Gary Vaynerchuk talks a lot about clouds and dirt when it comes to business. The cloud is the big picture. The macro. Where you want your business to be in like 10 years. “The long game” as he calls it.
Then you have the dirt. That’s the day to day, tackling emails, attending meetings, the actual daily work known as the grind. In my case, writing, vlogging, podcasting, actually sitting down and punching keys, doing a video, or talking into a microphone. Or doing a therapy or life coaching session with someone. You get it.
This concept also applies very much so to relationships.
The big picture stuff. Values. Beliefs greater than self. Passion, purpose, spirituality. What you and he want out of life? What’s really important to you guys? Do you want children and matching BMWs or live out of a van and travel the world? Do you guys have shared principles and outlook on the world? Do both of your visions of an ideal life overlap? Or are they two disjointed circles that will never share any common space?
This doesn’t mean your future blueprints have to match. It’s more about heading in the same direction. You don’t have to have the same profession or overlap in careers. For example, just because I’m in the wellness space doesn’t mean I have to be with someone who is also is in the wellness space in order for us to share our clouds. I can be with an artist or a professional golfer, it doesn’t matter as long as our world views overlap. Our values. Our principles. A mutual respect for each other’s passion and purpose. Things that are greater than ourselves. Also, what we want our lives to look like in the future. If one person wants to eventually live on a farm and raise sheep and the other only wants to live in a big city, that is not a shared cloud. And of course, things can change and there’s compromise. But if people have very different clouds, it’s going to be a problem.
This is the day to day of the relationship. How do you guys communicate? Or don’t. How do you fight or handle conflict? < — super important. What are your love languages? How often do you guys see each other? Is there good banter? What’s the sex and intimacy like? Do you get on each other’s nerves? This is the nuts and bolts. The combined tools you both need to build something. It’s what produces trust or cracks it. It will either keep the relationship moving forward. Or up, in this case, toward the clouds. Or it won’t.
So here’s the thing. Every relationship needs both to survive and by survive I mean long term. If you just have similar long term visions, values, principles, the clouds, but none of the dirt stuff, like communication skills, ways to resolve conflict, ability to bend with each other, compatible energy, your relationship will eventually break. Or expire. Your clouds won’t matter.
Or maybe you have solid soil, the day to day is great like you guys are on a synchronized swim squad party of two. But you both share very different visions of “the long game”. Eventually there will be drift. Because you guys are following different stars. Yes, people can change and your separate stars can come together but then the question is, is it really your true north or are you sacrificing it for love?
So ask yourself, do you have clouds and dirt in your relationship? If not, which do you have and which do you need? It’s just a conversation. No need to panic or make any serious decisions. If you don’t have much dirt, what needs work? What does each need to work on to acquire the tools to lay the ground work?
If your clouds are very different, were they similar before or have you guys changed as people? Has your long game changed? Do you want different things in life now? Does what really mattered to you before no longer matter? If so, it matters. How much difference in between each person’s cloud? Because clouds move. Are they moving away or toward each other.
Coulds and dirt, two major areas to explore. It’s a good starting place if things don’t feel the same but you’re not sure why. Because we usually focus on every in between the clouds and dirt and we’re in the trenches blowin shit up and that stuff doesn’t really matter.
What really matters is how good the day to day is and is there overlap in the long term? If you have both, you have more than most. Keep leaning foward and love hard.