When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
When was the last time you felt indescribable joy?
The last time you sensed profound meaning and purpose?
The last time you felt enormously proud of an accomplishment?
We don’t have to know all the details of these experiences but there is a good bet that they took place around other people.
I love Dr. Martin Seligman’s quote, (Author, Flourish),“Other People are the best antidote to the downs of life and the single most reliable up!”
Psychologists and Social Scientists have clearly determined that no other exercise is more reliable in providing a momentary increase in well being than doing a kind act for another human being.
Think about this question for a moment; do you have a friend you would feel comfortable calling at 4:00 am and sharing a crisis you’re facing? If your answer is yes, you will likely live longer than a person who answered no, according to Harvard Psychologist George Vaillant who discovered this fact in his research.
Is there anything more important to our Well Being than the positive relationships that we develop in life? The science, the evidence is overwhelmingly clear, it’s deep within our DNA, we humans need each other. When one of the founders of Positive Psychology was asked to define Positive Psychology, he simply stated, “Other People.”
The social neuroscientist John Cacioppo takes it one step further when speaking of the importance of strong positive relationships, “loneliness is such a disabling condition that it compels the belief that the pursuit of relationships is a rock-bottom fundamental to human well being.”
I thank God everyday for the friends I have and the support and love they have offered over the years! No doubt about it, it doesn’t just happen! There was a period where nothing was more important to me than working, and I can remember looking my friends right in the face and saying, “I don’t have time for you, wish I did but I have got to stay focused on the work!” Have you been left out of a gathering of friends and maybe wondering why? The answer for me was simple, I sucked at being a good friend and I got a wake up call as I started to look around and understand just how bad I had neglected my good friends. What kind of commitment have you made to enrich your relationships?
Trust me, work will be there when you get back! Never neglect building those strong positive relationships; it’s a bedrock principle of having greater well being!
OK, now go pick up the phone, call a friend and plan to meet for a beer, coffee, a run, a bike ride, a movie, a walk……Just Do it!