Relationships Like Checking Accounts

Piggy bank

Recently I heard someone explaining the key to having good relationships and friendships, and they compared it to a checking account.

Once you’ve established an account, you want to make sure the account stays in the positive and that it grows over time.

Your account grows by making consistent positive deposits, and always depositing more than you withdraw. I think in a relationship deposits would be time spent together, making time for lunch, laughing together, nice gestures or gifts just because.

Think about it, if you withdraw or take and take from an account, with rarely any deposits, eventually you will be overdrawn and you will suffer serious negative consequences.

We’ve all known a taker. Someone who never contributes to the relationship, but just needs, or wants something from you all the time. Or someone who’s always close to over drawn. It never ends well.  We don’t tend to stay in relationships like that very long. Sometimes constant withdrawals become more than we can recover and its time to end the friendship.

Thinking about the friends I’ve had over the years, I can see it. My most special friends consistently make positive deposits into the friendship account. They remember birthdays, listen when you need an ear, drop what they are doing when they see you need a shoulder to lean on. They deposit more than they withdraw.

I wonder how they see me as a friend. Am I in the positive or am I overdrawn.  I wonder how I can make more positive deposits with those who mean most to me.

Waiting For Inspiration?

At first look this quote by Chuck Close, a very talented and revered artist of our time, is a put off.

It definitely made quite a few of my optimistic, full of life, and motivating Facebook friends march full force on my page, RIDE OR DIE,  to prove the case for inspiration and how EVERYBODY needs it.

I get that. At first look, I want to resist this quote too, but that’s not what this is about. It’s not saying inspiration is bad. It’s not saying people don’t benefit from inspiration. It’s more about showing up and doing the work.

Have you ever met a painter that can only paint when inspired? A writer who can only write in the perfect setting-a perfect desk, in a specific room under a certain light with specific music. To hit a bit closer to home, what about a blogger than can only post new content under specific conditions?

Most of us can think of someone. Right now, as far as blogging, think of me. I’m a bit inconsistent since I started a month ago, but I’m working on getting better.

Since starting this blog, I’ve watched a lot of ‘How to’ videos paying  most attention to the people with huge followings like Michael Hyatt. In his video about growing a following, his advice made me think of Chuck Close’s quote. Actually, in most of the videos one tip is recurring–Consistency and process. Showing up and creating–No matter what.

Michael talks about how even after years of blogging he sometimes feels that he has run out of ideas or things to write about, but when he just starts writing. . . about anything, he eventually finds his topic. That is not inspiration, it’s process. Michael is finding his inspiration through the process of showing up and doing the work.

That is essentially what Chuck Close means when he says “Inspiration is for amateurs–The rest of us just show up and get to work.”

He goes on to talk about artists he’s known who spend years planning and building the perfect studio to create in, but then what often happens is they start planning and building another newer, bigger studio. So much time is spent planning the perfect setting to create in, but not much is getting created.  Check out this article  for more information about Chuck Close and his take on creating.

This quote and interview has rooted in my mind since hearing it on NPR last month because I see how it applies to all aspects of life, whatever we have chosen to do or to create. What if a surgeon only did surgeries, or did his best work when he felt inspired? Think about it, if you are the one under that knife, that surgeon is expected to show up and do their best work no matter what’s going on in life.

This quote has begun to echo in my mind daily. When I’m at work and I feel myself dragging because I feel tired, sick, frustrated or uninspired I’ve started to tell myself “Inspiration is for amateurs–Just get it done.”

When I’m home and I’m avoiding sitting down to write because I can’t figure out how I want to approach a topic. “Inspiration is for amateurs–Just start writing.”

When I’m not in the mood, let’s face it–I’m not perfect and sometimes I’m just tired or want to do my own thing, but my stepsons need my help with a project or just want to talk. “Inspiration is for amateurs–Just be there.”

I hope that by reminding myself regularly, I become more consistent in all that I chose to do.

What do you think?