Let me just get this out of the way at the start; Love is not a sappy feeling. Love is at the core of success. Hear me out, please.
This is the final installment of a 10-part series discussing what I believe to be the attributes increasingly displayed by successful people. Leaders and followers alike – people that are healthy physically, intellectually, emotionally, & spiritually and that intentionally live out their purpose.
Love is, according to Merriam-Webster on-line (emphasis added): strong affection for another arising out of personal ties; affection based on benevolence, or common interests; warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion; unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another; to thrive in.
Healthy people have healthy relationships. The way we relate to others – our actions, our words, and most importantly our reactions – puts on display what we hold in our hearts. Personally, I can make (fake) myself do and say the right thing. But, if you observe me closely, you will be able to tell whether I am in a healthy place by watching my reactions. You are probably not much different than me. Anger rises to the surface when we are provoked. Envy lashes out at those who have what we want. Disrespect comes across facial expressions or body language even when we do and say the “correct” thing. None of us are perfect, but if we desire to be successful, we must increasingly put aside harmful attributes and practice attributes that build up our character.
Genuine love is the foundation of healthy relationships. Taking the definitions above, love involves investing in personal connection with people, it looks for common ground (and looks to expand that territory), and it is unselfishly loyal, seeking the good of others. Simply put, people who love, thrive.
I believe love is the foundation on which the other 9 attributes I’ve written about stand. Consider this:
Love invests in Knowledge. It seeks to understand processes, systems, and people to work toward common goals. It turns understanding into wisdom. Love displays Patience. It is long-suffering, willing to endure hardship, willing to invest in difficult people or people in difficult circumstances. It remains loyal through thick and thin. Love shows Faithfulness. It does not compromise one area of importance to benefit another, rather it is always faithful in all things. Love makes Peace. It recognizes anxiety & strife and does not add fuel to the fire. It offers rational perspective and gives up its own rights for the sake of peace. Love displays Self-Control. It might even fake it ‘til it makes it. It does the right thing, it says the right thing, and most importantly, it renews its mind so that it ultimately reacts appropriately. Love has Virtue. It has integrity not just in its own words and actions, but also in how it relates to those who think & act differently. Love shows Kindness. It genuinely cares about everyone in its sphere of influence and does not hide this caring. Love spreads Joy. It looks beyond bad circumstances or a personal slight. It refuses to dissipate in the face of adversity. It literally breathes health into its host. Love exhibits Gentleness. It never abuses power. It uses any advantage to benefit others.
This is success, no matter how you define it. At work, at home, with family, in the neighborhood – increasingly (intentionally) build these attributes into your life.
Leave a Reply