This old proverb shines a very bright light on the theory that you never know what you have until it is gone. If everything in your life is going well right now, think about the dynamics around you that help to make it great. If your life is challenging at this moment because you have recently lost someone important from it, ask yourself these questions:

Do I take the people around me for granted?
Do I ever acknowledge the great things the people in my life do every day?
Do I ever thank those around me for helping me get through my days?
Do I choose to notice faults and failures but overlook qualities and successes?
How will my life change if I lose certain people from it?
What can I do to reduce the possibility of the people in my life leaving me behind?

Whether you are a leader, an employee, a spouse, a parent or a friend, you have a lot of people in your life who create and perpetuate your environment as time moves forward. Your experiences with some of those people are positive, some are negative and some go almost unnoticed. No matter what impression or impact they make, all of them contribute to life’s joys and woes in one way or another. Give serious thought to this question:

Would your life be better or worse if the people you associate with now were suddenly gone from it?

I would like to offer this simple advice: Hold the positive influences in your life very close and remove all of the negative ones from your environment.
If you agree with that try to practice the following relationship techniques for the positive people you cherish:

Let the positive people in your life know that they matter.
Compliment them and tell them how much they mean to you.
Tell them how much you care for them on a personal level.
Always speak positively. There is no room for negativity in good relationships.
Practice open, honest communication at all times.
Help and encourage them unselfishly every chance you get.

Here are some things you might want to practice with the negative people in your life:

Tell them directly and clearly that you do not appreciate negativity.
Let them know that you do not wish to associate with them socially.
Do not involve yourself in their negative conversations. Walk away!
Never condone or agree with their negative appraisals of other people.
Do not retaliate against them. Negativity is not the answer to negativity!
Do not allow yourself to be involved in their negative scheming against others.

You might turn negative people around with what is commonly known as tough love but if you find that your open, honest communication with them only inflames their negativity even more, or that there is clearly no hope, your best option is to end the relationship and save yourself further stress and aggravation. Do not allow yourself to be dragged into a mire of negativity.
Some of the people you might miss when they are gone include your employees, your supervisors, your managers, your friends, your spouses, other family members and even the people who sell you the things you need and want. Those people need special treatment. They need you to express to them how much value and joy they bring into your life.

 Nothing will end a relationship more decisively or permanently than enduring
apathy, indifference or a complete lack of acknowledgement by either party.

Do not allow your well to run dry. Prime the pump daily with acknowledgement, encouragement and kindness for everyone that matters to you! If you do that, you will always have a great wealth of fabulous people in your life and your environment will forever be positive, progressive, and infinitely pleasurable.

All the Best!
Wayne Kehl

Author's Bio: 

Wayne Kehl is a lecturer, author, life coach and personal development trainer in British Columbia Canada. Find out more about him at or