My friend Glenna was a speaking legend. One of her favorite stories to tell was about an eye-opening epiphany she had about how we can navigate the ups-and-downs of relationships. I shared her iconic story – with her permission – in my latest book TALKING ON EGGSHELLS.
Glenna was married to a man who loved being out on the lake. He bought a really big boat for waterskiing that wouldn’t fit in their driveway, so he parked it in their backyard.
And there it sat… For months. For years.
Glenna said every time she looked in the backyard, there was that doggone boat.
Finally, one day she’d had “enough.” She marched over to her husband and said, “Either that boat goes or I go.”
He looked at her and asked a simple question: “Glenna, what percentage of our relationship, in your opinion, works?”
She thought about it. “Eighty percent.”
“I agree. So, let’s focus on the 80 percent that does work instead of the 20 percent that doesn’t. Sound good?”
She agreed … and then went out and bought a really big … rosebush.
As Glenna said, “Any relationship is going to have challenges. We can look at the boat – or we can look at the beauty. What’s it going to be?
- How about you? Are you in the midst of some challenging ups and downs in your relationship? These questions can help you get perspective.
Can or will this situation change?
Is this a temporary frustration or an ongoing problem?
- Am I willing to change my behavior?
- Is the other person willing to change their behavior?
- Is there a way we can discuss this TOGETHER to figure out whether this is part of the 20% that isn’t ideal – however we choose to focus on the 80% that is?
- Is it in the best interests of this relationship to see the BEAUTY instead of the BOAT.
Until next time, I’m Sam Horn… Here’s to being better.