Henry Cloud uses a powerful image of a boat’s wake to describe a way to evaluate how we conduct life.

On one side, the wake represents “relationships.”  On the other side, the wake represents “results.”

A quote attributed to many is: “We are the sum total of our relationships.”   Many of the defining events in our life are defined by a relationship.  Someone taught us.  Coached us.  Loved us.  Forgave us.  Saw some potential in us.  Trusted us.  Encouraged us.  Gave us a chance.  Gave us a second chance.  Fired us when we deserved firing.

We’ve had relationships that were momentary and others that endured for a lifetime.  The more I reflect on the life-changing nature of my relationships, the deeper and wider the wake.

The “results” wake is a matter of intention. Jimmy Wilson sent me a quote today: “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”  – Robert Collier

If you start every day with the intention of using your time, talent, and resources to benefit those you impact, you accumulate a record of results.  A purposeful life marked by day after day of making a difference mounts up.

A swift-moving boat elegantly slicing through the water makes a nice wake.  Hope yours is mounting to one which satisfies you.