderful book The Five Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman reveals the curious truth that most of us are showing love incorrectly to our spouses and loved ones. He likens it to one person speaking English while the other only understands Chinese.

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One of the greatest challenges to making a relationship last is discovering and learning to love each other in a way that is understood. My wife’s love languages are quality time and physical touch. Do you know what I do? I spend time every day sitting down and talking with her. When we walk together I reach out and take her hand. I consciously love her in the ways that make her feel loved.

I can’t recommend Dr. Chapman’s book enough. We’ve repeatedly taught classes based on his principles. Take the time to find out what makes your loved one feel love, then spend every day using what you have learned. Create moments of love for each other.

Conclusion

There are no secrets to making a relationship last. It is simple, but not necessarily easy. The simplicity is in making moments every day that show service, endearment, compliments, and powerful love to another person. The challenge is to be consistent, but you can do it!

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Let love be your motivator.

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Troy Stoneking

Troy is a coach and speaker who helps people develop amazing relationships and love their work.

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

  • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
  • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
  • Answer a few Superpower Questions

Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

  • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
  • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
  • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

Final Thoughts

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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