It’s About Infinite Possibilities Not Minimum Requirements

“Some people make things happen, some watch things happen, while others wonder what happened”

This is part 4 of my 5-part series on relationships. I’m jumping to this point because the thoughts on this topic are flowing right now. Writing takes a lot of discipline, but there are days when the inspiration for a certain piece is there and you better seize her. Besides, I’ve been getting messages asking me to continue.

If you want to read the others, you can read them at the following links:
1. It’s About What’s Most Important
2. It’s Not About What You Think You Deserve. It’s About Who You Choose
3. It’s About What You Got Across Not What You Think You Said or Did
4. It’s About Infinite Possibilities Not Minimum Requirements
5. It’s About Whatever It Takes

Before we move forward, I’d like to make it very clear that I AM NO EXPERT on relationships. I’m no expert on anything. I’m not an expert Christian (not even close). I’m not an expert businessman (just ask the banks). And I’m definitely not an expert on people or relationships (just ask anyone).

But I’m learning, and I’m sharing with you the lessons along the way.

Irrelevant Minimums

I noticed something interesting about our top staff members:

The excellent ones always exceed expectations. The ordinary ones usually disappoint.

I noticed this too among the people I know. The excellent, disciplined, hardworking, persevering, consistent, and faithful people, even with their mistakes, seem to continue to grow and impress. While the ordinary people, by ordinary I mean the average well-intentioned human being, seem to be stuck in a rut.

What does this have to do with relationships?

A lot actually. Because the principle here is this:

Excellent people are not after the minimum achievement or meeting a minimum requirement. They’re after something much bigger the minimum becomes irrelevant. Relationships with minimum people are bound to disappoint. Relationships with complete devotion will surpass your wildest dreams.

Ordinary people are simply trying to pass. Excellent people are giving it all they’ve got.

It’s the difference between the guy who guns for a passing grade and the guy who goes for an A+. They’ll both pass the test, but only one of them is getting the reward. I’m not saying that this is about grades. It’s not. It’s about changing your perspective to aim and reach for the infinite possibilities available to us instead of just going for the minimum requirements.

Let’s connect this even closer to relationships. Think about your best friends, your favorite relatives, your spouse or partner, or any favorite human being. None of these great relationships are based on having some sort of minimum time spent, or words spoken, or pats on the back, or dinner dates. Our best relationships are too big for that.

How many times they date you isn’t an issue, they always have something prepared.

You’re not mad they forgot your birthday, they already keep you front and center every day.

You don’t have to count how times they were at fault, you know they’ll fix things when they say they will.

What’s the point? You’re not worried about the minimum requirements of a relationship when the person you’re with is already exceeding them. Now before you start checking if your partner or friend is a minimum person or not, check yourself. Are you someone who is going for excellence in your relationships and exceeding expectations?

Here are some examples:

You’re not worried that your folks will get mad at you for being lazy, you’re already studying very very hard.

You’re not arguing based on a mental list of things you did for a person, you’re too busy thinking of what wonderful thing to do for them next.

You’re quick to apologize when you’re wrong, because being united in truth is better than always sounding correct.

Excellent people don’t have to worry about faithfulness issues, they’re already completely devoted. That’s the meaning of faithfulness by the way: complete devotion, and not just not-cheating.

And why do we have to be excellent at all? Because why live life and run our relationships gunning for the minimum required of us? Why let our work life be just about paying the bills? Why let our marriages be just about providing for the kids and accepting that we’re going to get ugly no matter what? Why can’t it be about chasing something and someone you’re passionate about?

Some of you might say, “Because that’s reality, David.” No, that’s your reality, a reality you put on yourself when you settled. Whether you settled because you were disappointed before, or hurt, or unsure, or confused, you’ll end up just living a life justifying why you never achieved more.

Instead of the minimum requirements, let’s persevere towards the infinite possibilities. Infinite meaning the eternal and limitless options available to us when we live by faith.

Again this is not an article to take to your partner, this is a reminder for me not to be the type who settles for minimums but to reach beyond.

It’s About What You Got Across Not What You Think You Said or Did

Disclaimer: I’m not an expert. Do I live this way? Most probably not, which explains my current status. These are OPINIONS. Don’t bet your life on them.

