The 5-minute secret that strengthens every relationship (and makes you more "mindful", too)
One short story delivered every Tuesday to spark Self-discovery.
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Today’s intention is:
Whether through your actions or your words, a sincere thank you brings more good to a day than just about anything.
My buddy Dave and I take in a Clippers game.
We’re sitting center court a couple levels up from the floor. The Clippers are down 20 in the second quarter.
“Thank you for Alex’s gift. Sorry we couldn’t get her attention,” says Dave.
“No worries, it was bad timing. She was deep in that video game.”
“Man, the ipad keeps her entertained. But I worry we’re too disconnected. I’m just as bad as her with work and everything.”
“Think we all are buddy.”
“Sometimes it feels like we’re on autopilot. I’m around her all the time. But it’s not like we’re really there, ya know?”
“Yea. Trace and I work in the same house for hours and maybe say three words to each other. We might as well be in two different states.”
“Sounds familiar. How do we fix it?”
I put down my bag of popcorn. There are only a few pieces left and all the salt dried my mouth out.
“Well, every day around 3, Trace and I walk Bern together. Sometimes it’s for 10 minutes, other times it’s an hour. We don’t bring our phones. We just listen to each other. It’s the best part of my day.”
Dave chews on a Red Vine and smiles.
“You just gave me an idea. Thanks bro.”
I think Dave nails it with that term, “autopilot”.
Autopilot represents that unfocused time we spend so much of our day.
That time where work, content, messages, notifications, our own thoughts, steal our attention.
When enough gets stolen, we feel our most cherished relationships slipping away.
It’s like we’re not really there for each other.
But you can change it. And it doesn’t take much.
Schedule a coffee with your significant other.
Take a walk with your kid or teach her how to use a yo-yo.
Share something personal with a friend. Even if you’re at a Clippers game, one meaningful conversation makes a massive difference.
Whatever you do, leave your phone and bring your full energy. Ask questions and listen deeply to each other’s responses.
Practice focused time.
Five focused minutes are worth more than one hundred unfocused.
People feel that difference when you give it to them.
Then they want to give it right back.
After a few exchanges, your cherished relationships show resilience, depth, and meaning.
One thing though, offer focused time unconditionally.
Just because you’re ready to give, doesn’t mean the other person is ready to receive.
Attention elicits attention. The same goes for acceptance and grace.
Until next week,
Don’t wait. Start small. Learn as you go.