Have you ever purchased a house? If so, then you understand the concept of value. If the seller of a house is asking you to pay $200,000 for that house, you will automatically order an appraisal to make sure the house is worth $200,000. You will order an appraisal to make sure you could resell that house if necessary for the same $200,000 you spent to buy it. You don’t want to take on debt that exceeds the value of your purchase.
When we buy or sell houses, therefore, we automatically understand value. We understand the importance of getting a reasonable return on our investment in the houses we buy. If I should pay $200,000 for a house, I would want to either enjoy benefits from the house that are worth $200,000 or I would want to know that I have an asset that I could liquidate for at least $200,000 when needed. And relationships are just like that. A relationship has two of the same qualities that we find in a house.
First, any relationship is going to cost us something. No person can have a meaningful relationship with another human being unless that person is willing to pay a price to forge that relationship and nurture it. For instance, relationships take time. Relationships require give and take. Relationships call on us to forgive and to grow. Relationships often require the setting aside of our own priorities in order to focus on the immediate needs or greater priorities of the other person in the relationship.
But relationships also provide us with return on investment. They give back to us something that at least equals what we pay to maintain them. And like any asset, our relationships should increase our net worth, not decrease it. Make sure, therefore, that your assets add to your life instead of detracting from it.
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