What to put into your bank account?
You’re thinking money obviously. Well that’s important for the well-being of you and those you love, but there is something much more important. It’s something that will last much longer and never lose value. It is influence, trust, love, encouragement, memories and positive examples.
Let me tell you about an older gentleman I knew of. He worked for years and was blessed financially year after year. He treated money and his bank account like a score card. The more money he earned the higher score he received. He really didn’t pay close attention to personal relationships. He never developed any new ones and the ones he did have, dwindled away. He was divorced and hardly ever saw his two children, nor did they really want to see him. He never seemed to have enough time to invest in them. After he passed away, only a handful of people came to his funeral and the only thing he had to show for his life was the wealth he had accumulated. His wealth really didn’t mean anything but heart ache and strife after his passing, because his two children and ex-wife fought over it to the point that they all stopped speaking to one another.
Another man I knew of worked very hard his whole life and also accumulated a considerable amount of wealth. What made him different from the first man is he invested in people, not money. He considered people his most valuable asset. He always invested his time, encouragement, and trust in others and they loved him for it. At the end of his life he as many people show up as a Friday night football game. Who do you think had a more fulfilling life?
John Maxwell teaches in his seminars how people have a personal bank account with each person they encounter. When you do something to encourage trust, you get some change in your pocket. When you do something to lose it, you have to give some of it back. When you run out of change, trust is gone and the relationship is destroyed. When you run out of change with your co-workers they will refuse to work with you. When you run out of change with your spouse, you get a divorce. When you run out of change with your friends, you stop spending time together.
Everyone starts out with empty pockets in a relationship. You have to earn pocket change with every single person you encounter, if you want to develop any type of relationship. The man who invested in people had a lot of pocket change when he passed away. The man who had a large bank account had used up his pocket change long ago.
Think of it like a game of monopoly. Regardless of whether you win or lose, the monopoly pieces all go back in the box. What people remember is the impact you had on the other players.