I expected a book about relationships, how to choose them wisely, set boundaries, and how to get out if necessary, but what I didn’t expect from Van Moody’s The People Factor was the idea that relationships are the determining factor in our lives. Bad relationships will derail our best efforts, and we have to pay attention to the people we are allowing to influence our quality of life. Therefore, increasing our relationship IQ is the way to becoming a better spouse, parent, friend, co-worker, leader, and better human being.
Moody points out that any great relationship starts with the one you have with yourself. Go beyond asking yourself the tough questions. Ask others to provide an honest assessment of your best and worst qualities and how you stack up in the areas of integrity, dependability, insight, and vulnerability. And if you don’t like the answers you get, work on making adjustments to yourself before you start working on your other relationships. Your relationships will be mutually beneficial only if you are like-minded in character and purpose. You have to be the best to surround yourself with the same.
Moody’s description of the four ingredients of integrity was particularly helpful. They are: an unwavering commitment to truth, an absolute refusal to compromise on core values, a complete dedication to pure motives, and a passionate, consistent pursuit of excellence. According to Moody, it is an absolute necessity to require integrity from the people with whom you have a relationship. Failing to this will align you with the wrong people. The author does not advocate judging others, but rather to have standards for those you allow to influence your life.
He also has some strong advice about secrets—that if you don’t deal with them, they will ultimately deal with you. On page 122, Moody writes that “…secrets gnaw on the fabric of your heart, erode your character, and steal your focus away from the people and things that truly need your attention.” Secrets are an extremely destructive force and must be uncovered and dealt with, or they form a barrier to intimacy.
This book is not for the faint of heart. Moody writes that “In every healthy relationship, the blade of truth and honesty must be applied at times.” It’s true that the truth hurts, and without honesty, the relationship will be superficial at best. If we truly seek deep, fulfilling relationships, then we have to be willing to endure some pain.
Moody states that “…people who aren’t going anywhere in life have already arrived.” Don’t spend time with them. Look for people of “substance, passion, and ambition—people who aren’t seeking to make an impression on the world but to make a powerful impact for God’s Kingdom. Find people who have the capacity to appreciate the vision you have for your life and the energy to support you in it. Look for people who will challenge and encourage you to become more than you are today, and who will allow you to do the same for them.”
This book has changed the way I think about relationships. It’s not selfish to be selective and make sure that I am like-minded in character and purpose with those that I spend time with. It’s necessary or I risk fulfilling my potential.
***This book was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review of the work. My opinions are my own and not influenced in any way by the publisher or author.***