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by Bert Oliva

Who are you taking for granted right now? With such busy lives, the odds are that we are each at least taking one person in our lives for granted at this moment. We make excuses and justifications: I’m too tired… I had such a hard day at work… I’ll have time tomorrow…

There are times when I find myself taking my family for granted, especially my children who nowadays are teenagers with busier schedules than mine most of the time. However, coming from a family of precisely two—my single mother and myself—I know how important family is and I don’t allow myself to stay in that state for very long.

I consciously make dates with my children. I go out mudding or to the gym with my older son Myles. I take my princess Sabrina out to dinner just the two of us. I play xBox games and watch movies with my little one, Dylan. And because I’ve always done this with my children, they look forward to the dates as much as I do. In fact, if too much times goes by between our special times together, they will reach out to me and ask me when I’m available.

It’s important for each of us to build these types of relationships with everyone who is special and important in our lives. There is no business deal, no appointment, no bill more important than the people who matter to us. The only reason we each work as hard as we do is to provide a good quality of life for ourselves and those around us. No matter how much money we make, if we do not invest in our relationships, we will never have a good return on the investment of our lives.

So, I challenge you, right now. List 3 of the most important people in your life at this moment. Now pick up the phone and call them and find out how they are doing. No, you can not text them, email them or “Facebook” them. Leaving voicemail does not count either. You must take the time to actually speak with them. Schedule a time when you can spend some time together in the next two weeks. Start investing in the people in your life. Start taking the time to enjoy them and build a stronger relationship with them. I promise, your life will be all the richer for it.

Live Life,

Bert Oliva

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