If you want to read the others, you can read them at the following links:
1. It’s About What’s Most Important
2. It’s Not About What You Think You Deserve. It’s About Who You Choose
3. It’s About What You Got Across Not What You Think You Said or Did
4. It’s About Infinite Possibilities Not Minimum Requirements
5. It’s About Whatever It Takes

I don’t know how many times I goofed or messed up while having good intentions. I remember once, I saw two of my friends (they were cousins), and I had heard that their grandmother had died, so I went up to them and gave my condolences only to be told, “David! She’s not dead! She’s just sick!” That was incredibly embarrassing, but not as bad as when, exactly one week after, I saw the same two cousins, and asked them if their grandma was getting better. Shaking their heads they responded, “David. She’s dead.”

***Awkward silence***

What does this have to do with relationships? It’s simple. Our good intentions aren’t enough. What’s important is that we get the right message across.

I was genuinely asking about the health of my friends’ grandmother, but the message I sent was, “I really have no idea what’s happening in your life, so I’m making a fool of myself”.

In business, no matter how many times a salesman says his lines, or hands out flyers, or makes calls if nobody’s buying then he’s not succeeding in getting his message across. It’s not the customer’s fault if he doesn’t want to buy. He can say “Buy this. Buy this. But this. Buy this.” a million times. If the customer isn’t convinced, he won’t get the sale. The burden of communicating a message is always with the messenger, not the receiver.

So you mean that if I told my girlfriend she’s beautiful a million times a day there’s still a chance she’ll get jealous when my head turns towards the hot girl walking past?

Yes. Why? Maybe it’s because all your head-turning is causing her to feel insecure. It’s not how many times you call her beautiful that will make her feel secure.

What will make her secure then? I have no idea. But you have to figure it out and reinforce it, because it’s not about how many times you say something, it’s about getting the message across.

In the same way if a simple note in his luggage will send the message, then write those notes. You don’t have to worry about doing anything crazy, just get the message across.

You’ll notice that I’m not giving exact steps to get the message across, and the reason is because it’s different for everyone. Some people are moved by just the slightest things, some need something more deliberate, but whatever it is the principle here is: Get the Message Across.

And what’s the message?

That you value your partner most. That you chose them and continue to choose to put them first daily. That you’re excited about the unlimited possibilities you have together. And that you’ll do what it takes.

In other words, the message is, “I love you”.

How you get that message across is where the fun and challenge lies. But it’s worth it because remember this is the person you value most.

Notes for the Ladies (and for guys as well):
1.A smooth guy isn’t enough – in fact, be careful. They’ll know what to say and do, they’ll be funny, seem smart and opinionated, and seem generally well-liked. But until you know what he’s made off, and see that he’s worth it, don’t fall in love. Instead look for kindness, generosity (not to be mixed up with galante), humility, patience, and passion. Look for love, not romance. If you’re not getting the message (that he values you most. That he chose you and continues to choose to put you first daily. That he’s excited about the unlimited possibilities you have together. And that he’ll do what it takes.), seriously take this into consideration: you don’t want to be with anyone who doesn’t communicate these things to you – no matter how rich or good looking he is.

2.Don’t fall in love on your own – you’ll probably hate me for adding this, but my stock among females isn’t high anyway so there’s nothing to lose. Don’t fall in love on your own. “We don’t do that!!!” Let me explain, you see a cute guy, you ask your friend what his name is, you check him out on facebook and find out he likes kids and can cook, then you hear another friend say what a great guy he is, and it turns out he lives in your village, your heart is beating a little faster with each revelation, then you realize you share the same birthday, and that he also likes the color red and the same bands, and movies, it gets better and better, culminating in the only possible conclusion: you two were meant for each other. Um… NO. It could also mean that he’s just really a great guy. It could also mean you don’t know enough about him. It could also mean you have a lot of similarities. It could mean a hundred other things but all on your own you fell in love. Instead, don’t be pathetic. Busy yourself with your life’s purpose, walk the very special path prepared for you, and grow, and learn, and improve, before you know it may meet someone interesting, and when you do you’ll be happy you lived right, because you won’t need to pretend, you’re already impressive. If things work out, it’s even better; you’ll be offering him a wonderful version of yourself. Not something in desperate need of improvement.

3.Be aware of what you’re communicating – By this point, your head is probably thinking about whether your guy is communicating the proper things. But before guys become the bad guys, look at yourself and think about what you’re communicating. What does your facebook or twitter status messages say about you? What do your pictures or poses convey? I personally cringe at the number of people who retweet every known love quote on the planet. Some guys might actually like that. I’m not saying pretend, but be wise about what you put out. In this social age you can either build a great reputation or sell yourself cheap. Are you too easy to get? Are you too stuck-up and stiff? Are you kind? What are you? Who are you? These are just a few questions to help you as you figure out what you’re communicating.