TRUST – A simple five-letter word about which so much is already written and spoken that we all understand the importance of trust in our relationships. Yet, we are living in an era where trust is primarily non-existent between human beings. When I started penning down this article, I was thinking about what I should write. There are plenty of opinions and ideas associated with trust that are already practiced in our society. So, instead I will share experiences from my own life to demonstrate what trust enables, how it can be built, and how we can create a trusting society.
A challenge I see right now is that we all are looking for someone to be a source of trust, and very few people actually attempt to be that source themselves. This can lead to a dearth of trust in society. Once I learned the foundation of trust, I chose to become the source and started trusting people around me. It has given me healthy outcomes in return and created endless possibilities.
Let me share two different examples from my life that made me realize the difference that trust can make in any relationship.
During one of my first entrepreneurial ventures, I worked really hard to execute everything the way it was meant to be. After about two years of doing this, I started to experience that my partners didn’t trust me or acknowledge the effort I was putting in. Eventually, I took myself out of that venture, that venture had to be shut down, and we all lost the money and time we had invested as well as the potential opportunities that venture could have created.
One more instance that I want to share is from the time I was in engineering college. I used to trust everyone quickly. I vividly remember the day in college back in '93 when I met my batch mate, Jeet, who is now a very close friend and is one of In Time Tec's co-founders. I noticed that Jeet had a habit of starting every relationship with trust and making healthy relationships in quick time. Both of our frequencies synchronized and we quickly became very close friends. Once we graduated in Jan '96, we lost touch for the next eight years until I got a call from Jeet one day, sharing his vision of starting a company with me. I was pleased and surprised, as I always wanted to work with people like him. However, by this time, my trust in people was already shaken because of experiences like the one I mentioned above.
I remember numerous times when Jeet kept trusting me while I was rebuilding myself. Whether it was acknowledging the effort I was putting in or standing by me rather than insisting on what he thought was right, Jeet always had my back. Jeet's trust in me helped me start trusting people again and I started believing in myself. And here we are, with 27 years of friendship built on trust. We are experiencing childlike freedom and maturity in our relationship and freely creating what we always wanted to create. Our company is flourishing, and I am living life fully and living the life I love.
It has been over 11 years since we created such a powerful platform at In Time Tec, which was built on a foundation of trust that Jeet and I experienced with each other. Now, we are solely focused on the present to create a liberating environment around us built on trust. None of this would have been possible if the foundation of trust was missing from our lives.
What I want to share from out of this is that trust can make or break things quickly. The outcomes were opposite in both the scenarios based on how trust was present in those relationships.
Before I truly understood trust, I was a recipient looking for other people to provide it to me; there was no consistency in life. As I mentioned above, once I learned the foundation of trust, I chose to become the source and started trusting people around me. It has given me truly great outcomes in return. I learned that when you become the source of trust for people around you without raising expectations, nothing bothers you because you are just giving to give and not to receive back. You can get consistent happiness as your that happiness no longer depends on what you get in return but on how much you give.
Based on my experiences, I have noticed that once you stop looking for what you get in return and instead become a source of trust for those around you, you receive much more just by virtue of you making a conscious choice to give. Perhaps that may be nature's way of rewarding you. Isn't it wonderful?
Trust enables confidence, belief, mutual respect, creates bonding, and trust enables harmony to live our lives powerfully. While the results will be great, we don’t know what is possible until we start trusting others and become a source of trust.
A thought may come to your mind, "What if people misuse our trust?" We all know that it takes years to build trust and a few moments to break it. There are two events that give birth to a society that lacks trust. First, when someone breaks your trust, and secondly, when you break someone's trust.
When someone breaks your trust, rather than assuming, judging, and putting people in a judgment box, ask yourself a question, "Why did they do what they did?" Most of the time, people misuse trust because of an insecurity that has nothing to do with you. I have seen time and again that asking this question, with compassion and giving others a choice about the future they want to create, works magically. As per my experience, most people will become your lifelong allies in this process because people have hardly experienced trust in this way. Most of us are more concerned about those few people who broke our trust, and they may not choose to take responsibility for it, even after further communication and given choices for a different future. And because of this fear, we usually don't care to give others a second chance and therefore lose the possibility of building a great relationship with everyone.
Society is nothing but you and me. If you can build trust with one person, you can build trust with everyone around you. It is like a chain reaction where you spread positivity around you so that they get enough to give while having no worries what they get in return. Right now, we are in the vicious cycle of distrust where we often don’t trust people or choose not to give others a second chance if someone commits a mistake. We can reverse this cycle by being the source of trust, starting with ourselves, our parents, our spouse and kids, friends, colleagues, and everyone around us. It might seem easy to write or say not easy to do, but I don't see any other way to live a profound life. Just be the source of trust; it sets you free.