3 E-Principles in Your Life’s Movie

Last month’s article was about adding heart to business using 3 E-principles:

1. Engagement

2. Explanation

3. Expectation clarity

If you missed it, I invite you to read it here.  These same E-principles work exceptionally well in your relationship with your life-partner. So let’s explore that, now.

3 E-principles In Your Life’s Movie

Your life is an exquisitely-written movie – and you’ve written it specifically for you and your life-partner – the lead performers.  Heart is the attitude behind your manuscript pen.

Heart (described by feelings) is a critical component in the movie, which revolves around your relationship with your life-partner.  Heart gives the plot passion, zest, vigour, and excitement – let’s call it love.  Or, heart can result in anger, frustration, guilt, or much worse – let’s call this not-love.  And there is likely a combination of both.

In your movie, which do you experience most of the time, a love plot or not-love plot?

For most of the couples we’ve worked with, they tell us that, prior to coaching, most of their time is spent in “not-love.”  And the staggering separation and divorce statistics in our society prove the point.

That’s not what I want to experience.  What about you?

Conversely, studies by a variety of reputable sources indicate that people who develop healthy, loving relationships at home have lower blood pressure, reduced risk to heart-attack, higher levels of dopamine (feel-good hormone), and a greater sense of happiness and fulfillment.  I kind-a like those results.

Personally, I found that when I began writing “love” in my movie, my level of ease, peace-of-mind, and general well-being began to soar.  Unfortunately, I didn’t’ make this choice until the plot was really ugly in our relationship.  It took extreme pain before I became honest with myself and realized that I could edit the script – it wasn’t Carol’s fault.

I didn’t know anything about E-principles then, but conscious and consistent use of them now, can fast-track my way, and your way to a “love” movie of joy, happiness, and fulfillment, without the extreme pain.

So here’s the challenge for you, should you choose to accept it. 

Look for opportunities to script your movie using the 3 E-principles NOW. How?

1. Engagement – Identify challenges (things you don’t feel good about) and invite mutual involvement. For most people, engagement requires a slight change of approach – to ASK rather than to tell.  Total honesty is required in dialogue.

ASK your partner for focussed time to talk about the challenges.

ASK your partner for focussed time to talk about what you want in the relationship.

ASK your partner to dialogue about creating a vision for your long-term relationship.

ASK your partner for help with responsibilities around the house and yard.

ASK your partner for help to plan fun activities to do together (things you both enjoy).

ASK your partner for scheduled romantic time together.

ASK your partner for…… (fill in the blank).

Invite and welcome creative brainstorming, where there is no “right” or “wrong” way.  This is about consensus, where both people’s perspectives are valued and respected.  Combine ideas and come up with best solutions to which both agree.  It is a team effort, which promotes togetherness and harmony (love), rather than “my way” or “your way”, which breeds resentment and resistance (not-love).

A coach can be an extremely valuable resource to ensure emotions are held in check.

2. Explanation – Both understand the “why”.  This is about values and building trust.

In the dialogue about your current situation and challenges, be honest about what’s most important to the long-term success of your relationship.  Ask for clarification and ensure you both understand the other person’s perspective and feelings.  Create strategies and make decisions based upon your common values – what’s most important to both of you.

It can be really helpful to re-visit the specific things that you originally loved and respected about your partner, and the reasons you are in the relationship in the first place.  It can also be extremely helpful to reaffirm the qualities you want in the relationship, rather than getting bogged down in GUCK you may be experiencing.  When you both focus on what you want, and why that is important to you, the immediate challenges often seem insignificant and even petty.

Again, a coach is trained to support you to crystallise the “why” and to ensure commitment.

3. Expectation clarity – This is about accountability – say what you do, and do what you say.

With decisions made, application is the next step to creating the results you want.  New rules may be needed for “love” behaviour.  Determine responsibilities (who will do what and when), milestones for evaluation and revision, establish support mechanisms, and plan celebrations.  Plan to celebrate successes daily.  It builds faith and hope.  Write these steps on paper – it cements them in your heart and mind.

I understand this may be a bit uncomfortable to do on your own.  It may seem too structured or institutional for you.

We’ve found that the structure allows us to apply these E-principles from the script-writing table, rather than as the performers immersed in the drama and suspense of the movie.

In Relationship Rendezvous Retreat, you’ll be guided, and have the opportunity, to become really good at this process of writing your own script.

Applying these E-principles eliminates confusion and stress, invites collaboration, and allows you to create the results you want quickly in your relationship.  And you’ll know you are creating results by paying attention to your feelings.

Will there be suspense and failures?  Absolutely, yet with trust and hope, they become opportunities for learning and strengthen the storyline.

So, scriptwriter, what do you want in your movie?

Is it a love story, or a not-love story?  And as lead performer, how do you want to feel most of the time?  It’s the feelings that make the movie desirable and memorable – or not.  And it’s your choice.