I attended a talk by relationship guru Dr Michael Schluter who reminded us that TIME IS A CURRENCY FOR ALL RELATIONSHIPS.
The more time we spend in a relationship, the deeper and stronger the relationship will be.
This brings me to our hierarchy of needs which automatically connects to the Maslow’s pyramid and the five levels of needs.
At the bottom of the pyramid or L1 represents our basic needs like food, water, sleep.
One level up L2 is the need for ‘safety’ such as housing, health, family, jobs.
Next level L3 starts to involve relationships of family and friends.
L4 is about our need for self-esteem and self-respect.
Top of the stack, L5 is about self-actualization and realizing one’s full potential in life.
I like Maslow’s pyramid of needs very much because it provides answers to many things in life and the society we live in. But until I heard Dr. Schluter’s talk, my view is Maslow’s triangle was primarily an economic one and money is the main enabler for levelling up.
Time as a currency of relationships is something we know, yet often overlooked in our urban lifestyles of multi-tasking, optic speed communication, dealing with conflicting priorities, solving problems, chasing dreams.
What happens when we spend most of our time making money? Can we still work on creating new and improving on existing relationships?
In the Maslow’s context, money is the main solution for L1 and L2. Essentially if you have a job, a business income or an inheritance, you can pretty well take care of the basic needs.
What about middle level, relationship with family and friends? How much time are we spending on our children, parents, siblings, relatives, friends, neighbours, colleagues, bosses, staff, suppliers and people around us?
Relationships need time, not money. If money is used to buy relationships, that’s bribery. If money is used to keep relationships, that’s blackmail. If money is used to end relationships, that’s alimony. Whatever way you look at it, all meaningful and long-lasting relationships are built over time.
Many people have tried to substitute time with money and I’m guilty of that as well. If there’s one thing I ever regret not doing well, it is not spending time on relationships that are important to me. It wasn’t clear in the past because of the mad rush for financial security, success and what-not that seemed important at that time. So I rushed through relationships and realized that’s not how things work out.
Fortunately, there are people who cared enough to be around me during the crazy hazy days of youth and work addiction. Now it’s my turn to be around those who are rushing through their youth and careers.
During this season of giving, TIME is one special gift worth spending on your loved ones.