We often find ourselves doomed or graced by our relationship with the world. This is a mental model to help manage relationships with the world.

A Structural tool that makes you - sometimes painfully - aware of your position in your relationship with something. You could also call it the meta relationship. Ben and I call it relationship squared.


Oftentimes, you have an opinion about your home town. This is your relationship with your home town. I'll use my own hometown Amsterdam as an example.

In my case, I can ask: what do I think about Amsterdam?

The answer might be: busy, fun, pretentious, fulfilling, superficial, and successful.

Great! That tells me a lot. But I have more to extract.

Next to my opinion of Amsterdam, I also have a relationship with my opinion of Amsterdam. This is my relationship^2 with Amsterdam.

I miss my own position in my opinion. What do I think of my opinion of Amsterdam? What do I want to do with it?

I don't have direct control over my opinion of my home town, Amsterdam. I do have control over my relationship with the relationship I developed over time. I can move away, I can see my own faults, and I can change my relationship with my opinion of my hometown.

It won't change Amsterdam, but I will be able to change my relationship with Amsterdam by looking at how I feel about how I feel.

I apply this to my own relationship, to exercise, work, and sleep. You name it. Whenever I see a change in my behavior, I now look at my relationship^2.