Live in Relationship (Connection)

Be Connected and Stay Connected

What do you think of when the word “relationship” is said? Do you think of couples and significant others? Do you think of professional or personal relations? Or do you think of friendship connections; lasting connections?

In a fast-paced world where instant gratification and cutting ties with individuals is emphasized, independence can be taken to extremes. The definition of relationship or friendship can be seen as fragile. Though it is good to be independent, too much of a good thing can become unhealthy. Too much independence can cause this thinking that you have to handle it on your own and asking for help is a sign of weakness. This thinking is a fictitious.   

The lone wolf cannot survive an ambush.

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Washoe Valley Bonfire- Jared L.

Relationship means connection or friendship. And connection means a person who aids another in achieving goals. Relationships are meant for building. Building trust. Building openness. Building a place where individuals feel emotionally taken care of. A place of “You have burdens? How can I help you carry your load? How can I help you unload?” Relationships are to build bridges.

In healthy connecting relationships you are able to be an individual with your own foundation of values. You are able to disagree and still be genuine with each other. You do not have to always have to be surrounded by them to feel connected. You are able to step away from your friends and be your own person.

Leaders do not form cliques. They manifest connections with freedom.

Living in relationship means living in the connections of the individuals that you surround yourself around, near and far. There is an African proverb that speaks of “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. As leaders we have to understand that if we choose to go alone, we are going to overlook aspects of substance and details. But if we choose to go far, it is because of a connection that holds us. Leaders may bend, but they will not break if there are other leaders on their side, speaking into their lives with encouragement or mentorship.

Do you live in a relationship perspective? Do you stay connected?


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Serve: Why Do It?

Be a “People-Person” Even if You’re an Introvert

“I hate people”- Yeah that’s the most common thing to hear. But the truth is people are full of dreams and struggles. If you look into their eyes you can see a breathing soul ready or waiting for something. It is people who become generational influencers and end up impacting culture in great ways.

Some individuals do not like doing things for others unless they are getting paid or get something back in return. Some hiring managers don’t even consider volunteer work as “real work” and fail to see the character behind it. This poisonous mindset sets an entitlement perspective and can create unhealthy tyrants of dictatorship instead of relatable and approachable leaders.

Healthy leaders know and understand that serving is leading. That every experience is a teaching moment and cultivates an awareness. An awareness to either learn, adjust, or fix an aspect personally, socially, or professionally. Healthy leaders visualize serving others as a chance for selfless growth to take place.

There should be a healthy understanding that there is a fine line between serving others and people-pleasing.  This line starts with a giving mindset that connects with serving others. To serve can be done through- Time, Treasure, or Talent. When you are focused on the giving and not pleasing, the serving focus shifts from “have to” to “want to”. Serving others has different forms and can be done through actions or words of encouragement.


Community Garden Build- Influencing, Teamwork, & Teaching Moment

Why should you selflessly serve others?

  1. You Never Know How Much They Needed It– You don’t know their story. You don’t know what they have been battling within. They may not know you, but they will remember the selflessness.
  2. Influence is Contagious– Just as passion stirs passion, action stirs action and momentum creates momentum. You never know what 5 year old is carefully observing you.
  3. Character is Cultivated– Not only in you but in others. Sometimes you may ask yourself – “What do I have to work on? How do I respond to those who need a character adjustment”? But sometimes the time it takes to serve others and show selflessness has the power to overcome an angry and misunderstood heart and break walls down with kindness, bringing them a new perspective to live out of.
  4.  Skills are Cultivated– If a serving role calls for a teaching role, any teacher will tell you that teaching is an all-around learning role for both sides.
  5. You Never Know Who You Will Meet– Serving others attract several individuals of a variety of backgrounds willing to give their story.

So why serve others in whatever you do?

Not only to be a well-rounded leader but to genuinely ensure that others do not have to carry loads alone.

Follow my blog for the upcoming Build series.


Serve: Know Your Neighbor

Throw Out the “Stranger Danger” Mindset

Have you ever sat down with someone and got to know them? Know individuals from different nations? Did you learn their cultural roots and their heritage? Did you take notice of their cultural behaviors? Did they tell you their adventure, hopes, and dreams?


Sunday Night International Dinner-Photo Cred: Josh T.

Every Sunday afternoon, the local International Student Fellowship holds a free dinner for international students. A couple opens up their home and joyfully serves and welcomes strangers that later leave as family. Looking around, a foreign student gets the chance to experience direct hospitality in a foreign place, while sharing pieces of their home.

Do you joyfully serve and welcome others as family? Do you have a direct hospitality mindset? 

Similar to this, a pastor and his church does an annual homeless feeding outreach in the Los Angeles area. This also occurs monthly in the inner city of the Sacramento area and daily in the Bay Area region. Outreaches like these welcomes homeless individuals to come as they are and enjoy a buffet. Here homeless individuals are fed, listened to, and given supplies for their needs. Some individuals leave with tears of joy thankful that “someone took the time and trustfully listened to their story”.

Is your trust selective? Do you welcome the company of individuals who are not like you? Do you step out of your way and take the time?

Knowing these serving leaders and the way they readily pour into people, eagerly give without hesitation, keep doing good when the world throws them bad, emphasizes how much they radically serve others.  These leaders do not serve to serve themselves, but to wholeheartedly ensure that individuals around them are taken care of. They are fearless when carrying the burdens of others.

Take a step back and realize that serving others is happening every second throughout the globe. Though you do not have to be in a program or serve the masses, sometimes just serving any one individual is all it takes whether it is food or a conversation.

So why should you serve?

Stay tune, follow my blog via email, and find out on my next post.