The relationships we build in our lives are what make our lives so rich and productive. In the United States we have always valued the rugged individualist. That person who goes it alone, they figure it out alone and triumph over all their problems alone. Today there are fewer and fewer of the rugged individualist as we learn that it is the collective community that we surround ourselves with that help us create a rich life we love.
Several years ago I made the decision that I would no longer collect things, ok I still collect books, but I wanted to focus on collecting people and experiences. Memories of people I meet and help, of experiences that stretch across the globe of opportunities that expand my world. Each year I become less and less attached to the things I have and I find that I want to have the flexibility of wander into my future untethered by things that pull me back and steal my energy. I want to keep those things, like my bike and my cars, that open the door to different kinds of experiences and opportunities to meet new people.
The photos in this blog are memories of the people I have been able to hang out with this year across the globe and here at home. Each of them represent a memory, an experience, an opportunity that came to me because of the networking and relationships I have developed over the years.
Each photo and each friend in the photo instills in me the beauty of being connected in the world. Understanding that relationships change but there is always the memory of the experience and the opportunity of having known that person in my lifetime.
While it is great to write a book about the “rugged individualist” it is far greater to have friends to create great memories with. For all those people who tell me that they do not like to network, change your perception of what networking is. Rather than have it be about running around pitching and being pitched, change it to “building relationships” that stretch across the city, the state, the globe.
The world becomes a very small place, when you know you can reach out and there are people who will help you, connect you, share opportunity with you, and allow you to stay in their home with this families.
You never know what surprises, experiences and opportunities will be discovered when you allow yourself to just collect relationships and experiences. I would challenge each of you who read this blog to take a look at your life and decide what is really important to you moving forward into 2013.