If you spend any amount of time online, which of course you must if you’re reading this, you’ll notice there is no lack of relationship advice. It is everywhere you look whether you are searching to find it or not. Of course, there are the so-called experts who write on the subject of relationships constantly. They hope to enlighten you with just the right mix of expertise and counseling that will become the magic elixir to solve your relationship woes. In an unhappy relationship? Then try XYZ and things will fall into place. Can’t find someone? Then plug in ABC and “Boom” instant success in finding just that right partner. We can also find relationship advice when not looking for it. A casual perusal of friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc will treat you to all kinds of opinions around dating, relationship and love. Interestingly enough, most of these opinions/thoughts/etc, which we will now refer to as “noise” is completely off base and quite simply is, fucked up. Most relationship noise tells us to proceed with caution and to protect your heart and your feelings. They position finding a relationship, which is really about finding love, from a perspective of fear. Don’t share too much because it can be used against you. Don’t trust (women/men) because they are ALL like one thing or another. You have been hurt before so don’t go down that road again. The scars haven’t healed so be careful. Caution and minimizing risk is the name of the standard relationship noise game. In reality, we should be embracing just the opposite behavior. We celebrate those who engage in risk in the business world but yet don’t take that same advice into our personal lives.
In Steve Job’s famous commencement address from Stanford University he says:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Now this is great advice but yet very rarely is it applied to personal love rather than the love of one’s profession, passion, etc. But isn’t it just as applicable? Why are we letting the noise (literal noise) of other’s opinions caution us when it comes to pursuing one of greatest things there is: love. Our time is indeed limited and so much of it is spent in unfulfilled relationships or without the love and companionship we all seek on some level. Shifting this fear based behavior and view of love into one that is linked to courage and taking risk is one of the most important things we can do.
And yes, with risk comes the chance at a reward but there is also the chance for failure. Failure is a natural extension of doing things. There is no protection from it except to never do anything at all. If you put yourself out there to meet new people and to have new experiences inevitably some of those will not work out, and there will be pain from that. That pain is natural, embrace it, work through it but do not let the fear of it stop you from seeking what it is you want.
“So, let go, let go Jump in…Oh well, what you waiting for? It’s all right, ’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown…So, let go, let go. Just get in..Oh, it’s so amazing here. It’s all right’ cause there’s beauty in the breakdown…” Let Go by Frou Frou
Those lyrics say it all. You have to jump in and take some chances. There is beauty in the breakdown. It might not appear that way when going through it but when you emerge on the other side that’s where the opportunity for love will reside.
“Close your brown eyes, And lay down next to me..Close your eyes, lay down.. ‘Cause there goes the fear, let it go.. You turn around and life’s passed you by, you look to ones you love to ask them why, you look to those you love to justify, you turned around and life’s passed you by, passed you by again…” There Goes the Fear by Doves
Fear, caution, regret and loss are not the principles that one can build on for greatness in business and they are not the principles one can build on for love. The way we seek to avoid that noise in our work we should work with double the effort to avoid it in our love. Nothing worth having was gained by playing it safe. So to all those “experts” that play on your fear and caution you in love I say let go of their noise, embrace risk and reap your due rewards.