what do success and relationships have in common with allergies?

Last week a bike accident. This week allergies…sometimes you just can’t win.

Spring here in Japan brings with it warmer weather, the cherry blossoms, new fruits and a feeling of excitement. There’s a sort of buzz in the air.

People’s fashion slowly changes to reflect this; the colors and the styles.

Unfortunately spring also brings with it pollen.

And for those with allergies, let me say, “I feel your pain.”

Just yesterday my eyes were red from about the time I woke up till I went to sleep.

(In fact, they’re still bloodshot as I type this post – boohoo)

But I’m not here to explain the reason behind hay fever here in Japan, that’s for another day.

No, today I’m here to talk about what allergies can teach us about success and relationships.

I know that sounds a little crazy…but bear with me.

An allergy is simply a lack of resistance to something. The best way I have heard allergies explained is with the idea of a cup.

Inside each of us we have a cup that fills up the more we are exposed to something.

For some people their cup is large, for others, much smaller.

Once the cup is full our body no longer has resistance to that external influence and BAM, allergies.

In relationships it’s very much the same way. At first we might find our friend’s quirkiness cute but the more we are exposed to it, the less resistance we have.

Then one day we’ve had enough. We just can’t take it anymore.

It’s the reason why people blow up from time to time.

I’ve heard people say things like, “My husband doesn’t listen to me,” or “My partner always ignores my advice.”

At first we may let things slide, but it eats away at us.

Slowly, but surely.


But unlike allergies, we can empty our cup. With time and effort we can build up trust with our family, friends or partners.

The cup may be full today, empty tomorrow.

We also have cups for success and failure within us. Each action we take fills one of these two cups.

If you were to take someone struggling to pay their bills and fulfill their responsibilities then I think it’s fair to say their failure cup is full of small errors that led them to where they are.

On the other hand, a successful person’s cup would be filled with small achievements.

But like relationships, those cups can be emptied.

With big mistakes we can throw away all our successes.

And though action we can right our wrongs.

Allergies are something that we have no control over, that’s our body.

But we do have control over success, failure and relationships.

So figure out whether you need to fill, or empty, your cups then go to work on doing so.

Soon enough, you’ll find yourself breathing easy.

Adrian Shepherd

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