On 20% Off

I love my Gmail account. I like how it organizes my e-mail, groups my messages together, and allows me to quickly and conveniently search for that random e-mail I sent six years ago. My Gmail account works effortlessly on my desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. It’s ubiquitous and priceless at the same time!

One of the more recent awesome iterations of Gmail separates your e-mails into three categories: Primary, Social, and Promotions. By separating the e-mail related to social media and promotions, Gmail allows you to focus on your “real” e-mail. Still, every day, because I am fairly OCD about my “inbox zero” status, I check my Social and Promotions tabs. I estimate I receive 10 promotional e-mails daily. Often, they’re from the same handful of companies, offering me a “special discount,” a “valued customer” deal, and sneak peek at the latest and the greatest. I can’t deny: these companies want my business. I mean, surely they aren’t giving anyone else these amazing, mind-blowing, time-limited deals. That would be madness!

The constant bombardment from companies with deal after deal got me to thinking — always dangerous. What if we approached the relationships in our lives like the companies that e-mail me every day? What if we awoke one random morning and informed our spouse that, that day, that very day, we were going to be 20% more loving with 10% less nagging? What if we told our friend that, hey, you give me one hug, you’re getting a second hug completely free! But, wait, there’s more! Hug me now, and I’ll throw in a high-5, no shipping and just a little handling required! Walk into the office and tell your coworker that, this week only, I’m being 10% more patient. [Note: patience cannot be redeemed for other discounted qualities and has no cash value]. Go next door and tell your neighbor that you’re having a clearance sale on this batch of cookies; they are 100% off. All bites final.

Companies are willing to wheel and deal to get your business, or at least make it look like they’re wheeling and dealing. They’ll sweeten the pot just a bit. Maybe a little bit of this approach would be a good thing in our personal lives. Maybe if we had to work a little more, show the value in ourselves, even to our loved ones, we’d actually get more out of our relationships. You’ve got to get out there and sell yourself, legally of course! It’s not about being transactional; the point is to not take your relationships for granted. To go the extra mile, even when you don’t have to, because you want to close that deal, make that proverbial sale, day after day.

We can all do a little more, go out of our way, cut someone some slack, and, fortunately, there’s no expiration date on that.