Remembering The Fabric Of Life

by admin on April 28, 2014

Fabric of LifeOne of the biggest challenges for married business partners/owners is breaking out of the “problem solving” mindset that often permeates our work-oriented thoughts and behavior — and inadvertently spills over into our non-work activities with each other.

Because we spend much of each workday tackling tough issues, overcoming obstacles, and dealing with challenges — customers, suppliers, partners, employees, systems, etc — it can create a default rhythm for the relationship, where the predominant tone is one of problem-solving.

Define the problem. Identify the solution. Implement the solution. Check the box. Move on.

But that’s not what relationships are all about — and feeding a relationship a steady diet of problem-solving is the surest way to guarantee that it dies of malnutrition.

At the root of the problem is the fact that problem-solving has an agenda. There’s something “wrong” that needs to be “fixed”. But agenda-driven relationships don’t last — or grow distant at best.

This is true of any relationship that seeks to have a meaningful degree of caring, trust, intimacy, joy and vitality. I’m guessing these are qualities you want to have characterize your most significant relationships.

As hard-working and driven as we may be, we must remember that a meaningful, fulfilling, and well-lived life includes many threads that are woven together to form a fabric of life. We define this “fabric of life” as having five threads — family, faith, work, health, and finances.

Every thread in this fabric of life plays a crucial role in creating something beautiful, something meaningful, something to enjoy, be proud of and celebrate each day.

While you may have your own perspective on the value each of these five threads provides and why they’re important in your life, here’s a brief glimpse as to how they show up in ours…

1. Family — Provides connection (intimacy, support, laughter, joy, love, caring, etc)
2. Faith — Provides purpose (meaning, peace, hope, comfort, acceptance, clarity, etc)
3. Work — Provides contribution (creativity, service, expression, challenge, reward, etc)
4. Health — Provides vitality (fitness, energy, strength, alertness, focus, mobility, etc)
5. Finances — Provides resources (food, clothing, shelter, charity, experiences, etc)

The key is to remember that this fabric of life is woven with many threads — and that work is just one of them. An important one indeed as a business owner, but just one nonetheless.

This is usually where people ask if we’re talking about the importance of finding “balance” in how we approach work and these other aspects of life. The answer is no. We’re not talking about trying to achieve the all-to-elusive “balance” between the five threads in the fabric of life.

We need to stop thinking in terms of “scales” and start thinking in terms of “patterns”.

Using the word balance and relationships in the same sentence is a recipe for disaster.  The definition of balance is rooted in the attempt to achieve equal weight (or importance) between two things — a well-intentioned yet destructive mindset when it comes to any relationships that you truly value.

For most of us, our relationship with our spouse, family, and friends are at the top of the list when it comes to what we cherish most in this life. Trying to “balance” the value of these relationships against anything else in life seems rather foolish.

Rather than weighing them all out equally and trying to find balance between the five threads, we are better served by asking what patterns we want to incorporate into the fabric of life that each of us is designing and weaving on a daily basis.

All of the threads are necessary and significant at each step along the way, and it’s about the interdependence and relationship between each thread that creates the pattern of our lives.  We may emphasize one of the other at different times, and in different ways, in order to influence the pattern — but this is best done deliberately and with an awareness of what we’re attempting to design.

When we take hold of a single thread in this fabric — typically our work — and raise it above everything else, things begin to unravel. But take a hold of the entire fabric and raise it up collectively, and everything stays intact.

Which leads us back to being intentional and aware of what “mode” we’re in when interacting with our spouse, and how it is impacting the relationship.

If there’s always an agenda on hand, if it’s always about solving a problem — work or otherwise — it’s like pulling that single thread in the fabric.

Rather than contributing to and strengthening something beautiful and meaningful, our relentless problem-solving agenda simply works to unravel what has previously been created.

Building a vibrant marriage and a thriving business takes diligence, awareness and an effort to be intentional about how we interact with our spouse. Problem-solving isn’t the enemy, it simply shouldn’t be the only thing on your relationship menu — and the thread of work shouldn’t be the only thread in your fabric.

What pattern are the two of you weaving into your fabric of life?

~ David & Debby

David & Debby Pierpoint

David Pierpoint / Strategic, Futuristic, Intellection, Learner, Deliberative
Debby Pierpoint / Harmony, Developer, Empathy, Responsibility, Consistency


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