Still Decluttering? How about decluttering your relationships!

Two Facebook posts that I read the other day caught my attention; one right after the other, and the theme was easy to spot.

“Show me your friends and I will show you your future.” Then, “Don’t waste time on people that don’t sharpen you. You need to evaluate who’s on your team? Who’s speaking into your life? Who are you giving your time and attention to? Are they building you up or tearing you down?”

In the same spirit, Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” suggests that one way to determine whether to keep or let go of an item, be it clothing, housewares or collectibles, is to consider, “Does This Spark Joy?”

Can we use this same approach in our relationships? Clearly my Facebook friends were talking about the people that we surround ourselves with, and how much our associations contribute to our lives and to our personal and professional successes.

I’ve thought about this subject long and hard. Jim Collins’ book, “Good to Great,” is one of my defining business reads. There are many terrific business concepts discussed in this book. One concept that I think about frequently is, “get the right people on the bus and get the wrong people off the bus quickly”. Meaning, hire talent when you discover it and swiftly release people who do not fit with your culture or are not working out for other reasons.

Where does the concept of, “sparking joy,” fit in to whom we hire, whom we work with, or who we let into our lives?

I think that requiring all your relationships, whether professional or personal, to spark joy is a good qualifier among a list of many. I also want my personal and professional relationships to challenge me, spar with me, need me, make demands of me, argue with me, contribute to and support me, and allow me to do the same for them. When relationships are balanced, productive and supportive they will demand a lot from us, and that, in the end, is joy.

What sparks joy for you in your professional or personal relationships? When you have identified this for yourself, you can declutter your relationships, and build a community of joy and stimulation to help take you into your future.

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