Saturday, June 09, 2012

Relationships Are What Matter

Right before we left on this grand adventure, I had the privilege of eating lunch with my friend Derek. I love hanging out with Derek because he's not only known my wife longer than I have, but he enjoys talking about things that really matter. We talked about philosophy, belief, purpose, destiny, and everything in between. One of the key topics was relationships.

Relationships are what matter.

Unfortunately, I often forget that in my day-to-day activities. I've got my plans, I'm doing my thing, and I'm making things happen. I keep up with my kids, my wife, my team members, and some friends, but ultimately, life is often preoccupied with what I think I'm supposed to be doing.

If you've followed this blog or my rants on Twitter/Facebook, you know I'm all about living life on purpose. I do believe we are created with purpose and, as my friend Derek put so well during our lunch, your purpose may not be what you originally thought or what someone else might convince you to believe. It might be as simple as building relationships.

You may lose your job, start two more companies, or move to another state, but what sticks with you are the relationships you build along the way. The people you know and the people you let into your world are some of the most valuable things in existence. They can't be bought, sold, faked, or imagined. True friendships are something so rare, so important, when you have them you should be shouting Sunkmanitu Tanka Owaci! from the ridge top.

We're only four days into 10 weeks abroad and already I'm thinking differently about the relationships and friendships I have and how very important they are to me. I'm also building new relationships out here, most notably with Chris, my brother's business partner and the half-owner of the house we're staying in.

This trip wouldn't be possible without relationships, all coming together to make something amazing happen. I'm so very blessed by the people I know. If you're reading this, please understand how much I love and cherish you.

The past few nights, as we've started to settle into a new normal here in Costa Rica, we haven't even thought about turning on the TV. Instead, we're investing in each other. Reading more stories to the kids or Corinne and I hanging out together and talking about life (like we did in the pool last night).

Relationships are what matter.

I'm already missing many of them. I see how I may have taken some for granted or how I didn't communicate often enough the value they have in my life.

Don't take your relationships for granted. This is your reminder, your wake up call. Stop the rat race for just a moment and think about the people in your life and how much they've blessed you. Let them know you appreciate them and look for opportunities to show it.

You never know, a relationship may lead to working in an office like the one I worked in yesterday. (My wife took this awesome picture.)

If this post encourages you, and you want to do something a little different about it, give a shout out in the comments to a relationship that matters to you and then send them this post. Maybe that's corny, but I don't care. I'm giving up the comments here if you want to do it. Tell someone today how glad you are to have them in your life. Tell them your story doesn't work without them.


Susie Dunham said...

you are such a sweet and considerate young man. i love you and your family very much. we need to connect more when you guys get back so our relationship grows. taken out of your regular environment will give you fresh insights on your life. you're very fortunate to have that for 10 weeks. you will be worn out from thinking. 8) love, kisses and hugs to all stokes.

Luke Stokes said...

Thanks so much, Susie! You and Terry have been such a blessing to us in so many different ways. I hope you guys can come over to the house more often when we return and hang out with the kids and talk about life together. Thank you for being in our story!