Student of Intention
Student of Intention
The world wants to hear from you

The world wants to hear from you

Investing in new relationships, building for the long term and giving gifts to strangers.

Today’s intention is:

To connect. Call that old friend, text that new acquaintance and send flowers to someone special.

This post is the first in a series of five. For the series, I highlight each of The 5 Buckets recognizing the upcoming release of my book by the same name. Special thanks to Jennifer, Rohit, Ashley and Ela for helping bring this book to life. Without you, I cannot share it with the world.

The Relationship Bucket

I walk into MoonGoat Coffee Roasters. The interior is modern and industrial with concrete floors, exposed brick walls and piped ceilings. There are a few healthy fig trees scattered throughout the space. I spot a mural featuring goats hanging out on coffee plants. Chill, Lo-Fi beats stream from above. It all screams hipster so I know they make a good cup of Joe.

I haven’t had a proper coffee house coffee in over a month. I look at the menu with excitement. There are cold brews, drips, lattes, mochas and staff’s choice. There’s also a special called Chagaccino. It’s a coffee mixed with cacao and healthy mushroom powders. I order one, hot with oat milk.

A jar of granola also catches my eye.

“It’s really tasty. We make it in-house.” says the barista.

I bite. He adds it to my order and asks me to swipe my card.

I’m meeting a recent acquaintance, Rami. I met Rami a couple months ago through a mutual friend. We’ve been meaning to sync up since. He messaged me on Instagram and I suggested we grab a coffee near his home in Costa Mesa.

Rami walks through the main entrance and I wave at him from my table. He comes over and asks about my order. I mention the mushroom coffee is solid.

After grabbing his Chagacinno, he sits and we get to chatting about our health. He hasn’t been drinking or smoking. He makes a power smoothie most days and eats a lot of ginger. He also shares a mentor is helping with his mindset.

I say I’m writing, reading and eating a bunch of fruit. I tell him about my bike rides and share the Experience Machine story. He uses his phone to subscribe to this newsletter. Hey, Rami.

We didn’t set an expectation for the meetup. Rami wants nothing from me and I want nothing from him. We came with open hearts and open minds. We simply,

See value in one another.

Later in the day, I field a call from my friend, Dante. Dante and I worked together last year. He’s considering a job change and wonders what I think.

Just a few hours prior, Rami mentioned he is looking for sales help. He needs someone he can trust that can hustle.

Dante can hustle. And I trust him completely.

I tell Dante about Rami and introduce the two over email a few minutes later.

Will they work together?

I’m not sure.

But there’s potential magic in their connection.

Over the last several months, I’ve fostered all kinds of similar connections.

They’re like little relationship deposits.

I make them without expectation. They are gifts.

Over time, they come back to me.

I met my editor and my publisher through such a deposit.

Now, they help bring The 5 Buckets to life.

I met Chris through such a deposit.

Now, he produces The Student of Intention Podcast and The Music Show.

I reconnected with an old friend, Monica, through such a deposit.

Now, she helps me build the Student of Intention Community.

I add value to each relationship and value comes back my way.

There is a consistent flow of give and take.

But these relationships don’t just happen.

They require intention.

I send texts, make calls or schedule time to grab Chagaccinos.

How about you?

What investments can you make today?

Who can you text, call or meet?

Go on. Do it.

The world wants to hear from you.

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Relationships are like plants

Rami represents a new relationship. It’s just as crucial that I remember to invest in other relationships.

No one teaches me more about building relationships over the long term than my wife, Tracy. I remember our early days together. She’d make me earn every minute of her time and every ounce of her affection. I suppose she still does. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We build our life together day by day and brick by brick.

When I started writing this post, I thought of a Valentine’s Day message I wrote on LinkedIn two years ago:

Even then, I recognized the need to be intentional in my relationships. Tracy and I invested in our relationship to a point where we felt confident enough to get married.

It took time, nourishment, stretching, pushing and pulling.

It still does.

And it never hurts to buy flowers.

I love you Trace.

Thank you for being my friend.

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Unconditional Gifts

In the book, I share some perspective on giving gifts to unsuspecting contacts. I give away old books, write thank-you notes and of course, send flowers. There is power in the smallest of gestures.

My friend Kenny joined The Music Show last week. In this clip, he shares how he received an unconditional gift from an unsuspecting contact at Burning Man:

He calls it “one of the most important things that I’ve ever received as a gift”.

And it came from a complete stranger.

How amazing is that?

You don’t have to go to Burning Man to give gifts to people.

All it takes is a little intention.

Until next time,

Don’t wait. Start small. Learn as you go.


Student of Intention
Student of Intention
One short story delivered every Tuesday to spark, strengthen, and support Self-discovery.