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"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor. 13: 4-7, 13)

Love defined is a strong affection for another, arising out of kinship or personal ties; attraction; affection felt by lovers; affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests; warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion; the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration; unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: a god or personification of love.

For some time, I have thought about writing on the topic of love. It is a very important quality that can improve each of our lives. One of the challenges in describing love in the English language is we have only one word to make pronouncements such as 'I love my children' or 'I love my car'. On the other hand, Spanish has close to two dozen words that infer some level of love.

For the purpose of this article, I am referring to the love that relates to the interaction and thinking between you and other people, not material objects, experiences, or the score in a game of tennis.

Most romantic novelists would have you believe love is a chemical reaction between two people that results in amazing internal feelings. While that may be true initially, research tells us that feeling fades within two years.

So where does love come from, 25 years into a relationship?

The answer is by choice and by being intentional with your mindset. Mort Fertel's book Marriage Fitness outlines the steps a couple must take to stay in love. It takes effort, but the result is a deep, connected relationship.

Without daily acts of connection that reflect and support love, no couple would stay together. Or if they did, they wouldn't be happy.

Contrary to many common beliefs, love is a choice--and mindset is not a feeling. At its core, love cares about putting others above yourself. It is selfless in its engagement of others. That does not mean wimpy or spineless. Love is an attitude of deference and genuine consideration for others.

Love is a foretaste for other behaviors in your life. For example, you will need love to be patient, kind, and giving to others. The Beatles said it best in their song All You Need Is Love. When we live in the character trait of love, amazing things are possible for each of us.

What words represent the opposite of love? Hate, arrogance, loathing, indifference? You cannot be in a state of love and hate at the same time. Would you rather deal with a store clerk who is in a state of love or hate? What about a parent, husband, wife, brother, sister, friend, supplier, sales rep, doctor, child, business partner, teacher, and every other relationship you can think of?

Most of us would prefer to interact with individuals who are in a mindset of love. Why?

  1. It is a positive experience. The interaction is with someone who cares rather than a person who is angry and upset.
  2. We usually get better results because people are more willing to engage when care and kindness are demonstrated.

As a society, we can be quick to judge those who are different than we are. We may demonstrate intolerance. I am not suggesting we should accept everyone at face value, or even admire their behavior, but we can approach them with a mindset of love. That will get us further (and in a more enjoyable manner) than a negative attitude will.

Copyright © Consulting Resource Group International, Inc.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Ken Keis
Web site: Consulting Resource Group
Ken Keis, MBA, CPC, is an internationally known author, speaker, and consultant. In the past 20 years, he has conducted over 2000 presentations including 10,000 hours of coaching and HR consulting.

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