It is the quality of our relationships that most determines our legacy.~James M. Kouzes
A few years ago, I received a long personal email from a close friend. It was an especially hectic time for me, so I only got around to replying three weeks later.
I began my email: “I’m sorry for the delayed response. I didn’t have time—“ In a moment of painful clarity, I caught myself in the middle of a lie and stopped typing. Didn’t have time? That simply wasn’t true!
We always make time for the things that are important to us: eating, showering, Facebook, watching our favorite TV shows. If we don’t make time for something, it’s probably because that “something” isn’t actually as important to us as we profess.
I work as an engineer, and I recently returned to the office after a one-week break.
I checked my e-mail inbox: 100 unread e-mails. A sense of dread washed over me. “There goes the next four hours of my life responding to e-mails,” I thought.
Reading those 100 e-mails made me sad. Not one of them was written with the intention of expressing gratitude or encouragement! All of them were focused on customer complaints that needed to be addressed and problems that needed to be fixed.