Trenches and Foxholes and Taking Stock of Your Life

Between my large family, friends, associates, clients, and all the people I engage with on social media, I genuinely consider myself fortunate to have so many people in my life.

This week, I started to think about who I would take in a foxhole with me. (Don’t ask why my mind goes where it does, okay? I couldn’t tell you if I wanted to.) So, it got me thinking…

We’ve all got too many Facebook “friends,” and even if you could take all 2,000 of your Facebook friends in a bunker with you, would you really want to? I didn’t think so.

Before we get too into this “foxhole” thing, I might as well explain to you what a foxhole is. For those who are unfamiliar, “foxhole” is a term most commonly used in the military to describe a hole or bunker you dig for protection that allows you to fire and attack when necessary.

It’s a tight quarter for 1 - 2 people tops, and it’s often used in the midst of an intense situation, requiring you to depend on the other person immensely, especially when under attack.

I can think of a ton of people that I enjoy doing life with. There are certain associates and friends that I love to mastermind with and discuss ideas about the future.

To be honest, I sometimes get overwhelmed when I think about the various long-term friendships I have—people who have walked through so much with me, both celebrating and mourning one another’s tragedies and triumphs.

So, the thought of choosing one person to go to battle with is a really unique and interesting thought. Who is that one person who is willing to die with you or for you?

In my opinion, this is someone who must possess the ultimate loyalty, fighting spirit, keen reflexes, and intelligence, just for starters.  

How do you interview someone for that position? I don’t think you can.

You develop this relationship and understanding over time.

There are definitely some characteristics that immediately stand out and make you think someone would be either an excellent choice or a fatal decision. (That’s right. This pick could be fatal. Okay, so probably not literally fatal, but a poor relationship choice, whether platonic, professional, or romantic in nature, could be fatal to your personal wellbeing, your marriage, business, or your financial health.0

Whether it’s with a confidant in business or someone as close to you as a spouse, the thought of Would I take them in a foxhole with me? should be a question that you ask yourself often to take stock of your relationships.

How close do I want this person to be in my life, and what do I share with them?

How do they contribute to my life in a positive way?

Now, switch the questions.

Would someone want you in a foxhole with them?

How do you contribute to the lives of others?

This question presents a fantastic opportunity to examine your own loyalties, humility, understanding, physical and mental ability, and willingness to serve and help others, whether it be in physical, emotional, or mental situations.

Now, when you hear the term “going into the trenches”, that is referring to the front lines—the most dangerous place to be in war. This is a larger ditch, which would have room for more people than a foxhole, as well as ammunition and supplies.

In the trenches, you are working with several others as a well-oiled machine with absolutely no room for error.

When one fails or falls short, there is always another person to pick up right where they left off for the sake of the group and the overall mission.  

We hear the term “tribe” a lot these days. I love it. Your tribe is your people—the people that you do life with, share with and grow with.

Your tribe can be large and span a lot of different areas in your life; however, not all are welcome in the trenches or foxhole with you.  

When we consider the “trenches,” we’re forced to narrow our focus to that inner circle of people in our life—the people who are crucial to our mental, emotional, or physical survival.

Who are those people in the trenches with you? Who needs to get out of your trench, and who do you need to add?

A foxhole is even smaller yet, so narrow your scope even further to that one person whom your survival depends on, and whose survival likely depends on you as well.

I’m not suggesting that you make a list tonight and start crossing off people or verbally letting them know that they are not worthy of being in your foxhole.

I am, however, challenging you to ask yourself the questions that help determine who are really your people.

Who can you really count on?

Who (and what) really matters?

Nurture these relationships, and don’t worry about the smaller, less important stuff.

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