In the era of swiping, should we be looking for the other half of our success?
This morning, I woke up early to prepare the microphone and tried to figure out a way to plug in two pairs of headphones. I have been a guest on podcasts before, but this morning was different.... we both were.
When I say both, I mean my partner Keith. My friend for the end of the world, quarantine companion, dog dad extraordinaire, artist, and in many ways my opposite.
I bet you are thinking, this is new... this blog has been about career stuff.. work with job seekers and a nearly nerdy preoccupation with personal leadership development.
But how could I deny you my inner monologue after rising today to spill my guts with my partner on a little topic we like to call love.
What a pleasant surprise it was. The host, ST Rappaport, a photographer who has made a career taking pictures of couples into a deeper exploration of love and commitment through her new podcast, surprised us with a deep line of questioning.
What advice do you have for couples who want to have an extraordinary relationship? What is special about your partner? How did you know you were in love?
Before I knew it, we were openly sharing that our glamorous (mutual) swipe left in 2017 has led to a whirlwind romance and that we by no means consider ourselves experts in love, but rather two equally ambitious people who have survived a lot and are undeterred by risk.
Let me elaborate..
In life, and love.. and job searches we have all been burned before...unpicked, rejected, and left to lick our wounds...the difference is what we do after that.
Do we choose to keep people at arm's length in favor of the imaginary sense of safety it brings, charge forth with aggression trying to filter for harm before it hurts us, and lead with a big bad chip on our shoulder...oooor do we accept that it hurts, know that we can, in fact, be hurt again and still consciously choose to put our best foot forward.
I feel like both Keith and I separately tried on each of these approaches for size and happened to be tired of that empty feeling at the same time. Throwing caution to the wind we bet on ourselves separately and now we bet on ourselves as a team daily.
Turns out there is actually a literal case for love. According to a Carnegie Melon study of 163 couples, in the pairs where one partner encouraged the other to take a risk, they were more likely to prosper individually at work ...AND collectively in their relationship-- noting at the six-month mark from the experiment that they noted "having more personal growth, happiness, psychological well-being, and better relationships,"
Statistically, it is really difficult to become a successful entrepreneur, and similarly difficult to stay married these days. (Let's face it as of 2020, 60% of couples who get married between the ages of 20-25 will end in divorce).
So how do these one in a million CEOs also manage to be self- proclaimed happily married too?
I return to the Carnegie Mellon theme of risk tolerance. The idea that that folks who have managed to become overwhelmingly successful seem to have this in common...... then they nurture their relationships with the same commitment they bring to their work.
So, if we were to rent the idea that If we are winning in one place, can we similarly win in the other just by applying the same principle? Love or career OR love AND career.
For those of us who are just trying to put our best foot forward I propose this:
Trust anyway- We have all been hurt... consciously choosing to put ourselves out there anyway is still brave.
Be consistent- when we find out what is needed to thrive, show up for it morning, noon, and night.
Be reliable- Show our partner/co-workers they can count on us..let them know that their trust was worth it.
Fail, and try again- Nothing is perfect. things fall apart. Then we put them back together or try the next thing to get to success.
Be humble- do what we do for ourselves. not for recognition, not for praise, not for our partners, and not for our boss.
Expect to change - Careers and love are hard because they throw curveballs. What works now will get stale..plan to learn new things, ask questions, seek help, and level up.
Food for thought.
If you want to hear the nitty-gritty details of our love story, stay tuned for the podcast.
In the meantime, ...you can find me typing my next blog entry from the couch, watching season 6 of Dexter next to Keith.