The fundamental premise of your employment relationship, your personal and familial relationships, and all of life’s relationships is your ability to create win-win solutions. The win-win solution is when both parties have needs, and those needs are met in ways that are mutually beneficial. If I win, you win; if I win more, you win more. Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything you want in life, if you’ll just help enough people get what they need.” It all boils down to this… bearing fruit.
In Biblical times, Jesus talked about bearing fruit as a fundamental principle of how we live. He said, "I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit” ~John 15:16 and "...every healthy tree bears good fruit” ~Matthew 7:17. Bearing fruit was a directive, a sign of health and vigor, and a fundamental expectation nearly 2,000 years ago, and it’s even more fundamental than ever today.
Blossom Where You’re Planted
The best way to bear fruit is to blossom where you’re planted. Maybe you're not in your ideal job. Maybe you have a challenging teenager. Maybe you or a family member has an illness. No matter where you find yourself, be the best you, and make the most of the situation. Excelling in a suboptimal environment sends a loud and clear message to the world that you are committed to success, focused, able to persevere, and deliver results against any and all odds. It's those victories that set you up for bigger, more visible challenges. Once bearing fruit becomes a part of who you are, future success is a foregone conclusion.
Relationships: Ask the Question
How often have you heard someone complain about a friend who can’t maintain a relationship, and they say, “But he’s such a nice guy”? Guess what, he’s not bearing fruit. Being nice is a form of fruit, but can he make people laugh, can he make people smile, can he provide, is he a good conversationalist, is he a good listener, does he bring value to the relationship, does he meet his partner's needs? Napoleon Dynamite said, “Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.” Sure, it’s a funny quote, but what he’s really saying is, “People only want to be in relationships with those who bear fruit.” What fruit do you bear in your relationships?
Work: Ask the Question
We all want to get paid a decent salary, receive competitive benefits, and do meaningful work. In other words, we want our employer to bear fruit for us. Let's take a look at the flip-side. Your employer wants to know what fruit you bring to the table. Are you a hard worker, a quick learner, passionate about your work, skilled with interpersonal skills, do you produce results, do you exert a positive influence on those around you? In other words, what fruit do you bear in your work environment such that the employment contract is a win-win?
Life: Ask the Question
Take a look at all aspects of your life. Let's look at a spiritual example. Do you go to church and expect the church to fill you up spiritually, or do you get engaged, volunteer, and try to bear fruit for the church? Or let's suppose your kid plays sports. Do you expect the coach to teach, lead, guide, and mentor your child while you sit on the sidelines criticizing their coaching and the quality of referees? Or do you find a way to support the team by helping out, assisting the coach, fundraising, or bearing fruit for the kids in the form of being a positive role model?
The Challenge: Deliver
Bear fruit. Plain and simple, bear fruit. Look at all relationships in your life and ask yourself, “Do I have the right skills to bear fruit and engage in meaningful win-win relationships?” If you’re not sure what fruit you’re bearing, chances are you’re not bearing either the right fruit or enough fruit. Figure out what fruit you need to bear, and start producing.