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Dr. Ashley & Dr. Michael

How to Improve Your Life – 5 People Will Determine the Quality of Your Life!

how to improve your life

Today we talk about how to improve your life by building relationships that last with the right people.

Who do you spend the most time with?

Do you really know them?

Do they add to the quality of your life?

The 5 people you devote the majority of your relationship time and energy to will by and large determine the quality of your life!  That’s why building relationships that last with the right people is so important.

Why are these people so important?

We make sense of our Lives through our Relationships.

Your family and friends can be an incredibly rewarding part of your life.  Your life can be amazing if you surround yourself with people that lift you up, motivate you, possess the qualities you desire, and generally add value to your life.

On the flip side your family, friends, and coworkers can be draining, manipulative, time consuming, negative, unsupportive and can become a huge obstacle to achieving your potential.

In fact, we would say that unhappiness is primarily the result of a lack of close, supportive, fulfilling relationships. When the people you invest in are unappreciative, disrespectful and use guilt to lock you into obligations or doing things you don’t want to do, life can be hell.

How often do you feel like you’re doing something out of obligation?

Do the people closest to you want you to join them in their misery?

Quantity vs. Quality Relationships

Today, many of us are involved in a high quantity of low quality relationships.  Facebook, twitter, email, instant messenger,  etc… allows us to keep in contact with a lot of people.

Now with school, work, family commitments, and packed schedules we feel like we have to stay connected and get updated all the time.

Has having more lower quality relationships ever led to greater happiness?  It seems that we are not building close relationships and what we are doing is not working for us. So, what’s the solution?

The solution to how to improve your life is to create and focus on 5 deep and meaningful relationships.

Nobody will help to elevate the quality of your life if you devote your energy to everyone.  It is crucial to make 5 people central to your life. Look at your life and choose 5 people that you want to invest a majority of your time to.  It can be family members, a spouse, children, friends, coworkers etc.  These 5 people will be the most important relationships in your life.

You may even need to find new people to find someone suitable. This is a very selective process that is done over time, like building a flourishing garden.

Should these people agree with your basic values?

How would you like them to add value to your life?

What would you like in a friend or family member?

With whom do you feel inspired by?

Who supports your career?

Who helps you solve problems?

Who do you feel most happy with?

Who do you want to be close to in 10 years from now?

Start looking at these people and ask yourself… what do they have in common?  What are their values? How do they treat you?  What’s their general mood?  What are their aspirations?  Start noticing the commonalities so you become aware of what matters to you and what you like in relationships.

How to Improve Your Life – Relationship Time and Energy

Once you have found these people, and are aware of what you want in close relationships, it is important to devote a majority of your relationship time and energy to these 5  people.

Devote close to 80% of your relationship time and energy to these people.  The goal is to create deep, healthy, supportive, fulfilling relationships.

The key to doing this is to pay these people first with your time and energy.  Just like it’s best to pay yourself first out of your paycheck, you want to pay these 5 people before anyone else with your presence.  If you don’t pay them first you will inevitably be drained and used up by everyone else.

Eventually most of these relationships should pass the refrigerator test.  That means you should be able to walk into their house, open their refrigerator and eat or drink something without feeling uncomfortable. You should get to know these people intimately.  Their likes..dislikes…what makes them happy..what they want in a relationship…how they want to be treated, etc.

But What about Everyone Else?

So what do you do with all your other family members, friends, and coworkers?

The people in your life that are outside of these 5 people can still be friends, family members and coworkers.  You’ll still talk to them, care about their well-being, attend their weddings when your able to, connect with them when you can, and hope the best for them.

The only difference is that they’ll only receive a minority of your relationship time and energy (about 20%).  Their emergencies, complaints, obligations, weddings, and parties will be put on the back burner and come second to those of your closest 5 relationships.

Overtime, and as life happens, these 5 people may change.  That’s okay!  The most important thing to remember is to devote the majority of your relationship time and energy to this small limited group.

Say Yes to Love,

Dr. Michael Arn & Dr. Ashley Arn