I was preparing for a couple of presentations for the Women On the Way (W.O.W.) program at our local St. Petersburg College (my A.A. /A.S. degree alma mater).

I am always honored to go back to my old “stomping grounds” to do presentations, but even more so for this group, as most of the people connected with the WOW program are coming back to school after some major life transition.

This program is designed to be a support for their success. They are my heroes, as they all use this support network to help each other be successful. I do believe the world could learn something from WOW.

The workshop that I was presenting was entitled The Secrets Of Relationship Success: Know Your Roots and Bear Good Fruit. I like to use acronyms when I present, as they are easy for me to remember, and they seem to have a lasting impression on the audience. There were two that came up that have been very helpful: V.I.P. and S.A.D.

The standard V.I.P. is traditionally translated to Very Important Person (which you are, by the way!!), but for the purpose of this workshop it stood for Values, Integrity and Purpose. I believe these three elements build the “foundational triad” which enables us to have fulfilling and lasting relationships. Let me elaborate...

Values - This is what you determine to be most important in your life. When you know your values, it is easier to make decisions because you know what fits and what does not. Therefore, decisions about what to do, who to share your life with, and when to exit due to a values clash, all become much clearer.

Homework: Spend some time this week and write down your ten highest values. Check in with your values list regularly.

Integrity – Integrity is the path that you walk according to your values. When your actions (your “outer self”) match your values (your “inner self”) you are walking a path of integrity. Integrity comes from the word that means “wholeness”, therefore, you live a more whole, or complete life when you stay in your integrity. This path will leave feeling good about yourself as you will not disrespect your own values as long as you stay on the path.

Homework: Write two lists of behavioral indicators; one that will remind you of when you are in integrity, and the other that will remind you know of when you are beginning to leave your integrity. Review the list daily and commit yourself to the path of integrity.

Purpose – Your purpose is your own personal “True North”. It becomes the compass of your Life Journey that pulls you forward to your Highest Good. When you know your life purpose, and you live on purpose, you are fulfilled and have an “inner knowing” that you are going in the direction that you will serve you and humankind the best.

Homework: Spend some time with the following: The purpose of my life is ___________. Keep working it until it is a perfect “10” for you. Then, make it a daily mantra that you live by.

And then there is the flipside of V.I.P., which is S.A.D...

Selfless – People who do not know their values or their purpose have difficulty being true to themselves, much less walking their own Life Path. By default, they often succumb to what others value and often find themselves being pulled from one direction to another. They are controlled much of the time by outer influences instead of their inner self.

Assuming – Because these people have a poor sense of their self, they live by making many assumptions. They often assume that if someone shows them attention or affection, it must be a good thing since it feels good, and they can easily get into a relationship or situation that is unhealthy. They have a poor “filtering”, or screening system since they do not know who they really are.

Dependant - These people are prone to become very dependant. They allow others to make their choices for them. They take on others values. They become fearful of others leaving them due to their dependency, so they often give up more and more of their self the longer they stay involved.

If you live the V.I.P. life, you will leave no space to be S.A.D. So...Are you living a V.I.P. or a S.A.D. life?

My vote and encouragement is to put all your energy into being the V.I.P. that you were truly meant to be. After all, you are a Very Important Person...WOW!!

Author's Bio: 

I provide mental health counseling, marriage counseling and relationship counseling to help professionals and their families eliminate stress, maximize success and create extraordinary relationships at home, at work and in the community. As a mental health counselor, marriage counselor and relationship counselor my number one goal is to help people live their lives and relationships fully and completely. I've been offering counseling, coaching, and educational programs since 1987. My programs are focused on empowering people to have more successful lives, businesses and relationships. You'll always find FREE Life and Relationship Success Special Reports at http://kendonaldson.com/. I'm also the author of Marry YourSelf First! Say "I DO" to a Life of Passion, Power, Purpose and Prosperity http://www.marryyourselffirstbook.com/